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ap world


study guide


Unit 7

7.0 Overview of Unit 7: Global Conflict




written by

Jed Quiaoit

jed quiaoit

published on june 4, 2020

Last updated on June 23, 2020

available on hyper typer

The one thing you need to know about this unit:

Global conflict changed the status quo through shifts in power. 

Industrialization = Nationalism = More challenges to dominant nations = Imperialism = Interregional conflicts 🔫

Contextualizing the Unit 💥

The 1900s featured a heavily industrialized world where even nations like Japan and Russia have begun to catch up to dominant economies like western Europe and the U.S. The Second Industrial Revolution also gave birth to new technological, transportation and communication advances such as railroad systems, telegraphs, and machines - all of which made life more convenient for everyone!

However, imperialism in Asia (e.g. French in Indochina, British in India) and Africa (the infamous Scramble for Africa) gave rise to intensified conflicts as they became more lethal and prevalent as new weapons emerged: flamethrowers, machine guns, artillery, tanks, fighter planes, the list goes on. These deadly contraptions allowed powerful nations to wage wars against each other to gain more land and influence over local regions. These wars were fought by different people - Indians, Africans, Europeans, Asians, and even Americans - in different theaters across the globe.

As more people became aware of the world beyond them, they started to challenge the social order as new forms of government often came hand in hand with the emergence of political and economic ideologies (e.g. communist regimes, fascist dictatorships, parliamentary republics, etc.).

What exactly happened BEFORE and AFTER each global conflict in terms of politics, society, and economy? Time to find out. 🕘

Image Courtesy of US National Archives on Giphy

Main Events

1910-1920: Mexican Revolution 


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1914-1918: World War 1 

1915: Armenian genocide starts 

1917: Russian Revolution

1919: World War 1 ends, postwar negotiations in the Paris Peace Conferences 

1920: League of Nations founded… and disbanded later on 

1927-1936: Chinese Civil War

1928: Stalin initiates his first Five Year Plan within Soviet Russia 

1929-1933: Great Depression 

1939-1945: World War 2 

1941: Attack on Pearl Harbor 

1941-1945: The Holocaust

1945-1950: Chinese Communist Revolution 

1945: Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings 

1945: United Nations created 

1947: Japanese Empire ends

1994: Rwandan genocide

Major Trends Between 1900 to Present

  • Industrialization transforms the world 🏭

    • New weapons → drastic increase in death tolls

    • Telegraph & radio networks → communication in battlefields

  • MAIN → global conflicts

    • Militarism ⇒  arms race between nations → destructive firepower

    • Alliances ⇒ nations fighting → allies jump in → multinational conflict

    • Imperialism ⇒ nations competing over control in territories

    • Nationalism ⇒ nations want to demonstrate military & political might

  • Wartime production → overproduction → lower demand & prices → unemployment → Great Depression → increase in government involvement in economy

    • European loans to US → weaker economies than before WWI

    • “Failure of capitalism” → rise of socialism & fascism

  • Postwar agreements → division of colonies among winners 

    • Local nationalism → anti-imperialist movements → decolonization

    • Ethnic prejudice → genocides and violence against minorities 

  • New global entities 🌎

    • Organizations (i.e. League of Nations, UN)  enforced rules over nations

    • Treaties & alliances (i.e. Marshall Plan, NATO, Warsaw Pact) → capitalism vs. socialism → Cold War 

    Streams and Resources


    🎥Watch: WHAP - World War I and World War II 🏆Trivia - World War I 🏆Trivia - World War II 🎥Watch: WHAP - 20th Century Science and Technology


    🎥Watch: WHAP - World Wars in World History

    🏆Trivia - World Wars in World History

    🎥Watch: WHAP - Unit 7 Review: Causation in Global Conflict

    🏆Trivia - Causation in Global Conflict

    Practice Questions

    ✍️ 2017 - LEQ #3: CCOT of Global Balance of Power

    ✍️ 2018 - LEQ #4: 20th Century Political Ideologies

    ✍️ 2018 - SAQ #1: Mass Violence and Governance

    ✍️ 2019 - LEQ #4: State Controlled Economies

    Recommended Readings

    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque 

    • Life in the point of view of German soldiers in the western front during World War I

    Night by Elie Wiesel

    • Life as a Jew in Germany during WWII and in Auschwitz, based on author’s actual experiences as a Holocaust survivor.

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