Grade 9 with the Paleolithic Era and the development of the first civilizations, continues with
an examination of classical societies, and traces the expansion of trade networks and their global
impact. The course emphasizes the key themes of interactions over time, shifts in political power,
and the role of belief systems.
In this course we will study:
The First Civilizations, ca. 10,000 B.C.E. – ca. 630 C.E.
9.1 DEVELOPMENT OF CIVILIZATION: The development of agriculture enabled the rise of the
first civilizations, located primarily along river valleys; these complex societies were
influenced by geographic conditions, and shared a number of defining political, social, and
BELIEF SYSTEMS: RISE AND IMPACT: The emergence and spread of belief systems
influenced and shaped the development of cultures, as well as their traditions and identities.
Important similarities and differences between these belief systems are found in their core
beliefs, ethical codes, practices, and social relationships.
CLASSICAL CIVILIZATIONS: EXPANSION, ACHIEVEMENT, DECLINE: Classical civilizations
in Eurasia and Mesoamerica employed a variety of methods to expand and maintain control
over vast territories. They developed lasting cultural achievements. Both internal and
external forces led to the eventual decline of these empires.
RISE OF TRANSREGIONAL TRADE NETWORKS: During the classical and postclassical eras,
transregional trade networks emerged and/or expanded. These networks of exchange
influenced the economic and political development of states and empires.
POLITICAL POWERS AND ACHIEVEMENTS: New power arrangements emerged across
Eurasia. Political states and empires employed a variety of techniques for expanding and
maintaining control. Periods of relative stability allowed for significant cultural,
technological, and scientific innovations.
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL GROWTH AND CONFLICT: During the postclassical era, the
growth of transregional empires and the use of trade networks influenced religions and
spread disease. These cross-cultural interactions also led to conflict and affected
THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND THE MING DYNASTY PRE-1600: Islam, Neo-Confucianism,
and Christianity each influenced the development of regions and shaped key centers of
power in the world between 1368 and 1683. The Ottoman Empire and the Ming Dynasty
were two powerful states, each with a view of itself and its place in the world.
AFRICA AND THE AMERICAS PRE-1600: The environment, trade networks, and belief
systems influenced the development of complex societies and civilizations in Africa and the
Americas ca. 1325–1600.
TRANSFORMATION OF WESTERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA: Western Europe and Russia
transformed politically, economically, and culturally ca. 1400–1750. This transformation
included state building, conflicts, shifts in power and authority, and new ways of
understanding their world.
INTERACTIONS AND DISRUPTIONS: Efforts to reach the Indies resulted in the encounter
between the people of Western Europe, Africa, and the Americas. This encounter led to a
devastating impact on populations in the Americas, the rise of the transatlantic slave trade,
and the reorientation of trade networks.
We will cover the globe in this order:
- Middle East
- South Asia
- SE Asia
- Latin America