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List of Benchmarks for World History

Standard 23.Understands patterns of crisis and recovery in Afro-Eurasia between 1300 and 1450
  Level II (Grade 5-6)
   1. Understands the origins and impact of the plague (e.g., how the plague started and spread across Eurasia and North Africa; the impact of the plague on daily life in urban Southwest Asia and Europe; how Christian and Muslim communities responded to the plague, and how the plague changed the lives of survivors)
   2. Understands major changes in the social, political, and cultural characteristics of European society after the 14th century (e.g., the effect of population decline on European agrarian and commercial economies; causes of and major figures in the Hundred Years War; the causes of peasant rebellions in Europe between 1300 and 1500; how the techniques of painting, sculpting, and architecture changed in this period)
   3. Understands the origins and early expansion of the Ottoman Empire up to the capture of Constantinople in 1453
  Level III (Grade 7-8)
   1. Understands how the plague influenced economic, social, and political conditions in various regions (e.g., how the spread of disease relates to geography, social reaction to the plague in rural and urban Europe and Southwest Asia, the increase in mortality rates by the plague between the 14th and 15th centuries, the impact of the plague on young people)
   2. Understands causes for changes in social, political, and religious events in Europe after the 14th century (e.g., how the population decreased after the Great Plague; the effect of the crises in the Catholic Church on its organization, prestige, and power; increased wage levels and what governments did to discourage these increases)
   3. Understands the "humanism" that emerged in Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries, and how new studies (e.g., Greco-Roman antiquity, critical text analysis) encouraged new forms of literature, philosophy, and education
   4. Understands the Zheng He maritime expeditions of the early 15th century, and why the Ming state initiated, then terminated, these voyages
   5. Understands the significance of Timur the Lame (Tamerlane) (e.g., the impact of conquests in Southwest Asia, India, and Central Asia; how Timur's rule encouraged a flourishing of cultural life in Samarkand and the role his government played in the support of arts and sciences)
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Knows ways in which long-term climatic change contributed to Europe's economic and social crisis in the 14th century
   2. Understands religious and political changes in post 14th-century Europe (e.g., the resurgence of centralized monarchies and economically powerful city-states in Western Europe in the 15th century, the elements and consequences of the "Great Western Schism")
   3. Understands characteristics of 15th century Italian humanism (e.g., reasons for its emergence in this time and place, which social populations it most significantly affected)
   4. Understands shifts in the leadership and political climate in China (e.g., the events that led to the collapse of Mongol rule in China; the reconstitution of the Mongol Empire under the Chinese Ming Dynasty; economic and political reforms and other achievements of the Hongwu emperor in China, and how these reforms restored for the Ming Dynasty continuity with pre-Yuan Empires)
   5. Understands perceptions of the Black Death from diverse, contemporaneous sources (e.g., from Boccaccio in Europe and Ibn Battuta in Egypt and Syria)
   6. Understands events and consequences of Jewish scapegoating in Europe during the Great Plague (e.g., the cremation of Strasbourg Jews, pogroms in the Holy Roman Empire, Jewish flight to Poland and Russia) and the attitudes and values these events represent
   7. Understands immediate and long-term consequences of the plague on European society (e.g., the medical, administrative, and psychological measures taken to cope with the plague in the 14th century; long-term consequences of recurrent pandemics in the 14th and 15th centuries on Europe society)
   8. Understands how economic conditions influenced the political and social climate in post 14th- century Europe (e.g., the impact of climatic change on the European agricultural system and the social and political consequences; how decreasing revenues led to competition between nobles for other sources of income, which increased the occurrence of civil wars)
   9. Understands the significance of Joan of Arc (e.g., her role in the Hundred Years War; her subsequent trial and execution; the Church's review of her trial 25 years later, and her revered image as a patron saint of France)
   10. Understands Timur the Lame's patronage of scholars, artists, and scientists at Samarkand; the extent to which the "Republic of Letters" was a widespread phenomenon; and evidence of cross-cultural communication among scholars and artists
   11. Understands what accounts for the success of the Ottoman empire