AP European History Course Info

AP European History

Parents and Students:
Welcome to the course information page for Mr. Costantino's AP European History. Here you will find updated information regarding all things European History related. This will include; rules, requirements, expectations, homework assignments, projects, extra credit, and more! Please remember, if for any reason you need to get in contact with me, please do not hesitate to email me at: Costantinom@christina.k12.de.us. Email is the quickest way for me to learn about and respond to any concerns you may have regarding the class or student performance within the class. Also, be sure to check Home Access (http://hac.doe.k12.de.us/homeaccess/) to monitor your performance in this class. Grades are updated at least once a week.

Course Overview

AP European History is for highly motivated and exceptional students who wish to challenge themselves with taking a college level class for a college level class. This class looks at the major civilizations in Europe (1300's to modern day) and how they interacted and influenced modern day society. Students will be expected to read the textbook outside of class and daily quizzes will be given on the textbook reading and the discussion from the previous class. The purpose of this class is to give the students a better grasp on the foundational concepts in European History and to prepare them for their future pursuit of a college degree.


Kagan, Donald M., Steven Ozment, and Frank M. Turner. The Western Heritage: Since 1300, AP Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Course Objectives

Although the purpose of this course is designed to prepare students for a college level curriculum at the high school level, it also will seek to expand their intellectual horizons. Following the state guidelines in history, geography, civics, and economics as well as the guidelines set forth each year by the AP European History Guide this course will:

  • Work on expanding the students ability to analyze primary source documents and make conclusions based on available information
  • Examine competing narratives from primary and secondary sources, allowing students to recognize a historical argument from both points of view
  • Study the flow of history by studying the cause and effect of various events from cultural, social and political standpoints
  • Build research skills to create depth beyond textbook or classroom learning
  • Expand debate, reasoning (deductive and inductive), and analytical skills that can bring the topics discussed into context of the modern world.
  • Recognize the difference between knowledge to know and trivia, particularly when dealing with the text
  • Prepare students for college level research papers, essays, and workload while also providing supports to “scaffold” their progression from high school to college.
  • Make history come alive by involving students in the learning process through oral reports, historical readings, research projects, and constructing their own exam

Course Description and Theme

This class will be divided into six distinct units of roughly five weeks each (roughly two units a marking period). Questions dealing with the time period 1450 to 1789 (Units I and II) represent 50% of the exam while 1789 to the present (Units III thru VI) represent the remaining 50%. During each unit, students will examine in class (through teacher instruction) and on their own (through assignments and readings) Intellectual and Cultural History, Political and Diplomatic History, and Social and Economic History for the time period. Each "theme" is reflected as one third of the questions found on the AP exam.From now until the beginning of May this class will be involved in “learning” the material in each of the six units, with exams, assignments, readings, and projects. Those units are outlined in the AP “Acorn” Book (the Course Guide) on AP European History, which can be found online at www.apcentral.com. The six units prior to the exam are as follows:

  • Unit I: 1450 to 1648 – The Renaissance, Reformation and the Wars of Religion

  • Unit II: 1648 to 1789 – Bourbon, Baroque, and the Enlightenment

  • Unit III: 1789 to 1848 – Revolution and the New European Order

  • Unit IV: 1848 to 1914 – Realism and Materialism

  • Unit V: 1914 to 1935 – World War I and Europe in Crisis

  • Unit VI: 1935 to 2001 – World War II, the Cold War, and the New World Order

Readings, Projects, and Exams


Each unit will feature anywhere from three to five chapters from The Western Heritage. Students are to complete the chapter assigned at intervals that match the classroom lesson of the teacher designated “important material/concepts” from the chapter. Therefore, students will start reading the Renaissance chapter prior to the first classroom lesson on the subject and finish the chapter by the last classroom lesson (roughly one calendar week per chapter).

To prove the assigned readings are being completed in-step with the lessons being taught in the classroom, students will be assigned to take notes on each chapter. These notes can be done in various styles, including but not limited to SQ4R and Cornell Notes, but need to be done at a 5:1 ratio (for each five textbook pages, students should have notes filling at least one side of a sheet of college ruled paper). Since most chapters are between 25 and 30 pages long, students need about three full sheets of paper (both sides) of notes in order to receive full credit.

