Advanced Placement European History

2005-06 School Year



Each page a victory,

At whose expense the victory ball?

Every ten years a great man.

Who paid the piper?


So many particulars.

So many questions.

                                                      Bertolt Brecht: A Worker Reads History



I.                   Instructor Information:  Larry E. Gates, Jr., J.D.

 Room 125

 School Email:

 Home Email:

 Yahoo! Messenger: drtrgates

 Home Telephone:  248-3086


Students and parents should feel free to contact me at any time to discuss any concerns that may arise.


II.                Textbook: Spielvogel, Western Civilization, 6th Edition.  Substantial reliance will be made upon Notes posted on the Course Website:


III.             Course Credit:  The class will meet at 7:00 a.m. daily for the entire school year.. Upon successful completion, students will receive one Advanced Placement Credit in Social Studies.


IV.              Course Objectives:  It is anticipated that, at the completion of the course, students will:


§         Gain a working knowledge of the basic chronology and major events and trends in European History from the Early Middle Ages to the present.

§         Develop an understanding of some of the principal themes in modern European History.

§         Be able to analyze historical evidence and express historical understanding in writing.


V.                 Themes of European History: The list below contains some of the important areas that will be treated in the course. Some will be dealt with explicitly, others implicitly. This list may be expanded as the course develops, therefore it should not be considered exclusive. Questions on the AP European History Examination will require students to interrelate various categories and/or trace developments in a particular category through several chronological periods.


a.      Intellectual and Cultural History:


§         Changes in religious thought and institutions

§         Secularization of learning and culture.

§         Scientific and technological developments and their consequences.

§         Major trends in literature and the arts.

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

§         Developments in social, economic, and political thought.

§         Development in literacy, education, and communication.

§         The diffusion of new intellectual concepts among different social groups.

§         Changes in elite and popular culture, including but not limited to the development of new attitudes toward religion, the family, work, and ritual.

§         Impact of global expansion on European culture.


b.      Political and Diplomatic History:


§         The rise and function of the modern state in its various forms.

§         Relationships between Europe and other parts of the world: colonization, imperialism, decolonization, and global interdependence.

§         The evolution of political elites and the development of political parties and ideologies.

§         The extension and limitation of rights and liberties (personal, civic, economic, and political); majority and minority political persecutions.

§         The growth and changing forms of nationalism.

§         Forms of political protest, reform, and revolution.

§         Relationship between foreign and domestic policies.

§         Efforts to restrain conflict: treaties, balance of power diplomacy, and international organizations.

§         War and civil conflict: origins, development, technology, and their consequences.


c.       Social and Economic History:


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

§         The shift in social structures from hierarchical orders to modern social classes: the changing distribution of wealth and poverty.

§         The influence of sanitation and health care practices on society, food supply, diet, famine, disease, and their impact.

§         The development of commercial practices and their economic and social impact.

§         Changing definitions and attitudes toward mainstream groups and groups characterized as “the other.”

§         The origins, development, and consequences of industrialization.

§         Changes in the demographic structure of Europe. Their causes and consequences.

§         Gender roles and their influence on work, social structure, family structure, and interest group formations.

§         Private and state roles in economic activity.

§         Development of racial and ethnic group identities.


VI.              Student Assignments:  Students will be assigned readings from the textbook and notes posted on the Class Website not less than weekly in anticipation of topics to be discussed in class. Additional reading material from a variety of sources will also be provided as part of individual lessons. In order to assure that students complete all assigned readings, a brief quiz of approximately twelve multiple choice or true/false questions may be administered without prior notice at the beginning of class on those days in which reading assignments are to be completed.  Students will be required to answer not more than ten questions. No credit will be given for unanswered questions, however a “guessing” penalty of two points will be deducted from the students total score for any wrong answers.


Additionally, unit tests will be administered at the end of each unit of study. Ample notice will be given before test dates. Tests will consist of multiple choice questions. No penalty will be assessed for guessing, as in the case of reading quizzes.


