Unit 1 (2020)

By , January 24, 2017 12:04 pm

Welcome to World History. 

This course focuses on a big thematic question: “how did we get here?”

In this unit, we’ll attempt to figure out, “what were they thinking?” They, meaning the people in the 1450 to 1650 time period.


1.  Intro to historical thinking, inquiry, and primary evidence.

Fri. Jan. 31, Mon. Feb. 3, Tues. Feb. 4:

Canada’s History


Fri.: How did we get here? First we need to think about where here is, meaning what is the state of the world today? This will nicely tie in to the course culminating essay in which you’ll take a current issue and trace its historical roots.

Mon. and Tues.: Historical Thinking Concepts overview – first four pages in unit 1 handouts. Practice applying HTCs to current events: Day_1_HTC (1) (PPT – Ms. G needs to update!)

Wed./Thurs.:  Seven Cities – see below. 7_Great_Cities_2018-19 (PPT with instructions and questions)

COR – Civic Online Reasoning


Skill: asking inquiry questions. Use the grid below.

Inquiry Question Grid – to help you ask deeper questions.



2.  Seven Cities in 1450

Wed. Feb. 5, Thurs. Feb. 6, Fri. Feb.7:

1450 – What was it like?

Beijing, Kyoto, Seville, Tenochtitlan, Constantinople, Venice, Timbuktu

Context_for_Spanish_Treatment_of_Aztecs (some background for Tenochtitlan)

Skill: Using criteria (one of the most important foundations of critical thinking). Criteria are standards – the standards by which you make decisions. For example, when you choose what to wear to school you may use criteria such as the weather, comfort level, style, etc.

Skill: Annotating.

For annotation, mark up your pages using symbols, key words, definitions, colours, connections to HTCs (and guideposts).

HTC guideposts: these are the sub-points of each HTC

Significance = see the criteria on the HTC page

Continuity and Change = interwoven (overlap), progress and decline, turning points

Causes and Consequences = short/medium/long-term, multiple causes and consequences, intended/unintended consequences, triangulation of causes:  individuals, groups, social forces/historical conditions.

Historical Perspectives = avoid presentism, different groups have different views on things


Thurs. Feb. 6 HW: finish annotating and ranking using criteria.


Criteria for greatness: if you don’t understand the concept of criteria, watch this video on criteria from the TC2 website (near the bottom of the page).


7 Cities Reflection 

  1. Write down your ranking of the 7 cities (based on your criteria).
  2. Explain/justify your #1 ranking using criteria. Make sure to explain, not just say/mention/assume. Be persuasive – adjectives are your best friend for this. Adjectives are words that describe nouns: prosperous, efficient, tolerant, intolerant, etc.

Sample criteria:

economic – open, prosperous, trading

political – efficient government that rules for the benefit of the people

Remember, criteria is NOT the same as category. You cannot rank based on a category, only based on criteria.


3.  Religion in Europe

Mon. Feb. 11, Tues. Feb. 12, Wed. Feb. 13:


Five Significant World History Events Pulled from Seven Cities Activity

  1. The Renaissance
  • Background on the Renaissance: The Middle Ages in Europe was a very sacred time (meaning almost everything related to religion – in this case Roman Catholicism). Some time toward the end of the late Middle Ages, especially in the wealthy Italian city states (such as Florence), educated and wealthy people began to be interested in more secular (not related to religion) matters such as philosophy, art, education, and classics (things from ancient Greece and Rome). This was called the Renaissance because it was considered (by later historians) to be the rebirth of interest in the classical world. During the Middle Ages, many regarded classical times as negative because they weren’t Christian – in fact, they called them pagan, a negative term applied to anyone non-Christian or who believed in more than one God. As we learn about the Protestant Reformation, it’s important to know that the criticism of the Catholic Church partially grew from this new way of thinking, often called Humanism.
  • Textbook pages 15-23 will help you become familiar with the Renaissance if you wish.

Mona Lisa by Da Vinci


2. The Spanish Inquisition shows the dominance of the Roman Catholic Church in Spain and how it become less tolerant of Jews and Muslims.

3. In China, the Mongols were overthrown by the Ming dynasty. China was the most prosperous and advanced place in the world.

4. The Byzantine Empire (the eastern portion of the Roman Empire, which was eastern Orthodox in religion and spoke Greek) was overthrown by the Ottomans, a rising Muslim power now centered in modern-day Turkey.

5. Spanish exploration of the New World (north, central and south America) began just as the reconquista succeeded (the Catholic unification of Spain).



Mon: Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

practice reading primary sources – watch this video: Ms. G has to fix this link

PSD: Luther’s 95 Theses

Skill: learning to annotate a PSD – write little notes to yourself ON your document – do not leave a blank piece of paper. Be an active learner, not a passive body just sitting there in class.

