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World History
Unit 4
Portfolio Project: Early Modern World – Events that Changed the Course of
The time period between 1400–1800 can be described as a bridge between ancient
civilizations and the modern world. It was during this time period that Europeans began
their voyages of exploration and eventual dominance of the Americas. Conquest of the
Americas created new wealth in Europe causing fierce rivalries between nations. Wars
shaped political boundaries in Europe and set the stage for future conflict. New empires
emerged as former kingdoms unified under one rule. As territories and treasuries
expanded, leaders became more powerful. In religion, Christianity splintered into new
sects and Islam spread.
Part 1
Study the timelines on pp. 154–155, 186–187, and 208–209 of World History: Modern
Select ten events which you think had the greatest impact in shaping modern times.
For your ten choices, please select a combination of political, social, and economic
Create a timeline of the events. On the timeline include date and events in proper
chronological order.
5 points
Part 2
From your 10 events, choose five events. Identify at least two causes and two effects for
each of the five events. Use the following example as a reference for how to approach the
question. (Note: This example does not qualify for the time period.) You may put your
answer in chart form, in a table, graphic organizer, or any other format, but you must use
complete sentences.
4 points per event
Event: Fall of the Roman Empire
• Barbarian invasions weakened the Roman military and introduced new cultures.
• The empire grew too large. As boundaries expanded, it became increasingly
difficult to defend territory.
• The building resentment of colonized people challenged Roman leadership.
• Debt, corruption, and the inefficiency of leaders weakened the government.
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• After the Roman Empire collapsed in the west, smaller kingdoms based on a
feudal system emerged.
• The Roman tradition was preserved by monks and the Church. The Roman
Catholic Church became one of the most powerful institutions of the Middle
• Trade declined as Europe rebuilt.
Part 3: Significance
For each of the five events chosen, write one or two clear, concise sentences explaining
why the event was significant in shaping the modern world.
1 point per event
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