Ap european History Syllabus



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AP European History Syllabus
Phyllis M. Knott

Murphy High School

Mobile, Alabama


Textbooks (provided by school system)
A History of Western Society

John McKay, Bennet Hill, and John Buckler, 6th Edition. Houghton Mifflin, 1999


Western Civilization

Jackson J Spielvogel, 6th Edition. Thompson Wadsworth, 2006.



Novels (students will purchase and read individual copies of these. Assignments in a

separate section.)


Summer Reading:

In the Wake of the Plague by Norman Cantor

A World Lit Only By Fire by William Manchester

Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King
The Prince by Machiavelli

Candide by Voltaire

Animal Farm by George Orwell

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque

Night by Elie Wiesel

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solzhenisyn

General Course Objectives

Throughout the study of AP European History students will develop the following skills:



  1. Time management, organization, and study skills

  1. Note taking skills from texts, teacher lectures, guest speakers, and short documentary films

  1. Essay writing skills necessary for both frqs and dbqs

  1. The ability to analyze primary sources and secondary sources

  1. The ability to construct historical arguments (verbally and in essay form)

  1. The ability to construct historical arguments (in class discussions as well as in timed frq and dbq essay writing exercises)

  1. The ability to note causes and consequences of historical events

  1. The ability to make comparisons between historical events



  1. Course Purpose

The purpose of AP European History at MHS is twofold. First, the course is designed to give students the ability to pass the AP European History exam and thus earn college credit for their hard work. The second purpose of AP European History is to provide students with writing ability and time management skills which will help them excel in their Junior and Senior years.


ATTENTION PARENTS: All students in this class will be expected to take the AP Exam in May. The cost of the exam is $85.00. Parents will be expected to send a check made out to Murphy High School by February 1st to cover the cost of the exam. Students who score a 3,4, or 5 on their AP exam will be eligible to receive college credit for European history. Financial aid is available. Students who may be eligible for financial aid need to see Mrs. Estes in the guidance office.


  1. Course Description and Course Themes

AP European History develops six themes. Political, diplomatic, intellectual, cultural, social, and economic themes are addressed in AP European History. These European History themes are addressed for the time period 1450 through 2001. Secondary and primary source readings as well as historical novel readings are a major part of this class. Students will write non-timed essays and short research papers out of class and complete timed frq essays and dbq essays in class. The course begins with summer readings which focus on the plague and on the Renaissance; the course ends with the break up of the Soviet Union and the establishment of the European Union of today. After completing the text, students will have a two week review period for the AP European History Exam.

Course Themes (These are major units and some sub-themes which will be

developed within each unit)



Unit 1

  1. Renaissance, Reformation, New Monarchy, Age of Exploration

  1. Changes in religious thoughts and institutions

  1. Changes in literature and art

  1. Rise of Nation States

  1. Relationship between Europe and other areas of the world

Unit 2

  1. Absolutism and Constitutionalism

  1. Emergence of French absolutisms through Louis XIV

  1. Comparison of Tudor and Stuart Monarchs

  1. Analysis of causes of Glorious Revolution

  1. Comparison of Eastern European absolutism to Western European Monarchy

Units 1 and 2 cover McKay Ch.13-17. These will be covered 1st quarter


18th Century Europe:

Unit 3

  1. Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment

  1. Scientific and technological developments and their consequences

  1. Character of and changes in agricultural production and organization

  1. Changing patterns of family and religion in the 18th century

  1. Secularization of learning and culture

Unit 4

  1. Revolutions: American, French and Industrial Revolutions

  1. Intellectual and cultural developments and their relationship to social values and political events

  1. The extension and limitations of rights and liberties

  1. The origins, developments, and consequences of the Industrial Revolution

Unit 5

  1. 19th Century Revolutions and Urbanization

  1. Development of social, economic, and political thought, including ideologies characterized as “-isms,” such as socialism, liberalism, nationalism

  1. Forms of political protest, reform, and revolution’

  1. The role of urbanization in transforming cultural values and social relationships

  1. The influence of sanitation and health care practices on society

Units 3, 4, and 5 cover McKay Ch. 18-24. These will be covered 2nd quarter.


