Integrating Mesolore into Advanced Placement World History (APWH): Six Lesson Plans

Jay Harmon

Sections of Mesolore to be used

  • Debates: History or Propaganda?
  • Debates: Analyzing Gender: Valid or “Politically Correct”?
  • Debates: Indigenous rights: Where do we go from here?”
  • Debates: Whose cultural property is this and why?”
  • Ã’udzavui Tutorials: “Mesoamerican Screenfolds.”
  • Ã’udzavui Tutorials: “Life in the Rain Place”

How these sections of Mesolore will be used

These lessons are designed for high school students doing individual work, either in class or for homework. They are intended as an introduction to the Mesolore materials; especially the “Debates” and “Tutorials” sections of the website but also as an introduction to the Ã’udzavui screenfolds. Each lesson below is self-explanatory and is accompanied by a key. Each lesson below is designed to take about 30 minutes. (See Sharon Cohen’s excellent overview of the APWH course)

Specific assignments and their pedagogic benefits

Lesson #1’”“Debates: History or Propaganda?”

Time:

Approximately 30 minutes.

Preparation:

This lesson can be used either as an introduction to one of the “Habits of Mind” of APWH at the beginning of the course, or in context with pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Instructions:

In the Scholars section of Mesolore, under Debates, go to “History vs. Propaganda.” Read the summary of “History or Propaganda?” and answer the following on loose leaf in preparation for class discussion:

  1. Define:
    History
    Propaganda
    Myth
    Pre-Columbian
    Mesoamerica
    Historiography
    Codex/Codices
  2. According to the summary, history is usually told from whose perspective?
  3. According to Professor Schele, why is there no such thing as “objective history”?
  4. According to Professor Marcus, why is it difficult to know what really happened in pre-columbian Mesoamerica? Provide an example.
  5. According to Professors Marcus and Sanders, what is the difference between “horizontal” and “vertical” intentions of sculptural, pictorial and literal works from Mesoamerica?
  6. What are some of the 21st century issues regarding “historical truth” faced by historians?
  7. Why is it useful to have experts in different academic specialties comment on their view of history?
Now, defend your positions:
  • What are some examples from history of civilizations that used propaganda to push “their” side of the story?
  • Can you cite some examples that you view as propaganda being used today?
  • What features of propaganda do you see in your examples?

Pedagogic Benefits:

The APWH Habit of Mind related to understanding diversity of interpretations through analysis of context, point of view and frame of reference is relevant for this lesson, because the student is asked to consider different interpretations of history. These questions can be useful in the famous “inner/outer circle” about which APWH teachers know. The “I/O Circle” promotes reasoned class discussion and listening skills.)

Suggested answers to “Defend your Positions”’“these are student-generated, from my students:

Soviet propaganda in the Cold War; German, Japanese and U.S. propaganda in WWII; Imperialist Britain (“White Man’s Burden”); the Greeks calling non-Greeks “barbarians.”

Anti-U.S. protests from various parts of the world on TV; “Fahrenheit 9/11”; CNN or Fox News, depending on one’s POV; “Axis of Evil”.

One-sided and/or exaggerated use of the media; taking facts out of context; politicians who “spin” the news; governments that control their country’s media; attempts to influence the uninformed.

