When Did AP World History Become Modern?


In today’s world, history has become an essential subject that helps us understand the past and shape the future. The Advanced Placement (AP) World History program is one such course that aims to provide a comprehensive overview of human history from prehistoric times to the present day.

However, the question arises – when did AP World History become modern Let’s explore this topic in detail.

Early Beginnings of AP World History

The AP World History program was introduced in 2002 by the College Board organization. At that time, it focused on six historical periods and aimed to provide students with an understanding of world history from a global perspective. The course was structured to encourage critical thinking, writing skills, and analytical abilities among students.

Making Changes

In 2010, significant changes were made to the AP World History program. The course was restructured to address concerns that it was too broad and lacked focus.

It now comprises four historical periods instead of six and has a more thematic approach. This means that instead of just learning about events and dates, students also study overarching themes such as culture, economics, politics, and social structures.

The Modern Era

The current iteration of AP World History is considered modern as it now focuses on the period from 1200 CE onwards. This means that students learn about significant events such as the Age of Exploration, Renaissance, Industrial Revolution, World Wars I and II, Cold War era among others.

What is Covered in Modern AP World History

  • The growth of trade networks across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas during the early modern period.
  • The impact of colonization on indigenous populations across different regions.
  • The influence of Enlightenment ideas on the French Revolution and their spread across Europe and the Americas.
  • Causes and consequences of World War I and II including the rise of totalitarianism, genocide, and the role of technology in warfare.
  • The impact of decolonization on Asia, Africa, and Latin America in the post-World War II era.
  • The development of international organizations such as the United Nations and their efforts to promote global peace and cooperation.


In summary, AP World History has undergone significant changes since its inception in 2002. The course has evolved from a broad overview to a more focused thematic approach.

The program now encompasses a modern era that covers significant events that have shaped our world today. By studying these events, students gain a better understanding of how societies have developed over time and how they continue to shape our future.