Knowledge of the way people have lived and of the way events and ideas have shaped our lives helps us understand the world of the present. As we analyze such questions in this course, I hope that you will emerge with:

(1) An enjoyment of—or at least satisfaction from—the learning process itself;

(2) A broad knowledge of the history of Europe sufficient enough to feel prepared to take the Advanced Placement exam on the AFTERNOON OF MAY 8, 2015.

(3) An appreciation of some of the political, economic, social, and intellectual cross-currents in the continent’s history;

(4) The acquisition of skills useful to an ongoing study of history and the social sciences, and

(5) An enhanced understanding, through a study of contemporary events, of the role that European nations still play in today’s world.

AP European History is a challenging course that is designed to be the equivalent of a freshman college course in a high school setting. It is a year-long survey of European history from the Renaissance to the present. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable time to homework and study, are necessary to succeed. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of original documents and historiography.
You will be required to apply the effort necessary to act as an historian and develop the ability to analyze historical evidence to determine its validity and relevance, identify point of view and the nature of bias, and recognize the necessity of objectivity and substantiation. The methodology of an historian involves skills that are highly transferable--the ability to formulate generalizations, interpret and use data and to analyze and weigh evidence from conflicting sources of information are applicable to many other academic and practical disciplines. Besides listening to lectures or PowerPoint presentations on important themes of European history, you are expected to participate in class verbally through discussions of primary documents and events, debates of key issues, possible role-playing of historic figures and mock trials. Furthermore, you are expected to continually develop your writing skills through regular short essays, essay exams and maintain a notebook of all class materials. The volume of material involved in a survey course of European history is extensive and you can expect to do a lot of reading not only in the text, but also from outside sources and research both in the library and through the internet.

The course will focus on three inter-acting areas of historical inquiry:

· Historical Thinking Skills. Historical thinking skills are central to the study and practice of history. These skills will be modeled and practiced regularly throughout the course. These skills are organized into four types:

1. Chronological reasoning

2. Comparison and contextualization

3. Crafting historical arguments from historical evidence

4. Historical interpretation and synthesis.

· Thematic Learning Objectives. Learning objectives, organized into five major themes, describe what you should know and be able to do by the end of the AP European History course. These objectives represent the major historical understandings that colleges and universities want AP students to have developed in order to merit placement out of the introductory college European history survey course (c. 1450 to the present).

1. Interaction of Europe and the World

2. Poverty and Prosperity

3. Objective Knowledge and Subjective Visions

4. States and Other Institutions of Power

5. Individual and Society

· The Concept Outline. The course is organized into four historical periods that run from c. 1450 to the present, and the key concepts, supporting concepts, and historical developments that are required knowledge for each period.

Period 1: c. 1450 to c. 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 the experiences of everyday life were increasingly shaped by commercial and agricultural capitalism, notwithstanding the persistence of medieval social and economic structures.

Period 2: c. 1648 to c. 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: c. 1815 to c. 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 of 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: c. 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 among 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.

Required Texts:

The Western Heritage since 1300, 11th edition. Kagan, Donald; Ozment, Steven; and Turner, Frank M. Prentice Hall. 2007, including Western Civilization document CD-Rom.

Sources of the Western Tradition, 3rd edition (Volume I and II). Perry, Marvin, Joseph R. Peden, Theodore H. Von Laue. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995.

Recommended Secondary Sources:

A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future. Van Doren, Charles. The Random House Publishing, 1991.

The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors. Gribbin, John. Random House Publishing Group, 2004.

Grading Policy : (From School Policy)

The grade will consist of summative assessments and supports to learning. The summative assessments will be 80% of the grade. The supports to learning will be the remaining 20%. See the chart below for a more detailed explanation. Refer to school policy for additional information.

Grade Distribution

80% (May include, but not limited to:)

20% (May include, but not limited to:)




Writing Assignments

Homework, includes items such as

  • Content standards related
  • Checked for accuracy

Class work checked for accuracy

Other summative work

Participation, such as:

  • In-class work that supports standards
  • OGT support activities

Homework, includes items such as

  • Vocabulary
  • Review activities
  • Items checked for completion

Class work checked for completion

Binder/notebook checks

Content Standard Support Activities

AP Test and Grade Calculation:

It is highly recommended for each student to take the AP test in May. If a student elects to take the AP test, the student will be exempt from the final exam. The final exam grade will be calculated by averaging the 3rd and 4th quarter grades. Students who decide not to take the AP test will be required to take a teacher-generated version of the AP test.

Class Rules and Expectations:

  1. Be on time to class
  2. Bring all necessary materials to class
  3. Hand in assignments on the day they are due
    1. Late assignments may only be accepted according to teacher discretion and will receive fewer points
    2. If you are in school and miss this class because of late entry, early exit , or any other reason, you are still responsible for all work with no time for extensions
  4. Make up work from excused absences as soon as possible.
    1. You should plan to make every effort to be present on test day
    2. You should be prepared to make up a test or quiz the day you return to school or at a mutually-agreed upon time.
    3. If you are absent the day before a test, you will be expected to take the test with the class. Make arrangements to have your class materials brought home
  5. Be respectful to your fellow classmates, your teacher, the classroom, and class materials
  6. No electronic devices in the classroom.

7. Honesty in scholarship is expected and demanded. If caught cheating on assignments and/or tests, your parent or guardian will be informed and the matter will be sent to the unit principal.

6451 Center Street   •   Mentor, Ohio 44060   •   Phone 440.255.4444   •   Fax 440.255.4622   •    Contact Us
View text-based website