Key to Lesson #1

  1. Define:
    History: A learning or knowing by inquiry; the knowledge of facts and events‘¦.A formal statement of such information; a written record.
    Propaganda: the technique of influencing human action by the manipulation of representation of an given set of information; by means of persuasion.
    Myth: From Greek “mythos”, meaning “word, story or legend”. A narrative or belief about the nature of the world.
    Pre-Columbian: Literally “before the arrival of Columbus in the New World”, this term is used to refer to the time in the Americas before the arrival of the Spaniards.
    Mesoamerica: “Culture area” first outlined by Paul Kirchhoff in 1943 article, roughly encompassing the southern half of Mexico, and Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica. Kirchhoff pointed out that traditional cultures in this region shared a number of “cultural traits.”
    Historiography: The study of the methods and techniques of historical research and the writing of histories.
    Codex/Codices: From Latin “caudex”, meaning, “trunk of a tree, a book, or a code of laws.” An illustrated book applied to European manuscripts and then transferred, to describe the screenfold books of Mesoamerica.
  2. History is usually from the perspective of the winners.
  3. There is no such thing as “objective history” because history is constantly re-written. “All history of all time is a kind of propaganda.”
  4. Mesoamerican rulers made connections to mythological rulers of their culture’s past to legitimize their claim to the throne, so we can’t really know a ruler’s genealogy or factual history.
  5. “Horizontal” artifacts were intended to speak to elites only, while “vertical” artifacts were meant for public consumption’“people all along the social ladder.
  6. History is about one’s point of view. Journalism today provides many documents for historians to use in formulating a story of the times but those documents are subject to the biases of the historian and document provider.
  7. It is useful to have experts in different academic specialties comment on their view of history because by hearing from a different point of view we get a broader perspective of the past and so are better able to come to a better-developed conclusion.

Lesson #2 Debates: Analyzing Gender: Valid or “Politically Correct”?

Time:

Approximately 30 minutes.

Preparation:

This lesson can be used either as an introduction to one of the “Habits of Mind” of APWH at the beginning of the course, or in context with pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Instructions:

Under “Debates” (Scholars section) go to “Analyzing Gender: Valid or ‘Politically Correct’ ?” Read the summary of “Analyzing Gender: Valid or ‘Politically Correct’?” and answer the following on looseleaf in preparation for class discussion :

  1. Define:
    Anthropology
    Pre-Columbian
    Cosmological Studies:
    Mexica
    Codex/Codices
    Stelae
    Florentine Codex
  2. What are examples of criticisms of a “politically correct” “post-hoc-ism” approach to history?
  3. What does Professor Lopez-Austin say about the role of women among the Mexicas?
  4. What are some problems of interpreting the visual record in Mesoamerican art?
  5. What is “empirical adequacy”, according to Dr. Joyce?

Now, defend your positions:

  • What are some “politically correct” terms regarding gender that are in use today?
  • How should society decide what is proper usage of terms to define individuals and groups?

Pedagogic Benefits:

The APWH Habits of Mind related to 1) Understanding diversity of interpretations through analysis of context, point of view and frame of reference and 2) Being aware of human commonalities and differences while assessing claims of universal standards, and understanding diverse ideas and values in historical context are relevant for this lesson, because the student is asked to consider different interpretations of point of view and to consider claims of universal standards and values.
:horiz:

Key to Lesson #2

  1. Define:
    Anthropology: From Greek “anthro-” meaning “human”, and “legios” meaning “speech, discourse.” Refers to the study of humans and their culture/beliefs/practices.
    Pre-Columbian: Literally “before the arrival of Columbus in the New World”, this term is used to refer to the time in the Americas before the arrival of the Spaniards.
    Cosmological Studies: From Greek “kosmos” meaning “world, universe” and “legios” meaning “speech, discourse”). A system of beliefs about the ordering of the universe and its contents. Religious systems and scientific theories are both cosmologies.
    Mexica: A postclassic, Aztec ethnic group with Huitzilopochtli as a patron god and geographically centered at the island capital of Tenochtitlan.
    Codex/Codices: From Latin “caudex”, meaning, “trunk of a tree, a book, or a code of laws.” An illustrated book applied to European manuscripts and then transferred, to describe the screenfold books of Mesoamerica.
    Stelae: From Greek “stele”, meaning “standing block or slab”. Upright stone monument, carved or uncarved. The Olmec, Zapotec, and Maya all erected stelae.
    Florentine Codex: Also called the General History of Things of New Spain, a 12 book encyclopedia of Aztec culture, written from 1559-1579.
  2. One criticism is that some approaches to history tailor the facts to fit a political agenda.
  3. Professor Lopez-Austin says women were highly regarded, to the point that balance in the cosmos was impossible without women.
  4. One example of a problem of interpreting the visual record in Mesoamerican art is that documents about women abound but scholarship in the past has not reflected that fact.
  5. According to Dr. Joyce, empirical adequacy means the artifact looks like the thing that it is meant to explain.

