AP World History: Period 6

  1. The World Wars
    The first-half of the twentieth century saw two enormous wars among the "Great Powers" of Europe, Asia, and the United States. These wars were caused in part by massive military production made possible by the Industrial Revolution and by global competition for territories during the Age of Imperialism. In an AP World History context, World Wars I and II can be seen as one long, global war with a 20-year break between the two. The results of the wars were the decline of western Europe and the rise of the power of the United States and Soviet Union in the second half of the twentieth century.
  2. The Great Depression
    Between the two World Wars, a global economic disaster struck the industrialized nations around the world. By the end of World War I, the United States had the world’s largest economy; when it failed in the late 1920s, the economies of much of the rest of the world, which were already reeling from the effects of World War I, were severely affected. Two major results were authoritarian governments (see No. 66) and World War II.
  3. Authoritarianism
    One result of the catastrophe of World War I was a rejection of democratic forms of government In parts of Europe and Asia, namely, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Japan. Single-party rule led by a strongman with dictatorial powers was thought to be a more efficient system than democracy. Communism and fascism were the best-known examples of such governmental systems. The growing military aggression of the fascist governments was a cause of World War II.
  4. Communism
    Communism was originally proposed by Karl Marx from Germany in the mid-nineteenth century and put in place by Vladimir Lenin in Russia in the early twentieth century. In this economic and political system of socialism, the government (the state) attempts to direct the economy and to provide services for all. Authoritarianism was often the method of rule in communist systems. Communism spread around the globe in the twentieth century and competed directly with capitalist societies.
  5. Decolonization
    A major global development after World War II was Europe’s process of getting rid of its colonial empires around the world. Colonies in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa regained their independence, but they often faced many significant social, economic, and political challenges.
  6. Partition
    The largest British colony, India partitioned itself, or split up. along religious lines when It gained independence in 1947, forming India (with a Hindu majority) and Pakistan. In 1971. East Pakistan separated from Pakistan to become Bangladesh (both with Muslim majorities). For many decades afterward, Pakistan and India were major rivals in the region of South Asia.
  7. Cold War
    The dominant global conflict after World War II, the Cold War was conducted between the United States (and its allies) and the Soviet Union (and its allies). The aim for each side was to keep the other from increasing its political and economic influence around the world. It was called the Cold War because the two sides did everything to prepare for a real hot war (with real weapons), except actually fight each other directly. Massive accumulation of nuclear and other forms of weapons threatened mutually assured destruction, but when the Soviet Union fell apart in the late twentieth century, the Cold War ended.
  8. Multinational or Transnational Corporation
    A multinational or transnational corporation does business in more than one country. The British and Dutch East India companies of the eighteenth century were early examples, but it was after World War II in the twentieth century that this business model became common. Exxon Mobil, Toyota, and General Electric are prominent examples of multinational and/or transnational corporations.
  9. Pacific Rim
    In the second half of the twentieth century, strong economies developed on both sides of the Pacific. Although the United States was a major economic power in the region, the term usually refers to the economies based in nations such as China, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and Singapore.
  10. Chinese Revolutions
    In the early twentieth century, a revolution in China against the emperor led to a limited democracy. After World War II, communists led by Mao Zedong overthrew that government. Vast social, political, and economic changes resulted. Until the late twentieth century, communist China was relatively isolated from global economic involvement, but after Mao’s death, China opened its economic system to allow capitalist development, and its economy boomed.
  11. Apartheid
    Apartheid was a political and social policy in South Africa in the mid-twentieth century that separated whites and blacks and that granted the white minority many rights that the black majority was denied. The apartheid policy was reversed in the late twentieth century after decades of global pressure, and majority rule was established.
  12. Feminism
    Although its roots extended back to the Enlightenment (see No. 51 above), feminism was largely a twentieth-century movement dedicated to increasing the political, social, and economic rights of women. It began in Western democracies and expanded to include much of the world by century’s end. Counterexamples persisted in parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
  13. Globalization
    “Globalization” describes the “shrinking world” that resulted from increased economic and communications connections. While the term could be applied to world systems after Columbus’s voyages (see No. 41 above) or to the Age of Imperialism (see No. 56 above), it became especially popular in the late twentieth century. Not everyone was content with the process of globalization.
  14. Historiography
    The AP World History exam defines historiography as “historical interpretation.” Historiography is the study of the study of history—or the different ways that historians interpret the past at different times. This is important to an AP World History student because developing the skills to find a point of view and to discern multiple historical perspectives is a vital part of the course and the exam. See Chapter 22 for insights into developing these important AP World History skills.
  15. Periodization
    Periodization is an important AP World History term that describes possible alternatives to "turning point dates" that historians mark in World History. For example, the Neolithic Revolution, which in AP World History is marked at c. 8000 BCE, occurred earlier in the Middle East than in the Americas. The Classical Era Is said to have ended by 600 CE, but the Han Dynasty and the Western Roman Empire fell long before that date. See Chapter 23 for more information.
Card Set
AP World History: Period 6
Accelerating Global Change and Realignments, c. 1900 to the Present