AP World History Period 3 Review (600 CE-1450 CE)

5 min readdecember 21, 2021

Amanda DoAmaral

Amanda DoAmaral

AP World History: Modern 🌍

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Period 3: Regional and Interregional Interactions (600 CE-1450 CE)

In AP World History, period 3 spans from 600 CE to 1450 CE and accounts for 20% of the material on the exam. The following guide will be updated periodically with hyperlinks to excellent resources. As you are reviewing for the post-classical era, focus on the key concepts and use the essential questions to guide you.
You can request the full Ultimate Guide to AP World History here.

Period 3 Dates to Know

STUDY TIP: You will never be asked specifically to identify a date. However, knowing the order of events will help immensely with cause and effect. For this reason, we have identified the most important dates to know.
1258 CE - Mongols sack Baghdad
1271 - 1295 CE - Marco Polo's Travels
1324 CE - Mansa Musa's pilgrimage
1325 - 1349 CE - Ibn Battuta's Travels
1347 - 1348 CE - Bubonic Plague in Europe
1405 - 1433 CE - Zheng He's voyages

Period 3 Essential Questions

STUDY TIP: Use the following essential questions to guide your review of this entire unit. Keep in mind, these are not meant to be practice essay questions. Each question was written to help you summarize the key concept.
  1. To what extent was there expansion and intensification of communications and trade networks?
  2. To what extent was there continuity and/or innovation of state forms and their interactions?
  3. To what extent did economic productive capacity increase and what were the consequences?

Past Essay Questions from Period 3

STUDY TIP: Content from the post-classical era has appeared on the essays twelve times. Take a look at a few of these questions before you review the key concepts & vocabulary below to get a sense of how you will be assessed. Then, come back to these later and practice writing as many as you can!
**The AP World History exam was revised in 2017, so any questions from before then are not representative of the current exam format or rubric. You can still use prior questions to practice, however DBQs will have more than 7 documents, the LEQ prompts are worded differently, and the rubrics are completely different. Use questions from 2002-2016 with caution.

Period 3 Key Concepts - Course Outline

*The following outline was adapted from the AP® World History Course Description as published by College Board in 2017 found here. This outline reflects the most recent revisions to the course.

3.1. Trade in the Post-Classical Era

  1. New technology expanded trade.
    1. Existing trade routes in Afro-Eurasia flourished and expanded, led to new cities.
    2. Networks also developed in the Americas (Mississippi River Valley, Andes).
    3. New transportations increased trade including caravanserai, compass, astrolabe, larger ships. Led to new forms of currency (credit, checks, paper money).
    4. Trading organizations facilitated trade (Hanseatic League) and states sponsored infrastructure that increased trade (Grand Canal).
    5. Tang, Song, Byzantine, Mongols, and Muslim empires facilitated trade.
  2. Movement of people affected the environment and languages.
    1. Trade needed adaptations to the environment (Viking longships, camels, horses).
    2. Migrations transmitted technology and crops (Bantu, Polynesian).
    3. Diffusion and emergence of new languages (Bantu, Turkic, Arabic).
  3. Intensification of existing trade routes.
    1. Islam developed, expanded, and intensified trade because of merchants & missionaries.
    2. Diasporic communities spread culture (Muslims in IO, Chinese in SE Asia).
    3. Explorers wrote about their travels (Ibn Battuta, Marco Polo, Xuanxang).
    4. Diffusion of art, literature, culture, and science. (🎥Live Stream Replay: Imperial Art and Architecture)
  4. Spread of crops and disease along trade routes (bananas in Africa, rice in East Asia).