Suggested answers to Defend your Positions (these are suggested by my students):

Neutral pronouns’”“chairperson”, “Letter carrier”, “firefighter”, “flight attendant”, “wait person (or ‘“staff).

Let people individually choose their own “label” they are comfortable with w/o judgement. “Live and let live.” Otherwise, it is difficult to decide who should make these decisions on proper usage.

Lesson #3 Debates: Indigenous rights: Where do we go from here?

Time:

Approximately 30 minutes.

Preparation:

This lesson can be used either as an introduction to one of the “Habits of Mind” of APWH at the beginning of the course, or in context with pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Instructions:

In the Scholars section, under “Debates” go to “Indigenous rights: Where do we go from here?” Read the summary of “ Indigenous rights: Where do we go from here?” and answer the following on looseleaf in preparation for class discussion:

  1. Define:
    Anthropology
    Indigenous
    Autonomy
    Myths
    Sovereignty
    Pre-Columbian
  2. How did lawyer Thomas Tureen become involved in Native American (“Indian”) concerns?
  3. What is one common goal shared by all the speakers in this discussion?
  4. What are some difficulties in defining indigenous rights?
    Research, answer and defend your answers:
    Using the internet, national magazine or local newspaper, investigate other cases in modern times involving the rights of indigenous peoples.
    What do you think about these issues? In other words, whose side do you find yourself agreeing with? Why?
    How has your opinion changed on these issues since beginning this lesson?

Pedagogic Benefits:

The APWH Habits of Mind related to 1) Understanding diversity of interpretations through analysis of context, point of view and frame of reference; and 2) Being aware of human commonalities and differences while assessing claims of universal standards, and understanding diverse ideas and values in historical context are relevant for this lesson, because the student is asked to consider different interpretations of point of view and to consider claims of universal standards and values.
:horiz:

Key to Lesson #3

  1. Define:
    Anthropology: From Greek “anthro-” meaning “human”, and “legios” meaning “speech, discourse.” Refers to the study of humans and their culture/beliefs/practices.
    History: A learning or knowing by inquiry; the knowledge of facts and events. .A formal statement of such information; a written record.
    Indigenous: From Latin “indigena”, meaning “Born within a country.” The term applied to the oldest inhabitants of a place and their descendants, in contrast to later arrivals and colonizers.
    Autonomy: Self-government or the right of self-government, independent of the laws of another state or government.
    Myth: From Greek “mythos”, meaning “word, story or legend”. A narrative or belief about the nature of the world.
    Sovereignty: Complete independence, self-government; the right of a people to be governed by their own laws.
    Pre-Columbian: Literally “before the arrival of Columbus in the New World”, this term is used to refer to the time in the Americas before the arrival of the Spaniards.
  2. Tureen became involved in Native American affairs “almost by accident.” The had a summer job working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in South Dakota.
  3. One common goal shared by all the speakers is to correct widely held misconceptions. Another is to re-assess myths about indigenous rights.
  4. The greatest difficulty in defining indigenous rights is defining the term “indigenous.” Experts are constantly discovering new ways of looking at the meaning of the term. Another difficulty is the need to reassess the distinction between public and private lands in Pre-Columbian and colonial Mexico. A third difficulty is that “settled” societies rarely are, because they are always on the move.
  5. Suggested answers: The UN declared the years 1995-2004 the “Decade of the World’s Indigenous People”, and cited their right to self-determination. In Colombia in 2006, controversy arose over the use of water and land that traditionally belonged to indigenous people there. In Australia in 2006, controversy arose over the rights of indigenous people from Indonesia who migrated to Australia. Another controversy was over the ownership of the “Kennewick Man”, a 9200 year-old skeleton found in Washington state. Scientists wanted to examine the remains but local indigenous people said that would be sacrilegious.

