Welcome to Advanced Placement European HistoryThe objectives of this course are to help students develop their critical thinking and writing skills in order to prepare for the Advanced Placement College Board exam that takes place in May. Furthermore, students can take the skills they learn in this class and use them in their future Advanced Placement classes such as AP U.S. History and AP Government. Another goal of this class is to help students develop a life-long interest in history and an ability to recognize the important links between the past and the present. Emphasis is on the general narrative of European history from 1450 to the present, with a clear expectation of taking and passing the European Advanced Placement exam in May. The class focuses on the political, cultural, diplomatic, social, economic, artistic, and intellectual historial developments in Europe, while at the same time developing important skills in critical thinking, time management, and problem solving. Extensive reading, writing and discussion will be emphasized.The curriculum for this class reflects the content of an introductory university course in European history. You will be expected to be self-motivated, to be thoughtful, and to complete assignments without constant monitoring. The course is designed to teach and challenge students to analyze evidence and to interpret issues and events presented in historical scholarship. The national examination administered in May is represenatitve of a college course final examination and therefore is considered appropriate for the measurement of skills and knowledge in the field of introductory European history.Due to the amount of curriculum to be covered, this course is largely based on lecture and class discussion. It is imperative that students stay on track with nightly reading assignments in order to be prepared for each days learning. Learning will be achieved through primary source analysis of documents, pictures, political cartoons, works of art, text readings, PowerPoint lectures, topical video and documentary segments. Other visual materials such as graphs and statistical tables are also used.The course is structured through the use of Course Themes, Historical Thinking Skills, and Key Concepts by Historical Period. It is the expectation of the Advanced Placement College Board that all students master learning using these structures and skills.
Seven Course Themes
1. Interaction of Europe and the World
2. Economic and Commercial Developments
3. Cultural and Intellectual Developments
4. States and Other Institutions of Power
5. Social Organization and Development
6. National and European Identity
7. Technological and Scientific Innovation
Historical Thinking Skills
1. Developments and Processes
2. Sourcing and Situation
3. Claims and Evidence in Sources
5. Making Connections
Key Concepts by Historical Period:
Period 1: 1450-1648
- The worldview of European intellectuals shifted from one based on ecclesiastical and classical authority to one based primarily on inquiry and observation of the natural world.
- The struggle for sovereignty within and among states resulted in varying degrees of political centralization.
- Religious pluralism challenged the concept of a unified Europe.
- Europeans explored and settled overseas territories, encountering and interacting with indigenous populations.
- European society and experiences of everyday life were increasingly shaped by commercial and agricultural capitalism, notwithstanding the persistence of medieval social and economic structures.
Period 2: 1648-1815
- Different models of political sovereignty affected the relationship among states and between states and individuals.
- The expansion of European commerce accelerated the growth of a worldwide economic network.
- The popularization and dissemination of the Scientific Revolution and the application of its methods to political, social and ethical issues led to an increased, although not unchallenged, emphasis on reason in European culture.
- The experiences of everyday life were shaped by demographic, environmental, medical and technological changes.
Period 3: 1815-1914
- The Industrial Revolution spread from Great Britain to the continent, where the state played a greater role in promoting industry.
- The experiences of everyday life were shaped by industrialization, depending on the level industrial development in a particular location.
- The problems of industrialization provoked a range of ideological, governmental and collective responses.
- European states struggled to maintain international stability in an age of nationalism and revolutions.
- A variety of motives and methods led to the intensification of European global control and increased tensions among the Great Powers.
- European ideas and culture expressed a tension between objectivity and scientific realism on one hand, and subjectivity and individual expression on the other.
Period 4: 1914 to the Present
- Total war and political instability in the first half of the 20th century gave way to a polarized state order during the Cold War and eventually to efforts at transnational union.
- The stresses of economic collapse and total war engendered internal conflicts within European states and created conflicting conceptions of the relationship between the individual and the state, as demonstrated in the ideological battle between liberal democracy, communism and fascism.
- During the 20th century, diverse intellectual and cultural movements questioned the existence of objective knowledge, the ability of reason to arrive at truth, and the role of religion in determining moral standards.
- Demographic changes, economic growth, total war, disruptions of traditional social patterns and competing definitions of freedom and justice altered the experiences of everyday life.