To the Student:

All test dates are “Cast in Stone” and will not be changed.  Consult the class website for exact dates and required readings.  Your weekend essay will be due each Monday when the tardy bell rings—there will be no exceptions.  Essays will be either Free Response or Document Based in style and will be selected from questions used on previous AP Exams.  Any additional assignments will also be due when the tardy bell rings on the due date.  In addition to the assigned supplemental texts you will be expected to keep up with readings posted on the class webpage. 


Course Purpose:

AP European History is the equivalent of a college level survey course and exists as a joint venture between the College Board, high schools and colleges from both this nation and around the globe.  Highly motivated students will have the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school by passing the national AP Examination which will be administered in early May.  The curriculum, materials and methods used in this course are of college level and have been selected to prepare the student for success on this three hour examination.  More than just test preparation, this course will help students develop the necessary thinking, reading, studying and organizational skills to become successful in their on going educational careers.


Course Objective:

While the course is labeled AP European History, and certainly one aim of this endeavor is to enable students to understand European intellectual, political, social, economic and cultural history, this course goes beyond the mere content.  Hopefully, students will learn to love history for its sheer joy and along the way develop the skills of:

Course Scope and Themes:

This course will explore the six themes set forth by the College Board as a means of understanding the fabric of Modern European History from 1450 to the present.  Thus, under the umbrella of political, diplomatic, social, intellectual, cultural and economic themes students will be expected to demonstrate why historical events evolved the course will begin with the Renaissance and journey onward concluding with a look at the failure of communism and the rise of global terrorism.

Instructional Procedures:

The course will be built around the lecture/discussion format and as the course progresses more seminar type classes will be included.  Most class period will include a powerpoint presentation which  I have prepared utilizing maps, charts, cartoons, art and primary sources.  From studying the “evidence” of history  (and their daily readings) students will be expected to explain the “why” of history and not merely recite a list of events. 

Each weekend will feature an essay (either an AP FRQ or DBQ question) which will provide opportunity for the student to demonstrate mastery of the concepts covered during the week.  At the conclusion of each unit students will take a rigorous timed, online multiple choice test containing 40-60 questions which will cover both current and previously covered materials.  Pop quizzes may be used as a means to keep students focused and prevent procrastination.


The Course:

Unit 1    Endings and Beginnings (the Middle Ages to the Renaissance)

         The Structure of Medieval Society

            Nation Building

            New Technologies

            Religious Divisions

            Agricultural Economy

            The Black Death

            Banking Practices

            Overseas Exploration

            Was there a Renaissance?

            Italian City States

            Social Structure

            The Condottieri

            Renaissance values:





            The High Renaissance

            Southern vs. Northern Renaissance

            Renaissance Art

            The World of Women

PRIMARY SOURCES:  Valla, Castiglione, Machiavelli’s The Prince, Petrarch, Mirandola,  de Las Casas


Unit 2   The Reformations and the Wars of Religion

         The Roots and Causes of the Reformation

            The Social background for the Reformation

            Martin Luther

            The spreading of the Reformation

                        Zwingli, Calvin, Anabaptists,  English Reformation

            The Peace of Augsburg

            The Counter Reformation

                        Inquisition, Loyola, Council of Trent

            The cultural Reformation

                        Baroque Style

                        Witch Hunts

                        Education and Literacy

                        Women and the Reformaion

            Religious Civil War in France

            Catholics vs. Huguenots in France

            Catherine de Medici

            Henry of Navarre and St. Bartholomew’s Day

            Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu

            The Thirty Year’s War


                        War in Bohemia

                        The Danish Period

                        The Swedish Intervention

                        Social and Economic consequences of the war

                        The Treaty of Westphalia

            PRIMARY SOURCES:  Luther (the packet), Calvin, Erasmus, Loyola, Council of

Trent, Witchcraft documents, St. Teresa,  St. Bart’s Day, Edict of Nantes, Charles V.

