Honors World History

Course Description

Semester A: Civilization to Industrialization

In World History A Honors, students explore ancient civilizations in order to understand the geographic, political, economic, and social characteristics of people. By developing their understanding of the past, students can better understand the present and determine their direction for the future. In this course, students explore the first civilization in Mesopotamia; the ancient civilizations of China, Greece, and Rome; the rise of the Byzantine Empire; and the feudal system in Europe and Japan. They also learn about the Renaissance and Reformation, the Enlightenment Period, and the scientific and democratic revolutions in Europe that spread to the new nation of America. The last part of the course concentrates on the Napoleonic Era, the Industrial Revolution in England, and the rise of imperialism in Europe. In addition, historical analysis and current events are featured in the final lessons.

Semester B: Conflicts in Modern Civilization

In this course, students examine the factors leading up to World War I, the rise of nationalism, and the worldwide economic depression. The causes of War II, and the military strategies involved are also analyzed. The advances in modern warfare for both World Wars are a special focus. In addition, students learn about the struggle between the ideologies of democracy and communism as well as the change in the balance of power after World War II in which countries fought for self-rule. An appraisal of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union are included. Later lessons find students exploring the roots of terrorism and the conflicts in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Asia. The final unit of the course centers on the new global economy, advances in science and technology, and current environmental issues. Students assess primary and secondary source materials in depth. Projects and class discussions challenge students to predict outcomes, draw conclusions, and make choices based upon critical thinking.

Course Requirements

Grade Level





2 Semesters



Technology Skills

  • Internet Navigation
  • Word Processing
  • Email Communication

Semester A

Major Concepts

  • Early Civilizations
  • World Religions
  • Legacy of China
  • Roots of Democracy
  • Rise and Fall of Rome
  • Byzantine Culture
  • Feudalism
  • The Crusades
  • Development of Trade
  • Impact of the Renaissance
  • Reformation
  • Atlantic Slave Trade
  • Absolute Monarchs
  • Scientific Resolution
  • Enlightenment
  • Napoleonic France
  • Independence Movements
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Economic Theory
  • Western Imperialism

Semester B

Major Concepts

  • World War I
  • Russian Revolution
  • Colonialism
  • Great Depression
  • Rise of Fascism
  • World War II
  • Holocaust
  • Cold War
  • Independence Movements
  • Collapse of the USSR
  • Globalization
  • Ecology