The chapters from The Western Heritage match this course’s units as follows:

  • Unit I – Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12
  • Unit II – Chapters 13, 14, 15, 16, and 18
  • Unit III – Chapters 17, 19, 20, and 21
  • Unit IV – Chapters 22, 23, 24 and 25
  • Unit V – Chapters 26, 27 and 28
  • Unit VI – Chapters 29, 30, and 31

In addition, during each unit students will be asked for homework to read selections of primary (and in some cases secondary) source documents and answer questions about their formulation and interpret them. The works selected are found in each unit plan and often the students have the ability to pick amongst a few possible “selections” within the work.


In addition to the work required to follow the chronological flow of the class, students will also have a project for each marking period that represents continual learning. Those projects include writing a research paper, reading and analyzing a historical reading, constructing and giving an oral presentation, and the construction of an “AP Style” exam. The goal of all projects is to promote not just growth in an individual student but also growth that expands the dialog and learning within the classroom.

  • Marking Period 1 project – Reading and Analyzing a historical reading

  • Students will be given a choice of reading various historical works available for free on Project Guttenberg (such as Machiavelli’s The Prince, Dante’s Inferno, Voltaire’s Candide, Galileo’s Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World, and Locke’s Two Treatises of Government). Students will then be asked to analyze the purpose behind the writing of the book, its impact on past and present society, and to use sections of the reading to underscore those purposes. This type of writing is intended to prepare students for using primary source documents to make a point – exactly like the DBQ on the exam. The final product should be no less than four pages double spaced.

  • Marking Period 3 project – AP Euro Exam DBQ (In Class)

  • Marking Period 4 project – Construction of an “AP style” exam

  • Students will be assigned into groups and be asked to construct their own AP Exam, featuring 80 multiple choice questions, seven essays, and one DBQ. Once completing their final product, the exams will be given in class and students will take other constructed exams as a group (so they can share knowledge and correct misconceptions). Students will be graded on how their group does collectively on the exams AND on how well constructed their exam was.

  • Mini-Presentations- At various times throughout the year, students will present mini-presentations on an assigned topic. These will count as a project grade based on a handout and presentation.


Each marking period, students will take two unit exams. Those exams will focus ONLY on the unit just completed and include 80 Multiple Choice questions and either a DBQ or a choice of three essays (in which the students will have to answer just one). The multiple choice questions will be taken from actual questions released by the AP Board and from the textbook test bank for the chapters covered. The DBQ and the essay choices will be also taken directly from the released essay/DBQ questions found at apcentral.com in order to acclimate the students to the AP Testing rubric, timing, and style of questioning. Students will be timed on the two sections just as they will see when taking the AP Exam (55 minutes for the multiple choice about 25 minutes for the essay).

IV. Unit Guide (add one additional day per unit for testing)

Unit I – Twelve 90-minute class periods (MP#1 – late August/September)

DBQ Questions from previous AP Exams: 2004 DBQ, 2004 DBQ (Test B)
  • Unit I course pack featuring AP Essay questions from 1999 to present

Primary Source Readings for Unit:
  • Divine Comedy by Dante
  • The Decameron by Boccaccio
  • In Praise of Folly by Erasmus
  • Utopia by Thomas More
  • The Prince by Machiavelli
  • 95 Theses by Martin Luther
  • Act of Supremacy by Henry VIII

Chapter 9 (pages 290-315)
  • The Hundred Years’ War between England and France.
  • The effects of the bubonic plague on society.
  • The growing power of secular rulers over the Church.
  • Schism, heresy, and conciliar reform in the Church.
Chapter 10 (pages 316-351) – four days
  • Renaissance politics, culture, and art in Italy.
  • The northern Renaissance that followed that in Italy.
  • Italian politics, wars, and foreign intervention in Italy by France and Spain.
  • Powerful new monarchies of Spain, France, and England.
Chapter 11 (pages 352-387) – four days
  • The social and religious origins of the Reformation.
  • Martin Luther’s role in the German Reformation.
  • The course of the Reformation in Switzerland, France, and England.
  • The Catholic Counter-Reformation’s achievements.
  • The social impact of the Reformation in western and central Europe.
Chapter 12 (pages 388-415) – four days
  • The French wars of religion between Catholics and Calvinists.
  • Spanish struggle against Dutch independence in the Netherlands.
  • The struggle between Catholic Spain and Protestant England.
  • The course of the Thirty Years’ War and the devastation of central Europe.

