What Is Southernization AP World History?

Southernization is a term used in AP World History to describe the spread of various technologies, ideas, and goods from Southern Asia to other parts of the world. The concept of Southernization was first introduced by historian Lynda Shaffer in 1994 and has since become an important part of understanding the global history of technology and trade.

Origins of Southernization

The origins of Southernization can be traced back to ancient India, where many important innovations were developed. For example, Indian mathematicians developed the concept of zero and the decimal system, which are still widely used today. Indian scholars also made significant advances in astronomy, medicine, and metallurgy.

Spread of Southernization

Over time, many of these innovations spread beyond India to other parts of Southern Asia. For example, Islamic scholars in the Middle East were heavily influenced by Indian mathematics and astronomy. They translated many works from Sanskrit into Arabic and helped spread these ideas throughout the Muslim world.

Impact on World History

Southernization had a profound impact on world history. For example, Indian textiles became highly sought after in Europe during the medieval period. The demand for these textiles helped spur trade between Europe and Asia and helped lay the groundwork for later European colonization.


In conclusion, Southernization is an important concept in understanding the global history of technology and trade. By recognizing the contributions made by ancient Indian scholars and their impact on other regions of the world, we can gain a better understanding of how our modern world came to be.