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Global History Thematic Essay Belief Systems Review

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E. The emergence and spread of belief systems.

  1. Place of origin and major beliefs
    1. Animism—African
    2. Hinduism
    3. Buddhism
    4. Chinese philosophies (Confucianism, Daoism)
    5. Judaism
    6. Christianity
    7. Islam
    8. Legalism
    9. Shintoism
    10. Jainism
  2. Expansion of Christianity, Islam, Confucianism, and Buddhism

Focus Questions

  • How did the fundamental beliefs and ideas of the religions, philosophies, and belief systems affect different areas of the world?
  • How do these belief systems affect peoples lives today?
  • In what ways are Christianity, Islam and Judaism systems similar and different?
  • How did the religions that emerged in this period unite the peoples of diverse political and ethnic identities?
  • How did religions such as Buddhism and Islam foster cultural exchanges throughout Afro-Eurasia?
  • How did the expansion of Islam, Confucianism, Christianity, and Buddhism encourage the encounter and exchanges of peoples, goods, and ideas?
  • What role did missionaries, traders, and conquerors play in the spread of religions?
  • What individuals and groups are associated with the major religions of the world?
  • What holy books or texts are associated with the major religions of the world?
  • How did a culture’s belief system impact its arts?
  • How did Judaism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam affect gender status, gender roles, and the development of patriarchal societies?

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Vocabulary

ancestor worship monasticism
animism monk
bishops monotheism
brahmans mosque
Budhanirvana
caliph nun
calligraphy Passover (Pesach)
Chanukah (Hanukah) patriarchy
church polytheism
Confuciuspope
civil service examination priests
covenant prophets
deity rabbi
diaspora Ramadan
five basic human relationships reincarnation
(Confucianism)Rosh Hoshanah
Five Pillars of Faith (Islam) sabbath
Four Noble Truths shamans
gender roles Sharia
gender status Shiite
groit sudras
imams Sunni
karma synagogue
kosher laws temples
legalis Ten Commandments
Mandate of Heaven untouchable
matriarchy yin-yang
messiah Yom Kippur


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Helpful Hints

  • Use the Turning Points to stimulate classroom discussion about world religions (c. 1500 through c. 4 BC).
  • Note: Be cautious when using the term animism. Some scholars regard the term as derogatory.
  • When analyzing major world religions and philosophies, it may be best to suspend a strict adherence to chronology in favor of comprehensively exploring belief systems as a theme. On the other hand, you may teach this subject in its historical context. This study involves learning about the important roles and contributions made by individuals and groups. It is important to make linkages to the past.
  • Read selections from the holy books of the major religions.
  • Use web/diagrams, comparison charts, and various graphic organizers to illustrate links between religious denominations, such as:
    Religion / Philosophy Place of Origin and Founder Beliefs Sacred Holy Texts and Writings Impact on Society Traditions and Values

    Animism

         

    Buddhism

         

    Christianity

         

    Confucianism

         

    Daoism

         

    Hinduism

         

    Islam

         

    Jainism

         

    Judaism

         

    Legalism

         

    Shintoism

         
          
          
          
  • For a printable version of this graphic organizer, see Global Religions, Belief Systems, and Philosophies.
  • Visit three houses of worship.
  • Incorporate primary sources (e.g., Ten Commandments, Koran, Analects, Vedas, Torah) and develop a comprehensive document-based question essay to evaluate your students' understanding of the religions/philosophies/belief systems unit.

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Resources for Teachers (Books/Articles, Visuals/Music)

American Academy of Religion. 1995. The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion. San Francisco: HarperSan Francisco.

Barnes, Trevor. 1999. The Kingfisher Book of Religions: Festivals, Ceremonies, and Beliefs Around the World. New York: Kingfisher.

Bowker, John, ed. 1997. The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bowker, John, ed. 2002. The Cambridge Illustrated History of Religions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bowker, John. 1997. World Religions. New York: DK Publishing.

Breuilly, Elizabeth. 2005. Religions of the World: The Illustrated Guide to Origins, Beliefs, Traditions and Festivals. New York: Facts on File.

Brown, Stephen F. and Khaled Anatolios. 2002. Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity. New York: Facts on File.

Cohen, Robin. 1997. Global Diasporas. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Doniger, Wendy ed.1999. Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of World Religions. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Farrington, Karen. 2002. Historical Atlas of Religions. New York: Checkmark Books.