Unit II – Eleven 90-minute class periods (MP#1 – October)

DBQ Questions from previous AP Exams: 2005 DBQ (Test B)
  • Unit II course pack featuring AP Essay questions from 1999 to present

Primary Source Readings for Unit (one is read in its entirety for the MP#1 Project):
  • Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World by Galileo
  • Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
  • Two Treaties of Government by John Locke
  • Candide by Voltaire
  • Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • English Bill of Rights

Chapter 13 (pages 416-447) – three days

  • Factors behind the different political paths of France and England.
  • The origins and consequences of the English Civil War.
  • The development of Parliamentary supremacy in England, particularly after the Glorious Revolution.
  • The rise of absolute monarchy in France, particularly under Louis XIV.
  • The wars of Louis XIV and the development of a European diplomatic system.
Chapter 14 (pages 448-479) – three days
  • The astronomical theories of Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo and Newton.
  • The emerging scientific worldview in a grand unified theory of nature.
  • Witchcraft and witch hunts in the early modern era.
  • Literature and theater in transition
  • New directions in philosophy and political science.
Chapter 15 (pages 480-511) – two days
  • The decline of Spain and the Dutch Netherlands relative to France and the newly formed Great Britain.
  • The struggle between absolutism and the aristocracy in France.
  • The remarkable stability of British political development.
  • The Austrian Habsburg succession crisis and the Pragmatic Sanction to secure the family’s dynastic holdings.
  • The emergence of Hohenzollern Brandenburg-Prussia as a major European power.
  • Peter the Great’s efforts to Westernize Russia and make it a major European power.
Chapter 16 (pages 512-549) – one day (to be covered more in depth in Unit IV)
  • The power and privilege of the aristocracy and how they were maintained.
  • The struggle of rural peasants to survive.
  • Family structure and family economy.
  • The impact of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions.
  • Population growth and the expansion of cities.
Chapter 18 (pages 588-623) – two days
  • The intellectual and social background of the Enlightenment.
  • The philosophes of the Enlightenment and their political and intellectual reforms.
  • Enlightened Absolutism in central and eastern Europe.
  • The partition of Poland and its disappearance for nearly 150 years.

Unit III – Ten 90-minute class periods (MP#2 – November/Early December)

DBQ Questions from previous AP Exams: 2001 DBQ
  • Unit III Course Pack featuring AP Essay questions from 1999 to present

Primary Source Readings for Unit:
  • Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
  • Declaration of Independence andUnited States Bill of Rights
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
  • Declaration of the Rights of Women by Olympe de Gouges
  • The Tennis Court Oath
  • What is the Third Estate? by Abbe Sieyes
  • Napoleonic Code

Chapter 17 (pages 550-585) – two days
  • Europe's concept of mercantilism andempire-building.
  • The nature and decline of Spain's vast colonial empire in the Americas.
  • The wars in Europe and the colonies, particularly the Seven Years' War.
  • The conflict between Britain and its colonies, and its outcome in the War of American Independence.
Chapter 19 (pages 624-665) – two days
  • France’s financial crisis that caused Louis XVI to recall the Estates General.
  • The creation of a National Assembly after the failure of the Estates General, and the Storming of the Bastille.
  • The reconstruction of political and religious institutions within the context of aconstitutional monarchy.
  • The second revolution of 1792, the execution of the king and radical reforms.
  • The war between France and the rest of Europe, resulting in dramatic French victories and territorial expansion into central and southern Europe.
  • The Reign of TerrorunderRobespierre, the Thermidorian Reaction, and the establishment of the Directory.
Chapter 20 (pages 666-703) – three days
  • Discuss Napoleon's rise to power and explain how he was able to become Emperor.
  • Identify Napoleon's administrative reforms and understand how they differed from Old Regime policies.
  • Trace France's military conquests, the establishment of the French Empire and European resistance to France.
  • Explain Napoleon's reasons for invading Russia and understand how the failed invasion marked the beginning of his downfall.
  • Discuss the Congress of Vienna and any other European attempts to restore Old Regime order in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Differentiate between Romanticism and the Enlightenment and explain why Romanticism thrived during the Napoleonic Age.
Chapter 21 (pages 704-741) – three days
  • The challenge of nationalism and liberalism to the conservative order.
  • Domestic and international policies of the conservative governments comprising the Concert of Europe.
  • The Latin American independence movements.
  • The revolutions of 1830 in Europe and the passage of the Great Reform Bill of 1832 in Britain

