• Name:                                                                                                                                                  AP European History

    Mr. Matina                                                                                                                                          Class Overview



    AP European History is a college level course designed to better the student’s understanding of European history with the goal of having the student pass (3 or higher) the AP Examination in May.  The course is divided into two semesters: 1450-1789 and 1790-present.  The areas of study include social, political, and economic history, as well as an assessment of the cultural and intellectual developments that exist in Western thought. 

    The AP curriculum emphasizes critical thinking within a demanding and rigorous academic context.  The student is required to analyze, evaluate, and comprehend both primary and secondary historical sources in addition to memorization of facts and content.   As a result, students must develop a strong ability to place these historical evaluations and content in writing.  It is important to note that although the primary concern is with the quality of the ideas and analysis presented; all written assignments will also be evaluated in terms of their adherence to accepted writing standards.  Papers must be typed clearly and legibly.  They must also be organized and free from both grammatical and spelling errors. This means that papers must be carefully proof read before they are submitted.  (A sloppy and poorly written paper will not receive as high a grade as a comparable paper that is well written and neat, has a clear thesis, and is free of grammatical and spelling errors).  Having an idea that cannot be expressed clearly and concisely is equivalent to not having an idea at all.  Thus, high-quality writing skills are necessity.


    1. The Western Heritage, by Donald Kagan et al., New Jersey, Prentice Hall

    2. Sources of the Western Tradition: Volume I, by Marvin Perry et al., Boston, Houghton Mifflin.

    3. Sources of the Western Tradition: Volume II, by Marvin Perry et al., Boston, Houghton Mifflin.

    4. Supplemental readings provided by teacher.


    1.  Come to class on time and be prepared to work.

    2.  If a student is absent from class the student is responsible for work missed – including class work (notes, readings, etc.)

    3. Students who are in school and should happen to miss my class (with a legitimate excuse) must hand in assignments that are due on that same day.



    Late Work and Absences:

    Students who are absent (excused absence) for a test, quiz, or the day an assignment is due, will take the exam on the day that they return or hand in assignments the day they return to class unless prior arrangements have been made with me.  Late work will result in a significant deduction of the student’s grade on the assignment due.




    Your quarter grade will be determined by tests, quizzes, DBQs, essays, and other written assignments.  All grades are added together at the end of the quarter and divided by the maximum amount of points that can be achieved. 


    Course Outline:

    Unit 1: Foundations of Modern Europe

    Analyze the interaction of Greco-Roman civilization with Judeo-Christian religious heritage

    Examine the multifaceted aspects of the Middle Ages from which the roots of modern civilization evolved


    Unit 2: The Renaissance

    General Aspects: Humanism, Individualism, Secularism

    Italian Renaissance

    Political background

    Developments in literature, art, music, science

    Northern Renaissance

    Northern Humanism – England, Germany, France

    Invention of Printing Press

    Renaissance Art


    Unit 3: The Reformation and the Age of Religious Wars

    Underlying causes of the Reformation

    Protestant Leaders – Luther, Zwingli, Calvin

    The English Reformation

    The Catholic Reformation

    Religious Wars and Revolts

    Dutch Revolt Against Spain

    Civil War in France

    Thirty Years’ War


    Unit 4: The Age of Discovery and the Rise of Absolutism and Constitutionalism

    Expansion of Trade

    European Knowledge of Geography

    Scientific Advances Encourage Greater Exploration

    European Explorations – Portugal, Spain, England, France, Dutch

    Absolutism in France: Louis XIV

    Constitutionalism in England

    The Stuart Monarchs

    English Civil War

    The Glorious Revolution


    Unit 5: Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment

    Foundations of Modern Science

    The Nature of the Enlightenment - Core Concepts

    The Enlightenment Philosophes and Programs of Reform

    Women and the Enlightenment

    Enlightened Despotism


    Unit 6: The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era

    France Under the Ancien Regime

    The Causes, Course and Results of the Revolution

    The Napoleonic Era and Wars

    The Congress of Vienna

    The Romantic Movement (and the Questioning of the Supremacy of Reason)

    Art of the Romantic Period


    Unit 7: The Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions

    The Revolution in Agriculture

    New Crops and New Methods

    Expansion of the Population

    Toward an Industrial Society

    Population and Migration

    The Emergence of a Wage-Labor Force

    Family Structures and the Industrial Revolution


    Unit 8: The Long 19th Century

    The Age of Metternich

    The Struggle for Democracy: The Challenges of Nationalism and Liberalism

    1848 Revolutions

    The Unification of Italy

    The Unification of Germany

    Expansion of European Power and the New Imperialism

    Motives and Consequences of the New Imperialism

    The “Scramble for Africa

    Toward a 20th Century Frame of Mind

    Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection

    Nietzsche and the revolt Against Reason

    Freud and the Birth of Psychoanalysis


    Unit 9: World War I and the Russian Revolution

    The Road to War: Causes

    The Course of the War: Stalemate and the Battles of Attrition

    Concluding the War

    Versailles: The Lost Peace

    The Russian Revolution: From “czarism” to communism

    The Provisional Government

    Lenin and the Bolsheviks

    The Communist Dictatorship


    Unit 10: Between the Wars: The Rise of Dictatorships

    The Great Depression: Financial Tailspin

    The Rise of Totalitarianism

    Mussolini Comes to Power

    Italy: Fascist Economics

    Syndicates and Corporations

    Germany: The Nazi Seizure of Power

    Hitler Comes to Power

    Nazi Domestic and Foreign Policy

    Stalin’s Soviet Union

    Central Economic Planning: The Five-Year Plans

    The Collectivization of Agriculture

    The Purges

    Dadaism, Cubism, Surrealism


    Unit 11: World War II

    The Outbreak of War

    The Turning of the Tide and the Road to Victory

    Racism and the Holocaust

    The Impact of World War II


    Unit 12: Postwar Europe

    The Emergence of the Cold War (and the problems of a Divided World symbolized by the Wall)

    The Khrushchev Era in the Soviet Union

    Later Cold War Confrontations

    The Brezhnev Era

    The Collapse of Colonialism and Communism

    The Challenges of European Unification (and the problems of an Integrated World symbolized by the Web)