Lesson #4: Whose cultural property is this and why?

Time:

Approximately 30 minutes.

Preparation:

This lesson can be used either as an introduction to one of the “Habits of Mind” of APWH at the beginning of the course, or in context with pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Instructions:

Under “Debates” (Scholars section) go to “ Cultural Property?” Read the summary of “Whose cultural property is this and why?” and answer the following on loose-leaf paper in preparation for class discussion:

  1. Define:
    Cultural Property/National Patrimony
    Anthropology
    History
    Civilization
    Ethnicities
    Tenochtitlan
    Repatriation
  2. What does the phrase, “To the victor belongs the spoils” mean?
  3. What was often the “first order of business” after military victory, and/or religious conversion of a peoples?
  4. When determining ownership, what should be taken into consideration besides possession of an object?
  5. Now, research and answer and defend your positions: What civilizations throughout history also had debates on “ownership” of culture? What was the result for us as students of history?
  6. Research and answer: Currently what are some difficult issues regarding controversies over ownership of cultural property? What side do you usually take on these issues Why?

Pedagogic Benefits:

The APWH Habits of Mind related to 1) Understanding diversity of interpretations through analysis of context, point of view and frame of reference; and 2) Being aware of human commonalities and differences while assessing claims of universal standards, and understanding diverse ideas and values in historical context are relevant for this lesson, because the student is asked to consider different interpretations of point of view and to consider claims of universal standards and values.
:horiz:

Key to Lesson #4

  1. Define:
    Cultural Property/National Patrimony: Objects and/or information that a culture or nation-state deems “theirs” and, therefore, cannot be taken from them, either by stealing or purchasing.
    Anthropology: From Greek “anthro-” meaning “human”, and “legios” meaning “speech, discourse.” Refers to the study of humans and their culture/beliefs/practices.
    History: A learning or knowing by inquiry; the knowledge of facts and events. .A formal statement of such information; a written record.
    Civilization: From Latin “civis”, meaning “citizen.” An 18th century Enlightenment social concept with connotations of complexity, achievement and progress.
    Ethnicities: From Greek “ethnos”, meaning “nation.” Ethnicity is a form of social organization or social identity in which individuals define themselves as part of a group, in contrast to the members of other groups, by reference to the possession/non-possession of specific cultural features.
    Tenochtitlan: From Nahuatl “tetl”, meaning “stone” and “nochtli” meaning, “Fruit of the prickly pear cactus” and “’“tlan”, meaning “place of” thus, “Place of the Stone and Prickly Pear Cactus.” Postclassic Mexica capital located on an island in the now-vanished Lake Texcoco.
    Repatriation: The return of people and/or cultural items to the country of people or nation of origin.
  2. Winners of conflicts between cultures exercise the right to own, display, exploit and interpret objects and ideas of the people they conquered.
  3. The “first order of business” after military victory and/or religious conversion was often deciding what to keep and what to destroy from the defeated culture.
  4. When determining ownership, the following should be considered besides possession of an object: The length of possession, the circumstances of acquisition, the future economic benefits and its significance to people other than the possessor.
  5. Some answers might be:
    Spanish in the Americas (e.g. Bartolomé de Las Casas); English in India; Archaeologists today (may even cite “Indiana Jones’ or ‘It belongs in a museum!”)
  6. The winners usually decide what is written down as history. Those cultural ideas and items not important to the winners often get lost or ignored.
  7. Kennewick Man controversy in Washington State; debates over saving old building in cities; artifacts cannot be taken out of U.S. National Parks; Roman artifacts found in Britain are supposed to be turned over to the government; Is it Palestine or Israel? Student answers will vary on the last two parts of this question.

Lesson #5 taken from the Ã’udzavui Tutorial “Mesoamerican Screenfolds”

Time:

Approximately 45 minutes.

