Shaping of the Modern World
Global Snapshot at the Start of the Early Modern Era
This unit will take us on a tour around the late medieval and early modern world,
(circa late 1300s--1600s), to see how different regions looked before they more
fully inter-meshed during the first “global age”.
To start us off, you are being assigned in teams to a region; you’ll find a list of
them in a few pages. Each group will…
1. …Answer a set of questions. Your information will come from a
combination of the school’s databases and the textbook. Each of the
answers should be a paragraph long. (team grade)
2. ...Build a custom Google Map, and upload it to your teacher. Within a few
days of that uploading, your teacher will give you a Google Earth file
containing all the maps you and your classmates did. (team grade)
3. …Make an oral presentation to the rest of the class using the Google Map
you made for your region, sharing the knowledge you acquired. (team
4. …Write a set of paragraphs assessing other regions in this Global Snapshot.
Looks like a lot, eh? Don’t worry! We will be going through it step-by-step,
with plenty of instructions along the way and lots of opportunity to get your
questions answered. Key particulars for each task are explained below.
Task 1: The Question Set:
You will be divided into teams, with each group assigned to cover one of the
regions listed further down in this section. Your group will answer the questions
below for your region. You will have class time and homework time to read about
your region, meet with your partner and complete your answer sets.
*When and how did this set of rulers (or government) rise to power? If this
set of rulers overthrew a previous group, explain why and how.
*What was the form and structure of the government? How powerful (or
limited) was the central government’s control over the region?
*How much (or little) did the government interact with other regions? Did
any of the above things change significantly during this era?
*Was there a main religion in the region? If so, did the religion have
government support? To what extent were other religions tolerated or
*What were the main social groups in the region? Was society very
hierarchical? If so, briefly explain the hierarchies. (Note: there may be
several hierarchies: social rank, of gender, of religion, etc.)
*What kinds of economic activities were important inside the region? Did
international trade play a significant role in the economy? Did the region’s
location matter for how much (or little) economic interaction there was with
*How did the region’s military operate, and how significant was the military
for the society and the government?
*What place did the arts and architecture have in the region?
Writing Good Answers to Region Questions:
*Each answer should be roughly five to eight sentences long. This gives you
enough room to highlight key specifics. However, you won’t have room to go
into extensive details on any answer. Bear that in mind as you do your
*You and your teammate(s) will submit a single set of typed answers for your
questions, giving all team members’ names on it. Do this as a Word file that
you put into the Haiku Dropbox for the assignment.
1a: The Regions:
You are assigned to one of the regions below. Each region listing shows key dates,
textbook pages when available, and Maret Library databases to use for your
research, (NOTE: campus computers don’t require a separate log-in for each
database. You can also use the databases from home, with the passwords that are
shown on the database list on the Maret website). NOTE 2: Pay attention to the
dates that you are asked to cover, and stay within them!
a) Incas of South America- (key dates: late 1200s – 1530s)-
Sources: textbook: pp. 197-99; databases: Facts on File, Ancient and Medieval
World, (articles: Inca Empire [3 articles], Society, Life during the Inca Empire).
Some of the articles are long, so remember to stay within the dates above!
b) Mughal India, (key dates: from Babur to Shah Jahan) – Note: be sure to
stay within the dates of these rulers!
Sources: textbook: pp.324-28; databases: 1. Oxford Encyclopedia of the
Modern World, (article: Mughal Empire). 2. ABC-CLIO, World History: the
Modern Era, (articles: Mughal Empire—and see the sub-articles in the left-hand
menu, Gunpowder Empires—the last sections of this article). Some of the
articles go past Shah Jahan, so be sure to stay within the dates above! 3.
Grolier’s Encyclopedia online (articles: Mogul Art and Architecture). outside
sources: historytuition.com, (article: Mughal Society)
c) Ottoman Turkey, (key dates: late 1300s to 1600s)- Note: be sure to stay
within these dates!
Sources: textbook: pp.329-3; databases: 1. Facts on File, Modern World
History (Ottoman Empire 1450-1750, Trade in the Ottoman Empire,
2. Encyclopedia Britannica, (Ottoman Empire—get to the sub-pages of this
using the menu on the lefthand side of the page). 3. ABC-CLIO, World
History: The Modern Era, (Gunpowder Empires, Ottoman Empire, Suleiman I).
outside sources: Wikipedia (Ottoman Empire and sub-pages—be sure to go to
the later sections about society, economy, culture, and religion)
d) Iroquois Confederacy of North America, (key dates: 1400s -1600s,
though some sources go back to 1100s)-
Sources: textbook: p205; databases: Britannica Online (articles: Iroquois
Confederacy, Hiawatha); outside sources: Wikipedia (article: Iroquois)
e) Ming China, (key dates: 1360s through the 1500s)-
Sources: textbook: pp.379-82; databases: 1. ABC-CLIO: World History,
Ancient and Medieval Eras, (article: Ming Dynasty—there’s both a written
entry and a video, plus related articles available from menus on the left of the
written entry). 2. Facts on File-Ancient and Medieval History, (articles: Ming
Dynasty, Social Organization in Medieval Asia and the Pacific—section on the
f) Late Medieval/Early Tokugawa Japan, (key dates: 1400s-1635)-
Sources: textbook: pp.391-95 in text (begin at Warriors Establish Feudalism).
