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Modern World History State Standards



Standard MWH-1: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the major factors that facilitated exchanges among groups of people and how exchanges influenced those people in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Enduring Understanding

Physical geography, ideas, warfare, and financial institutions have shaped the interaction within and among regions around the world. To understand how the interaction of these forces in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries led to the development of modern societies, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the following indicators:


MWH-1.1 Describe the diffusion of people and goods between Europe, Asia, and Africa during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to show the networks of economic interdependence and cultural interactions.

MWH-1.2 Explain the impact of the Crusades and the Renaissance on European exploration, including the significance of humanism, the revival of learning, and the transfer of knowledge about sailing and ancient philosophy from the Arabs to the Europeans.

MWH-1.3 Analyze the reasons for European interest in Africa, including the significance of the struggle between Muslim and Christian leaders in the Mediterranean and European interest in finding new trade routes to Asia.

MWH-1.4 Evaluate the impact of the collapse of European feudal institutions and the spread of towns on the transmission of goods, people, and ideas in Europe.

MWH-1.5 Explain how the development of banks in Europe influenced the transfer of goods throughout Europe.

MWH-1.6 Evaluate the role the Ming emperors played in extending Chinese influence over East Asia.

Standard MWH-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the benefits and costs of the growth of kingdoms into empires from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries.

Enduring Understanding

As rulers consolidate their power, they often expand their territory, creating empires that have an impact on both the mother country and its colonies. To understand the impact of the creation of empires on the development of modern societies, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the following indicators:


MWH -2.1. Evaluate the consequences of the changing boundaries of kingdoms in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa.

MWH -2.2 Describe the principle routes of exploration and trade between Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas from the late fifteenth century through the sixteenth century.

MWH -2.3 Explain the competition between European kingdoms for space and resources, including the Hundred Years’ War between France and England, the rise of the Holy Roman Empire in Central Europe, and the response to Islam on the Iberian Peninsula.

MWH -2.4 Analyze the influence of the Mughal empire on the development of India, including the influence of Persian culture and the Muslim religion on the Hindu culture.

MWH -2.5 Evaluate the impact of the expansion of the Ottoman Empire into Eastern Europe.

MWH -2.6 Describe the impact of the competition among European countries on the various kingdoms of the Americas and Africa, including the Columbian Exchange and the slave trade.

Standard MWH-3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the impact of religious movements throughout the world in the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries.

Enduring Understanding

Religion shaped (and continues to shape) the values and priorities of people, thus influencing political, economic, social, and aesthetic elements of culture. To understand the continuing role that religion plays in modern political, economic, and social issues, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the following indicators:


MWH-3.1 Describe the proliferation of religious ideas, including the expansion of Islam, the competition between Protestants and Catholics throughout Europe, and the spread of Buddhism through East and Southeast Asia.

MWH-3.2 Evaluate the impact of religious dissent on the development of European kingdoms during the sixteenth century, including the warfare between peasants and feudal lords in German principalities, the conflict between the nobility of the Holy Roman Empire and the Hapsburg emperors, the creation of the Church of England, and the dynastic and religious competition in France.

MWH-3.3 Explain the role of Islam on the cultures of the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, including its methods of expansion, its impact on religious diversity, and reactions to its expansion.

MWH-3.4 Explain the role of Buddhism and its impact on the cultures throughout East and Southeast Asia, including Buddhism’s basic tenets, the impact of the local rulers on religious conversion, and the religion’s enduring traditions.

MWH-3.5 Compare the spread of religion and the development of trade routes and diplomatic connections, including Christian missionary work, Buddhist and Islamic pilgrimages, and the competition between Muslims and Christians for territory.

MWH-3.6 Analyze various indigenous religions practiced in Africa and the Americas and their impact on the culture of the region, including animism and polytheism.

Standard MWH-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the conflicts of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Europe, America, Africa, and Asia.

Enduring Understanding

Competition for imperial conquest met with varying degrees of success and resistance in the 1600s and 1700s. To understand the significant role that imperialism played in the development of many modern nation-states during this time period, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the following indicators:


MWH-4.1 Explain the changing boundaries in Europe and Asia as a result of the competition between nation-states during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

MWH-4.2 Explain the changes in European overseas empires during this period, including the waning of the Spanish and Portuguese empires and the struggle between empires and colonists.

MWH-4.3 Explain the similarities between the Qin and Ming dynasties in China, including foreign relations, culture, and economic practices.

MWH-4.4 Evaluate the success of the Ming dynasty in sustaining a prosperous Chinese empire and strengthening Chinese hegemony in Asia.

MWH-4.5 Analyze the factors that contributed to the collapse of the Mughal empire in India, including the role of religious intolerance.

MWH-4.6 Analyze the trade policy of mercantilism and its influence on the relationship between imperial centers and their peripheries.

MWH-4.7 Explain the disruption within West African kingdoms as a result of the competition between European countries over slave trade.

Standard MWH-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the influence of ideas and technology on the development of nation-states and empires in the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries.