Preparation:

This lesson can be used either as an introduction to one of the “Habits of Mind” of APWH at the beginning of the course, or in context with pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Instructions:

Under “Tutorials” go to “Mesoamerican Screenfolds.” Read “Mesoamerican Screenfolds” and answer the following on looseleaf in preparation for class discussion:

  1. Define:
    Indigenous
    Codices
    Mesoamerica
    Pre-Columbian
    Maya
    Mixtec
  2. What four codices were created by the Maya people? What is their subject matter?
  3. What five codices form the Borgia group?
  4. The two screenfolds in Mesolore (Codex Nuttall and Codex Selden) come from what manuscript group?
  5. What do the images in the Mixtec codex tell us about?
  6. What do experts say is depicted in Figures 6 and 8? What military items are shown in Figure 6?
  7. What are the two types of narratives found in the codices?
  8. How are these codices different from “western” history books?
  9. The Mixtec codices were like what two useful items?
  10. The Mixtec codices can be read and interpreted from what four perspectives?
  11. Research, answer and defend your answers:
    Of what other picture-based writing system do these codices remind you?
    How were the writing systems of the Mixteca different from that of the Spanish?
    How might those differences have contributed to conflict between the Spaniard and the Mixtec?
    How might poor communication contribute to conflict today?

Pedagogic Benefits:

The APWH Habits of Mind related to 1) Understanding diversity of interpretations through analysis of context, point of view and frame of reference; and 2) Being aware of human commonalities and differences while assessing claims of universal standards, and understanding diverse ideas and values in historical context are relevant for this lesson, and 3) Using documents and other primary data; developing the skills necessary to analyze point of view, context and bias, and to understand and interpret information, because the student is asked to consider different interpretations of point of view to consider claims of universal standards and values and to use the codex as a primary document to interpret the images in the codex.
:horiz:

Key to Lesson #5

  1. Define:
    Indigenous From Latin “indigena”, meaning “Born within a country.” The term applied to the oldest inhabitants of a place and their descendants, in contrast to later arrivals and colonizers.
    Codex, Codices: From Latin “caudex”, meaning, “trunk of a tree, a book, or a code of laws.” An illustrated book applied to European manuscripts and then transferred, to describe the screenfold books of Mesoamerica.
    Mesoamerica: “Culture area” first outlined by Paul Kirchhoff in 1943 article, roughly encompassing the southern half of Mexico, and Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica. Kirchhoff pointed out that traditional cultures in this region shared a number of “cultural traits.”
    Pre-Columbian: Literally “before the arrival of Columbus in the New World”, this term is used to refer to the time in the Americas before the arrival of the Spaniards.
    Maya: Indigenous Mesoamerican people living in Guatemala, Belize, eastern Honduras, and El Salvador, and in many southern Mexican states.
    Mixtec: From Nahuatl “mixtli” meaning, “cloud” and “-tecah” meaning “residents of”, a 16th century Nahuatl term for the people living in a region of southern Mexico.
  2. The four codices created by the Maya people were the Codex Dresden, the Codex Madrid (also known as the Tro-Cortestanus), the Codex Paris and the Grolier Codex.
  3. The five codices that form the Borgia group are the Codex Borgia, Codex Vaticanus B, Codex Cospi, Codex Fejervary and the Codex Laud.
  4. The 2 codices in the Mesolore come from the Mixtec manuscript group.
  5. The images in the Mixteca codices tell us about the political and religious past of the Mixtec people including battles, sacrifices, meetings with oracles, marriages and births.
  6. Experts say the images in Figure 6 depict a battle; warriors hold a spear, shield, and a club, Figure 8 shows a person lying on his back on a red rock; his chest is red’“a sacrificial scene.
  7. Two types of narratives found in these codices are genealogy and biography.
  8. The codices were acted out, like a play . In addition, the codices were seen as sacred texts.
  9. The codices were like mirrors and cloth.
  10. The Mixtec codices can be read and interpreted from these four perspectives:visual, performance, historical and material.
  11. Suggested Answers:
    Egyptian hieroglyphics, Mayan glyphs, etc.
    The Mixteca writing system is “picture-based” while the Spanish system is not.
    Each side may have found the other’s written language incomprehensible at first. This could have easily fostered misunderstanding and suspicion.
    On the TV news, the media often interviews only one or two persons on an issue or at an event; this can lead viewers to think many people have the same opinion. The “Red phone” in the White House during the Cold War was a result of poor communication during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Many “horror stories” spread on the internet and by the media during the Katrina hurricane turned out not to be true. Same with 9/11 stories at the time.