Unit 6

  1. Nationalism and Imperialism

  1. The evolution and development of political parties, ideologies, and other forms of mass politics

  1. The growth and changing forms of nationalism

  1. Relations between Europe and other parts of the world

  1. The impact of global expansion on European culture

Unit 7

  1. War, Revolution, and Anxiety in the Early 20th Century

  1. War and civil conflict: origins, developments, technology, and their consequences

  1. Major trends in literature and art

  1. Intellectual and cultural developments and their relationship to social values and political events

  1. The growth of competition and interdependence in nationalism and world markets

  1. Efforts to restrain conflict: treaties, balance of power diplomacy, and international organization

Unit 8

  1. World War II and Cold War

  1. Changing definitions of attitudes toward social groups, classes, races, ethnicities within and outside Europe

  1. War and civil conflict: origins, developments, technology, and their consequences

  1. The extension and limitations of rights and liberties; majority and minority political persecution

  1. Private and state roles in economic activity

Units 6, 7, and 8 cover McKay Ch. 25-30. Units 6 and 7 will be completed in 3rd quarter. All WWII material will be covered in 3rd quarter. The intro to the Cold War ( McKay Ch. 30) will be covered in 4th quarter.


Unit 9

  1. Revolution, Reunification, and Rebuilding 1973 to the present

  1. Diffusion of new intellectual concepts among different social groups

  1. Forms of political protest, reform, and revolution

  1. Changing distribution of wealth and poverty

  1. Relationships between domestic and foreign policies

Unit 9 covers Spielvogel Ch. 29. This will be covered 4th quarter.





  1. Course Format and Students Involved

  1. Schedule of Classes

AP European History at MHS meets for 98 minutes every other day; this is the alternating block schedule format. Students will begin AP European History on either Thursday August 9th or Friday August 10th. The last day for students is Thursday May 22nd.


  1. Students Involved

The students enrolled in AP European History at Murphy High School are in 10th grade. These students are in the pre-International Baccalaureate Program. This is not an open enrollment AP European History Class. Students are admitted into pre-IB as 9th graders and are invited to remain in the program based on their performance as freshmen. Each class typically has from 20-25 students. There are 2 sections of AP European at MHS.


  1. Role of Teacher and Students

As AP European History at MHS is taught as a seminar, students are responsible for interacting in class discussions. To make this possible, students must come to class prepared. Prior to any discussion, students will read assigned sections of their texts, novels or other outside readings. Students will be allowed to take notes on readings and be able to use these notes on reading quizzes will be taken at the start of the class prior to the class discussion of topic at hand. Reading quizzes encourage students to read ahead of time and to develop effective note taking skills. Reading quizzes are generally 20-30 points. Novel assignments are usually mini-papers. Points on novel work depend on the length of the novel and the amount of time required to complete the assignment. Novel work is generally worth 100-200 points.

The role of the teacher in this AP European History class is to facilitate the discussion. Students will be given a discussion outline (or a couple of outlines) for each major unit. Outline topics will be discussed in class, and students are expected to take notes, ask questions, and be able to discuss relevant information from outside readings. The teacher will randomly call on students, and students will be allowed to volunteer to lead class discussions. Participation by all students is very important.

The teacher is also responsible for scheduling guest speakers, showing short video clips relevant to the discussion at hand, and exposing the students to music, art, and literature of the European history time period being discussed. Of course, the teacher will also devote time in class and after school to develop AP European history test taking skills and review material which is covered on the AP European history exam.

These are just some of the responsibilities and expectations of the AP European history teacher and students. Each year student needs and interests lead to changes in the role of the teacher and student. It is important that the teacher listens to student suggestions and makes changes each year to avoid strategies that are not working and to incorporate new readings and teaching strategies whenever possible.




  1. Exams and Quizzes

  1. There are 9 units and thus 9 major tests during the school year.

  1. Each unit test will be worth 150-200 points. The typical format is listed below.

1. Multiple Choice-50 question=100 points

2. FRQ-1 essay=50 points

3. Terms/Dates-up to 50 questions=50 points


  1. The unit exams will be spread out through the year as follows:

4. 1st Quarter: Units 1 and 2

5. 2nd Quarter: Units 3,4,5

6. 3rd Quarter: Units 6 and 7

7. 4th Quarter: Units 8 and 9



  1. Quizzes will be given on daily reading assignments as well as on terms and dates.

8. Reading quizzes are worth 20 points

9. Terms and dates quizzes are worth 50 points



  1. At the end of each quarter students are required to take a criterion referenced test provided by the local school board. Frequently this will be combined with a teacher made exam. Both the CRT and the teacher made test will be combined to count as the semester exam.

  1. During after school reviews which begin in January, students will take three practice AP exams. These exams and results will be used to assess areas of student weakness and improve performance on the AP exam given in May.