HTCs: primary evidence, historical perspectives


Producing indulgences in 1521


  • if you want to do background reading in the textbook on Luther and Protestantism, see pages 29-41.
  • Don’t forget that we connected the battle for souls in Europe (Catholic vs. Protestant) to the exploration of the New World and Asia and the missionaries that followed.


Tues.: Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Witches)

PSDs: Malleus Maleficarum – Table of Contents and Excerpts

CHY4U_Malleus_Activity (Miss See’s PPT)

Malleus_Mal_Notes (context for The Hammer of Witches PSD)

Women in Medieval Society (British Library) – find something specific on this webpage that gives context for something specific in Malleus (original sin)

Skill – contextualization of a PSD (what was going on at the time that may have influenced the writing of the PSD)


Witch-hunting in late 1500s, Britain


4. Japan and Portugal – conflict and cooperation

Wed, Thurs., Fri.

Zen Master, 1400s (from the Met Museum)




  1. Edicts of Toyotomi Hideyoshi: Excerpts from Expulsion of Missionaries, 1587

Japan_Foreign_Religions_2019 (PPT)

Japan+Christianity_Backgrounder (read this to get some context)


After viewing the PPT, sort the various events into causes or consequences. CHY4U_Japan_Causes_Consequences (answers are on here)

key words: 

social hierarchy, shogun, daimyo, Confucianism, Buddhism, Protestant Reformation, Catholic Counter Reformation,  animist (belief that spirits occupy nature and other things), polytheistic (religion with multiple gods), Jesuit missionaries (Society of Jesus), feudalism, lord, vassal (someone who is the subject of someone else – e.g., the shogun distributed fiefs [grants of land] to the daimyo who became his vassals. In turn, the daimyo’s vassals were the peasants)

HW: please answer the questions on the back of the cause-consequence sorting activity: (see below)


  1. What does today’s topic reveal about the Japanese rulers’ (shoguns’) attitudes toward religious differences?
  2. How is the Japanese attitude similar and/or different to the European examples (Catholic vs. Luther)?
  3. Use the inquiry question grid to construct some interesting questions about today’s topic. 

Read “Japan Conflict and Cooperation PSDs” in handouts.

Dutch  East India Company (AKA the VOC) – what is its political significance (internationally)?


‘The “trade pass” (Dutch: handelspas) issued in the name of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The text commands: “Dutch ships are allowed to travel to Japan, and they can disembark on any coast, without any reserve. From now on this regulation must be observed, and the Dutch left free to sail where they want throughout Japan. No offenses to them will be allowed, such as on previous occasions” – dated August 24, 1609 (Keichō 14, 25th day of the 6th month); n.b., the goshuin (御朱印) identifies this as an official document bearing the shogun’s scarlet seal.’ (Wikipedia, VOC Opperhoofden in Japan, July 2, 2017,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VOC_Opperhoofden_in_Japan)


Dejima – what does it tell you about isolation in Japan?


Scale model of Dejima Island


saltpeter – what is it? Why is it significant to the Portugal-Japan relationship?



1635 Closed Country Edict: (don’t forget this is in addition to 1587 edict).

  1. Japanese ships are strictly forbidden to leave for foreign countries.
  2. No Japanese is permitted to go abroad. If there is anyone who attempts to do so secretly, he must be executed….
  3. If any Japanese returns from overseas after residing there, he must be put to death.
  4. All incoming ships must be carefully searched for the followers of padres.

1639 edict – give evidence of “suspicious” behaviour by the Portuguese (according to Japan).


Chronological Events: 

1543 Portuguese arrive in Japan

1587 Edict bans Christian missionaries but allowing trade

1596 San Felipe incident

1609 Trade pass (allows Dutch to trade with no restrictions)

1635 Closed Country Edict

1636 Dejima is built to house Dutch traders

1637 Shimabara Massacre

1639 Edict bans foreigners altogether (except Dutch)


Homework: Timeline with Attitude 


1. Choose 6-8 events.

2. Place them on the timeline (progress [+1, +2, +3] or decline [-1, -2, -3] according to where they’d be from the perspectives of (one per group):

a) Shoguns (colour 1)

b) Portuguese (colour 2)

c) Japanese Christians (colour 3)

3. Draw arrows to show continuities (one colour) and arrows to show changes (another colour). Indicate causal relationships as well.

4. Identify and describe 1-2 patterns of continuity and 1-2 patterns of change. Use vocabulary of continuity/change such as:

extreme, moderate, evolution, revolution, shift, same, different, add, continue, over time, quickly, slowly


These websites on Japan are only for interest

Religion in Tokugawa Japan (Japan Society) * very useful context

Samurai Sisters (Women in World History)

Gender Differences in History: Women in China and Japan (Women in World History)

Japan, 1600-1800 (MetMuseum)

Tokugawa Shogunate Overview (Asia for Educators)


4. Aztecs and the Spanish – conflict and cooperation and views of the gods

Mon., Tues., Wed.

