Chapter 12
Unit 4 World History
The Battle of  the Pyramids by Louis-Francois Baron Lejeune. (Public Domain photo. Info can be found here)
Mill workers in a Lancaster S.C. cotton mill. (Public Domain photo. Info can be found here)
One thing that many people wish schools taught was the history of economics. Since I completely agree with this sentiment, I cover the basics of this history in this unit. We start with the rise of the industrial revolution and the advancements that are associated with this movement. Special attention is given to connect the advancements with the way students live their lives today.

After that we cover the economic philosophies of mercantilism, capitalism, communism, and socialism. All four ideas are covered by showing both the positive and negative outcomes of these concepts (in an effort to be fair). This has a tendency to be difficult for students, so I try to connect these comments to current issues by showing current events videos on the topics. We often have mini-debates about the positive or negative consequences of each of these philosophies.

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. Explain the ways in which the “free market” is seen as the best possible system of economics by those who believe in capitalism? Make sure to explain how the system works in doing so.
  2. How did communism develop over time in the beliefs of Marx? In what way did he believe this was inevitable?
  3. In what ways could it be said that the Industrial Revolution is among the most important developments in human history?
  4. In what ways is socialism a far more complex term than most people realize when they use it?
  5. Why is the term exploitation such an important aspect of both socialism and communism?

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.

The Industrial Revolution

Advances & Inventions of the Era

Effects of the Industrial Revolution

Major Scientific Leaders


Change in Economic Theory

The Theory of Capitalism

Criticism of Capitalism

People Look For Better Economic Systems


Socialism In Practice

Criticism Of Socialism

Karl Marx & His Unique Views

Theory of Communism

Criticism Of Communism



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.

Why the west is losing to the rest

Some of the things that made “the west” unique are starting to fade according to this author. Many other countries are catching up to us for this and other reasons.