Students will also periodically be assigned historical essays for writing, approximately one each week.  Essays will be assigned more frequently as students become comfortable with historical writing, and the date for the examination approaches. Every precaution will be taken that essays and tests are not scheduled too closely.  A number of essays will be assigned as homework, with students normally given two to three days to complete the same.  Other essays will be written in class with a time limit imposed similar to that imposed under actual testing conditions to acclimate students to writing under time constraints.  Whenever possible, essays will be drawn from previous DBQ’s or Free Response Questions (FRQ’s)


VII.           Grading Scale: Grades will be determined as follows:


Reading Quizzes                                   15 %

Unit Tests                                             50 %        

Essays                                                  35 %


VIII.        Due Dates, Class Absences and Makeup:  All assignments will be due at the tardy bell on the date designated.  Assignments handed in after that time are considered late, and will be penalized ten points for each day they are late.  Assignments not handed in by the tardy bell on the third day will not be accepted, and a grade of zero assigned.


The very nature of an Advanced Placement Course is such that daily attendance is essential to success.  Students should take care that they are absent from class only when attendance is impossible.  Students who are absent are responsible for all missed work.  Those students who present an excused absence report from the school attendance office will be allowed three school days to complete missed assignments.  This time may be extended for good cause shown.  Students who fail to present an excused absence report will not be allowed to complete missed work and a grade of zero assigned therefor.  There will be no exceptions to this rule.


IX.              The Advanced Placement Examination:  The AP European History Examination is scheduled for the second Friday afternoon in May 6, 2006. Time and place of the examination will be announced well in advance.  South Carolina law requires that all students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses sit for the examination.  All fees for the examination are paid by the State of South Carolina. 



Scores on the exam range from 1 – 5 with 5 the highest. Three is considered a passing grade.  Students who achieve a passing grade may be entitled to college credit.  Individual colleges determine the necessary scores required before credit will be awarded.


Although the exam is not “easy,” the course and the examination are less rigorous than the AP U.S. History Exam for which all students have sat.


X.         Academic Integrity:  It is assumed all students understand that all work turned in for credit must be the student’s own work; it must not be plagiarized nor obtained by any other dishonest or inappropriate means.  Typical college policy is expulsion from the institution for the first offense.  Students guilty of cheating on any work for this course will receive a grade of zero for the assignment, and the student’s parents notified.  Additionally, the National Honor Society and Educational Testing service will be notified, and a signed report of the incident placed in the student’s scholarship file.


Students are expected to preserve all work on a floppy disc and the disc periodically turned in.  Random samples of work will be periodically verified for authenticity.


XI.              Course Sequence: The following Sequence of Instruction will be followed. Changes will be made when and where appropriate.