Columbus’ voyages


Las Casas

Skill: learning to contextualize, and closely read a PSD (see SHEG handout – pages 5 and 6 of the first section of the unit 1 handouts)

  • we practiced with Columbus’s PSD (ship’s recorder) handout. CHY4U_Columbus_PSD (note the term “Eurocentric”)

Overview_Spanish_New_World  (contains the Columbus PSD excerpt we looked at previously)

Conflict-and-Cooperation-_Spanish_Origins (PPT 2020)

What did the Aztecs make of the Spanish? (Mexicolore on YouTube) – watch in class or at your table and identify the different ways that Spanish and Aztecs looked at gods. (historical perspectives)

Websites for your interest:

Despite Similarities, Pocahantas Gets Love, La Malinche Gets Hate. Why? (NPR)

Conquistadors: Cortes (PBS)

Conquest of Mexico Paintings (Library of Congress)


Key Background Knowledge

  • encomienda was a system in the New  World in which the Spanish crown granted the labour of the Natives to the Spanish. The people were used to work the land. The person who controlled the encomienda was called the encomendero. Las Casas was once an encomendero.

Read the Las Casas PSD. This is an excerpt from his book, The Destruction (Devastation) of the Indies.

Activity: decide where you’d place Las Casas on the following spectrum:

10 ——————————————————————–1

truly on the side                                                                                                      an advocate
of the Spanish                                                                                        for the Native people
(conquest and conversion)


Who Was La Malinche? (NY Public Radio) – 6: 50

La Malinche (translator for Cortes in the Aztec Empire (Diaz del Castillo PSD, art)) – read the blurb and the PSD. Identify how he complements her. Note how complex her background was.


Cortes and La Malinche


Cortes and La Malinche by Jose Clemente Orozco


Who Was La Malinche? (NY Public Radio) – 6: 50 – please listen

Hero or Traitor? (NPR article – you can read this if you want a better understanding of how La Malinche has been seen over time)

Identify various ways she was portrayed over time (4-6 ways).



Websites of Interest:

Las Casas and 500 Years of Racial Injustice (Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective)

Las Casas debates the Subjugation of the Indians, 1550 (Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History)

Las Casas (Columbia College, Core Curriculum)


Conflict and Cooperation (PPT)





6. Portugal and Kongo: Conflict and Cooperation 

2 days

Kongo court, late 1500s



Read the letter by King Afonso of Kongo to the king of Portugal. Read the summaries of political/economic/social/religious aspects. For each section, choose the most important piece of evidence. Make sure you can justify your choices.

Conflict-and-Cooperation_Portugal _in_Africa (2020 PPT)


Fri. Feb. 22:

What percent of responsibility for the problems in Kongo do you ascribe to Portugal, Kongo and King Afonso, others??


Websites of Interest for Kongo:

African Christianity in Kongo (Metropolitan Museum)

Kongo activity (British Museum)


7. PSD Test

Tues. Feb. 19:




8. Expression and Historiography: Galileo and Ricci

2 days

Skill: historiography (theories of history, how history is written, approaches to history) – this time – ‘great man’ theory. Please note: historiography is about approaches to history. Different types of historians approach things (information, data, events) in different ways. You do not have to agree with the great man theory as a way of interpreting history. You just have to understand how that theory does interpret history (according to SPA criteria). 


Read the SPA criteria for great man theory.





a) Galileo Galilei (Abjuration PSD)

Sci_Rev_PPT_Slides_2019 (PPT) for background


website you could check out: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/the-truth-about-galileo-and-his-conflict-with-the-catholic-church

Apply great man theory to Galileo using SPA criteria.


Fri. March 1:


b) Matteo Ricci (Europe and China, map)




read and apply SPA criteria to Ricci

Backgrounder on Ricci and China


Ricci websites (for your interest)

The Great Universal Geographic Map (World Digital Library)

Ricci: Missionary-Scholar (University of Minnesota Libraries)

Matteo Ricci and the Ming Dynasty (audio – BBC Radio) – really interesting and crucial context – useful up to 27 mins.


The Great Man Theory

Great Man Theory (Villanova University)

Eight Lessons from the Great Man (or Woman) School of Leadership (Forbes)

Confronting Columbus: Revisionism Versus Reality (Hampton Institute) – a criticism of Great Man Theory


9.  Two Solitudes- of the influential and of the powerless (see attached tip page)

Mon March 4, Tues. March 5, Wed. March 6, Thurs. March 7, Fri. March 8:

Preparation for the two conferences

HTC: Historical perspectives – writing perspective without being presentist

due Fri. March 8) Ms. G replace



See Documentation_for_history_essays_REVISED

  • how to write proper bibliographic information on your notes

Indentation Method of Note-Taking

Column Method of Note-Taking

notes will be handed in along with the assignment. Choose one of the methods below. Or ask to see Ms. G’s hand-written notes again in class. All notes must be handwritten.


Citation method: in-text for assignment

Book: (Author, Title, page #)

Website: (Author, Title of page, url)

Bibliographic information at the top of your notes must be in Chicago style.







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