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AP European History



Course Description


The goals of the European History course are to:  (1) provide a factual narrative  (2) develop an understanding of the principal themes—intellectual-cultural, political-diplomatic, social-economic—in modern European history (3) develop the ability to analyze historical evidence—documents, maps, statistics, pictorial and graphic (4) develop the ability to express that understanding and analysis effectively in writing  (5) demonstrate effective note-taking (6) demonstrate the ability to weigh evidence and reach conclusions on the basis of facts, and (7) demonstrate knowledge of basic chronology and major events and trends from 1450 to 2001. 


Course Planner and Texts


The following is a guide that indicates the course’s pacing, readings, and test schedule. Appropriate primary and secondary works will be assigned to demonstrate varying points of view and change over time. The principle textbook is:


Kagan, Donald, Steven Ozment, and Frank M. Turner.  The Western Heritage.  9th ed.

Upper Saddle River, N.J.:  Prentice Hall, 2007.  This is an in-depth text that correlates to AP Topic Outline for European History and includes a section of DBQs for each chapter, and a CD-Rom of over 200 primary and secondary documents.


Reference will also be made when applicable to Roberts, Clayton, David Roberts, and    Douglass Bisson.  A History of England, Volume II, 1688 to the Present. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River,      N.J.:  Prentice Hall, 2002.


URL:  Follett Software Co. provides links to educational sites for topical research...

Includes primary and secondary sources as well as virtual tours of historical sites.


Booklets of free-response questions released by the Educational Testing Service will be used to develop the skills and concepts necessary for success in an AP course.  DBQ and

free response questions come from released test items.


Extensive primary and secondary sources are incorporated throughout the course including statistical tables and graph and political cartoons from Punch.


Access to historical maps using atlases and transparencies.


Multiple handouts obtained at College Board workshops.


Activities from Masterworks of Art:  From Da Vinci to Picasso


Grading Criteria


90-100=A  80-89=B  70-79=C  69-60=D 59 and below=E


Introduction:  The Late Middle Ages (1 week)

Reading:  Kagan—Chapter 9; Machiavelli—The Prince; Ziegler,     Philip—The Black Death; and Manchester, William—A World Lit Only by Fire (summer readings)


·         Feudalism

·         Hundred Years War (video—Battles that Changed the World—History Channel)

·         Late Medieval Church (video—The Inquisition—History Channel

·         Black Death (video—A&E)


·         Introduce concept, skills and scoring guide for DBQ including methods for identifying Points of View and change over time.

·         Introduce students to Cornell Method of note-taking (lecture, videos and reading assignments)

·         Worksheet on how to answer Multiple Choice Questions

Major Assignments/Assessments

·         View video on The Prince

·         Quiz over The Prince

·         Worksheet applying criteria from The Prince to evaluate Queen Elizabeth and King PhilipII

·         Book synopses of The Black Death and A World Lit Only by Fire

·         Film analysis of life in the Middle Ages using The Return of Martin Guerre

·         Activities from Jackdaws primary source unit on the Black Death

·         DBQ—Renaissance education—1993

·         DBQ—Responses to the Plague—1995

·         Multiple Choice test


Unit 1:  Renaissance, Discovery, and Reformation (3 weeks)

Reading:  Kagan Chapters 10-11


·         Italian Renaissance

·         Northern Renaissance, Humanism

·         Causes of the Reformation

·         Luther, Calvin, Zwingli

·         Consequences of the Reformation (social, political, economic, intellectual)

·         Catholic Reformation/Council of Trent/Baroque Art

·         Spanish, Portuguese Exploration:  Reasons and Results

·         Mercantilism

·         Consequences of Exploration


·         Document Analysis

·         Art style identification

·         Map interpretation

·         Free-response (3.5 method)


Major Assignments and/or Assessments

·         Identify characteristics and works of art—Renaissance, mannerism, and Baroque (video series “Art of the Western World” by Annenberg, 1998;  teaching transparencies and worksheets—Glencoe:  World History and Art)

·         Film analysis of “Luther” and/or “A Man for all Seasons” for historical accuracy

·         Class discussion of excerpts from Henry VIII by J. J. Scarisbrick

·         DBQ on Witches (1980) or DBQ on Spanish Conquistadors

·         Construct maps of voyages of exploration

·         Free Response (Luther and Calvin—1995)

·         Free Response (Reformation Cups essay) (AP workshop-Larry Treadwell)

·         Research using Follett Software Co. link

·         Read and analyze the Ninety-five Thesis

·         Notes

·         Multiple Choice


Unit 2:  Religious Wars (1 week)

            Reading:  Kagan Chapter 12


·         Peace of Augsburg 1555

·         French Religious Wars

·         Philip II of Spain

·         English Tudors (videos:  The Tudors, Elizabeth, Elizabeth:  The Golden Age)

