Unit 1 - The First Global Age (1200-1750)

Why this Unit?
This teaching unit will help students understand and appreciate the first global age of international relations from 1200-1750 C.E. Several major technological innovations and inventions propelled the first global age. Navigation technology increased the speed and accuracy of ships. Weaponry, especially gun powder, revolutionized warfare and created the opportunity for conquest of less technologically advanced societies. Innovation of moveable type and mass-production of books and pamphlets allowed for the spread of ideas and improved communication across the globe.
In addition to technological innovation, development of the scientific method led to a scientific revolution that placed the sun at the center of the solar system and the force of gravity. Scientists began to publish their findings and organize scientific societies for the sharing of discoveries. As a result, it appeared that every day there was a new scientific discovery. Scientific principles were then applied to the social sciences - history, government, economy, anthropology, sociology - and led to the Enlightenment.
Once man was no longer the center of the universe and it became acceptable to question the laws of nature, it began to call into question many of the religious teachings being espoused by the major religions, especially Christianity. Many early Christians had accepted the monotheistic teachings of Jesus and the Biblical scriptures, but continued to practice traditional beliefs and "magic" which led to the witch hunts of the age. As the ideals of humanism and the Enlightenment took root, major conflicts between the teachings of the Catholic Church and various groups began. In addition, powerful monarchies resented prostrating themselves before the Catholic Church and the papacy. As a result of these factors, the Protestant Reformation and the Counter Reformation formally divided Christians into Protestants and Catholics. Many leaders of the Protestant Reformation would go on to create their own denominations.
The technology, science, humanism, and religion fed the desire for wealth and power. Nations began to look outside of their borders for natural resources and goods to meet their needs and satiate their wants. As a result of the Columbian exchange, foods, plants, animals, and diseases were transported from the Americas throughout the world. These contacts would serve as the foundation for colonialism.
This unit leads teachers and students to understand the colonial foundation and the role of the Enlightenment leaders played in the major political, technological, and economic revolutions of the 1700's - early 1900's.
Enduring Understandings: 
  • Scientific and technological innovations have had global implications.
  • Geography influences needs, culture, opportunities, choices, interests, and skills.
  • Efforts to improve social, political, and economic conditions may result in changes within these systems.
  • Global societies are diverse, creating varied perspectives, contributions, and challenges.
  • Progress is defined by cultural interpretation.
    • Interacting cultures create social, political, economic, and cultural changes.
    • Decisions concerning the allocation and use of economic resources impact individuals and groups.
    • Local, national, and international relationships are affected by economic transactions.
Essential Questions: 1.  How does increased global interaction affect the political, economic, cultural and environmental systems?
2.  How do advancements affect the political economic, cultural, and environmental systems?
NCSCOS Goals & Clarifying Objectives:
7.H.1 - Use historical thinking to analyze various societies.
  • 7.H.1.1 - Construct charts, graphs, and historical narratives to explain particular events or issues over time.
  • 7.H.1.2 - Summarize the literal meaning of historical documents in order to establish context.
  • 7.H.1.3 - Use primary and secondary sources to interpret various historical perspectives.
7.H.2 - Understand the implications of global interactions.
  • 7.H.2.1 - Analyze the effects of social, economic, military, and political conflict among nations, regions, and groups.
  • 7.H.2.2 - Evaluate the effectiveness of cooperative efforts and consensus building among nations, regions, and groups.
  • 7.H.2.3 - Explain how increased global interaction accelerates the pace of innovation in modern societies.
  • 7.H.2.4 - Analyze the economic, political, and social impacts of disease in modern societies.
7.G.1 - Understand how geography, demographic trends, and environmental conditions shape modern societies and regions.
  • 7.G.1.1 - Explain how environmental conditions and human response to those conditions influence modern societies and regions.
  • 7.G.1.2 - Explain how demographic trends lead to conflict, negotiation, and compromise in modern socieites and regions.
  • 7.G.1.3 - Explain how natural disasters, preservation efforts, and human modification of the environment affect modern societies and regions.
7.G.2 - Apply the tools of a geographer to understand societies and regions.
  • 7.G.2.1 - Construct maps, charts, and graphs to explain data about geographic phenomena.
  • 7.G.2.2 - Use maps, charts, graphs, geographic data, and available technology tools to interpret and draw conclusions about social, economic, and environmental issues in modern societies and regions.
7.E.1 - Understand the economic activities of societies and regions.
  • 7.E.1.1 - Explain how competition for resources affects the economic relationships among nations.
  • 7.E.1.2 - Explain the implications of economic decisions in national and international affairs.
  • 7.E.1.3 - Summarize the main characteristics of various economic systems.
  • 7.E.1.4 - Explain how personal financial decision-making impacts quality of life.
7.C.&G.1 - Understand the development of government in modern societies and regions.
  • 7.C.&G.1.1 - Summarize the ideas that have shaped political thought in various societies and regions.
  • 7.C.&G.1.2 - Evaluate how the Western concept of democracy has influenced the political ideas of modern societies.
  • 7.C.&G.1.3 - Compare the requirements for and responsibilities of citizenship under various governments in modern societies.
  • 7.C.&G.1.4 - Compare the sources of power and governmental authority in various societies.
7.C.1 - Understand how cultural values influence relationships between individuals, groups and political entities in modern societies and regions.
  • 7.C.1.1 - Explain how culture unites and divides modern societies and regions.
  • 7.C.1.2 - Explain how cultural expressions influence modern societies.
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