Lesson #6:“Tutorial: “Life in the Rain Place.”

Time:

Approximately 45 minutes.

Preparation:

This lesson can be used either as an introduction to one of the “Habits of Mind” of APWH at the beginning of the course, or in context with pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Instructions:

Under “Tutorials” go to the “Life in the Rain Place” Ã’udzavui Tutorial. Read “Life in the Rain Place” and answer the following on looseleaf in preparation for class discussion:

  1. Define:
    Mixtec
    Codex/Codices
    Aztec Mesoamerica
    Verticality
    Tenochtitlan
    Post-Classic
    Precolumbian
    Alimentary
    Indigenous
    Ethnographic
  2. Why was access to different ecological zones important to the Mixteca people?
  3. How did Mixtec people gain access to the different vertical zones?
  4. It has been argued that Mixtec “kingdoms” are more accurately described as what?
  5. What were two key symbols in ancient Mixtec imagery?
  6. What was a “sacred bundle?”
  7. What were common features of housing for both elite and non-elite Mixtec people?
  8. What were two central features of traditional Mixtec women’s work?
  9. What were some traditional staples of Mixteca diet?
  10. What was one of the most important tasks of traditional Mixtec men’s work?
  11. List three offerings that elites demanded of commoners, as found in a document discovered in 1548.
  12. Research, answer and defend your answers:
    What images are difficult for you to interpret?
    What images exist in today’s culture that the Mixteca might have a difficult time interpreting?
    What images in the world today do you have a difficult time interpreting?

Pedagogic Benefits:

The APWH Habits of Mind related to 1) Understanding diversity of interpretations through analysis of context, point of view and frame of reference; and 2) Being aware of human commonalities and differences while assessing claims of universal standards, and understanding diverse ideas and values in historical context are relevant for this lesson, and 3) Using documents and other primary data; developing the skills necessary to analyze point of view, context and bias, and to understand and interpret information, because the student is asked to consider different interpretations of point of view to consider claims of universal standards and values and to use the codex as a primary document to interpret the images in the codex.
:horiz:

