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World History Outline
- What were some factors that led to hominid bipedalism?
- Why did Homo sapiens start to prefer agriculture?
Early Middle Eastern and Northeast African Civilizations
- Why were the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers significant for ancient Mesopotamians?
- What were the characteristics of Sumerian City States?
- How did the rulers of ancient Mesopotamian empires unite their people?
- What is the significance of Mesopotamia for World History?
- What were some of the characteristics of Israelites and Ancient Israel?
- How do the Early Israelites and their written tradition reflect the central beliefs of Judaism?
- How did the United Kingdom of Israel develop?
- What is the importance of the Israelites and Ancient Israel?
- Which characteristics of civilizations were seen in Ancient Egypt?
- What major continuities were evident throughout Dynastic Egypt?
Ancient and Early Medieval India
- How did the geography of South Asia (India) impact its history?
- Why was India’s First Major Civilization, The Indus Valley Civilization, important?
- How did kingdoms form during the Vedic Age?
- How did India transition to an empire?
- How was the Mauryan Empire governed?
- How can we think of regional states, trade, and devotional religion?
- Why is the Gupta period sometimes described as a classical age?
- What are the characteristics of early medieval India?
China and East Asia to the Ming Dynasty
- How can we think about the geography of East Asia?
- What kinds of evidence do we have to reconstruct the first dynasties in Chinese history?
- How did Zhou kings justify overthrowing the Shang Dynasty?
- Why was the Qin Dynasty so important to the history of China?
- What were the prominent features of Han Dynasty society and governing?
- What was the Period of Division?
- What were the foundations of Tang Dynasty power in East Asia?
- Why was China was one of the most developed countries in the world during the Song Dynasty?
- What were the origins of the Yuan Dynasty?
The Greek World from the Bronze Age to the Roman Conquest
- In what ways did Greek geography and topography impact the history of the ancient Greek world?
- What are the different periods of Greek History and the defining characteristics of each?
- What primary sources are available for the study of Greek history?
- Where is the gap between mythology and history?
- What were the most important developments in the Greek world in the Archaic Period?
- What were some of the most important contributions of Classical Athens?
- What were some of the achievements and legacies of the Hellenistic period?
The Roman World from 735 BCE to 500 CE
- How did the geography and topography of Rome and the Roman Empire impact the history of the ancient Roman world?
- What are the different periods of Roman history and the defining characteristics of each?
- What primary sources are available for the study of Roman history, and their limitations?
- What were the key civic conflicts and civil wars of the Roman Republic?
- When and why did the Roman Republic fall?
- What was the early Roman empire like?
- What were the problems that the Roman Empire faced during the third-century crisis?
Western Europe and Byzantium Circa 500 – 100CE
- How did the Germanic peoples of Western Europe relate to the former Roman territories?
- Which of Justinian’s policies during his reign of Byzantium had the longest-lasting effects?
- What was the difference between the Post-Roman East and West?
- What was life like in Europe’s periphery: The British Isles?
- How did the Byzantine state reorganize itself to face the challenges of seventh- and eighth-century invasions?
- How did the Church provide a sense of legitimacy to the kings of the Franks?
- How can we look at Europe in this era in a Global Context?
- How did the majority of people in Europe and the Byzantine Empire live in the Early Middle Ages?
- What were the characteristics of the Carolingian Collapse?
- What was the Tenth Century Church like?
- Why were the Macedonian Emperors considered the climax of Byzantium?
Islam to the Mamluks
- How does geography play a role in Islamic history?
- Why were the concepts defined by muruwah so important to the early development of Islam?
- What factors led to the rapid expansion of Islam?
- Who were the Rashidun caliphs?
- How did the Umayyads come to power following the Rashidun caliphs?
- What was the transition from the Umayyads to the ‘Abbasids?
- How did the Fatimids take over Egypt?
- How did the Crusaders gain a foothold in the Middle East?
- What led to the establishment of the Mamluk Sultanate?
African History to 1500
- What were the methodological challenges of studying Ancient and Medieval African History?
- What was distinctive about the agriculture of the Ethiopian Highlands?
- What characteristics were shared by the Western Sudanic States?
- How did the ruling classes of Great Zimbabwe generate wealth and demonstrate their elite status?
- What was the urban style of Swahili city-states?
- What crops were first domesticated in the Americas and where?
- How did the Maya support such rapid urbanization?
- Who were the Aztec?
- How did the Inca use local resources to build their empire?
- How were cultures of the North American West able to overcome limited rainfall?
- How did the geography of Central Asia have an impact on its history?
- In what way did the Turkic migrations change the culture of Central Asia?
- What helped to expedite the conversion process of Islam?
- How did Genghis Khan differ from his predecessors?
- What was the significance of Inju to the history of the Chagatai Khanate?
- What role did religion play in the Ilkhanate?
- Why did Timur attempt to externalize the violence of the steppe?
Western Europe and Byzantium Circa 100 – 1500 CE
- Who held most political and military power in a feudal system?
- What were some reasons that European towns started to grow in the eleventh century?
- Why did Europe’s agricultural output increase in the eleventh century?
- What were some lasting results of the eleventh-century popes’ attempts to reform the Church?
- What were the peripheries of the Holy Roman Empire?
- How did Christendom expand?
- In what ways did the church reform in the eleventh century?
- What were the Crusades?
- What was the twelfth century like in Western Europe?
- How did empire collapse and recover?
- What characteristics defined the twelfth-century renaissance?
- What was the Third Crusade?
- How did the Fourth Crusade differ from its predecessors?
- How did the thirteenth-century Capetian kings of France strengthen their authority?
- Why did Crusading ultimately fail?
- What was scholasticism?
- What was daily life like at the Medieval Zenith?
- How can we describe Crises in the fourteenth century?
- What wars were going on at this time?
- What characteristics defined southeastern Europe in the late middle ages?
- What the late Medieval Papacy like?
- How can we think of the European Renaissance?
- How did states function in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance?
- Why did Christopher Columbus think he could sail directly from Europe to Asia?
About the book
World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500
World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 offers a comprehensive introduction to the history of humankind from prehistory to 1500. Authored by six USG faculty members with advance degrees in History, this textbook offers up-to-date original scholarship.
It covers such cultures, states, and societies as Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Israel, Dynastic Egypt, India’s Classical Age, the Dynasties of China, Archaic Greece, the Roman Empire, Islam, Medieval Africa, the Americas, and the Khanates of Central Asia. It includes 350 high-quality images and maps, chronologies, and learning questions to help guide student learning. Its digital nature allows students to follow links to applicable sources and videos, expanding their educational experience beyond the textbook.
About the authors:
Senior Contributing Authors
Euguene Berger, Georgia Gwinnett College
George Israel, Middle Georgia State University
Charlotte Miller, Middle Georgia State University
Brian Parkinson, Georgia Southwestern State University
Andrew Reeves, Middle Georgia State University
Nadejda Williams, University of West Georgia