What Is Unit 5 in AP World History?

Unit 5 in AP World History is a crucial period that covers the time frame between 1750 CE to 1900 CE. This period is also known as the Age of Revolutions and covers significant historical events that transformed the world in various ways. In this article, we will discuss the key topics covered in Unit 5 and how they shape our modern world.

The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment was a movement that emerged in Europe during the 18th century. It was an intellectual movement that emphasized reason, individualism, and scientific methods.

The Enlightenment challenged traditional beliefs and advocated for freedom of speech, religion, and thought. Some of the famous Enlightenment thinkers were Voltaire, Rousseau, and John Locke.

The American Revolution

The American Revolution was a political upheaval that took place between 1765-1783. It resulted in the thirteen colonies gaining independence from Great Britain and forming the United States of America. The revolution was fueled by many factors such as taxation without representation, political corruption, and economic exploitation.

The French Revolution

The French Revolution was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France between 1789-1799. The revolution was influenced by Enlightenment ideas such as liberty, equality, and fraternity. It resulted in the overthrow of King Louis XVI and established a republic system of government.

Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution began in Britain during the late 18th century and spread to other parts of Europe and North America during the 19th century. It was a period of significant change characterized by new inventions, technologies, factories, urbanization, and social transformations. The Industrial Revolution led to unprecedented economic growth but also created new forms of inequality.


Imperialism refers to the domination of one country over another economically, politically or culturally. During the 19th century, European powers such as Britain, France, and Germany established colonies in Asia and Africa. Imperialism had a profound impact on the colonized societies, resulting in cultural assimilation, political instability, and economic exploitation.

World War I

World War I was a global conflict that lasted from 1914-1918. It was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and involved many countries such as Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and the United States. The war resulted in significant loss of life and property but also paved the way for new political systems and international organizations.

In conclusion, Unit 5 in AP World History covers a wide range of topics that shaped our modern world. From Enlightenment ideas to revolutions and Industrialization to imperialism, this period provides an understanding of how societies transformed during this time frame. As students prepare for their AP exam or want to deepen their knowledge of world history, studying Unit 5 is essential.