This activity tasks students to identify Key Concepts that are covered in the textbook about the Asian trade networks during Era 4. The assignment directions align with Chapter 22 of World Civilizations: The Global Experience, Stearns 6th edition, but can easily be adapted for use with any AP World textbook.
After identifying the correlating Key Concepts and identifying evidence from the textbook that supports those Key Concepts, students are then tasked with writing comparative statements regarding ideas covered about the Asian trade networks and any other major topics from Era 4.
This activity correlates to the following Key Concepts for AP World History:
4.1.I – Existing regional patterns of trade intensified in the context of the new global circulation of goods.
4.1.II – European technological developments in cartography and navigation built on previous knowledge developed in the classical, Islamic, and Asian worlds, and included the production of new tools, innovations in ship designs, and an improved understanding of global wind and currents patterns — all of which made transoceanic travel & trade possible.
4.1.III – Remarkable new transoceanic maritime reconnaissance occurred in this period.
4.1.IV – The new global circulation of goods was facilitated by chartered European monopoly companies and the flow of silver from Spanish colonies in the Americas to purchase Asian goods for the Atlantic markets. Regional markets continued to flourish in Afro-Eurasia by using established commercial practices and new transoceanic shipping services developed by European merchants.
4.1.VI – The increase in interactions between newly connected hemispheres and intensification of connections within hemispheres expanded the spread and reform of existing religions and created syncretic belief systems and practices.
4.1.VII – As merchants’ profits increased and governments collected more taxes, funding for the visual and performing arts, even for popular audiences, increased along with an expansion of literacy and increased focus on innovation and scientific inquiry.
4.2.II – Traditional peasant agriculture increased and changed, plantations expanded, and demand for labor increased. These changes both fed and responded to growing global demand for raw materials and finished products.
4.2.III – As social and political elites changed, they also restructured ethnic, racial, and gender hierarchies.
4.3.I – Rulers used a variety of methods to legitimize and consolidate their power.
4.3.II – Imperial expansion relied on the increased use of gunpowder, cannons, and armed trade to establish large empires in both hemispheres.
4.3.III – Competition over trade routes, state rivalries, and local resistance all provided significant challenges to state consolidation and expansion.