Enduring Understanding

New ideas and technological developments during this period led to changes in how people viewed the world and how people, in turn, changed their social, economic, and political circumstances. To understand how ideas and technology led to the development of modern society, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the following indicators:


MWH-5.1 Explain how the scientific revolution in Europe led to the questioning of orthodox ideas.

MWH-5.2 Analyze the ideas of social equality, democracy, constitutionalism, and nationalism brought about by the Enlightenment and their effects on institutions.

MWH-5.3 Identify the major technological and social characteristics of the Industrial Revolution.

MWH-5.4 Analyze the relationship between the expanding world market economy and the development of industrialization in Great Britain, the United States, Germany, and Japan, including shifts in world demography and urbanization and changing class and race relations.

MWH-5.5 Compare capitalism with other forms of political and economic ideologies, including socialism, communism, and anarchism.

MWH-5.6 Analyze Asia’s relationship with European states through 1800, including Japan’s policy of limiting contacts with foreigners.

Standard MWH-6: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the creation of nation-states in Europe and the struggle by non-European nations to gain and/or maintain sovereignty.

Enduring Understanding

The self-determination of national groups became an ideal in Western Europe that expanded gradually to Central and Eastern Europe and eventually to colonized peoples. To understand the development of democracy across the globe and the continuing struggle for this ideal in many nations, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the following indicators:


MWH-6.1 Explain the impact of English political institutions and attitudes on their North American colonies, and the American Revolution.

MWH-6.2 Analyze the reasons for independence movements as exemplified by the French and Haitian revolutions and eighteenth-century South American rebellions.

MWH-6.3 Analyze various movements for individual rights, including worldwide abolitionism, the end of slave trade movements in England and Latin America, the liberation of serfs in Russia, and the growing movement for women’s rights.

MWH-6.4 Explain the causes of the revolutions of 1820, 1830, and 1848 and the reasons why these revolutions failed to achieve nationalist and democratic objectives.

MWH-6.5 Analyze the successes and limitations of movements for national unity, including the unification of Germany and Italy and the American Civil War.

MWH-6.6 Describe the reactions in Asian kingdoms to the Western ideas of nationalism, including the Indian nationalist movement, the Meiji era in Japan, and the Manchu dynasty in China.

MWH-6.7 Explain the causes of the Russian Revolution of 1917, including the reasons that the revolutionary government progressed from moderate to radical.

Standard MWH-7: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the causes and consequences of global warfare in the first half of the twentieth century.

Enduring Understanding

World War I (the Great War) and World War II resulted in the destruction of long-standing empires and the realignment of the relationships between former colonies and former empires. To understand the impact of global warfare on the development of social, economic, and political institutions in modern times, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the following indicators:


MWH-7.1 Analyze the relative importance of economic and political rivalries, ethnic and ideological conflicts, social class, militarism, and imperialism as underlying causes of World War I and World War II, including the role of nationalism and propaganda in mobilizing civilian populations around the world to support the two world wars.

MWH-7.2 Analyze the ways that the responses of the governments of Britain, France, Germany, and Italy to the economic and political challenges of the 1920s and 1930s contributed to the renewal of international hostilities in the years leading to World War II.

MWH-7.3 Describe major shifts in world geopolitics between 1900 and 1945, including the changing role of the United States in international affairs and the move from isolationism to an increased role as a world power.

MWH-7.4 Explain the origins of the conflict in the Middle East as a result of the collapse of the German, Habsburg, and Ottoman empires after World War I and the creation of the state of Israel after World War II.

MWH-7.5 Explain the impact of collapsing imperial regimes and growing nationalist movements in India, Africa, and Southeast Asia, including Pan-Africanism and the emerging civil rights movement in the United States.

Standard MWH-8: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the causes and consequences of decolonization in the second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Enduring Understanding

Newly independent countries sought partners for economic and political alliances as technological developments of the past sixty years made the world more interconnected. To understand the effects of the economic, political, social, and technological changes that shape his or her place in the world, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the following indicators:


MWH-8.1 Evaluate the relative importance of factors such as world war, economic depression, nationalist ideology, labor organizations, communism, and liberal democratic ideals in the emergence of movements for national self-rule or sovereignty in Africa and Asia.

MWH-8.2 Explain the rationale for the development of supranational organizations (e.g., the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, the Organization of American States).

MWH-8.3 Illustrate the impact of the Cold War on developing and newly independent countries, including Soviet, United States, and Chinese involvement in the domestic and foreign affairs of countries such as Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, and the Congo.

MWH-8.4 Describe the diffusion of aspects of popular cultures, including music, film, art forms, and foodways.

MWH-8.5 Analyze the impact of movements for equality in the United States, Africa, and Southeast Asia as well as the varying reactions around the world to equity issues.

MWH-8.6 Analyze the impact that the collapse of the Soviet Union and communist governments in Eastern Europe had on the people and geopolitics of Eurasia, including the balkanization of Yugoslavia, the reunification of Germany, and the creation of the new republics in Central Asia.

MWH-8.7 Evaluate the benefits and costs of increasing worldwide trade and technological growth, including the movement of people and products, the growth of multi-national corporations, the increase in environmental concerns, and the increase in cultural exchanges.