Theme 1: The 20th century will see large population shifts and probably more human interactions that have had much greater impacts on the environment than any other time period. The world population has grown at staggering rates which has let to issues like overpopulation, natural resource depletion, as well as increased deforestation and pollution. New diseases have emerged as well but we have seen gains made in medicine and science that have helped limit any potential epidemics. It's not all been bad, as scientific advancements have led to the Green Revolution and other positive outcomes. Theme 2: As mentioned in Theme 1, new technology and scientific discoveries have shaped the way we view the world and how we live. We've had vast improvements in eliminating diseases (or at least limiting their symptoms and reach) as well as pushed the boundaries of reality and the universe with our travel into space and vast upgrades in technology. (Ask your parents about what all their first phone was like and compare it to yours). Globalization has brought societies around the world together leading to both good and bad outcomes. The world definitely has more access and experience with other cultures but this has led to conflicts as seen in Israel and Palestine, India and Pakistan, and the new age issues of extremist religious groups like ISIS and Boko Haram. Theme 3: There have been many examples of political turmoil and state-building during this time period. We've seen two World Wars have major impacts throughout the world and the emergence of two global superpowers in the United States and Soviet Union leading to the Cold War for the later half of the 20th century. The other major impact is the end of imperialism and decolonization beginning with the end of World War I and more significantly after World War II. While some of these new nations have had relatively successful transitions (most notably India), many have struggled with the state building transitions and have seen a rise in authoritarianism and military dictators come to the forefront to lead. International organizations like the United Nations and European Union have arisen to bring about peace and protect global citizens from oppression and try to prevent similar catastrophes like we saw in WWI and WWII. Theme 4: Globalization again has shrunken the world and the economic world has become much more interconnected. We've seen more that booms and busts now have global ramifications (ie the Great Depression) rather than just national ones. New technology has expanded markets and countries have searched for new markets to trade in and are looking for new means to make up for the resource depletion we've experienced. The other big economic impact of this time period deals with the Cold War and struggle of capitalism versus communism. International organizations and treaties like NAFTA have pushed this new global world and its policies. Theme 5: There have been several major events dealing with social issues and interactions around the world the last one hundred years. Women in developed countries finally won their rights to vote and have moved further away from their roles as just a housewife to joining the workforce and having careers. The feminism movement has helped shine light on the inequalities and while progress has been made, there is still a long way to go, and many countries still rely on their patriarchal views and practices. Racial issues have seen segregation become the status-quo, like in the Jim Crow South of the United States, or under Apartheid in South Africa. Thankfully, these legal segregation laws have been overturned and banned but as with women right's, there is still a long way to go. Human rights movements have grown as we've seen a rise in genocide, and more people around the world are now aware of the atrocities happening in other countries.
Important Dates to Know This Unit
Areas of Focus This Unit
People to Know in Unit 6
Place for all your Notes, Readings, and Activities
This is the world we live in but you'll notice that the map looks vastly different in some parts of the globe just 100 years ago than it does today.
We will go through another (actually several different) revolution in the fields of science; leading to countless breakthroughs and innovations such as space travel, medicine, computers, and energy usage.
World population and consumption takes off to off foreseen levels, and this will have major consequences on the environment, such as global warming, pollution, and deforestation.
While global conflicts will dominate this unit (World War I, WWII, and the Cold War with its proxy conflicts), it is important not to get too caught up on these events. There are several independence movements as well that take place after the world wars and fall of the Soviet Union.
As we wrap up this unit, the focus is on globalization; bringing in global economic dependency, new political ideologies, international diplomatic organizations, new social movements dealing with inequalities around the world, human rights, and protecting the environment, as well as global popular culture in sports, music, and film.