Unit IV – Seven 90-minute class periods (MP#2 – January)

DBQ Questions from previous AP Exams: 2002 DBQ and 1999 DBQ
  • Unit IV course pack featuring AP Essay questions from 1999 to present

Primary Source Readings for Unit:
  • A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
  • An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Malthus
  • Manchester Primary Source Documents at http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ITmanchester.htm
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Proclamation of 1860 by Giuseppe Garibaldi
  • Nationalist Speech by Otto von Bismark
  • Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
  • Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (translated selections)

Chapter 22 (pages 742-777) – two days
  • Industrialization and its impact on labor and the family.
  • The pre-conditions for the Industrial Revolution that occurred in Europe (most notably Britain)
  • The changing role of women in industrial society.
  • Problems of crime and the response of police forces and prisons.
  • The development of socialism and radical reform.
  • The revolutions of 1848.
Chapter 23 (pages 778-813) – two days
  • The unification of Germany and Italy.
  • The shift from the Second Empire to the Third Republic in France.
  • The emergence of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary.
  • Russian political and social reforms, including emancipation of the serfs.
  • British liberalism and the confrontation with Irish nationalists over the Irish Question.
Chapter 24 (pages 814-851) – two days
  • The impact of the Second Industrial Revolution.
  • Urban development programs, including sanitation systems and housing reform.
  • The condition of women and the rise of political feminism.
  • The development of political socialism and the entry of workers into politics.
  • Rising unrest and disorder in Russia, including the Revolution of 1905 and the Russo-Japanese War.
Chapter 25 (pages 852-885) – one day
  • The dominance of scientific thought in this era.
  • The conflict between church and state and church and science, particularly over education.
  • The impact of modernism, psychoanalysis, and the New Physics on intellectual life.
  • The rise of nationalistically inspired scientific racism and the resurgence of anti-Semitism (hatred of Jews).
  • The laying of the foundations for 20th-century feminism.

Unit V – Twelve 90-minute class periods (MP#3 – February)

DBQ Questions from previous AP Exams: 2002 DBQ (Test B), 2003 DBQ, 2006
DBQ (Test B)
  • Unit V Course Pack featuring AP Essay questions from 1999 to present

Primary Source Readings for Unit:
  • The White Man’s Burden by Rudyard Kipling
  • Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism by V.I. Lenin
  • The Treaty of Versailles (1919)

Secondary Source Readings for Unit:
  • Selections from Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
  • Selections from The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Greatest Plague in History by John M. Barry
Chapter 26 (pages 886-933) – three days
  • The economic, strategic, and cultural forces driving the New Imperialism.
  • The search for strategic advantage among European nations and the creation of opposing alliance systems.
  • The immediate origins and course of the Great War (World War I).
  • The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia that permanently swept away the monarchy and created the world’s first viable Communist state.
  • The Versailles Treaty and associated treaties that ended the war but left a very difficult legacy that threatened the post-war order in Europe.
Chapter 27 (pages 934-963) – four days
  • Economic and political disorder in the post-Great War years.
  • The establishment of the Soviet Union’s far-reaching political and economic experiment.
  • Mussolini’s Fascist Italy.
  • French efforts to enforce the Versailles Treaty, leading to the Ruhr crisis of 1923.
  • Britain’s first Labor Party government and the General Strike of 1926.
  • The struggle of the successor states of eastern Europe.
  • The Weimar Republic’s efforts to create a stable, unthreatening Germany.
Chapter 28 (pages 964-991) – five days
  • Financial panic and the Great Depression in the United States and Europe.
  • Coalition governments of the Left and the Right in the National Government of Britain and the Popular Front of France.
  • The Nazi seizure of power in Germany and its effects.
  • Central economic planning in the Soviet Five Year Plan and Italian Fascist "syndicalism."
  • The dark side of Soviet Communism, particularly the Great Purges of the army and the party.

