Brief Review in Global History and Geography

The Influence of Geography on History

Document-Based Essay

This task is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents and is based on the accompanying documents (1–7). Some of the documents have been edited for the purposes of this question. As you analyze the documents, take into account both the source of each document and any point of view that may be presented in the document.

Directions: Read the documents in Part A and answer the questions after each document. Then, read the directions for Part B and write your essay.

Type in your answers in the text boxes following each question below. You can then e-mail them to your teacher.

Your first name only:

Your teacher's e-mail address:

Obtain the correct e-mail address from your teacher
(e.g., "teachers_name@somewhere.com")

Historical Context: The development of early civilizations was greatly affected by geographic factors.

Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of global history and geography, write an essay in which you discuss how the lives of the peoples of the ancient world were shaped by the geography of their region.

PART A: SHORT ANSWER

Document #1

Old Stone Age
  • 150,000 to 10,000 years ago
  • made weapons and tools of stone and wood
  • fished and hunted for food
  • sewed clothing of animal skins
  • lived in caves
  • used fire for warmth and cooking
Middle Stone Age
  • 10,000 to 8,000 years ago
  • life much the same as Old Stone Age
  • certain animals were domesticated (dogs and goats)
New Stone Age
  • 8,000 to 6,000 years ago
  • learned to farm
  • raised animals
  • learned to weave baskets, make clothing from plant fibers and wool, make clay pots
  • invented the wheel
1. Identify one way in which animals affected the way people lived in the Stone Age.

Document #2

Physical Map of China
Physical Map of China

2. What physical features helped to protect China from invasion?

Document #3

"Gilgamesh … built a wall around his city to make it safe against attack. Its pinnacles shone like brass. Its outer surface was armored with stone cladding [facing], every brick had been hardened in the fire. The people of Uruk groaned beneath the burden of the building of the wall, for Gilgamesh drove them on without pity. … The drums that summoned the people to work were sounded without pause, so that the son had no time to spend with his father, nor the lover with his lady."
The Gilgamesh Epic

3. Why did Gilgamesh build a wall around his city?

Document #4

"I opened passages for the streams throughout the nine provinces, and conducted them to the sea. I deepened the channels and canals, and conducted them to the streams."
The Legend of Yu

4. Identify the way Yu responded to the Chinese people's need for water.

Document #5

Geography of the Ancient Middle East
Geography of the Ancient Middle East

5. Use information from the map to explain why civilizations arose in Mesopotamia.

Document #6

"Praise to thee, O Nile, that issues from the earth and comes to nourish Egypt … That waters the meadows, that nourishes all cattle, that gives drinks to desert places … Lord of fish, that makes the water fowl go upstream … That makes barley and creates wheat, so that he may cause temples to keep festivities. … He that makes trees according to every wish."
—Excerpt from the "Hymn of the Nile"

6. How did the Nile affect life in ancient Egypt?

Document #7

Mohenjo-Daro

7. According to this picture of Mohenjo-Daro, how did the people of Mohenjo-Daro modify their environment?

PART B: ESSAY

Directions: Using information from the documents provided and your knowledge of United States history, write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, several paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Historical Context: The development of early civilizations was greatly affected by geographic factors.

Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of global history and geography, write an essay in which you:

Discuss how the lives of the peoples of the ancient world were shaped by the geography of their region.

Guidelines: When writing your essay, be sure to

  • address all aspects of the Task by accurately analyzing and interpreting at least four documents.
  • incorporate information from the documents in the body of the essay.
  • incorporate relevant outside information throughout the essay.
  • richly support the theme with relevant facts, examples, and details.
  • write a well-developed essay that consistently demonstrates a logical and clean plan of organization.
  • introduce the theme by establishing a framework that is beyond a simple restatement of the Task or Historical Context and conclude the essay with a summation of the theme.

When you're done, your answers to your teacher.