1. The transition from pre-modern to modern Europe was characterized by a shift in political power toward the monarchs and a shift in philosophy from spiritual to secular.
I can analyze the decline of the power of the Roman Catholic Church during the transition from pre-modern to modern Europe.
I can analyze the decline of the nobles’ power during the transition from pre-modern to modern Europe.
I can describe the process by which the Renaissance and the environment in which it emerged in Italy.
I can compare and contrast the competing philosophies of the period of transition from pre-modern to modern Europe.
I can describe the growing entanglement of secular and spiritual authority in Renaissance Italy.
2. The humanist philosophy and the invention of the movable-type printing press revolutionized European culture.
I can compare and contrast works of art of the medieval period with those of the Renaissance and assess to what extent the philosophy of humanism influenced this transformation.
I can describe the contributions of the Italian Renaissance masters and identify the characteristics of Renaissance art in their works.
I can describe how the movable-type printing press worked and assess to what extent it transformed modern European history and culture.
I can compare and contrast the works of the Italian Renaissance with the “Northern” Renaissance.
The beginning of the modern era in Europe was marked by the decline of the power wielded by the Church and the nobles. A series of failed Crusades, internal division and corruption, and the horrors of the Black Death gradually eroded believers’ confidence in the Church. The nobles, meanwhile, saw a rising “middle class” of merchants displace them as the wealthiest members of society, then watch as kings partnered with merchants, protecting their valuable trade in order to reap tax revenues to build an independent treasury with which they could hire their own armies of peasants armed with new technologies like the longbow, which was making knights obsolete. All of this opened the doors for the monarchs to consolidate their power as an era of absolute monarchy loomed. The cities chartered by the kings to serve as centers of trade, meanwhile, grew into political and cultural centers as well.
In the meantime, the same trade that was giving rise to the merchants and kings allowed the ancient Greek and Roman heritage to be reintroduced into western Europe. This gave rise to an enthusiasm for the ancient styles in the arts, but just as importantly it gave rise to a new philosophy, humanism. Unlike the philosophy of the medieval Church, which taught that the only worth this life held was preparation for eternity in heaven, humanism held that great achievements gave this earthly existence its own worth and dignity. This further undermined Church authority but also inspired a new synthesis in the visual arts. Starting in Italy, painters and sculptors continued to present divine subjects, but now they combined ancient Greek standards and motifs with new techniques to present them in a way that emphasized their humanity. Supported by wealthy patrons, the artists of the Italian Renaissance gave the world some of its most valued art treasures.
Outside of Italy, wealthy merchants and city leaders hoped to make their cities into cultural centers like those in Italy had become. Their patronage allowed artists to learn techniques from the Italian master which they brought home and used to glorify both religious figures and local themes. Because of their passion for the everyday, their work provides a window into daily life in western Europe during this era.
The most important development of the period, however, was the movable-type printing press, which not only made written works more generally available, but now allowed for western Europe to emerge as a community of shared innovation that rocketed it ahead of all of the other regions of the world.
Second, Third, Fourth Crusades perspective
Avignon Papacy fresco
“Babylonian Captivity” movable-type printing press
decadence subject vs. technique
Western Schism Boniface VIII “Unam Sanctam”
Council of Constance Philippe IV “le Bel”
Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges Clement V
Black Death Urban VI
bubonic, pneumonic, Charles VIII
septicaemic plagues Henry V
anti-Semitism Joan of Arc
flagellation Charles IV, HRE
merchants/”middle class” Thomas Aquinas
towns Giovani di Medici
guilds/guild masters Cosimo di Medici
Hundred Years’ War Lorenzo and Guiliano de Medici
longbow Sixtus IV (della Rovera)
Battles of Crecy, Poitiers, Girolamo Savonarola
Agincourt Alexander VI (Borgia)
artillery/the cannon Filippo Brunelleschi
Renaissance/”Renatio” Leonardo da Vinci “Last Supper”
Golden Bull Michelangelo (Buonarotti)
Guelphs vs. Ghibellines “David”
Contadini Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
vendetta “The Last Judgment”
popolo grosso/minute Raphael (Sanzio)
Signoria “The School of Athens”
medieval philosophy Johann Gutenberg
Scholasticism Albrecht Durer
Humanism Hans Holbein
humanities Jan van Eyck
“L’uomo universal” Medici bank Pieter Bruegel
Pazzi Conspiracy Miguel de Cervantes
interdict William Shakespeare
assess to what extent
compare and contrast
Palmer, R. R., Colton, Joel, and Kramer, Lloyd, A History of the Modern World Tenth Edition
Caldwell, Amy, Beeler, John, and Clark, Charles, ed., Sources of Western Society
Davies, Norman, Europe: A History
Davison, Michael Worth, ed., Everyday Life Through the Ages
Lualdi, Katharine, ed., Sources of The Making of the West
Sherman, Dennis, Western Civilization: Sources, Images, and Interpretations
Tierney, Brian, Kagan, Donald, and Williams, L. Pearce, eds., Great Issues in Western Civilization
Aligheri, Dante, The Inferno
Boorstin, Daniel J., The Creators
Burke, James, The Day the Universe Changed
Castiglione, Baldissaire, Book of theCourtier
Durant, William, The Story of Renaissance
Hall, Sir Peter, Cities in Civilization
Keegan, John, The Face of Battle
King, Ross, Brunelleschi’s Dome
King, Ross, Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling
Manchester, William, A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance
Machiavelli, Niccolo, Il Principe (The Prince)
More, Sir Thomas, Utopia
Norberg-Schulz, Christian, Meaning in Western Architecture
Due to the nature of the AP European History curriculum, it is difficult to envision an approach to enrichment. The course is taught with the expectation that its content and standards for performance are equivalent to those of a first-year college survey course, and students who choose to enroll in this course do so in anticipation that the course, in and of itself, is an enrichment of their education in history. Students may choose to read the complete versions of texts referenced during the course, with the encouragement and support of the instructor.