3.2. Politics & State-Building

  1. Empires collapsed and, in some areas, were replaced.
    1. Old empires were reconstituted. (Byzantine, Sui, Tang, Song).
    2. New empires replaced old empires (Mongols, Islamic states, feudal states).
    3. Local & foreign traditions were synthesized.
    4. Networks in the Americas expanded and flourished (Mayans, Aztecs, Incas).
  2. Technology & culture spread because of increased trade and conflict.
    1. Spread of Islamic scientific knowledge, Greco-Islamic medicine

3.3. Economic Productivity and its Consequences

  1. Innovation stimulated production.
    1. Food production increased because of new technologies (chinampa, waru waru).
    2. Demand for luxuries increased, merchants expanded production.
  2. Cities declined and thrived with productivity and trade.
    1. Invasions, disease, and decline of agriculture led to decline of cities after classical era.
    2. End of invasions, safe and reliable transportation, and climate change revived cities.
  3. Changes and continuities in social structures.
    1. Labor systems included peasants, nomadic pastoralism, guilds, and coerced labor.
    2. Social hierarchies were shaped by class and caste.
      1. Some women had power (Mongols, West Africa, Japan, SE Asia).
    3.  New forms of coerced labor including serfdom, mit’a system, and slavery.
    4. Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Neo Confucianism affected gender & family.

List of Concepts & Vocabulary from Period 3

STUDY TIP: These are the concepts and vocabulary from period 3 that most commonly appear on the exam. Create a quizlet deck to make sure you are familiar with these terms!
  • Abbasid
  • Abu Bakr
  • Ali
  • Angkor Kingdom
  • Aztec
  • Battle of Manzikert
  • Battle of Tours
  • Bantu
  • Black Death
  • bourgeoisie
  • Byzantine Empire
  • Cahokia
  • caliphs
  • Carolingian Dynasty
  • Chan (Zen) Buddhism
  • Charlemagne
  • Charles Martel
  • Chichen Itza
  • chinampas
  • code of chivalry
  • Constantinople
  • Crusades
  • Cyrillic alphabet
  • Dar al-Islam
  • Delhi Sultanate
  • dhows
  • Eastern Orthodox
  • Empress Wu
  • equal-field system
  • fast-ripening rice
  • feudalism
  • flying cash
  • foot binding
  • Franks
  • Genghis Khan
  • Ghana
  • Grand Canal
  • Great Schism
  • Great Zimbabwe
  • guilds
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Hanseatic League
  • Holy Roman Empire
  • humanism
  • Hundred Years’ War
  • Ibn Battuta
  • Iconoclast
  • Inca
  • Indian Ocean Trade
  • investiture controversy
  • jizya
  • junk
  • Justinian I
  • khanates
  • Kievan Rus
  • King Clovis
  • Kongo Kingdom
  • kowtow
  • Kublai Khan
  • lateen sails
  • Little Ice Age
  • longships
  • Magna Carta
  • Mahmud of Ghazni
  • Mali
  • Mamluks
  • manorial system
  • Mansa Musa
  • Marco Polo
  • Ming Dynasty
  • Mississippian
  • mita system
  • monasteries
  • Mongols
  • monsoon winds
  • Muhammad
  • Neo-Confucianism
  • Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Pax Mongolica
  • primogeniture
  • quipu
  • Qur’an
  • reconquista
  • Renaissance
  • schism
  • scholar gentry
  • Scholasticism
  • Seljuk Turks
  • shogun
  • Silla Kingdom
  • sinification
  • Slavs
  • Song Dynasty
  • Songhai
  • Sufis
  • Sui Dynasty
  • sultan
  • Sundiata
  • Swahili city-states
  • Tang Dynasty
  • theme system
  • theocracy
  • three-field system
  • Toltec
  • trans-Saharan trade
  • tribute system
  • Umayyad Dynasty
  • Vikings
  • woodblock printing
  • Xuanzang
  • Yuan Dynasty

Browse Study Guides By Unit
🐎Unit 1 – The Global Tapestry, 1200-1450
🐫Unit 2 – Networks of Exchange, 1200-1450
🕌Unit 3 – Land-Based Empires, 1450-1750
🍕Unit 4 – Transoceanic Interactions, 1450-1750
✊🏽Unit 5 – Revolutions, 1750-1900
🚂Unit 6 – Consequences of Industrialization, 1750-1900
💣Unit 7 – Global Conflict, 1900-Present
🥶Unit 8 – Cold War & Decolonization, 1900-Present
✈️Unit 9 – Globalization, 1900-Present
✏️Frequently Asked Questions
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👉🏼Subject Guides
📝AMSCO Notes

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