What Happened in Unit 5 AP World History?

Unit 5 of AP World History covers the time period from 1750 to 1900. This era is marked by significant global changes, including the Industrial Revolution, imperialism, and nationalism. In this article, we will explore some of the major events and themes that occurred during this time.

The Industrial Revolution

One of the most significant developments during Unit 5 was the Industrial Revolution. This period saw a shift from handmade goods to machine-made products, which transformed economies and societies around the world. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain in the late 1700s and quickly spread to other parts of Europe and North America.

Impact on Society

The Industrial Revolution had a profound impact on society. It led to urbanization as people migrated from rural areas to cities in search of work.

The growth of factories also created new jobs for women and children, although working conditions were often harsh. The rise of industrial capitalism created a new class structure with wealthy factory owners at the top and low-paid workers at the bottom.


Another major theme of Unit 5 was imperialism, which refers to a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through colonization or military force. European powers dominated much of Africa and Asia during this time, carving up territories for their own economic gain.

The Scramble for Africa

The “Scramble for Africa” was a period when European powers rushed to claim territories in Africa. This led to competition between European countries as they tried to establish dominance over African resources such as gold, diamonds, and rubber.

Effects on Africa

The effects of imperialism on African societies were devastating. Europeans imposed their culture and language on African populations while exploiting resources for their own benefit. Many Africans were forced into labor or driven off their land by European settlers.


Nationalism was another major theme of Unit 5. This refers to a sense of pride and loyalty to one’s nation, often accompanied by a desire for self-rule and independence.

Rise of Nationalism in Europe

Nationalism in Europe was fueled by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. People began to identify more strongly with their individual nations rather than their monarchs or empires. This led to the formation of new countries such as Italy and Germany.

Impact on Colonized Peoples

The rise of nationalism had a mixed impact on colonized peoples. Some saw it as an opportunity to push for independence from their European colonizers, while others were excluded from nationalist movements because of their race or religion.

In Conclusion

Unit 5 of AP World History covers an important era in global history. The Industrial Revolution, imperialism, and nationalism all played significant roles in shaping the world we live in today. By understanding these events and themes, we can better understand the historical context that has led us to where we are now.