WHP Lesson 16: Causation in Era 3

In today’s video, we explore cause and effect relationships. We examine this largely in relation to Era 3, including causation as it relates to portable belief systems and empire.

Driving Question: What is cause and what is effect in the great transformations of Era 3?

  • Today we’re revisiting the structure for Era 3 because we want to start talking about how all the big changes in the era are connected. But it does help to review what we’ve learned as we get ready for what’s coming... and that includes portable belief systems and empires!
  • In thinking about where we started and where we’re going, historians talk about how things are connected in terms of causation, or the way that one factor leads to another. While causation sounds simple, it’s rarely a straightforward chain of events. The developments in Era 3 are no different, forming more of a web. Lots of small changes in one area like religion, or government, or trade may have influenced each other and pushed forward change in other areas. 

Word of the Day: Causation

  • Definition: The way a person, event, or trend can affect someone or something else. 
  • Causation is a means through which historians ask questions about why change happens. What caused that event to occur? This is really a “why” question.


  • Read: “Era 3 Overview: Cities, States, and Empires” on Khan Academy
  • This article is similar to the Era 3 overview video you may have watched a week ago. As you read this, think about how they might have “caused” (or led to) portable religions and empires.

Historian’s Journal Prompt

  • In your historian’s journal, create a causal map about why many people have been asked to “shelter in place,” “quarantine,” “isolate”, or “socially distance,” which as we know is basically to stay at home! See the video for a visual example of a causal map, and to learn about why I was grounded! 
  • Most U.S. states and places around the world have asked their citizens to shelter-in-place. What caused this action on their part? Think about both short-term and long-term causes and effects.