A.     The Legacy of the Medieval Period:

1.      The dissolution of the Roman Empire and Rise of Christianity.

2.      The contributions of Islam to Western Society.

3.      Feudalism

4.      Pope vs. Emperor: The Crisis of Church and State.

5.      The Crusades and their effect on Europe.

6.      The Tragedy of the Late Middle Ages.

7.      The Emergence of Early Modern Europe.


B.     The Renaissance

1.      The City States of the Italian Peninsula

2.      The Rediscovery of Classical Learning

3.      The Renaissance and Religion

4.      Renaissance Art.

5.      The End of the Renaissance.


C.     The Two Reformations.

1.      The Northern Renaissance.

2.      The Roots of the Reformation.

3.      Social Background of the Reformation in the German States.

4.      The Spread of the Reformation.

5.      The Reformation in Switzerland and France.

6.      The Reformation in England.

7.      The Catholic Reformation.

8.      Culture during the Two Reformations.

9.      The Legacy of the two Reformations.


D.     The Wars of Religion

1.      The Wars of Religion in Sixteenth Century France.

2.      The Thirty Years War


E.      The Rise of the Atlantic Economy: Spain and England.

1.      Economic Expansion.

2.      The Rise of Spain

3.      The Rise of England

4.      The Decline of Spain


F.      England and the Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century.

1.      Conflicts in Stuart England.

2.      Religious Divisions.

3.      The English Civil War

4.      The Glorious Revolution

5.      The Golden Age of the Dutch Republic.

6.      The Decline of the Dutch Republic.


G.     The Age of Absolutism:

1.      Theories of Absolutism.

2.      Characterizing Absolute Rule.

3.      The Balance of Power

4.      The Hapsburg Monarchy.

5.      The Rise of Prussia.

6.      The Russian and Swedish Empires.

7.      The Modern State.


H.     The New Philosophies of Science.

1.      Changing Views of the Universe.

2.      Descartes and Newton: Competing Theories of Scientific Knowledge.

3.      The Culture of Science.

4.      Consequences of the Scientific Revolution.


I.        Enlightened Thought and the Republic of Letters.

1.      Enlightened Ideas.

2.      The Diffusion and Expansion of the Enlightenment.

3.      Enlightened Absolutism.

4.      Currents of the Late Enlightenment.

5.      Legacy of the Enlightenment.


J.       Eighteenth Century Economic and Social Change.

1.      The Social Order

2.      The Beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.

3.      Social Change

4.      Social Control


K.    Eighteenth Century Dynastic Rivalries and Politics

1.      The State System of the Eighteenth Century

2.      Conflicts between the Great Powers

3.      Political Change in Britain

4.      Challenges to Established Authority

5.      The decline of Poland and the Ottoman Empire


G.     The French Revolution

1.      The Old Regime

2.      The First Stages

3.      Consolidation of the Revolution

4.      War and the Second Revolution

5.      The Final Stages

6.      The Revolution in Perspective


H.     Napoleon Bonaparte

         1.  Rise to Power

                           2.  Consolidation of Power

                           3. Foundations of the French Empire

                           4.  The Turning of the Tide

                           5.  The Restoration of the Monarchy and Return of Napoleon


I.        The Industrial Revolution

         1.  The Preconditions of Transformation.

         2.  National Industrial Experiences

         3.  Impact of the Revolution

         4.  Industrial Work and Workers

         5.  The Origins of European Socialism.


J.       The Age of Liberalism and Challenges to the Restoration of Europe

                      1.  The Post-Napoleonic Settlement

          2.  Restoration Europe

                            3.  Liberalism

                            4.  Romanticism

                            5.  The Middle Classes

          6.  Middle Class Culture

          7.  The Ambiguities of Liberalism: Volunteerism vs. State                         Intervention.

          8.  Revolt

          9.  Nationalism

         10.  Crisis and Compromise in Great Britain


K.    The Revolutions of 1848

a.       Revolutionary Mobilization

b.      The Elusive Search for Revolutionary Consensus

c.       Counter-Revolution


L.      The Eve of National Unification

a.       The Unification of Italy

b.      The Unification of Germany

c.       Nationalism in the Hapsburg Empire.


M.   Britain, Russia and France in the Age of Liberalism

a.       Victorian Britain

b.      Tsarist Russia

c.       France, the Second Empire and Third Republic

d.      Republican France


N.    The Challenges of Rapid Industrialization

a.       The Second Industrial Revolution

b.      Social Change

c.       Cultural Changes

d.      The Consumer Explosion


O.    Political and Cultural Responses to Change

a.       State Social Reform

b.      Cultural Ferment


P.      The Age of European Imperialism

a.       From Colonialism to Imperialism

b.      The “New Imperialism” and  the Scramble for Africa

c.       The European Powers in Asia

d.      Domination of Indigenous Peoples


Q.    The Great War

a.       Entangling Alliances

b.      The Europe of Two Armed Camps

c.       The Final Crisis

d.      The Outbreak of War

e.       The Changing Nature of War

f.        The War Rages On.

g.       The Final Stages of the War

h.       The Impact of the War.


R.     Revolutionary Russia and the Soviet Union

a.       War and Revolution

b.      The October Revolution

c.       Civil War

d.      The Soviet Union


S.      The Search for Stability in the 1920’s.

a.       The War’s End.

b.      National and Ethnic Challenges

c.       Economic and Social Instability

d.      Political Instability

e.       Artists and Intellectuals in the Waste Land


T.      The Europe of Depression and Dictatorship

a.       Economics in Crisis

b.      Fascism in Italy

c.       Adolf Hitler and the Rise of National Socialism in Germany.

d.      The Spanish Civil War

e.       The Coming of World War II


U.     World War II

a.       The War in Europe

b.      A Global War

c.       Hitler’s Europe

d.      The Tide Turns

e.       Allied Victory


V.     Rebuilding Divided Europe

a.       In the Wake of Devastation

b.      Political Realignments

c.       Economic Recovery: The Welfare State and European Economic Cooperation

d.      The Cold War


W.   Decolonization and the New Prosperity

a.       Politics in the West in the Post-War Era

b.      Decolonization

c.       A New Prosperity

d.      A Changing Continent

e.       Changing Contours of Economic Life


X.     The Emergence of Contemporary Europe and the Collapse of Communism

a.       Politics in a Changing Western World.

b.      Threats to Peace

c.       The Fall of Communism


Y.     The Uncertainties of a New Age

a.       Immigration in Europe

b.      Opposition to Globalization

c.       The Threat of Terrorism