  1. All students will take the AP exam in May.




  1. The students will write the following FRQs and DBQS throughout the course of the year.

  1. Unit 1 FRQs -one of these will be assigned on Unit 1 test; students should prepare for all as essays are randomly assigned. (Ch. 13-15)

1. Using examples from at least two different states analyze the key features of the “new monarchies” and the factors responsible for their rise in the period from 1450 to 1550.

2. Compare and contrast the motives and actions of Martin Luther in the German states and King Henry VIII in England in bringing about religious change during the Reformation.

3. Analyze the influence of humanism on the visual arts during the Italian renaissance. Use at least 3 specific works to support your analysis.

B. Unit 2 possible test FRQs (Ch. 16-17)

1. In what ways and to what extent did absolutism affect the power and status of the nobility in the period 1650-1750? Use examples from at least 2 countries.

2. Machiavelli suggested that a ruler should behave both “like a lion” and “like a fox.” Analyze the policies of 2 of the following European rulers, indicating the degree to which they successfully followed Machiavelli’s suggestions.

Philip II of Spain, Elizabeth I of England, Henry IV of France, Peter the Great of Russia

3. Assess the validity of the following statement: “Religion caused the downfall of the Stuarts in England."

C. Unit 3 possible test FRQs (Ch. 18-20)

1. Assess the impact of the Scientific Revolution on religion and philosophy from

1550-1750.

2. Identify the features of the 18th century Agricultural Revolution and analyze its

social and economic consequences.

3. Discuss the ways in which the writings of the philosophers and scientists of the period affected the political actions and policies of European monarchs.

D. Unit 4 possible test FRQs (Ch. 21-22)

1. How and to what extent did Enlightenment ideas about religion and society shape the policies of the French Revolution in the period 1789-1799?

2. What were the goals of Napoleon’s domestic policy? Evaluate his success or failure in achieving these goals. Why were his goals unrealistic?

3. Identify three major inventors from the Industrial Revolution and discuss their works and the effects their inventions had upon the development of industrialization.

E. Unit 5 possible test FRQs (Ch. 23-24)

1. Analyze how and why western European attitudes toward children and child-rearing changed from 1750-1900.

2. To what extent did theories espoused by economists such as David Ricardo and Thomas Malthus reflect the spirit of laissez-faire capitalism?

3. Although divided by class and nationality, the revolutionary movements of the years 1830-1848 shared many common characteristics. Describe the features held in common be revolutionary movements of the period in eastern and western Europe.

F. Unit 6 possible test FRQs (Ch. 25-26)

1. Contrast the impact of nationalism in Germany and the Austrian Empire from

1848-1914.

2. Compare and contrast the foreign policy goals and achievements of Metternich (1815-1848) and Bismarck (1862-1890).

3. Discuss the validity of the Marxist claim that imperialism is the ultimate stage in the development of capitalism.

G. Unit 7 possible test FRQs (Ch. 27-28)

1. Compare and contrast the French Revolution (1789-1799) and the Russian Revolution (1917-1942).

2. Analyze the impact of First World War on European culture and society during the interwar period (1919-1939).

3. Compare and contrast the degrees of success of treaties negotiated in Vienna (1814-1815) and Versailles (1919) in achieving European stability.

H. Unit 8 possible test FRQs (Ch. 29-30)

1. Assess the extent to which the economic and political ideals of Karl Marx were

realized in post-revolutionary Russia from 1917-1939.

2. Analyze the ways in which technology and mass culture contributed to the

success of dictators in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

3. Compare and contrast the French Jacobins’ use of state power to achieve revolutionary goals during the terror (1793-1794) with Stalin’s use of state power to achieve revolutionary goals in the Soviet Union during the period 1928-1939.

I. Unit 9 possible test FRQs (Spielvogel Ch.29)

1. Compare and contrast the political and economic effects of the Cold War (1945-1991) on Western Europe with the effects on Eastern Europe.

2. Analyze the factors working for and against the European unity from 1945-2001.

3. Analyze three reasons for the end of Soviet domination over Eastern Europe.


  1. The students will write the following DBQs throughout the year. DBQs are worth 50 points. Due dates on calendar to follow.

  1. Rituals and Festivals

  1. Poor DBQ

  1. Gin Act DBQ

  1. Manchester DBQ

  1. Greek Independence DBQ

  1. Civil Peace DBQ

  1. Women’s Suffrage DBQ

  1. Sports DBQ

  1. European Union DBQ

DBQs after school-Gin Act, 2007 children


  1. Novel Assignments

A. In the Wake of the Plague by Norman Cantor * Summer reading

* Due at the start of the school

Worth : 210 points

Answer the following questions in complete sentences. Write neatly do not type.


