What Is Unit 5 About in AP World History?

Unit 5 in AP World History covers the period between 1750 and 1900, a time of great change and upheaval in world history. During this period, the world saw the rise of new global powers, the spread of industrialization, and significant social and cultural transformations.

Key Themes

One of the key themes of Unit 5 is the concept of imperialism. This refers to the domination of one country by another through economic, political, or military means. European powers such as Britain, France, and Germany expanded their empires during this time, often through force and colonization.

Another important theme is the rise of industrialization. This refers to the shift from an agricultural-based economy to one based on manufacturing and industry. This period saw significant advances in technology and transportation, which helped to fuel economic growth.

Major Events

Several major events occurred during Unit 5 that had a significant impact on world history. One such event was the American Revolution (1775-1783), which led to the formation of a new country based on democratic principles.

The French Revolution (1789-1799) was another significant event that occurred during this time. The revolution overthrew the monarchy and established a democratic government in France, which had far-reaching consequences for Europe and beyond.

The Industrial Revolution also began during Unit 5. It started in Britain in the late 18th century but spread throughout Europe and North America during this time. The Industrial Revolution transformed economies and societies around the world by introducing new technologies such as steam power and mechanization.

Global Connections

Unit 5 also saw increased global connections through trade and colonization. European powers established colonies around the world to exploit resources and create new markets for their goods.

This period also saw increased interaction between Europe and Asia through trade routes such as the Silk Road. The Opium Wars between Britain and China (1839-1842 and 1856-1860) were a result of these interactions, as Britain sought to expand its trade in China by forcing the Chinese to accept opium imports.


In conclusion, Unit 5 in AP World History is a critical period that saw significant changes and transformations in world history. The rise of imperialism, industrialization, and increased global connections had far-reaching consequences that continue to shape our world today. By understanding the key themes and events of this period, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the complexities of our modern world.