Making sense of the unique and fascinating places in the world requires a broad range of knowledge and skills. Students explore how Earth’s geography has affected human life and culture as they learn about the development of early civilizations in Asia and the Mediterranean. Students examine the great religious traditions born during this time, witness the growth of dynasties in the Far East, and learn about the ideas that spawned the Renaissance. As the world became caught up in the excitement of the Age of Exploration, the Americas were “discovered,” although vibrant and thriving civilizations had existed there for thousands of years. Students learn about the struggles of these native civilizations, the slaves who were brought to build new nations, and independence movements in the Western world. The issues addressing modern nations include trade, migration, urbanization, and human rights. In an exploration of recent history, students learn about dictators and witness revolutions in Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. In the final section of the course, students study the impact of globalization and the technology driving it.
South American geography
Contact with Europeans
Latin America Nationalism
World War I
World War II
Rise of communism
Cold War and American politics
Technology and globalization
Summarize the rise of early American civilizations adapted to South American geography.
Assess the beginnings of Mesoamerican cultures by examining the governments, economies, and religions of the Aztecs and the Maya.
Consider the influence of European conquests and exploration on North American culture, religion, and social dynamics.
Evaluate the growth and influence of European culture through transatlantic encounters, colonialism, trade, and slavery. Analyze the effects of the exponential growth of technology in the twentieth century on human populations and globalization.
Evaluate urbanization and examine reasons for the increase in migration to modern urban centers.
Consider the effects of the Cold War and examine the conflict that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Analyze the rights and responsibilities that citizens of the United States have within national and local governments.
Examine ways the United States has attempted to spread democracy to other parts of the world and how this led to involvement in Korea and Vietnam.