Chapter 1—2 questions 10 points each

1. Describe 14th century medicine.

2. Explain the origin and purpose of this book (pg. 10)
Chapter 2—2 questions 10 points each

1. Explain the effects of the bubonic plague on infected individuals.

2. What immediate problems resulted from massive plague deaths?
Chapter 3—2 questions 10 points each

1. Describe the 100 years war.

2. Describe the impact of the plague on Edward III’s family.
Chapter 4—2 questions 10 points each

1. Describe English serfdom

2. Describe monastery life.

Chapter 5—4 questions 10 points each

1. Explain the Avignon Papacy

2. Describe Thomas Becket

3. Describe Bradwardine’s appointment

4. List various interpretations of the plague.


Chapter 6—2 questions 10 points each

1. How could an individual improve his social status?

2. How did women and lawyers benefit from the plague?

Chapter 7—2 questions 10 points each

1. Explain the title of this chapter.

2. Explain (with specifics) the impact of the plague on Jews.


Chapter 8—2 questions 10points total

1. Explain the title of this chapter


Chapter 9—20 points total

List and describe 2 pandemics mentioned in this chapter


Aftermath—20 points total

Explain at least 2 reactions to the plague




  1. A World Lit Only By Fire by William Manchester *Summer reading

*Due the first day of class

WORTH: 140 points


I. In a hand written document, define each of the following words below, making sure that your definition agrees with the context in which the word is used. Write a new sentence using the word appropriately. Page numbers have been provided to help find the appropriate sense of meaning. (50 points)

Eviscerated 36

Emasculated 44

Misogyny 70

Lubricity 71

Invested 71

Cupidity 74

Satyrical 74

Admixture 79

Comity 102

Speciosity 104

Vituperative 109

Apostasy 113

Parricide 125

Irascible 137

Salubrious 137

Crepitation 139

Derogating 162

Sophistry 204

Prerogative 206

Panjandrums 268

Venery 270

Obloquy 288

Indefatigable 299


II. In a hand written document, provide a detailed (8 sentences) discussion of Manchester’s 1st chapter. Specifically, what characteristics does Manchester attribute to the medieval mind? How were these features manifest in ordinary life as well as among the powerful and influential? (10 points)
III. In a hand written document, provide detailed (8 sentences per answer) discussion of each of the following: (10 points each---total= 50 points)

a) The German princes and people supported Luther’s reformation more for political and economic reasons than for religious ones. Cite sources from the book.

b) A split in the Catholic Church or a movement for reform was inevitable because of the abuses and worldliness of those who were its leaders and spokesmen.

c) According to prelate Alvaro Pelayo of Spain (1500s) “Wolves are in control of the church and feed on [Christian] blood!” Explain this quotation for the time period 1200-1517 and assess its validity.

d) Using the cartoon on page 200 as a starting and reference point, discuss the actions taken by the Catholic Church to institute reform and assess whether or not the Lutherans (source of the cartoon) are justified in their feeling. (Hot tip: The 3 men in the cartoon are Cardinals and the painting behind the alter is of the Pope. Also look at page 132)

e) Give specific thoughts, values and actions of Magellan, which caused Manchester to single him out as the exemplar of the Renaissance spirit. What is the contrast between the Renaissance spirit (Magellan) and the medieval mind (Ch. 1)?

IV. The last section of Ch. 1, the Medieval Mind, ends with a list of names (pg. 27-28). Pick 3 of these names and, in a hand written document, explain why Manchester implies that these names are “dragons” lurking to destroy the medieval status quo (8 sentences/name). (30 points)


  1. Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King *Summer reading

* Due on the first day of class.

Worth : 120 points


10. Compare and contrast 14th-15th century Florence with 14th-15th century Rome in terms of wealth, industry, architecture, economics, and self-perception. (1-2 Paragraphs/ 10 points)

11. How did the Italians view Gothic Architecture? (1 paragraph/ 5 points)

12. Analyze and discuss the role of guilds in the design, patronage, and construction of Santa Maria del Flore. (1-2 paragraphs/ 10 points)

13. Analyze and discuss the rivalry that existed between Florence and Milan. (1 paragraph/ 5 points)

14. In reading the book identify and analyze the following themes and how they relate to the construction of the Dome. (2-3 sentences/ 2 points each)


  1. The unification of Italy

  1. Humanism

  1. Age of Exploration

  1. The Great Schism

  1. The Black Death (the Plague)

  1. Patronage

  1. Dante’s Inferno

15. Analyze and discuss the rivalry and relationship between Ghiberti and Brunelleschi as it progressed through the construction of the dome.

