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High School Assignment - Turning Point in World History Analytical Essay
It has been said that Herodotus is ''The Father of History'', and indeed in his book ''The Histories'', the ancient Greek has offered us an invaluable glimpse into past civilizations.
However, world history is a most complex topic, and to this day historians fiercely debate what was the ultimate turning point in world history which has shaped humankind.
Students will benefit from this assignment by learning about some of these major turning points, and in turn by giving a written presentation about one of those crucial world historical events.
Have students visit world history pages in our Homeschool Curriculum for additional educational tools.
- Constantinople: formerly known as Byzantium and now known as Istanbul, this city has been the capital of four world empires
- Mesopotamia: regarded as the ''Cradle of Civilization'', this land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is known as Iraq today
- Sumerians: considered to be the first human civilization
- Internet capability
- Paper for writing down notes
- Writing implements
Two days to review this material/Two weeks to write presentation
Assignment Instructions for Students
- Explain how humans ''discovering'' fire, or at least how to use it, over one million years ago was arguably the first major turning point in world history.
- Detail how the wheel being invented around 5,500 years ago by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia was arguably the second major turning point in world history.
- Why do you think it took so long between the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel?
Juxtapose the following three critical dates in world history:
- The fall of the Greek Empire in 146 B.C. at the Battle of Corinth
- The fall of the Roman Empire on September 4th, 476 A.D. at the hands of Odoacer
- The fall of the Byzantine Empire at Constantinople on May 29th, 1453
- Since even historians disagree as to which of the above three dates is the most crucial, evaluate the end of the civilizations and decide for yourself.
04/06/1917 - Discover how the American troops entered the war on this date and turned the tide in the favor of the Allied Powers so quickly.
06/06/1944 - D-Day - Discover why this is considered by many historians to be the turning point of the Second World War, and how the Allies managed to accomplish the daring invasion.
07/20/1969 - First humans on the moon - Evaluate how the fact that so many people watching the astronauts live on television made the moon landing such a major event.
- 11/09/1989 - Fall of the Berlin Wall - Analyze how this event changed not only the country of Germany, but also other countries in Europe and around the world.
- 12/26/1991 - Fall of the Soviet Union - Explain how many countries moved from communism to democracy after this date in history.
- Illustrate how the above two events are interrelated.
- Explain how ''The Digital Age'' or ''The Computer Age'' so drastically transformed the way people communicated and conducted business.
Part A - Invention of the Internet
- Uncover why the unofficial birthday of the Internet is considered January 1st, 1983.
- What important invention was Tim Berners-Lee credited with in 1989?
Part B - Rise in Social Media
- Discover the contribution Nasir Ahmed made to social media in 1972, and what his discrete cosine transform (DCT) entails.
- Find out the launch dates of Myspace and Facebook, and determine why this forever changed the way citizens of the world communicate with one another.
- February 1918 - Spanish Flu pandemic
- March 2020 - Coronavirus pandemic
Create in your mind's eye how the effects of these two outbreaks forced American citizens and people across the globe to reevaluate their personal values, as well as learn to deal with stressors each day.
Go online to visit the websites of several museums of world history, and write a two-page paper which details your findings. Afterward, see if you can predict five major theoretical future turning points in world history.
Now it's time to select one event in world history to summarize in a 1,500 to 2,000 word paper, and explain why you believe it was a critical turning point. You should:
- Analyze why it was a turning point
- Explain the event's significance
- Provide compelling evidence
- Provide specific examples
- Use appropriate formatting and cite your sources
Write a fictional diary in which you are a time traveler and go back to visit all the events mentioned in this assignment.
|Explain how fire and the wheel changed history|
|Juxtapose the fall of three ancient empires|
|Compare and contrast the two world wars|
|Illustrate the significance of the moon landing|
|Juxtapose the falls of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union|
|Recount the rise of the Internet and social media|
|Compare and contrast the two pandemics|
|Allow adult to critique written presentation|
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