·         Holy Roman Empire; Thirty Years War

·         Treaty of Westphalia

Major Assignments and/or Assessments

·         Notes

·         Cooperative group research on Religious Wars—Oral Reports

·         Multiple Choice

·         Class discussion of excerpts from Elizabeth by Susan Doran


Unit 3:  Paths to Constitutionalism and Absolutism (2.5 weeks)

            Reading Kagen Chapter 13, Meriman—The Stuarts, Roberts—Chapter 16


·         Absolutism/Constitutionalism:  Compare

·         The Stuart Conflict (Divine Right Theory)

·         Charles I and the Civil War (video:  Cromwell, Columbia Pictures, 1970)

·         Cromwell’s Republic

·         Charles II and the Restoration

·         1666 Plague and Fire video-History Channel

·         James II—Glorious Revolution—William and Mary, Anne

·         Hanoverian dynasty

·         Age of Walpole

·         Louis XIV:  Religion, Wars, Legacy

·         Central European rulers:  Strengths and Weaknesses

·         Russia:  The Romanovs, (video:  “Land of the Tsars,” History Channel, 2003)

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

·         Multiple Choice test

·         DBQ—Gin Laws

·         Historiographical essay comparing the differing points of view between Cromwell and Charles I using, but not limited to, God’s Englishman by Christopher Hill and Charles I:  A Political Life by Richard Cust

·         Notes


Unit 4:  Scientific Revolution, New Direction in Thought (2.5 weeks)

            Reading:  Kagan Chapter 14-15


·         Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, Newton

·         Philosophes:  Bacon, Descartes

·         Hobbes/Locke:  Absolute Powers v. Liberty/toleration (contract theory)

·         Social classes

·         Agricultural Revolution

·         Industrial Revolution (video—ISBN 1-891003-91-7)

·         Jews in Europe


Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

·         Multiple Choice test over 1st 9 weeks--Chapters 9-15

·         Excerpts from Thomas More’s Utopia and Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan

·         Read and discuss Johnathan Swift’s Modest Proposal; students will write a brief satire on a social, political, etc. concern from this time period.

·         Notes

·         Students research scientist of the period, prepare a booklet of collective research, dress in period costume, presentation to elementary students at Math and Science Fair

·         Women in Science DBQ (1997)


Unit 5:  Empire, War, and Colonial Rebellion (2 weeks)

            Reading:  Kagan Chapter 16; Roberts, Chapter 20


·         Empires

·         Merchantilism

·         Slavery

·         Rivalries

·         Wars:  Jenkins Ear, Austrian Succession, Seven Years War, American Revolution


Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

·         Map analysis of imperial conquests and wars (allies, battles, territorial changes)

·         Multiple choice, Free Response   (1995 Group 1, #3 merchantilism)

·          DBQ  Dutch Trade (1996)

·         Notes


Unit 6:  Enlightenment (1.5 weeks)

            Reading:  Kagan Chapter 17


·         Causes

·         Philosophes:  Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau)

·         Deism

·         Women’s role

·         Enlightened despots

·         Partition of Poland

·         Rococo/Neoclassic Art


Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

·         Read and analyze Candide by Voltaire

·         Art styles:  characteristics and work recognition (video series:  Art of the Western World)

·         Multiple choice

·         Notes


Unit 7:  French Revolution (2 weeks)

            Reading:  Kagan Chapter 18


·         Causes

·         Timeline of Events

·         Significant Individuals

·         Results

·         Implications in Europe


Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

·         Timeline of phases of the Revolution

·         Role Playing for point of view (monarchy, members of each estate)

·         Internet research—Follett Software Co.

·         Excerpts from Edumund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France

·         Multiple choice, free response, DBQ

·         Notes


Unit 8:  Napoleon and Romanticism (2 weeks)

            Reading:  Kagan Chapters 19-20


·         Napoleon’s background (video—The French Revolution and Napoleon—Random House)

·         Napoleon’s military successes

·         Napoleonic France (nationalism, Napoleonic Code, etc.)

·         Wars of Napoleon

·         Mistakes of Napoleon

·         Demise of Napoleon

·         Congress of Vienna

·         Romanticism


Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

·         Analysis of Romantic art/artists, literature/writers and music/musicians

·         Notes

·         Maps before and after Congress of Vienna

·         Multiple Choice, free response (1997 Group 2 #6, Romanticism)


Unit 9:  Economic Advance and Social Unrest (2.5 weeks)

            Reading:  Kagan Chapter 21; Roberts Chapter 22


·         Effects of Industrialization

·         Urbanization

·         Socialism, Anarchism, Marxism, Liberalism

·         Revolutions of 1848 (video—Nineteenth Century Nationalism--Clearvue)

·         Consequences of Revolutions


Major Assignments and/or Assessments

·         Study demographic maps and charts of Europe, 1800-1850

·         DBQ—Women during the Industrial Revolution; 1992 Pan-Slavism

·         Multiple Choice, free response—Comprehensive exam for 1st semester (chapters 9-22)

