Introduction to Advanced Placement World History

Ms. Hoeffner


Course Information:
Welcome to AP World History! You are embarking on a new and exciting experience. This college-level class entails the study of 10,000 years of world history (8,000 BCE – present) in 32 weeks, and it will demand more attention and time than any other class you have previously encountered. You will be given an opportunity to challenge yourself in terms of the level of rigor, and also have the possibility of earning college credit.

The purpose of the course is to study the history of the world through global movements, by looking at the big picture and examining specific case studies that apply. The major units of the course are grouped chronologically. The course begins by examining the major movements of the Foundations period (8,000BCE – 600 CE), 600-1450, 1450-1750, 1750-1914, and then 1914 – present. Rather than dwell on all of the specific details of all this history, we will investigate together the patterns of interaction, integration, and how our global community came to exist in its present form. Developing critical thought and analysis skills are the core objectives of this course. At its successful completion, you will learn new appreciation for your world, a global perspective, and academic tools that will help you succeed at every level of your educational career. To provide a foundation for our learning, you will complete a summer homework assignment detailed later in this handout.
The major themes for the course will be:
We will focus on the following themes in each of the five major units:
1. Interaction between humans and the environment: Demography and disease; Migration; Patterns of settlement; Technology
2. Development and interaction of cultures: Religions; Belief systems, philosophies, and ideologies; Science and technology; the arts and architecture
3. State-building, expansion, and conflict: Political structures and forms of governance; Empires; Nations and nationalism; Revolts and revolutions; Regional, trans-regional, and global structures and organizations
4. Creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems: Agricultural and pastoral production; Trade and commerce; Labor systems; Industrialization; Capitalism and socialism
5. Development and transformation of social structures: Development and transformation of social structures; Gender roles and relations; Family and kinship; Racial and ethnic constructions; Social and economic classes

While examining these themes, the College Board expects you to be able to analyze the processes and causes involved in changes and continuities. You will also need to be able to make comparisons over time of these different themes.
The Habits of Mind or skills that we will focus on are:
· Constructing and evaluating arguments: using evidence to make plausible arguments.
· Using documents and other primary data: developing the skills necessary to analyze point of view, context, and bias, and to understand and interpret information.
· Assessing issues of change and continuity over time, and over different world regions.
· Understanding diversity of interpretations through analysis of context, point of view and frame of reference.
· Seeing global patterns and processes over time and space while connecting local developments to global ones.
· Comparing within and among societies, including comparing societies’ reactions to global processes
· Considering human commonalities and differences
· Exploring claims of universal standards in relation to culturally diverse ideas.
· Exploring the persistent relevance of world history to contemporary developments
Some things for you to consider:
  • Although the College Board has approved this course and will administer an Advanced Placement Examination at the conclusion of the year, some individual colleges and universities have not yet deemed the test to be equivalent to college credit. Students taking this class as sophomores may be able to receive college credits for passing the test; however, as with all AP courses, each individual college and university makes the determination whether or not to accept the passing test score in lieu of college coursework.
  • Colleges and universities do look carefully at transcripts. AP coursework and attempting to pass the test rank very high in admissions consideration at impacted and competitive institutions and programs.
  • AP course grades are weighted to reflect a greater level of achievement in terms of GPA and rigor in coursework.
  • AP World History course content should not exceed 30% European history, but rather should reflect a global perspective of history.
  • Reading and Writing assignments will be numerous. Critical thinking and the ability to make connections, interpretations and analysis of primary documents will be expected.
  • Religions and religious documents reflect the culture and historical perspective of the people and events that formed history. Many religions, cultures and values will be explored. No particular religious or cultural view will be favored over any other; however, the course will consider how different aspects of culture, including religion, affected and shaped history.

