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AP European History Introduction Shaded text indicates important new information about this subject. The AP course and examination in European History.

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Presentation on theme: "AP European History Introduction Shaded text indicates important new information about this subject. The AP course and examination in European History."— Presentation transcript:


2 AP European History Introduction Shaded text indicates important new information about this subject. The AP course and examination in European History are intended for qualified students who wish to complete classes in secondary school equivalent to college introductory courses in European history. The examination presumes at least one academic year of college-level preparation, a description of which is set forth in this booklet. The inclusion of historical course material in the course description and in the examination is not intended as an endorsement by the College Board or Educational Testing Service of the content, ideas, or values expressed in the material. The material has been selected by historians who serve as members of the AP European History Development Committee. In their judgment, the material printed here reflects the course of study on which this examination is based and is therefore appropriate to use to measure the skills and knowledge acquired in this course. The current AP program in European History corresponds to the most recent developments in history curricula at the undergraduate level.* In colleges and universities, European history is increasingly seen in a broad perspective, with teaching methods of reflecting an awareness of other disciplines and diverse techniques of presentation, including visual and statistical materials. Trends such as these are used by the Development Committee to adjust the course and the examination. The examination is divided into three parts: a multiple-choice section dealing with concepts, major historical facts and personalities, and historical analysis; a document-based essay designed specifically to test students’ ability to work with evidence; and two thematic essays on topics of major significance. Together, these three parts of the examination provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate that they are qualified to pursue upper-level history studies at college. All sections of the examination reflect college and university programs in terms of subject matter and approach. Therefore, questions in cultural, diplomatic, economic, intellectual, political, and social history form the basis for the examination. Students are expected to demonstrate a knowledge of basic chronology and of major events and trends from approximately 1450 (the high Renaissance) to the present. The entire chronological scope and a range of approaches are incorporated throughout the examination. Students need to understand the designations for centuries; e.g., the seventeenth century is the 1600’s not the 1700’s. In the multiple-choice section, approximately one-half of the questions deal with the period from 1450 to the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic era, and one-half from the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic era to the present. A number of questions may be cross-chronological or combine several approaches. Students should also have some familiarity with those aspects of the late medieval period that have an impact on post-1450 events, but there will be no essay or multiple-choice question that will have pre-1450 material as its focus. There will also be no essay or multiple-choice question that will focus on the post-2001 period. The Course Goals The study of European history since 1450 introduces students to cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world in which they live. Without this knowledge, we would lack the context for understanding the development of contemporary institutions, the role of *The Development Committee periodically revises the content and structure of the AP European History Course Description to reflect new developments in the discipline, to aid teachers in maintaining the comprehensive quality of their courses, and to assist teachers new to the program. A supplementary booklet, Teacher’s Guide - AP European History, has been prepared; see the back of this booklet for ordering information. Regular updates and the most current information about AP European History are available at AP CentralTM (

3 Themes in Modern European History
The outlined themes that follow indicate some of the important areas that might be treated in an AP course in European History. The ideas suggested do not have to be treated explicitly as topics or covered inclusively, nor should they preclude development of other themes. In addition, questions on the examination will often call for students to interrelate categories or to trace developments in a particular category through several chronological periods. For this reason, students and teachers need to address periodization in European history and to relate periodization, as appropriate, to the following themes. 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 Developments in literacy, education, and communication The diffusion of new intellectual concepts among different social groups Changes in elite and popular culture, such as the development of new attitudes toward religion, the family, work, and ritual Impact of global expansion on European culture Political and Diplomatic History The rise and functioning of the modern state in its various forms Relations between Europe and other parts of the world: colonialism, imperialism, decolonization, and global interdependence The evolution of political elites and the development of political parties, ideologies, and other forms of mass politics 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 domestic and foreign policies Efforts to restrain conflict: treaties, balance-of-power diplomacy, and international organizations War and civil conflict: origins, developments, technology, and their consequences Social and Economic History The character of and changes in agricultural production and organization 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, patterns of mass production and consumption, and their economic and social impact Changing definitions of and attitudes toward mainstream groups and groups characterized as the “other” The origins, development, and consequences of industrialization Changes in the demographic structure and reproductive patterns of Europeans: causes and consequences Gender roles and their influence on work, social structure, family structure, and interest group formation The growth of competition and interdependence in national and world markets Private and state roles in economic activity Development and transformation of racial and ethnic group identities

