World History Across the Eras

Not all of the events in world history that students should address can be bracketed within one of the nine eras presented in this chapter. The complexities of today’s world are in part a consequence of changes that have been in the making for centuries, even millennia. Important historical continuities can be discerned that link one period with another. And even though history may not repeat itself in any precise way, certain historical patterns do recur. Studying one development in world history in the light of an earlier, similar development can sharpen our understanding of both.

This final standard invites teachers and students to give attention to long-term changes and recurring patterns of the past. The range of potential subjects in this category is nearly limitless. What follows is only suggestive of topics that require students to step way back from our spinning planet, as it were, to take in broad vistas and long spans of time.


Long-term changes and recurring patterns in world history.

7-12 Trace major changes in world population from paleolithic times to the present and explain why these changes occurred, including the effects of major disease pandemics.
5-12 Analyze why humans have built cities and how the character, function, and number of cities have changed over time.
9-12 Assess the usefulness of the concept that the revolutions of tool-making, agriculture, and industrialization constituted the three most important turning points in human history.
5-12 Trace major patterns of long-distance trade from ancient times to the present and analyze ways in which trade has contributed to economic and cultural change in particular societies or civilizations.
7-12 Analyze the origins, development, and characteristics of capitalism and compare capitalist systems with other systems for organizing production, labor, and trade.
5-12 Analyze how ideals and institutions of freedom, equality, justice, and citizenship have changed over time and from one society to another.
5-12 Compare the economic and social importance of slavery and other forms of coerced labor in various societies from ancient times to the present.
7-12 Analyze the development of the nation-state and how nation-states differ from empires or other forms of political organization.
9-12 Analyze the circumstances under which European countries came to exercise temporary military and economic dominance in the world in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
7-12 Compare political revolutionary movements of the past three centuries in terms of ideologies, organization, and successes or failures.
5-12 Analyze ways in which human action has contributed to long-term changes in the natural environment in particular regions or worldwide.