What Is Unit 1 AP World History About?

Unit 1 AP World History is the introductory unit that sets the foundation for the entire course. In this unit, students will learn about the origins of human societies and the development of civilizations.

It covers a vast period from prehistory to around 600 BCE. The primary focus of this unit is on the ways in which early human societies developed and interacted with each other.

The Themes of Unit 1 AP World History

Before delving into the specifics, it’s essential to understand some central themes that run throughout Unit 1 AP World History. These themes help students to form connections between different societies across time and space.

  • Interaction between humans and environment: This theme focuses on how humans have adapted to their environment over time.
  • Development and interaction of cultures: This theme emphasizes how cultural practices have developed over time and how they shape interactions between different societies.
  • State-building, expansion, and conflict: This theme highlights how states have been built and expanded over time through various means such as military conquests.
  • Civilization: This theme looks at what defines a civilization, its characteristics, and how civilizations emerge.

The Origins of Human Societies

The study of Unit 1 AP World History begins with the origins of human societies. During this period, humans lived in small groups called bands.

Hunting-gathering was their primary mode of subsistence. They were nomadic, meaning they moved from one place to another in search of food.

As time passed, humans started settling down in one place due to various reasons such as domestication of animals and agriculture. The Neolithic revolution marked this change from hunting-gathering to settled agriculture-based societies.

The Development of Civilizations

The development of civilization is the central focus of Unit 1 AP World History. Civilization is defined as a complex society with cities, a centralized government, social stratification, and economic specialization.

The first civilization emerged in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) around 4000 BCE. Sumerians were the first people to develop a form of writing called cuneiform, which helped in record-keeping and communication.

Other civilizations that emerged during this period were the Indus Valley Civilization (in modern-day India), Ancient Egypt, and the Shang Dynasty in China.

Interactions between Civilizations

The development of civilizations led to interactions between them. Trade was one way in which different societies interacted with each other. The Silk Road was an essential trade route that connected China to the Mediterranean world.

Another way in which civilizations interacted was through military conquests. The Assyrians were known for their military conquests and established one of the largest empires in ancient times.

The Legacy of Unit 1 AP World History

Unit 1 AP World History sets the foundation for students to understand how human societies developed over time and how they interacted with each other. It provides a broader perspective on how cultures have developed over time and how they shape our world today.

In conclusion, Unit 1 AP World History is an introductory unit that covers a vast period from prehistory to around 600 BCE. It focuses on the origins of human societies, the development of civilizations, interactions between them, and their legacy today.