CBSE Syllabus for Class 11 History

Course Structure for Class XI History (2017-18)

S.No. Units Marks
1. Introduction to World History
Section A Early Societies 15
2. Introduction
3. From the beginning of time
4. Early Cities
Section B Empires 20
5. Introduction
6. An empire across three continents
7. Central Islamic lands
8. Nomadic Empires
Section C Changing Traditions 20
9. Introduction
10. Three orders
11. Changing cultural traditions
12. Confrontation of cultures
Section D Paths to Modernization 20
13. Introduction
14. The Industrial Revolution
15. Displacing indigenous People
16. Paths to modernization
  Map work (units 1-16) 5
Project Work 20
 Total 100

Class XI: Themes in World History

 Themes  Objectives
1. Introduction to World History

Section A: Early Societies

2. Introduction

3. From the Beginning of Time

Focus: Africa, Europe till 15000 BC

  • (a) Views on the origin of human beings.
  • (b) Early societies.
  • (c) Historians’ views on present-day hunting-gathering societies.

4. Early Cities

Focus: Iraq, 3rd millennium BC

  • (a) Growth of towns.
  • (b) Nature of early urban  societies.
  • (c) Historians’ Debate on uses of writing.

Section B: Empires

5. Introduction

6. An Empire across Three Continents

Focus: Roman Empire, 27 B.C to A.D 600.

  • (a) Political evolution
  • (b) Economic expansion
  • (c) Religion
  • (d) Late Antiquity.
  • (e) Historians’ views on the institution of Slavery.

7. Central Islamic Lands

Focus: 7th to 12th centuries

  • (a) Polity
  • (b) Economy
  • (c) Culture.
  • (d) Historians’ viewpoints on the nature of the  crusades.

8. Nomadic Empires

Focus: the Mongol, 13th to 14th century

  • (a) The nature of nomadism.
  • (b) Formation of empires.
  • (c) Conquests and relations with other states.
  • (d) Historians’ views on nomadic societies and  state formation.

Section C: Changing Traditions

9. Introduction

10. Three Orders

Focus: Western Europe, 13th-16th century

  • (a) Feudal society and economy.
  • (b) Formation of states.
  • (c) Church and Society.
  • (d) Historians’ views on decline of feudalism.

11. Changing Cultural Traditions

Focus on Europe, 14th to 17th century.

  • (a) New ideas, and new trends in literature and arts.
  • (b) Relationship with earlier ideas
  • (c) The contribution of West Asia.
  • (d) Historians’ viewpoints on the validity of the  notion ‘European Renaissance’.

12. Confrontation of Cultures

Focus on America, 15th to 18th century.

  • (a) European voyages of exploration.
  • (b) Search for gold; enslavement, raids,  extermination.
  • (c) Indigenous people and cultures – the Arawaks,  the Aztecs, the Incas.
  • (d) The history of displacements.
  • (e) Historians’ viewpoints on the slave trade.

Section D: Paths to Modernization

13. Introduction

14. The Industrial Revolution

Focus on England, 18th and 19th century.

  • (a) Innovations and technological change
  • (b) Patterns of growth.
  • (c) Emergence of a working class.
  • (d) Historians’ viewpoints, Debate on ‘Was there an  Industrial Revolution?’

15. Displacing Indigenous People

Focus on North America and Australia, 18th-20th  century.

  • (a) European colonists in North America and  Australia.
  • (b) Formation of white settler societies.
  • (c) Displacement and repression of local people.
  • (d) Historians’ viewpoints on the impact of  European settlement on indigenous population.

16. Paths to Modernization

Focus on East Asia, late 19th and 20th century.

  • (a) Militarization and economic growth in Japan.
  • (b) China and the Communist alternative.
  • (c) Historians’ Debate on the meaning of  modernization

17. Map Work on Units 1-16

  • Familiarize the learner with ways of reconstructing human evolution. Discuss whether the experience of present-day hunting-gathering people can be used to understand early societies.


  • Familiarize the learner with the nature of early urban centres.
  • Discuss whether writing is significant as a marker of civilization.


  • Familiarize the learner with the history of a major world empire.
  • Discuss whether slavery was a significant element in the economy.


  • Familiarize the (earner with the rise of Islamic empires in the Afro-Asian territories and its implications for economy and society.
  • Understand what the crusades meant in these regions and how they were experienced.


  • Familiarize the learner with the varieties of nomadic society and their institutions.
  • Discuss whether state formation is possible in nomadic societies.
  • Familiarize the (earner with the nature of the economy and society of this period and the changes within them.
  • Show how the debate on the decline of feudalism helps in understanding processes of transition.
  • Explore the intellectual trends in the period.
  • Familiarize students with the paintings and buildings of the period
  • Introduce the debate around the idea of ‘Renaissance’.
  • Discuss changes in the European economy that led to the voyages.
  • Discuss the implications of the conquests for the indigenous people.
  • Explore the debate on the nature of the slave trade and see what this debate tells us about the meaning of these “discoveries”.


  • Understand the nature of growth in the period and its limits.
  • Initiate students to the debate on the idea of industrial revolution.
  • Sensitize students to the processes of displacements that accompanied the development of America and Australia.
  • Understand the implications of such processes for the displaced populations.
  • Make students aware that transformation in the modern world takes many different forms.
  • Show how notions like ‘modernization’ need to be critically assessed.

18. Project work  

Please refer Circular separately for guidelines.
Project work will help students:

  • To develop skill to gather data from a variety of sources, investigate diverse viewpoints and arrive at logical deductions.
  • To develop skill to comprehend, analyze, interpret, evaluate historical evidence and understand the limitation of historical evidence.
  • To develop 21st century managerial skills of co-ordination, self-direction and time management.
  • To learn to work on diverse cultures, races, religions and lifestyles.
  • To learn through constructivism-a theory based on observation and scientific study.
  • To inculcate a spirit of inquiry and research.
  • To communicate data in the most appropriate form using a variety of techniques.
  • To provide greater opportunity for interaction and exploration.
  • To understand contemporary issues in context to our past.
  • To develop a global perspective and an international outlook.
  • To grow into caring, sensitive individuals capable of making informed, intelligent and independent choices.
  • To develop lasting interest in history discipline.

NCERT Solutions