Chapter 7
Unit 3 World History
The Creation of Adam from the Sistine Chapel ceiling. (Public Domain photo. Info can be found here)
A painting of the landing of Columbus in America by John Vanderlyn. (Public Domain photo. Info can be found here)
This chapter covers starts out with the European Age of Exploration and why this was the time period for this explosion of interest in other places. This is not just a simple explanation of what Columbus did, but a long list of explorers (before and after Columbus) and why they had an impact on the later world. With that information in hand we move on to the immediate cultural impact of Columbus, which is known by historians as the Colombian Exchange. The final aspect of this chapter focuses on the less clear consequences of exploration, such as the inhumane treatment of Native Americans and the decision to bring Africans to America for work. We spend a great deal of time covering the truth of slavery and dispelling the many rumors that are found in pop culture but are not up for debate among actual historians. As usual, pop culture is wrong on a ton of aspects of this time period.

Essential questions

The following questions are meant to be studied during the chapter as possible essay questions for your exam.
Please be ready for any of the following questions.
  1. In what way is the Columbian Exchange one of the biggest accomplishments/changes in the history of the world?
  2. How were the Spanish Conquistadors able to conquer some of the largest and most powerful empires on Earth with so few people?
  3. Why were Native populations of the Americas so susceptible to diseases from the Old World?
  4. In what ways was slavery in the Americas harsher than other forms of slavery in history? Was there a better location to go to than others?

Chapter Content

Use the following links to find the content you are interested in or use the search bar at the top right to look for specific concepts.

Europe Looks To Sail More

1st Wave Of Exploration

Later Exploration

Christopher Columbus

The Columbian Exchange


Conquest Of The Aztecs

Inca Conquest

The Expedition To El Dorado

Early Spanish Colonies

Revolts Against The Spanish

The 18th Century Reforms

Conquest Of N. America

The Plymouth Colony

Early Wars With Native Americans

The Atlantic Slave Trade

Journey To Slavery

Slavery In North America

Slavery In The Caribbean & South America

Slave Culture & Treatment

African Societies & The Slave Trade


The following are a list of helpful resources that can be used in studying for this chapter.

Class Notes

These are the notes that I use for class. All information found in these notes lead directly to the test so they should be used in studying if you want the correct answers. This can only be accessed by students logged into their school account.

Chapter Powerpoint

This link will lead you to the PowerPoint for this unit. Those who missed class can use this to catch up on what was taught in class and what specific concepts to focus on in your studying.

Exam Review

This is the review that should be used to prepare for the exam. All exam questions will be connected directly to this document. Students are expected to answer all questions and are encouraged to know the rest also.

Review Videos

The videos to the right are placed here so that you can find other ways to study if that is your desire. Crash course videos tend to work pretty well for this type of studying as many of the AP World students use them to prep for tests. Please feel free to click on any of the videos in this feed for more info.

This Chapter in the news

Many students don’t realize that history is being debated and rewritten daily. These are stories related to our chapter from the news.

Megadeth In Mexico

This covers a scientific explanation of how the pandemics brought to the Americas by conquistadors attacked the locals and why they were so much more successful than normal.

What to tell your kids about Columbus

Columbus has recently gone from an American hero to a person who is highly controversial. This article tries to reinterpret what we should be telling our kids about him.

Lawsuit about slavery in the Caribbean

There was a recent lawsuit that was started by a handful of Caribbean countries to try to get money from European countries who benefitted from the slave trade.

New revelations about the slave trade

Historians continue to learn more about the slave trade as we find more evidence than we had before. This article covers the newest knowledge we have gained from this.

Muslim Roots of the Blues

The rise of the blues in this country was far less shocking than most think. The reason for this is that much of the aspects of it came from the places slaves were taken from.