AP World Class Website
Over the summer, you should also enroll in the class website. Please go to and click on Hoeffner – AP World History under the Social Studies tab. If you already have a Moodle account, you can sign in with your user name and password and then enroll in the class. If you do not have a Moodle account, you will need to create one before you can enroll. Follow the directions on the page to enroll. Your username should be your first initial and last name. Your surname is your last name. You will need an e-mail address to enroll. Don’t forget to write down your password as you will be the only one to know what it is and you don’t want to forget. The enrollment key for AP World was given out at the informational meeting. If you lost it, please e-mail Ms Hoeffner.


Throughout the year, you will be asked to seek out the broad patterns that make up history. To help ease you into this new way of thinking, I would like you to read A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage. You will find copies of this at the public library and should be able to find it at any bookstore or Do not leave it until the last week of the vacation to try to get a copy and do the assignment! AP World History will require you to use your time wisely. Get off on the right track by planning ahead with this assignment.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses is a book which takes an innovative approach to world history. The author looks at the development of world civilizations by examining the beverages that people drank in various time periods. These are (in chronological order): beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and coco-cola. The use of this book as a summer reading assignment in no way represents any endorsement by Ms Hoeffner of the use or misuse of any of these beverages. The book merely offers an innovative and (hopefully) interesting perspective to initiate our year-long discussion of world history. If you or your parents have any concerns about you reading this book, please contact Ms Hoeffner and an alternative book and assignment will be given. Our purpose in reading the book is to get a sense of how civilizations and cultures develop and how numerous forces (political, technological, economic, social, religious, cultural, ecological) all affect even the most mundane-seeming aspects of people's daily lives. When you are drinking a coke on a hot day this summer, it is not an accident. There are historical forces at work that have put that coke in your hand. This book explores those forces as it examines different cultures across time.

Time Management Plan
Take your time reading the book. Do NOT wait until the end of the summer. I would suggest you read one chapter/section at a time rather than trying to read in all at once.

Sit with your parents and write out a time management plan for your assignment. Set due dates for each chapter and each part of the assignment. Have your parents sign the bottom of the time management plan. This plan will be handed in with the rest of the assignment on the first day of school. Remember that reading and reflecting on one chapter/section at a time will help you “digest” the concepts of this book more easily.

Written Reflections
For this assignment, you will need to read the entire book and complete the following tasks. Your work should be either neatly hand-written, or typed, double-spaced in standard 12 pt. Times New Roman font. (Typing is preferred).

I. Pre-reading Assignment
Before reading the book, record your answers to the following questions. Use complete sentences.
1. What is your definition of world history?
2. What interests you about studying world history? What does not?
3. Reflect on your study of the world last year. What themes were most prominent?
4. For each time period below, try to list 5 to 10 events or developments in each time period. These could be events you remember studying in the past or cultures and societies you have heard of. Don't worry about them being right or wrong. Make your list from your own prior knowledge rather than looking anything up. (bullet form is ok)
a. 8000 BCE to 600 CE
b. 600 to 1450 CE
c. 1450 to 1750 CE

II. Reading Assignment
The concept of AP World History is to focus on the big ideas, concepts, themes, and trends of history. Instead of focusing on every minor event and occurrence, we will focus on the big ideas that have shaped world history and our world today. As you read 6 Glasses, consider how each of the beverages were linked to the larger historical trends and processes that were occurring.
  • For each section, answer the questions listed below. (Please number the questions and the section. You do NOT need to rewrite each question.)
  • Your answers should be written in complete sentences/thoughts. Some questions ask you to list points – these may be bulleted. Most questions should be in paragraph form.
  • Your answers for each beverage section should take up one page, but no more than two.

Make sure the words you use for your summary are exclusively your own. Any evidence of plagiarism will result in a grade of ZERO for this project and potential removal from the course for academic dishonesty.

1. How is the discovery of beer linked to the growth of the first “civilizations”?
2. What does this history of beer in the ancient world tell us about the early civilizations? How might beer have influenced the transition from hunting and gathering to agricultural-based societies?
3. What sources does the author use to gather his information on the use of beer?
4. What were some of the uses of beer by ancient cultures? Nourishment? Ritual? Religious?
5. How did beer “civilize” man, according to Standage?
6. What is the relationship between beer and writing, commerce, and health?