STEP ONE: Develop a strong thesis A thesis is an argument or a hypothesis; it is the point of your essay. All your evidence throughout the essay will support your thesis. You should state your argument in your opening paragraph. Example of a weak thesis statement: This paper is about the status of Blacks after the Civil War This thesis statement is weak because it does not make an argument or answer a question. Example of a strong thesis statement: After the Civil War, many of the freed Black slaves believed that their children would have substantially better lives and greater opportunities than they had had as slaves. However, their hopes for their children were not fulfilled; in the 1880s the lives of most Blacks were not much better than those of their parents. The thesis statement “in the 1880s the lives of most Blacks were not much better than those of their parents” makes an argument (readers can agree or disagree with it.) A good thesis statement can be rephrased as a question. In this case, the question is “Were the children of ex-slaves much better off than their parents?” Or. “How much difference did the Thirteenth Amendment make in the lives of most African Americans in the late nineteenth century?” STEP TWO: WRITING WELL-CONSTRUCTED ESSAYS A good essay has: a clear structure is jargon-free (does not use slang or overspecialized language) is lucid (clear, intelligible) is not filled with superfluous (unnecessary) detail is compelling to the reader (expository essay = historically informative + interesting)

5 Make judgments and support them Combine and create new entity
Decide, evaluate, dispute, rate, discuss, verify, judge, grade, choose, assess, select Hypothesize, imagine, compose, combine, invent, create, infer, estimate, produce, forecast, design, predict Summarize, abstract, classify, dissect, compare, contrast, deduce, order, investigate, differentiate, categorize Apply, show, make, teach, translate, illustrate, construct, demonstrate List, identify, locate, name, memorize, review, read, recall, match, reproduce EVALUATION SYNTHESIS ANALYSIS APPLICATION RECALL Make judgments and support them Combine and create new entity See relationships Use information Recall and explain information Adapted from Benjamin S. Bloom, Taxonomy of Needs (1956)

6 Analyze: determine the nature and relationship of the component parts of; explain; break down. “Analyze the major social, political, and technological changes that took place in European warfare between 1789 and 1918.” Assess: judge the value or character of something; appraise; evaluate. “‘The essential cause of the French Revolution was the collision between a powerful, rising bourgeoisie and an entrenched aristocracy defending its privileges.’ Assess the validity of this statement as an explanation of the events leading up to the French Revolution of 1789.” Compare: examine for the purpose of noting similarities and differences. “Compare the rise to power of fascism in Italy and in Germany.” Contrast: examine in order to show dissimilarities or points of difference. “Contrast the ways in which European skilled artisans of the mid-eighteenth century and European factory workers of the late nineteenth century differed in their work behavior and in their attitudes toward work.” Describe: give an account of; tell about; give a word picture of. “Describe the steps taken between 1832 and 1918 to extend the suffrage in England. What groups and movements contributed to the extension of the vote?” Discuss: talk over; write about; consider or examine by argument or from various points of view; debate’ present the different sides of. “Discuss the extent to which nineteenth-century Romanticism was or was not a conservative cultural and intellectual movement.” Evaluate: give the positive points and the negative ones; appraise; give an opinion regarding the value of; discuss the advantages and disadvantages of. “ ‘Luther was both a revolutionary and a conservative.’ Evaluate this statement with respect to Luther’s responses to the political and social questions of his day.” Explain: make clear or plain; make clear the causes or reasons for; make known in detail; tell the meaning of. “Explain how economic, technological, political, and religious factors promoted European explorations from about 1450 to about 1525.”