Key to Lesson #6

  1. Define:
    Mixtec: From Nahuatl “mixtli” meaning, “cloud” and “-tecah” meaning “residents of”, a 16th century Nahuatl term for the people living in a region of southern Mexico. In their own language, the Mixtecs called themselves the tay ñuudzavui, “People of the Rain Place.”
    Codex/Codices: From Latin “caudex”, meaning, “trunk of a tree, a book, or a code of laws.” An illustrated book applied to European manuscripts and then transferred, to describe the screenfold books of Mesoamerica.
    Aztec: From Nahuatl “azlatl” meaning “white” or “heron” and “-tecah” meaning “residents of, people from”. The general term for Nahuatl-speaking peoples living in Central Mexico in the late Postclassic and early colonial eras. The term “Aztec” includes a number of different groups, including the Mexica.
    Mesoamerica: “Culture area” first outlined by Paul Kirchhoff in 1943 article, roughly encompassing the southern half of Mexico, and Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica. Kirchhoff pointed out that traditional cultures in this region shared a number of “cultural traits.”
    Verticality: Agricultural strategy in which an individual or community has access to land/fields at a number of different elevations.
    Tenochtitlan From Nahuatl “tetl”, meaning “stone” and “nochtli” meaning, “Fruit of the prickly pear cactus” and “’“tlan”, meaning “place of” thus, “Place of the Stone and Prickly Pear Cactus.” Postclassic Mexica capital located on an island in the now-vanished Lake Texcoco.
    Post-Classic: The third and main period in Pre-Columbian chronology, from ca. 900 CE to 1521.
    Pre-Columbian: Literally “before the arrival of Columbus in the New World”, this term is used to refer to the time in the Americas before the arrival of the Spaniards.
    Alimentary: From Latin “alere”, meaning “to nourish.” Food and eating.
    Indigenous: From Latin “indigena”, meaning “Born within a country.” The term applied to the oldest inhabitants of a place and their descendants, in contrast to later arrivals and colonizers.
    Ethnographic: From Greek “ethnos”, meaning “nation” and “graphein” meaning “to write”. The study of, and written description of, human groups and their culture.
  2. Access to different ecological zones assured a constant supply of food.
  3. Mixtec people gained access to the different vertical zones through inter-regional marital alliances and trade.
  4. It has been argued that Mixtec “kingdoms” are more accurately described as “coupledoms.”
  5. Two key symbols in ancient Mixtec imagery were eating and feeding.
  6. A sacred bundle was one of the most important religious objects of the Mixtecs, consisting of yards of cloth wrapped around a precious object.
  7. Two common features of housing for both elites and non-elites were a house and a porch.
  8. Two central features of traditional Mixteca women’s work were food preparation and cloth production. (slide 18)
  9. Traditional staples of Mixtec diet included: corn, beans, squash, iguana, and rabbit. For elites, turkey and deer were included.
  10. One of the most important tasks of Mextica men’s work was agricultural production.
  11. Items offered to elites by commoners included:
    1 turkey each day
    10 male servants each day
    10 female servants each day
    2 xiquipiles of cacao each 6 months
    7 carga of cotton woven into mantas each 6 months
    Enough laborers to plant and harvest 4 fields of maize
    Enough laborers to plant and harvest a field of wheat of 300 brazas.
  12. Some possible answers:
    Birds, sandals, chairs, people, clothes, earrings, pots, a temple.
    The chairs look more like foot stools; a deer’s head appears to dangle off a man’s head dress; hard to distinguish between men and women; hard to distinguish between mortals and gods; sacred bundles impossible to identify without the explanatory text; the tortilla and “metate” difficult to identify without the explanatory text.
    Pictures of cars, computers, TV’s, a toilet, airplanes, the space station are just a few examples. (these are actual student responses)
    War on TV, NASCAR, violent movies, hip hop culture, Japanese television, the appeal of reality TV.

AP World History Syllabus

Houston Public Schools
Mr. Jay Harmon

AP World History is for the exceptionally studious high school senior who wishes to earn college credit in high school through a rigorous academic program. This class approaches history in a non-traditional way in that it looks at the common threads of humanity over time: trade, religion, politics, society and technology and it investigates how these things have changed and continued over time in different places.

Main Textbook: Stearns, et al: World Civilizations: The Global Experience 3rd AP Edition.

Document Reader: Andrea and Overfield: The Human Record, vols I & II 4th Edition.

UNIT ONE The 20th century to the Present. (“Where are we?”)

1. Wars and Diplomacy

The World Wars, Holocaust, Cold War, international organizations
Globalization of diplomacy and conflict
Reduction of European influence
League of Nations, United Nations, European Union, non-aligned nations.

2. Patterns of Nationalism

Decolonization: Its political, economic and social causes and effects
Genocide
Rise and fall of the USSR

3. Effects of Major Global Economic Developments

The Great Depression: Political, social and economic causes and effects
Development of the Pacific Rim and multinational corporations.

4. Social Reforms and Social Revolutions

Changing gender roles; family structures; rise of feminism
Marxism in its various forms

5. Globalization of science, technology and culture

Developments in global cultures and regional reactions
Patterns of resistance against technology

6. Demographic and Environmental Changes

Migrations; explosive population growth; new forms of urbanization; deforestation
and environmental movements

***Mesolore: Lesson 3: Indigenous Rights: Where do we go from here?” and
Lesson 4: “Whose cultural property is this and why?”