Frankfort, Henri. 2000. Ancient Egyptian Religion. New York: Dover Publications.

Grun, Bernard. 1979. The Timetables of History. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Gordon, Matthew. 2001. Islam. New York: Facts on File.

Hartz, Paula. 1999. Zoroastrianism: World Religions. New York: Facts on File.

Hartz, Paula. 2004. Taoism. New York: Facts on File.

Hartz, Paula. 1997. Shinto. New York: Facts on File.

Haskins, James. 1973. Religions. Philadelphia: Lippincott.

Hitchcock, Susan Tyler, and John L. Esposito. 2004. Geography of religion: Where God Lives, Where Pilgrims Walk. Washington, D. C.: National Geographic.

Hoobler, Thomas and Dorothy Hoobler. 1993. Confucianism. New York: Facts on File.

Kallen, Stuart A. 2002. Shinto. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books.

Kitagawa, Joseph. 2002. Religious Traditions of Asia. London: Routledge Curzin.

Lau, D. C., trans. 1988. Confucius: The Analects. New York: Penguin Books.

Lugira, Aloysius M. 1999. African Religion. New York: Facts on File.

Morrison, Martha A. and Stephen F. Brown. 2002. Judaism. New York: Facts on File.

Netzley, Patricia. 2002. Buddhism. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books.

Rogers, Perry M. ed. 2002. "The Spiritual and Philosophical Bases of Early World Civilizations." In Aspects of World Civilization, Volume I – Problems and Sources in History. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Singh, Nikky-Guninder Kaur. 1993. Sikhism. New York: Facts on File.

Slavicek, Louise Chipley. 2001. Religions of the World-Confucianism. San Diego: Lucent Books.

Wangu, Madhu Bazaz. 2001. Hinduism. New York: Facts on File.

Wangu, Madhu Bazaz. 2002. Buddhism. New York: Facts on File.

Film

1996. Eastern Wisdom. Henry Holt and Company.

2003. Understanding World Religions. VHS (6) Wynnewood, PA: Schlessinger Media.

1998. Pillars of Faith. VHS (4). Kultur Films International, Inc.

1997. Jerusalem, Within These Walls. VHS. National Geographic Video.

1993. The Long Search. DVD and VHS (6). Ambrose Video Publishing.

1998. Beyond the Veil - The Many Faces of Islam. VHS (3). Mundovision, Ltd.

From Jesus to Christ. VHS (4). Frontline.

 


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Assessments

Editor's Note: All state examinations are aligned to the New York State Learning Standards for Social Studies and Social Studies Resource Guide with Core Curriculum. The chart below specifies where these alignments have occurred (from June 2000 to the present).

Core Curriculum: Global History and
Geography Regents:
  1. Place of origin and major beliefs
    1. Chinese philosophies (Confucianism, Daoism)

January 2004 DBQ, Change (Individuals Who Have Changed History)

 


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home>units> unit 1 >The emergence and spread of belief systems

GLOBAL REGENTS THEMATIC ESSAY TOPICS AND DBQ SINCE 2001 (Global Regents Review Sheet)

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

NOTE - THE COMPLETE ESSAYS AND EXAMS CAN BE FOUND AT THE BOARD OF REGENTS WEBSITE. THIS IS MERELY A BRIEF SUMMARY OF WHAT THE ESSAYS WERE ABOUT.

2017

January

THEMATIC - Needs and Wants - Select two natural resources and/or products. Explain why they were needed, and how they impacted a civilization, empire and/or a reigion.  (Coal, Oil, Diamonds, Salt, Gold, Tea, Spices)

DBQ - Actions taken by the British Empire to control India, and the impact of their rule on the people and/or region.

 

2016

January

THEMATIC - Imperialism - Select a country that engaged in imperialism, explain why they imperialized, and how imperialism affected the conquered and/or the conqueror. (Britain, Japan, France, Spain)

DBQ - Impact of Laws on society: Tukugawa Shogunate, Nazis, Republic of South Africa.

June

THEMATIC - Geography - Explain how two geographical obstacles were overcome by technology. (terrace farming,  caravel ships over the Atlantic, roads in the Andes, canals)

DBQ - Division of countries and its effect on people: Germany post WWII, Palestine, and British India.