7 What Is the Subject? The general topic, content, and ideas contained in the text. Students should be able to state the subject in a few words or a short phrase. What Is the Occasion? The time and place of the piece; the current situation. It is particularly important that students understand the context that encouraged the writing to happen. Who Is the Audience? The group of readers to whom this piece is directed. The audience may be one person, a small group, or a large group; it may be a certain person or a certain people. This is a difficult concept for students. They tend to think that authors just write, not that they write for anyone. What is the Purpose? The reason behind the text. Many students do not even consider this question. Until they do, they will not be able to examine the argument or its logic. 1 “Teaching Rhetoric in High School: Some Proposals,” English Journal 55 (8) (November 1966): 1060. Who Is the Speaker? The voice that tells the story. When students approach a piece of fiction, they often believe that the author and the speaker of the piece are the same. They fail to realize that in fiction the author may choose to tell the story from any number of different points of view. In fact, the method of narration and the character of the speaker may be crucial to an understanding of the work. This confusion of author and speaker is particularly common when there is a gender difference. For instance, students see that the author is female and assume that the speaker is female, even though all the facts indicate that the speaker is male. Furthermore, they think that what the speaker believes is what the author believes. This misconception creates problems for students as they try to unravel meaning. By using SOAPS as the basis for their analysis, students will discover that a poem or story is carefully structured, creating parameters within which students must work in order to determine meaning. Certainly there is room for different viewpoints because each student brings a unique perspective to the piece. But their conclusions must be supported by the details of the text. Goal The purpose of this next section is to illustrate ways in which SOAPS can be applied to a variety of texts. Although SOAPS may seem somewhat artificial at first, you will find that it provides a starting point for any text.

DO WRITE In statement from the perspective of an historian/authority. * Use the proper format for the type of essay required; ¾ paragraphs for free response essays, 5 paragraphs for DBQ essays. Be as specific, detailed and logical in the body of your paper. Show off your expertise. In the past tense. Remember that history happened “back then” and must be reviewed that way. Tightly construct your essay. Use black ink. You may underline thesis statement in intro/concl paragraphs for DBQ essays and body paragraphs in free response essays. DON’T WRITE The following phrases, “I think,” “I believe” “My thoughts,” “In conclusion.” Avoid the use of rhetorical questions in the introduction, body and conclusion of your essay. Avoid the use of personal pronouns in your essay. Avoid the use of clichés “this leads to” “it proves the point.” Don’t over quote - paraphrase & interpret NEVER assume that your reader will surmise a conclusion based on the evidence you use. You must ALWAYS write your conclusion no matter how “simple” it appears to you. This will avoid the pitfall of the reader drawing a completely different conclusion based on her/his interpretation of the data. Most Often Cited Don’ts In A.P. DBQ’s & Free-Responses Have a Thesis – It must be there and should not be a mere rewording of the questions. Completely answer the questions – elaborate on the points – use evidence effectively. Don’t leave questions unanswered – don’t create new questions. Avoid clichés – write scholarly not vernacularly. Analyze – Interpret in depth. PROOFREAD Don’t make present day comparisons to historical events. Keep your tense consistent and PAST! History happened “back then” not in the present.

9 Essay Suggestions INTRODUCTION Context and Address the Question Key * THESIS Thesis Development (Use Forces of History) BODY Topic Support Clincher 5 Parts to Developing a Point Background Point Definition Results Relation to Thesis **Must always be present to avoid LL. CONCLUSION Restate Thesis as having been proven Point of Relevance (Elevating the Essay) WRITING SKILLS Stay in 3rd person Stay in past tense Tighten prose Vocab Grammar Use tools of the writer The ability to write is truly one of the greatest indicators of education and literacy. The skills that are being introduced will take time to master. BE PATIENT! After awhile, and if you work hard, these skills will become second nature. When this happens, writing will become a joy!

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