1. How did the use of wine differ from that of beer in ancient Greece and Rome?
2. How was wine used by the Greeks?
3. How and why did wine develop into a form of a status symbol in Greece?
4. How was wine consumed? What does this tell us about the ancient Greek culture? What opportunities associated with wine drinking did men have in ancient Greece that women did not?
5. How did the use of wine in Roman culture differ from that of ancient Greece?
6. What is the relationship between wine and empire, medicine, and religion?
7. Why was wine adopted as a ritual drink in Christianity, but Islam prohibited the use of alcohol?

1. What is the origin of distilled spirits?
2. What is the connection between spirits and colonization?
3. How was the production of spirits connected to slavery?
4. What role did spirits play on the high seas?
5. Why were spirits an important staple in Colonial America?
6. How did rum play a role in the American Revolution?

1. What is the origin of coffee?
2. Why were there many opponents to coffee in Europe and the Middle East? Do you think they had legitimate arguments against coffee?
3. What were the arguments for drinking coffee? What beneficial qualities were attributed to coffee?
4. How did coffee help build empires? What different regions of the world were connected through the coffee trade? What role each place have in the trade?
5. What important functions did Coffeehouses serve in the 1600s and 1700s? Do you agree or disagree with the comparison to the internet? Why/Not?
6. How did coffee and coffeehouses impact scientific, philosophical, business, and political thought?
7. Compare and contrast French and English coffeehouses. What key similarities and differences did you note?
8. How did coffee effect the balance of power between various regions around the world?

1. When/Why did tea first become a mainstream drink in Asia? In Europe?
2. How did the consumption of tea in Europe differ from how it was consumed in China or Japan?
3. If tea arrived in Europe around the same time as when coffee did, why did it not find the immediate success that coffee had?
4. How did tea transform English society? Who were its main consumers and what were some of the new rituals that surrounded tea?
5. How was tea an integral part of the Industrial Revolution?
6. What was the connection between tea and politics?
7. How was tea connected to the opium trade and the Opium War of 1839-1842?
8. What role did the tea trade and production play in the British rule over India?

1. What was the origin of coke?
2. How was this beverage used medicinally and what were the additives?
3. What was the relationship of coke and World War II?
4. How was coke thought of by the communists during the Cold War?
5. What is meant by “globalization in a bottle”?
6. How does coca-cola affect, and how is it affected by, people's views of the United States?

III. Post-reading Assignment
After reading the book, answer the following questions in detail. (One sentence is not enough to answer the questions. With that said, an essay for each question is also not required.)
1. One criticism of this book is that the author focuses too much on Europe and not on other parts of the world. Do you agree or disagree with this criticism? Which parts of the world do not receive much attention in this book?
2. Do you think that Standage adequately addresses the dangers of alcohol in this book? Should he put more emphasis on the negative consequences of drinking the beverages he discusses?
3. Standage concludes the book by asking whether water will be the next drink whose story will need to be told. What evidence does he use to support this? Do you agree or disagree with his conclusions? Why/Not?
4. What do you think of Standage's approach to history? Is this a useful way to think about history? What other approaches might one take?
5. Did you like this book? Why or why not? Would you recommend this book? To who? Why or why not?
6. Share any other reactions, thoughts, or questions you have.
Due Date
The time management plan and answers are due in class the first day of school and will be your first graded assignment for the quarter. No late work will be accepted. It will count as a TEST GRADE. We will spend time during the first week of school discussing and reviewing the book. You may also have other assignments related to this text. Make sure you prepare and ask any questions you have about the text.

If you have any questions about the assignment, you can e-mail Miss Hoeffner at Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions over the summer.

We have an exciting and challenging year ahead of us. I look forward to helping you all meet the challenge and do well on the exam. Have a great summer!