August

THEMATIC - Belief Systems  - Explain two religions and show how they influenced society and/or a region. (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism)

DBQ - Problems caused by pollution and urbanization, and the degree to which these problems have been solved.

 

2015

January

THEMATIC - Geography - choose two geographic conditions and show how they influenced social, political, and/or economic history of a country or region.  (Monsoons in India, Nile Floods, island isolation for Japan, Greek mountains separate each polis, ancient rivers).

DBQ - People who spoke about problems: Bartolome de Las Casas, Robespierre, and Gandhi.

June

THEMATIC - Belief System Movements - Explain a central principle of a belief system, and how that belief system spread and influenced a society or region. (Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, or other belief systems)

DBQ - Decline of Empires and the impact on society: Rome, Ottoman Empire, British.

August

THEMATIC - Movement of People and Goods - Explain how two groups or ideas moved from one place to another. Discuss how the movement influenced a group or society. (Religions, sugar, silk, salt, Columbian Exchange)

DBQ - Actions of people looking to increase power: Stalin, Pol Pot, Louis XIV.

 

 

2014

January

THEMATIC - Human Rights - Choose 2 defenders of human rights, explain how they defended human rights, and the extent to which they were successful. (Gandhi's civil disobedience, Mandela ends apartheid, Locke promotes life, liberty, and property rights in the Enlightenment)  

DBQ - People changing environments (irrigation in Egypt, construction in Mesoamerica, coal mining in Great Britain) 

 

June

THEMATIC - Change - Individuals who Challenged Tradition - Choose two people who challenged tradition and evaluate the success of their challenge. (Gandhi and civil disobedience, Martin Luther and the Reformation, Lenin and Russian Revolution)

DBQ - Turning Points of the plague, Treaty of Nanjing, and assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

 

August

THEMATIC - Change - Leaders who brought change - Discuss how two leaders came to power, one policy or practice of each leader, and how that policy affected the people. (Gorbachev and Glasnost/Perestroika, Napoleon's Code,  William and Mary's Glorious Revolution and Bill of Rights)

DBQ - The global issues of armed conflict, disease, and child labor.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

 

 

2013

January

THEMATIC - Change - Collapse of Governments. Choose 2 government collapses and explain their circumstances and results. (Roman Empire leads to fragmented Europe, execution of Louis XVI ends the monarchy and eventually leads to the Reign of Terror, fall of the Shah leads to Iranian Revolution and rise of the Ayatollah, fall of Communism creates new nations and war in Eastern Europe)

DBQ - Effect of salt, cotton, and sugar on societies and regions.

June

THEMATIC - Change - Revolutions. Choose 2 Revolutions and explain their historical circumstances and effects. (French Revolution, Russian Revolution, Neolithic Revolution, Green Revolution)

DBQ - Technological advances by the Mongols (bow and stirrup), Spanish (caravel ships for exploration), and in India (railroads).

August

THEMATIC - Armed Conflict. Explain the circumstances of two armed conflicts and how they affected a country or specific group. (French Revolution, World War I, World War II, Sepoy Rebellion, Opium War)

DBQ - Economic development leads to change in Mexico, Botswana, and China.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2012

January

THEMATIC - Individuals who developed or modified ideas. Explain the historical circumstances that led to the idea, an action taken because of this idea, and how the idea affected society. (Gandhi's civil disobedience, Martin Luther's 95 Theses, Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto).  

DBQ - Transportation methods unify and/or control regions. (Railroads, canals, and roads).

 

June

THEMATIC - Geography promoting or limiting interactions. Choose two geographic features, and show how they either limited or promoted human interaction. (Island geography isolated Japan, Mountains isolated the Greek polis, Sahara Desert isolated North from Sub-Saharan Africa, Nile River and Mediterranean Sea increased interactions).

DBQ - Autocratic rule helped and hindered a ruler's country. Shi Huangdi, Peter the Great, and Louis XIV.

 

August

THEMATIC - New technology changing existing technology. Describe two innovations and their effects on society or the world. (Gunpowder, printing press, nuclear power, aqueducts).

DBQ - Protest movements and reactions of the government to such protests. Women's Rights in Britain, Anti-Apartheid in South Africa, and pro-democracy in China.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2011

January

THEMATIC - Geographicalfeatures influencing history and development of history. Select 3 features. (Industrial Revolution in England, Japan's isolated island, fertile crescent of Mesopotamia)

DBQ - Heliocentrism, Marxism, and Natural Rights. Choose two and explain the idea, as well as the impact on society.