Unit VI – Ten 90-minute class periods (MP#3 – March)

DBQ Questions from previous AP Exams: 2003 DBQ (Test B), 2005 DBQ
  • Unit VI Course Pack featuring AP Essay questions from 1999 to present

Primary Source Readings for Unit:
  • Propaganda Posters of World War II (American and German)
  • Dr. Seuss Goes to War (Library of Congress)
  • “Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat” and “Iron Curtain” speeches by Winston Churchill
  • Text of the Marshall Plan
  • Text of the North Atlantic Treaty
  • Treaty of Rome
  • The Maastricht Treaty

Secondary Source Readings for Unit:
  • Selections from The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman
  • Selections from Don’t Know Much About Historyby Kenneth Davis

Chapter 29 (pages 994-1029)
  • The long-term and immediate causes of World War II.
  • The course of battles and economic management during the war.
  • Racism and the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews.
  • The impact of the war on the people of Europe.
  • Wartime diplomatic relations and plans for the postwar worldsponsored by the victorious United Nations.
Chapter 30 (pages 1030-1067) – four days
  • The origins of the Cold War and the division of Europe into rival eastern and western blocs.
  • The process of decolonization,including the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.
  • The impact of the Cold War on the Middle East.
  • Political and economic developments in western Europe, particularly the Common Market.
  • Soviet domination of eastern Europe and relatively unsuccessful protests against it through the early 1980s.
Chapter 31 (pages 1068-1116) – two days
  • The massive expansion of western Europe’s consumer economy.
  • Population trends and migrations throughout Europe, and the continuing problem of ethnic tensions.
  • Postwar intellectual and social movements.
  • Gorbachev’s reform programs in the Soviet Union.
  • The collapse of old-line Communism in eastern Europe and Russia, including the subsequent civil wars in the former Yugoslavia.
Mini-Unit II – Ten 90-minute class periods (MP#4 – April/Early May)
  • Marking Project #4 project construction and usage
  • Review for AP Exam

Note: Dates include both Black and Gold Days
Chapter/ Assignment
August 27-28
Ch 9
August 29-September 5
Ch 10
September 6-17
Ch 11
September 18-27
Ch 12
September 30-October 10
Unit 1 Test
October 11 & 15
Ch 13 & 15
October 16-25
Ch 14
October 28-November 6
Ch 16
November 7-12
Ch 18
November 13-15
Unit 2 Test
November 18 & December 19
Ch 17
November 20- December 2
(Thanksgiving Break Nov 25- Dec 1)
Ch 19
December 3-6
Ch 20
December 9-16
Ch 21
December 17-January 3
Practice DBQ
January 6-9
(Extra time may be used to get back on schedule)
Midterm Exam
Units 1-3 (Focus on 3)
Review- January 10 & 13 Exams- January 14-17
Ch 22
January 21-24
Ch 23
January 27-February 3
Ch 24
February 4-7
Ch 25
February 8 - 11
Unit 4 Test
February 18 & 19
Ch 26
February 20-March 3
Ch 27
March 4-13
Ch 28
March 14 - 24
Unit 5 Test
March 25 & 26
Ch 29
March 27 - April 3
Ch 30
April 4 - 11
Ch 31
April 14 - 17
Unit 6 Test
Take Home Test Over Spring Break
April 18-25 Due on April 28/29
Exam Review/ ReviewProject
April 26-May 13
AP Exam
May 14- Afternoon
AP Euro Culture Exchange
May 19 & 20
Note: Dates listed above are a tentative and subject to change.
Quizzes will be given on the 1st day of the reading. Be sure to read and take notes!