The rest of the course (“How did we get here?”)

UNIT TWO Foundations: c. 8000 BCE to 600 CE

1. World history in place and time

Interaction of geography and climate with the development of human society
Major population changes resulting from human and environmental factors
Nature and causes of changes
Continuities and breaks within the course’“what “works” and doesn’t?

***Mesolore: Lesson One “History or Propaganda”, as an introduction to WH P.O.V. and Inner/Outer Circles.

2. Developing agriculture and technology

Agricultural, pastoral, and foraging societies and their characteristics
Emergence of agriculture and other technological change
Nature of villages
Effects of agriculture on the environment and peoples

3. Basic features of early civilizations in different environments

Political and social structure of: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus, Shang, Mesoamerica and Andean South America

4. Classical civilizations

Major political developments in China, India, and the Mediterranean
Social and gender structures
Major trading patterns within and among Classical civilizations
Arts, sciences, and technology

5. Major belief systems

Basic features of major world belief systems prior to 600 CE
Physical place of each belief system by 600 CE:
Polytheism, Hinduism, Judaism, Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, Christianity

6. Late Classical period (200 CE to 600 CE)

Collapse of empires (Han, Western Roman Empire, Gupta)
Movements of peoples (Huns, Germans)
Interregional networks by 600 CE: Trade and religious diffusion

UNIT THREE 600 – 1450

1. The Islamic world

The rise and role of Dar al-Islam in Eurasia and Africa
Islamic political structures
Arts, sciences, and technologies

2. Interregional networks and contacts

Development and shifts in interregional trade, technology, and cultural exchange:
Trans-Sahara trade, Indian Ocean trade, Silk routes
Missionary outreach of major religions
Contacts between major religions, e.g., Islam and Buddhism, Christianity and Islam
Impact of the Mongol empires

3. China’s expansion

The Tang and Song economic revolutions and the early Ming dynasty
Chinese influence on surrounding areas and its limits

4. Developments in Europe

Restructuring of European economic, social, and political institutions
The division of Christendom into eastern and western cultures

5. Social, cultural, economic, and political patterns in the Amerindian world:

Maya, Aztec, Inca

6. Demographic and environmental changes

Causes and effects of the nomadic migrations on Afro-Eurasia
Bantu migrations
Consequences of plague in the fourteenth century
Growth and role of cities

***Mesolore: Lesson 2: “Analyzing Gender: Valid or PC?” and Lesson 6: “The Mixteca and its peoples”

UNIT FOUR 1450 – 1750

1. Changes in trade, technology, and global interactions

2. Knowledge of major empires and other political units and social systems

Ottoman, China, Portugal, Spain, Russia, France, England, Tokugawa, Mughal.
African empires: Kongo, Benin, Oyo, Songhay
Gender and empire

3. Slave systems and slave trade

4. Demographic and environmental changes:

Diseases, animals, new crops, and comparative population trends

5. Cultural and intellectual developments

Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment
Comparative global causes and effects of cultural change
Changes and continuities in Confucianism
Major developments and exchanges in the arts

***Mesolore: Lesson 5:“Mesoamerican Codices” The questions ask students to look at the Mesoamericans from a Spanish POV.

UNIT FIVE 1750 – 1914

1. Changes in global commerce, communications, and technology

Changes in patterns of world trade
Causes and effects of the Industrial Revolution: Political, economic, social, environmental (also see #3 below)

2. Demographic and environmental changes

Migrations, end of the Atlantic slave trade, new birthrate patterns; food supply

3. Changes in social and gender structure, especially as related to the Industrial Revolution

4. Political revolutions and independence movements and new political ideas

Revolutions in the United States, France, Haiti, Mexico, China, Latin America)
Rise of nationalism, nation-states, and movements of political reform
Rise of democracy and its limitations

5. Rise of Western dominance

Imperialism
Cultural and political reactions

REVIEW, FINAL EXAM and AP EXAM