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Ch 5: AP World History: Ancient China, Africa, India & America

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn more about the different societies of ancient China, Africa, India and America. The quizzes that follow each lesson can aid you in assessing your own understanding of the materials.

AP World History: Ancient China, Africa, India & America - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Learn more about the dynasties and societies that inhabited ancient China, Africa, India and America. Let an experienced instructor lead you through an overview of each group's major characteristics, such as migration patterns, societal structure, and government policies. At the conclusion of the chapter, you'll also be able to name several major leaders from each region and tell why they were significant. In these lessons, you'll learn things like:

  • Which major dynasties and societies lived in ancient China, Africa, India and the Americas
  • Key principles upon which these societies functioned
  • Why certain leaders are remembered

Video Objective
Ancient China: Shang, Zhou and Qin Dynasties Describe the characteristics of ancient China with an emphasis on the Shang, Zhou and Qin dynasties, plus the patriarchal society and the Mandate of Heaven.
The Qin Dynasty in China: The Great Wall and Legalism Discuss the reign of Qin Shi Huangdi and why he built the Great Wall; review the use of legalism as a political philosophy.
The Han Dynasty in China: Characteristics, Wu Ti and Xiongnu Describe the characteristics of the Chinese Han Dynasty with an emphasis on the role of Emperor Wu Ti and the Xiongnu people.
Ancient West Africa: Bantu Migrations and the Stateless Society Provide an overview of ancient West African civilization highlighting the Bantu expansion, the ancient city of Jenne-Jeno and the concept of a stateless society.
Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes Discuss ancient Mesoamerican cultures, including the Olmec, Mayan and Aztec societies.
Ancient Andean Peoples: Chavin and IncaCompare Chavin and Incan societies, and highlight some of their major cultural differences.
The Origins of Hinduism: the Indus River Valley and the Harappa CultureSummarize the establishment of Hinduism with an emphasis on Harappan civilization.
Indus Valley Civilization: Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro Identify the key locations associated with Indus Valley civilization, including the Khyber Pass and Mohenjo-Daro settlement.
The Aryans in the Indus Valley: Texts, Castes and Beliefs Discuss the Aryans invasion of the Indus Valley; understand the meaning of the following literature and terms: Brahmans, caste system, Hinduism, Upanishads and Vedas.
The Mauryan Empire in India: Rulers and Edicts Summarize the reigns of Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka Maurya; provide an overview of the narrative histories known as the Rock and Pillar Edicts.
The Gupta Dynasty in India: Leaders and Arabic Numerals Describe the reign of Chanta Gupta the Great, the achievements of the ancient Gupta Empire and the use of the Hindu-Arabic numerical system.

15 Lessons in Chapter 5: AP World History: Ancient China, Africa, India & America
Ancient China: Shang & Zhou Dynasties

1. Ancient China: Shang & Zhou Dynasties

In this lesson, we will study the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. We will pay close attention to the founding, major accomplishments and characteristics, and decline of these dynasties.

The Qin Dynasty in China: The Great Wall & Legalism

2. The Qin Dynasty in China: The Great Wall & Legalism

In this lesson, we will explore the short-lived but powerful Qin Dynasty of China. We will examine the dynasty's founding, life under Qin rule, the Qin legacy, and the downfall of the Qin.

The Han Dynasty in China: Characteristics, Wu Ti & Xiongnu

3. The Han Dynasty in China: Characteristics, Wu Ti & Xiongnu

In this lesson, we will explore China's Han dynasty. We will discover the ups and downs of its history and learn about some of its major characteristics and accomplishments.

Society & Culture in Early Africa

4. Society & Culture in Early Africa

In this lesson, you will explore some of the many sort of societies and cultures that have existed in Africa across time. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Ancient West Africa: Bantu Migrations & the Stateless Society

5. Ancient West Africa: Bantu Migrations & the Stateless Society

In this lesson, we will discuss some of the characteristics of ancient West Africa. We will focus especially on the Bantu migrations, the stateless society, and the city of Jenne-jeno.

Ancient Sub-Saharan African Civilization & Culture

6. Ancient Sub-Saharan African Civilization & Culture

As the great civilizations of Egypt and Greece rose in the Middle East and Europe, many vibrant societies also arose in Africa south of the Sahara desert. These peoples created great states that rivaled their northern brethren. In this lesson, we examine these societies and their impact on history.

Ancient African Inventions

7. Ancient African Inventions

Africa has been home to billions of people across history, as well as some very important inventions. In this lesson, we'll explore the inventions of ancient Africans and see how they changed human societies.

Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes

8. Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes

This lesson focuses on the early cultures of Mesoamerica. The Olmec, Maya, and Aztecs developed great civilizations in Mesoamerica over millennia. Then, after all of this development and the building of a great empire, the Aztec were quickly defeated by Hernando Cortes.

Ancient Andean Peoples: Chavin & Inca

9. Ancient Andean Peoples: Chavin & Inca

In this lesson, we will explore the Chavin and Inca civilizations of South America. We will study the rise and fall of these two cultures, as well as their major characteristics.

Ancient Andean Art & Culture

10. Ancient Andean Art & Culture

The Andes Mountains compose a formidable landscape, but were nevertheless home to some incredible civilizations. In this lesson, we'll explore the arts and cultures of the ancient Andes, and see what trends united them.

The Olmec: Civilization & Culture

11. The Olmec: Civilization & Culture

The first civilization of Central and North America, the Olmec, thrived from about 1500 BC to about 400 BC. Learn about the history of the Olmec and how their accomplishments influenced later American civilizations and cultures.

Indus Valley Civilization: Harappa & Mohenjo-Daro

12. Indus Valley Civilization: Harappa & Mohenjo-Daro

In this lesson, we will explore the mysterious Indus Valley civilization, which was located in modern Pakistan and reached its high point between about 2500 BCE and 1900 BCE.

The Aryans in the Indus Valley: Texts, Castes & Beliefs

13. The Aryans in the Indus Valley: Texts, Castes & Beliefs

In this lesson, we will explore the Aryans of the Indus Valley. We will learn about their arrival in the valley, their social customs, their major texts, and their religious beliefs.

The Mauryan Empire in India: Rulers & Edicts

14. The Mauryan Empire in India: Rulers & Edicts

In this lesson, we will study India's Mauryan Empire. We will learn about its rulers, explore its government and economy, delve into its religious life, and examine its decline and disappearance.

The Gupta Dynasty in India: Leaders & Arabic Numerals

15. The Gupta Dynasty in India: Leaders & Arabic Numerals

In this lesson, we will explore India's Gupta dynasty. We will learn about its founding and expansion, discover the achievements of its people, and examine its decline and disappearance.

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