 

June

THEMATIC - Technology. Show the positive or negative effects of two innovations (astrolobe, nuclear weapons, satellites)

DBQ - Human Rights violations in Ukraine, Rwanda, and Cambodia.

 

August

THEMATIC - Change - Choose two global issues since WWII, and show how solutions to those issues. (Nuclear Weapons, Deforestation, Terrorism, AIDS, Pollution)

DBQ - Conquest of the Mongols, Ottomans, and Spanish. Explain the reasons for conquest, how it was achieved, and the impact.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

 

 

2010 

January

THEMATIC - Culture and Intellectual Life. Choose two philosophers or leaders, and explain their impact. (Gandhi, Locke, Mao, Napoleon, Aristotle)

DBQ - Agrarian, Green, and Neolithic Revolution.  (Choose 2)

June

THEMATIC - Change. Choose any 2 individuals who changed the world and explain how. Explain the specific idea and how it influenced a group or region. (Locke, Bolivar, Marx, Mandela)

DBQ - Geography. Choose from deserts, monsoons, and cold climates.

August

THEMATIC- Select a Nationalistic movement, explain causes, events, and results. (WWI, WWII, Otto von Bismarck, Bolivar)

DBQ - Belief Systems and their impact on society.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

 

2009

January

THEMATIC - Geography as either a promoter or hindrance to cultural diffusion. Choose 2 examples. (Japan's isolated island, Greek polis affected by mountains, the New World across the Atlantic Ocean)

DBQ - Leonardo da Vinci, Toussaint L'Ouverture, or Mohandas K. Gandhi. Choose 2, and explain achievements and impact on society.

June

THEMATIC - Human Rights Violations. Choose 2 examples, explain the history and why rights were violated, then discuss actions taken to end the violation. (Holocaust, pogroms, apartheid, Tiananmen Square.)

DBQ - Economic and Social Changes during the Middle Ages, Globalization, or Industrial Revolution (choose 2)

August 

THEMATIC - Belief Systems. Choose 2 and explain impact on society. (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism)

DBQ - Usage and control of waterways and its political or economic effects.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2008

January

THEMATIC - Change - Describe non-political revolutions (Scientific, Neolithic, Industrial, etc). Discuss the change and impact on society.

DBQ - Russia under the rule of Peter the Great, Germany under Adolf Hitler,and China under the rule of Mao Zedong. Choose 2 and explain impact on society.

June

THEMATIC - Belief Systems. Choose 2 and explain the religion, and the influence on followers life. (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism)

DBQ - Genocide, Weapons of Mass Destruction, threats to the environment. Choose 2. Describe the problem, and attempts to end it.

August

THEMATIC - Geography ... Humans modifying lands or environment. Choose 2 (Berlin Wall, Great Wall of China are examples given.)

DBQ - Migrations ... Choose 2. Jews to Palestine and Israel, Hindus and Muslims between India and Pakistan, and Africans to the Americas. Describe impact.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2007

January

THEMATIC - Human Rights Violations. Choose two groups who experienced human rights violations, and the extent to which it was resolved. (Holocaust, Tiananmen Square, Cambodia, pogroms)

DBQ - French Revolution. The causes and impact.

 

 

June

THEMATIC - Political Change. Choose 1 example and explain why a government wanted change, how they changed, and the result. (Meiji Restoration, 5 Year Plan, Rise of Fascism, etc)

DBQ - Manorialism, Mercantilism, Communism. Choose 2 of these economic systems.

August

THEMATIC - Political Systems. Explain 2 systems and how they changed the world. (Communism, Monarchy, Direct Democracy, etc)

DBQ - Natural Resources helped or hindered societies. Coal, water, diamonds, oil.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2006

January

THEMATIC - Change / Philosophers. Choose two philosophers or leaders and explain how they changed one nation. (Bismarck, Lenin, Gandhi, Locke, etc)

DBQ - Discuss imperialism from the point of view of both the imperialist, and the colonized.

June

THEMATIC - Conflict. Explain one conflict, its causes, opposing groups, and resolution. (French Revolution, WWI, WWII, Apartheid, Crusades)

DBQ - Positive and Negative effects of the Industrial Revolution.