Databases: Facts on File- World History, Modern Era, (articles: Early Modern
Japan, Edo Period, Japan’s Religious Traditions, Early Modern Economy in
Japan, Early Modern Japanese Society)
g) Russia Under the Ivans- (key dates: from Ivan I to Ivan IV)-
Sources: textbook: pp.291-93; databases: 1. Facts on File- World History,
Ancient and Medieval (articles: Ivan I, Ivan III). 2. Facts on File- World
History, Modern Era, (articles: Ivan the Terrible --both from Encyclopedia of
World History and Dictators and Tyrants). 3.Encyclopedia Britannica, (articles:
Russia- Rurikid Moscovy, Ivan III, Ivan IV, Social and Economic Conditions,
h) Mali and Songhai in the West African Savannah, (key dates: later
1200s-1500s; DON’T go back to medieval Ghana)-
Sources: textbook: pp.348-50 (Begin at The Kingdom of Mali and stop at
Smaller Societies of West Africa). Databases: 1. Facts on File- World History,
Ancient and Medieval Era, (article: Mali Empire); 2. Facts on File- World
History, Modern Era, (article: Songhai Empire); 3. ABC-CLIO- Ancient and
Medieval World History, (articles: Mali, Songhai Empire).
i) Safavid Persia, (1400s-1600s)
Sources: textbook: p. 333. Databases:1. Facts on File- Modern World
History, (article: Safavid Dynasty); 2. ABC-CLIO, World History: Modern
Era, (articles: Safavid Empire. Gunpowder Empires);
Task 2: The Google Map and Google Earth Globe:
After you and your teammate(s) have written out answers to the questions about
your region, you will use Google Maps to make a presentation about the region to
your classmates. Your team will build a map collaboratively, embedding key
information from your answer set in the map and adding in images, as well. You
will upload the map to your teacher, who will then place ALL the maps in a single
Google Earth map, and share that Google Earth file back to you. You will then
have a copy of all of your classmates’ regional maps together on a single globe!
In class, that globe will be projected on the board. You’ll spin it to your region and
explain your key points to your classmates, (that’s Task 3, described below!)
Afterwards, in class and for homework, we will look at how different regions were
interconnected or isolated, and make comparisons about how different societies did
1. One member of the team starts new Google Map. Name it for your section
and your region, (for example: Period 2, Japan). Then click ‘Collaborate,’
add in the Gmail address(es) of your teammate(s), and invite them to join
you on the map.
The person getting the invitation can follow the link to open the map. In the
left-hand box you will see the opportunity to save the map to ‘My Places.’
Please do so!
2. Working together, use placemarks and/or area markings to embed
information about your region. [ This may want fine tuning. There should
be separate textboxes summarizing key information from your answer set.
You should put in at least one placemark per answer.] If you can find a
good image for a textbox, go ahead and put that in, too.
Remember to also copy the URL for an image into the general description
box for your map!
3. Once the map is complete, one teammate downloads the map to the desktop
of her computer, then uploads it to the project dropbox in Haiku.
After your teacher has checked the maps and combined them in a Google Earth
file, you will download your section’s file to your desktop; it will be shared with
you on the Haiku site for the course. All the maps for your section will be on it!
3. The Presentation
You and your partner will together make an oral presentation about your region to
the class. It should be five to seven minutes long.
Content: This presentation will ‘introduce’ your region to the other students in the
class. It will be a walk-through of the material you loaded onto your Google Map:
the brief summaries of your answers that you put on the map, and explanations of
the images that you loaded up, too.
There will be class time to work on the presentation. It will be graded as a joint
Task 4: The Follow-Up Writing
You will write a series of short (5-7 sentence) paragraphs, each one about a region
OTHER than the one you have already worked on. In each paragraph, you
should argue what ways (politically, economically, socially, etc) that region
operated successfully, and in what ways it was not as successful. Your sources
for this should ONLY be the class presentations (summarized in the info on the
Google Earth globe), class discussion, and the written answers to the region
*Each paragraph should have a topic sentence summarizing your claims.
*The remainder of each paragraph should provide fuller explanations and details
that support the topic sentence.