Unit 3            The Atlantic World

         Economic changes

            Agricultural Changes

            The Price Revolution


            The Rise of Spain

            The results of the Potosi discovery

            Dynastic Marriages  (Austrians and Habsburgs)

            The World of Philip II

            The Turkish Problem

            The English Tudors

            The Elizabethan Age

                        Cultural, Religious, Economic and Social change and political challenges

            The decline of Spain

            The English Stuarts and the Civil War

            The Interregnum (Cromwell)

            The Glorious Revolution

            The Rise of Parliament and the Decline of the Monarchy

            The Intellectual Revolution of John Locke

            Society in the English 17th century

            The Golden Age of the Dutch Republic

            Religious Toleration

            Patronage of the arts

            The Decline of the Dutch

            PRIMARY SOURCES:  Cortes, Montezuma, Sahagun, Espinosa, de Las Casas,

Sepulveda, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, James I,  Cromwell,  Acts of Parliament, Locke


Unit 4    The Age of Absolutism and the Rise of the Intellectual   

         Theories of absolutism

            The actual character of Absolutism

            The  growth of the state

            Absolutism and Religion

            Czarist autocracy and the Russian Orthodox Church

            French Absolutism

                        Louis XIV and  the culture of Versailles


                        An end of toleration

            The Austrian Habsburgs

            The Rise of Prussia (once upon a Frederick)

            The Russian experience    

                        Duchy of Muscovy

                        Peter the Great

            Eastern European culture

            The Balance of Power and the modern state

            The Intellectual Revolution

            Changing views of the Universe

            Copernicus and Galileo challenge the Church (to what degree?)

            Scientific Anatomy

            What  is really up “there”

            The Newtonian world and the loss of security

            The Culture of Science

                        Science and religion together in the world

            The social ramifications of the Scientific Revolution

PRIMARY SOURCES:  Bossuet, Duke of Saint Simon, Frederick William, Colbert, Copernicus, Galileo, Pope John Paul II, 


Unit 5   The Eighteenth Century

         Economic and Social change

                        The social order

                        British landed elite

            Hints of the Industrial Revolution to come

            New Agricultural movements

            New Technology

            England’s advantages

            Adam Smith

            Towns and Cities

            The plight of the lower classes    

            Controlling Society

            The Enlightened movements

                        Enlightened ideas

                        Great Thinkers of the century

                        The social dimension of the Enlightenment

                        The Cultural Enlightenment

            Enlightened Absolutism

            Educational and Religious reforms

            The late Enlightenment

            The Legacy of the Age

            Colonial expansion

            Economic rivalries

            Prussia vs. Austria

            The Seven Years’ War

            The ‘new’ warfare of the 18th century

            Political workings in Great Britain

            The American experience

            The decline of the Ottoman Empire and the partitions of Poland

            PRIMARY SOURCES:  Smith, Descartes, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Beccaria, Voltaire, 

(Candide),  Frederick the Great, Catherine the Great,


Unit 6  What a Revolting Development this is!

         The state of the Old Regime

            Financial crisis

            The First Stage of the French Revolution

            Constitutional restraints on the monarch

            The impact of war upon the Revolution

            The Second Stage of the Revolution

            The Terror

            The Final Stage (Napoleon’s beginning)

            The Meaning (contemporary and futuristic) of the Revolution

            Napoleon—Son of the Revolution or Imperial Despot

            Rise to Power

            Consolidation of Power

            The French Empire

            Napoleonic Code

            Overextension and the beginning of the end

            Temporary restoration and Napoleon’s return

            To St. Helena and the aftermath

PRIMARY SOURCES:  Abbe de Sieyes, de Gouges, Writings of the Assembly, Robespierre, Desmoulins, Napoleonic Code,  Bonaparte (diary),



Unit 7   The Restoration, its failure and Middle Class Liberalism

         European restoration

            The Congress of Vienna

            Conservative  ideology

            The breakdown of the conservative plan for Europe

            The Bourbon restoration in France

            The Revolution of 1830 (France)
            Liberal ideas begin to take hold

            Nationalism emerges on the continent

            The unique situation in Britain

            The British Reform Bill of 1832

            What is the “new” Middle Class?

            A different Middle Class in different places

            Middle class culture

            A feminist movement

            A culture of comfort

            Education, Religion and Leisure

            Liberalism and laissez-faire

            From Reason to Emotion.  The emergence of Romanticism

            PRIMARY SOURCES:  Hegel, Metternich, Alexander I, Byron, Shelley, Ricardo,

Darwin, J.S. Mill



Unit 8   Nineteenth Century Revolutions

            Industrialization background

            Demographic explosion

            The Agricultural base

            New transportation systems

            Different stroke for different folks—Industrialism across the


            The impact of the Industrial Revolution

            A new way of life – workers, labor, living conditions, protests, social


            The origins of European socialism

                        Utopians to Marx


            The causes of revolution
            Revolutions in the German states

            Revolutions in Central Europe

            Revolutions in Italy

            The French crisis

            The Counter-revolutionary movement

            The Second French Republic

            The legacy of 1848

            PRIMARY SOURCES:  Smiles, Chateaubriand, Bentham, Owen,

            Proudhon, Engels, Marx, Mazzini, Industrialism Packet, Blanc,

            Tristan, Chadwick

Unit   9    National Unification, Dominant Powers,

            The Italian experience

            The German experience  (filling the void in the north)

