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Unit IV Reading Guide 1450-1750

AP World history

U4/1450-1750 Reading Guide


 WEEK 1:  Chapter 20, The Atlantic Slave Trade 



  • The Atlantic Slave Trade (432-440)
  • White Settlers and Africans in Southern Africa (446-454)


Study Questions:

  1. What was the most significant point of contact between Europeans and Africans after 1450?


  1. What European country was most heavily involved in the slave trade in its early years? Why was it logical that this country would be the most involved in the slave trade?


  1. What agricultural crop was most influential on the demand for slaves?


  1. What is the latest estimate of how many slaves were shipped to the New World across the Atlantic via the Middle Passage? How many died on the way over?


  1. Why did the slave population grow in North America?


  1. Opposition to slavery in the West grew out of what intellectual movement?



  1. Cite evidence that slavery also existed in Africa in a large capacity.


  1. How did the slave trade between the Muslim world and the Atlantic world differ?


  1. What similarities were shared between Asante and Dahomey in the manner in which they acquired power? What outside power was key to their success?


  1. How did the spread of Islam (Islamization) change East Africa and the Sudan?


  1. What group of Africans migrated southward and later groups such as the Zulus were their descendants?


  1. What qualities made Shaka important/valuable to the Zulus?




Creole slaves                                       Great Trek

Zulu                                                     Diaspora

Afrikaners                                           Cape colony

Triangular trade                                  Royal African Company

Middle Passage


WEEK 2:  Chapter 21, Muslim Empires



  • Ottoman Empire (456-466)
  • Safavid Empire (466-473)
  • Mughal Empire (473-480)


Study Questions:


  1. In what three areas did the Ottomans excel, advancing Islamic civilization?


  1. What famous Roman/Byzantine city did the Ottomans take in 1453 and what was key to their victory?


  1. Why did the “vizier” sometimes have more power than the sultan (the Ottoman emperor).


  1. Who were the Janissaries?  What was their role in the Military?  How did they eventually gain power? 


  1. Who ruled at the height of Ottoman Power?  Was he truly a magnificent ruler?


  1. How did the education of potential Ottoman sultans change over time?


  1. Although the Ottomans initially made huge gains due to their use of artillery, what change did the Europeans introduce to artillery that gave them the advantage?


  1. What European power replaced the Ottomans and other Muslim powers in the Indian Ocean?


  1. Why did the Ottomans win the battle of Chaldiran?


  1. Contrast the Safavid behavior towards outsiders, esp. Europeans, with that of the Ottomans.


  1. How did Abbas I try to improve and strengthen his empire’s economy?


  1. What did Abbas I do to his sons and why?


  1. Where did Babur locate his capital?


  1. Identify the most impressive aspect/deed of Akbar and explain why it impresses you.


  1. Identify three ways in which Akbar tried to improve the lives of women in Mughal society.


  1. What Indian industry did Europeans, esp. the British, show the most interest in?


  1. What did Aurangzeb have in common with is grandfather, Akbar in his role as leader?


  1. How were the Sikhs originally similar to something Akbar wanted?



Mehmed II                              Abbas the Great          Rajput

Janissaries                               Imams                         Taj Mahal

Suleyman the Magnificent      Mullahs                       Sikhism

Vizier                                       Babur                          Shah

WEEK 3:  Chapter 22, Asia in a an Age of Global Change



  • The Asian Trading World and Contact with Europeans (483-491)
  • Ming China (491-498)
  • Japan, Fending off the West (499-502)


Study Questions:


  1. How did the Dutch and English differ from the Portuguese and Spanish in their relations with the peoples of Southeast Asia?  What might explain this?


  1. How did the Hindu caste system run counter to basic fundamentals of Christianity and block efforts by Europeans to convert high-caste Indians?


  1. What part of Asia was considered the greatest success for Christian missionaries and why was it easier to convert?


  1. Who overthrew the Mongols and established the Ming dynasty? What was unusual about his background?


  1. What was his first priority as emperor?


  1. Why would the new emperor, who was poorly educated, give the power back to the scholar-gentry that they had lost under Mongol domination?


  1. What did Hongwu do to promote scrupulous behavior among the scholar-gentry?


  1. What reform by Hongwu to improve the lives of the peasantry was the most effective?


  1. Describe Chinese society and family relationships?  What was the role of women?


  1. Identify the only two places in China where foreign merchants were allowed to trade.

Why do you think China restricted foreigners to only those two ports?


  1. Why did Chinese merchants see long distance trade as a waste of time for themselves?


  1. What did the scholar-gentry want to focus on rather than overseas exploration and trade?


  1. How successful were the Jesuits in their missionary work in China?


  1. Why did the Tokugawa shogunate, following Nobunaga, turn against Christianity?


  1. Why did Ieyasu isolate Japan and Issue the Closed country edict of 1614?


  1. Despite its isolation, how did Japan use the one port foreigners could trade in, Deshima, that contrasted with China?



Hongwu                                               Edo

Zhenghe expeditions                           Francis Xavier

Caravels                                              Canton