·         Notes


Unit 10:  Age of Nation States (2.5 weeks)

            Reading:  Kagan Chapter 22


·         Crimean War

·         Unification of Italy

·         Unification of Germany

·         Irish Question


Major Assignments and/or Assessments

·         DBQ—Irish Question—1994 AP Test released item

·         Bismarck’s “Iron and Blood Speech” and the “Ems Dispatch” analysis

·         Video—Bismarck (Learning Corporation of America)

·         Multiple choice, free response

·         Notes


Unit 11:  European Supremacy to World War I (1 week)

            Reading:  Kagan Chapters 23-24


·         The Second Industrial Revolution

·         Social and Economic Conditions 1850-1914 (video—Life in Victorian Times—Kultur)

·         Jews in the late 19th century

·         Socialism in the late 19th century

·         Social Darwinism


Major Assignments and/or Assessments

·         Free Response—1995 Group 2 #6 European Jews

·         Notes

·         Multiple Choice, DBQ


Unit 12:  Imperialism and World War I (2 weeks)

Reading:  Kagan—Chapter 25; Roberts—Chapters 25-27; Tuchman, Barbara.  Guns of August; Kipling,

            Rudyard, The White Man’s Burden; Remarque, Erich.  All Quiet on the Western



·         New Imperialism:  Causes and results

·         Causes of WWI (underlying and immediate)

·         Events (strategies, battles, weapons, etc.)

·         Central Powers v. Allies (participants, advantages/disadvantages, resources, etc,)

·         Results/ Treaty of Versailles

·         Russian Revolution


Major Assignments and/or Assessments

·         Analysis of Kipling’s poem; implications for imperialism

·         Imperialism timeline and maps

·         Analysis of book and video The Guns of August

·         Timeline of WWI

·         Maps (before and after WWI)

·         Analysis of book and movie All Quiet on the Western Front

·         Film Analysis—Ten Days that Shook the World

·         Readings—Morgan, Kenneth O.  Twentieth Century Britain.  Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2000.  Chapter 1

·         DBQ, Free Response, Multiple Choice

·         Notes


Unit 13:  Post WWI and the Great Depression (2 weeks)

            Reading:  Kagan—Chapters 26-27; Morgan—Chapters 2-3

            Primary Source—family memorabilia (post cards, ration books, defense savings

            Bond, etc.)


·         Consequences of Treaty of Versailles

·         Soviet Communism

·         Italian Fascism

·         Weimar government and rise of German Fascism

·         The Great Depression

·         Rise of Totalitarian regimes


Major Assignments and/or Assessments

·         Ism review worksheet (patriotism, nationalism, jingoism, imperialism, communism, fascism, totalitarianism, etc.)

·         Notes

·         Multiple choice, free response


Unit 14:  World War II (2 weeks)

            Reading:  Kagan—Chapter 28, Roberts—Chapter 29; Morgan—Chapter 4


·         Spanish Civil War

·         Causes of WWII

·         Major events, battles, people

·         Holocaust

·         Use of atomic bombs/political implications

·         Results of the war


Major Assignments and/or Assessments

·         Analyze excerpts from Mein Kampf

·         Analyze excerpts from Elie Wiesel’s Night

·         Excerpts from Geoffrey Best’s Churchill:  A Study in Greatness

·         Map readings

·         Notes

·         Mock trial similar to Nuhemburg Trials of defendents chosen by students.

·         Multiple choice, DBQ, free response (3rd 9 weeks exam—Chapters 9-29)


Unit 15:  Cold War and Beyond (2 weeks)

Reading:  Kagan—Chapters 29-30; Roberts—Chapters 30-31; Morgan—Chapters5-7


·         US-USSR relations

·         US containment

·         Detente

·         Incidents:  Berlin, Korea, satellite nations, Suez, China, U-2 incidents, Cuban Missile crisis, Vietnam, Afghanistan

·         Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Gorbachev

·         Glasnost

·         Fall of the Berlin Wall/Unification of Germany (video—The Fall of the Berlin Wall—Studio Hamburg and WDR)

·         Dissolution of USSR (video—The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union—VCII Home Entertainment)

·         Results

·         European Union  (video—Europe on the Brink—CNN Special)


Major Assignments and/or Assessments

·         Map consultation (incidents and post USSR)

·         Video—Peace without Honor—BBC (Bosnia)

·         Notes

·          Multiple choice, response, DBQ 

·         Comprehensive course final (Chapters 9-31)


Unit 16:  AP Test Prep and Review (1 week)

            During the course time constraints have been used and will be strictly adhered to

            for the review tests.


            Campbell, Miles, Niles Holt and William Walker.  AP European History. 

            Piscataway: New Jersey, 2002.  This book includes a comprehensive review

course of topics and 6 full-length practice exams.  A cd-rom is included which can be        used by individual students or as a group discussion prompt.


            Barron’s AP European History Review with CD-ROM.


            Practice test from AP European History Course Description







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