            The Habsburg experience

            The Victorian Age – politics, culture and social changes

            The Crimean War

            The Reform Bill of 1867

            The Czars of Russia

            Nihilists and populists

            France’s Second Empire

            Science and Realism


            The Franco-Prussian War

            The Paris Commune

            The Second Industrial Revolution

            Changing populations

            Social Changes        

Mass Culture—leisure

Responses to the changing world

            (from alcoholism, to philosophy to the avant-garde

PRIMARY SOURCES:  O’Connell, Parnell, Garibaldi, Bismarck, Cavour,        Pope Leo XIII,  Mazzini, Gladstone, Nietzsche, Freud


Unit 10   Mass politics, Nationalism and Imperialism

            The meaning of  mass politics

            From Liberalism to Nationalism

            Universal manhood suffrage


            Social Reform

            Women’s Suffrage

            Challenges to the nation state

            Changes and continuities in British political life

            Republican France

            Czarist Russia  --Russo-Japanese War

            Italy and the rise of nationalism

            Austria-Hungary and ethic tensions

            Germany under Bismarck and William II

            The meaning of imperialism

            The Scramble for Africa

            Imperialism in Asia

            The realities of imperialism

            Goals and motivations of Imperialism

            PRIMARY SOURCES:  Pankhurst, Webb, Ferry, William II, Hobson, Kipling, Lenin, Punch.

Unit 11   The Great War

         Visions of War

            The alliance system

            Technology and the new view

            Europe divided 

            The Balkan crisis (or the beginnings of war)

            Society and Social issues  toward war

            The final straw  (the real shot heard ‘round the world)

            The changing nature of war

            A true world war

            The final stages

                        US entry

            Peace plans

            The impact of the war on all levels

                        Plans, techniques, fronts

            PRIMARY SOURCES:  Lenin, Wilson, Wilfred Owen,  Punch,  Knight-          Adkin,  William II


Unit 12    The Russian Revolution and the turbulent 20’s

         The long background and causes of the revolution

            General unrest, failed reforms, and revolution

            Lenin and the Bolsheviks

            The 1905 Revolution

            World War I and revolution

            The October Revolution

            The Civil War

            The creation of the Soviet Union

            Stalin—rise, plans, culture and purges

            The Treaty of Versailles

                        Plans, dissent, idealism, Point 14

            Settlements in Eastern Europe

            Nationalism vs. colonialism

            Post war politics and economy

            The rise of fascism

                        Two models

            PRIMARY SOURCES:  Witte, Lenin, Izvestiia, Stalin, Trotsky, Kerenski,

Rasputin Packet.


Unit 13   Depression, Dictatorship and Disaster  (WWII)

            The Great Depression

            Fascist Movements

            The French Popular Front



            The Spanish Civil War

            Steps to the outbreak of  World War II

            The war in Europe begins

            Global War—Total War

            Hitlers’s “New European Order”


            The turning of the tide

            Allied Victory


            VE and VJ Day

            The war’s end and the meaning of it all

            PRIMARY SOURCES:  Nitti, Mussolini, Hitler, Nuernberg Trials, Stalin,       Linke, Kellogg-Briand Pact, Chambeerlain, Churchill, Hawes, Goering,           Clinton, Truman


Unit 14   The Post War World and the Modern Era     

         Europe at the end of the war

            The Potsdam Settlement

            The UN and  Cold War Alliances

            Economic and social  unrest

            Political realignment  (Truman doctrine and Marshall Plan)

            Eastern Europe in Soviet hands

            The Labor Party in Britain           

            The new French Republic  (again)

            Politics in the Soviet Union


            Economic and Social  changes

            The Cold War


            Superpower tension

            Sino-Soviet competition

            Politics in a changing world

            Growth of Democracy

            Decline of Religion

            The European  Community and the European Union

            Economic growth

            Oil and global  economy

            Threats to Peace

                        Weapons, terrorism, and religious and ethnic  divisions

            The fall of communism

                         Prague Spring

                        Brezhnev Doctrine

                        Gorbachev era   (glasnost and perestroika)

            Poland and Hungary

            Fall of the Wall

            The fall of the Soviet Union

            On toward a modern world

            Entrance into the 21st century

            PRIMARY SOURCES:  Beauvoir, Friedan, Truman, Khrushchev,        Solzhenitsyn, Gorbachev, Putin, Sartre, Churchill, Walesa, Kennedy.