What Topics Are Covered in High School World History?

High school world history is a fascinating subject that covers a wide range of topics. As the name suggests, it is the study of past events, cultures, and civilizations from around the world. In this article, we will explore some of the most important topics covered in high school world history.

Ancient Civilizations

One of the first topics covered in high school world history is ancient civilizations. This includes studying cultures such as ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

Students will learn about their political systems, social structures, and religious beliefs. They will also explore famous events such as the rise and fall of empires and famous leaders like Julius Caesar.

Medieval Europe

Following ancient civilizations, students will delve into medieval Europe. This period covers roughly 500 to 1500 CE and includes events like the Crusades, Black Death, and Renaissance.

Students will learn about European feudalism and its impact on society at the time. They will also study important historical figures such as Joan of Arc.

The Age of Exploration

The age of exploration refers to a period between the 15th and 17th centuries when Europeans explored new lands including America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Students will learn about famous explorers like Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama. They will also explore the impact that European exploration had on indigenous populations.

The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement that took place in Europe during the 18th century. It emphasized reason over superstition and advocated for individual freedom and democracy. Students will learn about famous philosophers such as John Locke and Voltaire who shaped this movement.

The French Revolution

The French Revolution was a period of dramatic social upheaval that took place in France during the late 18th century. It was marked by political turmoil including the overthrow of the monarchy and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. Students will explore the causes and consequences of this event, including its impact on European politics.

World War I and II

Two of the most significant events in world history are World War I and II. Students will learn about the causes and consequences of both wars, including their impact on global politics, economies, and society. They will also study important figures such as Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill.

The Cold War

Following World War II, tensions between the United States and Soviet Union led to a period known as the Cold War. This was a time of political and military tension that lasted from 1947 to 1991. Students will learn about key events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and explore how this period shaped global politics.


High school world history covers a wide range of topics from ancient civilizations to modern-day events. Through studying these topics, students gain an understanding of how past events have shaped our present world. By exploring different cultures, political systems, and historical figures, they develop critical thinking skills that help them understand complex global issues.