16. King discusses social issues throughout the book. Analyze the following issues. (2-3 sentences/ 2 points each)
a. Marriage

b. Typical workday

c. Popolo minuto

d. Slavery

e. Warfare
17. What major challenges faced Brunelleschi as he constructed the Dome? (1 paragraph/ 6 points)

18. King gives Brunelleschi credit for an important innovation in art. What was it and how did it relate to the construction of the Dome? (1 paragraph/ 5 points)

19. What types of machinery/ technology had to be created/ invented? What purpose did they serve? (1-2 paragraphs/ 10 points)

20. Why did cities smell so horribly in the 15th century? (1 paragraph/ 5 points)

21. Who was Alberti? Was he a typical Renaissance Man? Why or Why not? (1 paragraph/ 5 points)

22. Why was Brunelleschi so secretive about his plans? What role did patents play in the construction of the Dome? (1-2 paragraphs/ 10 points)

23. How did Brunelleschi propose to pay for the special chapels he envisioned? Did he succeed? (1 paragraph/ 5 points)

24. What were Brunelleschi’s greatest successes and most significant failures? (1-2 paragraphs/ 10 points)




  1. Prince by Machiavelli

Worth: 100 points

Due: Oct 4-5

Submit typed copy of essay as well as the essay saved on a disc to be submitted to turnitin.com. Include a word-count: 750-1000 words.
Using 3 quotes from this book, explain Machiavelli’s approach for a prince to gain and maintain power. Write your answer in a 5 paragraph essay. The ONLY quote you MAY NOT use is “The end justifies the means.’


  1. Candide by Voltaire

Worth: 200 points

Due: Oct. 23-24

Submit: Typed essay and essay saved on disc to be submitted to turnitin.com
Requirements: Read Candide and research the life of Voltaire. Using at least three specific examples from Candide, identify three institutions or practices that Voltaire attacks attacks in Candide. Also include biographical information about Voltaire in your introduction and discuss Voltaire as an example of the philosophes of the Enlightenment in your conclusion. Include a word count: 1000-1500 words.
F.All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque

Worth: 200 points

Due: Feb. 22-25

Submit: Typed copies and essays saved on disc for turnitin.com

1. Read the book.

2. After reading the book, you may need to do some outside research on the pre and post-WWI periods. You may use your texts or any other source. Don’t plagiarize.

3. Answer the following questions in essay form. Each essay should be 5-6 paragraphs. The maximum number of words per essay is 1500. The minimum number is 1000. Include a word count for each essay.

ESSAY #1:100 points

Using specific examples from events and characters in the novel, show how WWI was different from previous wars and show how WWI changed peoples’ perceptions of war.
ESSAY #2:100 points

Using specific examples from events and characters in the novel, show how young men(like Paul) became disillusioned with the older generation which glorified war. How was this disillusionment mirrored in post-WWI art and literature?


G. Animal Farm by George Orwell

Worth: 200 points

Due: March 20-21

Submit: Typed Essay and essay saved on disc to be submitted to turnitin.com

Requirements: Read Animal Farm and the excerpt from “The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union” by Michael Kort (13 pages; teacher will provide copies of this material). Then, write a 1,000-1,500 mini-paper on Orwell’s use of the characters of Animal Farm to reflect specific individuals during the Russian Revolution and the USSR under Stalin.


  1. Night by Elie Wiesel

Worth : 100 points

Submit: Typed essay and essay saved on disc to be submitted to turnitin.com


One 5-6 (or more) paragraph essay-typed/double spaced

1,000 words (approximately-include a word count)


Essay question: Throughout Night the characters had a chance to escape their fates. Discuss in chronological order details about when the characters learned about the treatment of the Jews, the characters’ reactions, and the results of these actions. What ultimately happened to the members of this family?


  1. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Worth: 200 points

Submit: Typed essays and essays saved on disc to be submitted to turnitin.com

1.Read the novel.

2.Using your text and/or other sources,research life in the USSR during the regime of Stalin. If you include any of this information in your essays, paraphrase and cite sources. Don't plagiarize.

3. Then, answer the following questions in essay form. Each essay should be 5-6 paragraphs. The maximum # of words is 1,500; the minimum number of words is 1,000. Include a word count for each essay.
ESSAY #1 : How does Solzhenisyn use the titlr character as well as other characters to illustrate the repressive nature of the Stalin regime? (100 points)
ESSAY #2 : Explain the events of this day as an example of typical gulag life. How might the author know about gulag life? (100 points).




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