August

THEMATIC - Trade Routes. Discuss 2, and explain the positive or negative effects. (OPEC, EU, Silk Roads, Trans Sahara Trade)

DBQ - The Cold War affecting other nations around the world (Europe, Asia, Latin America).

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2005

January

THEMATIC - Change / 20th Century. Choose 2 20th Century political events, explain them, and show their impact on society. (Rise and Fall of Communism, Cultural Revolution, End of apartheid, Berlin Wall construction or dismantling, etc)

DBQ - Conquest of the Mongols, Spanish, and French. Choose 2. Show the political, social, and/or economic impacts of their conquests.

 

 

June

THEMATIC - Global Problems. Explain causes of a global problem, and ways it has affected a nation or region. (Desertification, spread of disease, deforestation, overpopulation, etc)

DBQ - Causes and outcomes of Wars.

August

THEMATIC - Change / Leaders. Choose two leaders who created change. Explain the situation, how change occurred, and how it affected society. (Gandhi, Bolivar, Lenin, Napoleon, Mao Zedong)

DBQ - Printing Press, Steam Power, Atomic Bomb. Explain how technology changed the world. Choose 2.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

2004

January

THEMATIC - Change (Individuals) Choose two historical figures, explain their ideas, and how they positively or negatively affected the world. (Gandhi, Bolivar, Stalin, Locke, Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, Gutenberg, Mandela, Mao, Aristotle)

DBQ - Neolithic Revolution, Scientific Revolution, Green Revolution. Choose two and explain the changes resulting from them.

 

June

THEMATIC - Turning Points. Choose two turning point events, explain them, and explain their impact. (French Revolution, WWI, WWII, Renaissance, Crusades)

DBQ - British Imperialism. Discuss the causes, and negative effects.

August

THEMATIC - Economic Systems. Identify one society and one economic system used in that society. Give two features of that system, and show its impact on the society. (Industrial Revolution in England, Communism in the USSR.)

DBQ - World Epidemics. Describe why they spread, and the impact on a society or societies.

  ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

2003

January

THEMATIC - Change, Revolutions. Choose a revolution. Give the causes, effects, and changes that resulted. (French Revolution, Russian, Iranian)

DBQ - Geographic features affecting Japan and England.

June

THEMATIC - Conflict. Choose 2 ethnic, cultural, religious, or political conflicts. Show the causes and effects. (Crusades, Holocaust, Tiananmen Square Massacre)

DBQ - Neolithic Revolution, Age of Exploration, Fall of Communism. Choose 2 and explain why its a turning point, and if that turning point was positive or negative.

August

THEMATIC - Geography Physical and Human. Choose one society before 1500 AD, and explain how it was influenced by a geographic feature. (Mountains in Greece, Monsoons in Asia, Ganges River in India, Nile in Egypt, Fertile Crescent) Do the same for a people after 1500 AD. (England is an island, the Industrial Revolution began there. Russia could not be invaded by Napoleon or Hitler.)

DBQ - Nationalism and a positive or negative influence around the world.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

2002

January

THEMATIC - Geography. Choose 2 nations or regions and show how geography affected their history. (river valleys of Egypt or Mesopotamia, Monsoons or Himalaya Mountains in Asia)

DBQ - Economic changes to society.

 

June

THEMATIC - Geography. Human activity has altered the land. Show the change to the environment and how it helped or hindered society. (Irrigation, terrace farming, canal systems, use of nuclear power.)

DBQ - Human rights violations after WWII.

August

THEMATIC - Change. Choose two individuals who brought about change, and explain the effects of that change. (Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther, Locke.)

DBQ - Mass movement of people. Political, economic, and social implications. 

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

2001

January

THEMATIC - Economic change. Show how industrialization affected 1 nation. Show 2 ways that it led to changes for workers. Show how workers, reformers, or the government responded to these changes.

DBQ - French, Chinese, and Iranian Revolutions. Choose 2, and show the causes, results, and degree of success.

June

THEMATIC - Geography. Select 1 geographic feature and how it affected the development of a society. (Fertile crescent, Japan isolated on an island, natural harbors of England, etc)

DBQ - Industrialization leading to environmental problems.

August

THEMATIC - Turning Points. Show 2 turning points in history. Show the causes and impacts. (French Revolution, Neolithic Revolution, WWI)

DBQ - Women in society. Social or political impacts on women in different societies.

ESSAY TIPS FOR BOTH ESSAYS

 

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