What Is Period 2 in AP World History?

If you’re taking AP World History, you may have heard about Period 2. In this period, which spans from 600 BCE to 600 CE, there were numerous developments that set the stage for the world we live in today. Here are some of the highlights of Period 2.

Political Developments

During Period 2, many regions throughout the world saw the emergence of powerful empires. In China, for example, the Qin and Han dynasties rose to power and established centralized governments that lasted for centuries. In India, the Mauryan and Gupta empires brought stability to a region that had been in turmoil for centuries.

In addition to these major empires, smaller city-states also emerged throughout the world during this period. These city-states often competed with each other for resources and power.

Social Changes

Period 2 was also marked by significant social changes. One of the most important developments was the emergence of new religions such as Buddhism and Christianity. These religions challenged traditional beliefs and practices in many societies around the world.

In addition to these religious changes, many societies also experienced significant cultural changes during this period. For example, in China, Confucianism became a dominant philosophy that emphasized respect for authority and social order.

Economic Developments

During Period 2, trade became increasingly important throughout the world. The Silk Road emerged as a major trade route connecting Europe with Asia. This trade helped to spread ideas and technologies across different regions and cultures.

In addition to trade, agricultural advancements also played a key role in shaping economies during this period. New crops such as rice and wheat were grown in different regions around the world, leading to increased food production and population growth.


Overall, Period 2 was a time of significant change throughout much of the world. From political developments to social and economic changes, this period set the stage for many of the developments that would shape the world in the centuries to come.

If you’re taking AP World History, it’s important to understand the major developments that occurred during this period. By doing so, you’ll be better prepared to analyze how these developments impacted different regions and societies around the world.