DBQ Day 2: The DBQuickening

The 2005 Legacy DBQ: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/_ap05_frq_world_histo_45487.pdf

My revised 2005 DBQ: 2005 Revised DBQ v2


This essay is a doozy.  The Legacy DBQ from 2005 is 6 documents, all from the political-leadership class, all men, and all folks from the Southwest and South Asia.  My goals in modifying the documents are: (1) add a visual source (chart/art/map) to bring it up to the new guidelines, (2) add documents that have obvious ways to do “sourcing” using the AP course outline, and (3) expand the temporal and thematic scope so that students can conduct the synthesis portion of the new rubric.  

I settled on a propaganda poster from Nasser’s early days as a visual source.  Not only does this add a document from right after independence/the end of British occupation (a context that the students should know), it also adds a type of source that students have some practice with.  I was tempted to go with a photo but decided against it since we have some photos in other legacies I’ve revised so far and we have an example that posters will be used from our second example DBQ.  

nasser poster Time to turn the page!

I have a hunch that one new trend will be more documents from “famous” people and organizations.  By this I mean, the new DBQs seem more likely to include sources from or to well-known historical figures or organizations.  Unlike the legacy DBQs, I’m guessing in the future students will be more likely to recognize something from the “source” line in the documents from a key concept or an illustrative example from the AP framework.  In the Russia/Japan example, we have a letter to Tsar Nicholas 2.  In the Gender/Communism example, we have a speech by Fidel.  Maybe I’m overthinking this, but a quick glance at my wall covered in yarn, old DBQs, and every third letter of the past 15 years of reports from the chief reader suggests there is conspiracy, err…connection.  And so, I put in two famous-ish folks: the O.G.W. (the Original Gray Wolf) Ataturk and a poster from Nasser’s government.  Students should recognize one of the two.

p23-Ataturk The O.G.W. “The Original Gray Wolf”

The original six documents have the following temporal spread: 1900, 1907, 1912, 1938, 1935, 1985.  And geographically: India, Egypt, India, Egypt, Algeria, Algeria.  The new DBQs are supposed to tie into lots of Key Concepts (the example lists 9!).  I don’t think this legacy quite makes the cut.  I saw three possible ways to expand the thematic scope.  First, go old, back to period V’s colonialism, resistance, and early nationalism.  Second, go new, and add more post-independence documents.  Third, go global, and add documents from SE Asia, and SS Africa (and then decide to stick with countries with a large muslim population or not).  After much consideration, I went with the easiest option.  It is almost always faster to find some documents from the very recent past.  Perhaps, the third (the global) option is more in line with the gender/communism example, but I think that would require almost rewriting the DBQ from the ground up (saving only 1-3 documents from the legacy).  

The Docs

A couple documents didn’t make the cut.  

Document 2, is out, replaced by a similar promotion of Nationalism by Ataturk.  I made this change (1) allow students to make the connection to both the First WW and to the Ottoman empire.  This allows for the inclusion of like 5 more KC in this essay.  Ataturk’s modernization programs or the Ottoman’s role in WWI are two great outside contexts to bring in.  The risk of some deadly, deadly MISREADS (Turks are Arabs, Turkey is part of the Pan-Arabism, Turkey was directly controlled by European empires) is worth the opportunities for sourcing/context afforded here. We also have a slightly later document (post-WWI) and this might encourage students to write about the pre-WWI context of Doc1’s India, especially if they learned about the role of WWI in galvanizing the Indian Independence movement.

Document 3, another pre-WWI, seemed the least useful.  It can fit with a moderate “grouping,” but we aren’t really doing those anymore and we already have several other documents that express compromise or moderation in some form.  The downside is, now we only have one Indian document.  I add a much more recent document (1988) from Hamas, issued during the first intifada.  

The bonus new document is the previously mentioned poster.  Special thanks to my friend Zaid Al-Momen for the translation.  I am a little worried about having the source presented this way with the English at the bottom.  Is this something the CB does?  

zaid Our local cat loves Zaid.

Alright, time to take a step back and survey our times and spaces.  We have: 1900, 1927, 1935, 1938, 1950s, 1985, 1988.  I switched the position of the ‘35 and ‘38 documents that the legacy DBQ inexplicable had out of chronological order.  Spatially, we have: India, Turkey, Algeria, Egypt, Egypt, Algeria, Palestine.  We’ve lost our clear 2/2/2 spread, but, again, since we don’t have grouping as a point, I think this is okay.  

The KCs

What KC does this essay hit upon?  Can we get up to NINE?!
6.2.I, 6.2.II, 6.2.III, 6.2.IV (maybe?), 6.2.V, 6.3.I, 6.3.I, 6.3.III

6.3.II is an  iffy one.  I considered adding a document on OPEC, on the Egypt-Syria unification, the Arab League, or on the Anti-Aligned movement.  However, given that most of the documents get down to several of the sub-points of the KCs and given that period 5 has four major topics and so the example DBQ can get to 9 of those KC more easily.  I am concerned that this doesn’t touch upon KC 6.1 at all, but so it goes.

Okay, let’s say you taught every single illustrative example given in the AP curriculum.  Students would have the following to draw upon:

Period 5

  • Tanzimat movement
  • Muhammad Ali’s econ. projects
  • British strenghen control over India
  • French settlers in Algeria
  • Independence from the Ottomans in the Balkans
  • Indian Revolt of 1857
  • The Lebanese merchant diaspora

Period 6

  • Negotiated Independence of India
  • India/Pakistan Partition
  • Violent Independence in Algeria
  • Jinnah in India
  • Pan-Arabism
  • Migration of Algerians to France
  • Armenians in Turkey, Genocide during/after WWI
  • Al-Qaeda
  • Nasser’s econ policies
  • Right of women to vote in Morocco (1963)
  • Islamic renewal movements in Egypt and Saudi Arabia

What about synthesis?  This is a mondo opportunity (see all the examples above) to make comparisons to back to period 5.  There is also plenty of work to do in the 20th century beyond the ME & SA to the rest of the former colonial world.  Student might also make note of a comparison to the Global War on Terror, to the Arab Spring/Election of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, or to the resurgence of Turkish nationalism/Turkey-EU negotiations.  Can we cross the disciplines?  Connections to government/political science are obvious.  And it’s more difficult, but a connection to economics (Doc 4) is possible.  By theme? This is a hard Theme 3 SB essay, but students should see the strongest connections are to Theme 2 CUL and Theme 5 SOC.


First, let’s dump the historical context section from the legacy DBQ.  Students are now responsible for this.  

My first thought was something like this:
Question 1a: Using the documents and your knowledge of world history, analyze at least two relationships among nationalism, religion, and state-building in Middle East and South Asia during the twentieth-century.

But as David Dues and some other great teachers pointed out, the new DBQs can have both COMP and CCOT style prompts.

Question 1b: Using the documents and your knowledge of world history, analyze the changing strategies of resistance and governance in the Middle East and South Asia during the twentieth-century.

Question 1c: Using the documents and your knowledge of world history, analyze the changing conceptions of nationalism and religion in the Middle East and South Asia during the twentieth-century.

1c is adaptation of last year’s Euro prompt, but I think that overall 1b fits best with the state-building theme.  


Matt revisits his trauma at Archivo General de Indias and various other moldy libraries in order to brave the 2006 Silver Trade DBQ.

P1020243 I swear I didn’t rip this.  

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