AP European History: Summary of Coursework

Find out more about what's discussed in an advanced placement (AP) European history class. Below are examples of topics that could be taught in coursework of this kind.

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Essential Information

Through an advanced placement (AP) European history class, students gain a solid education in some of the major themes in modern European history. The curriculum is broken up into several themes, with coursework preparing those enrolled in secondary schools to take an exam that may earn them college credit. The curriculum is rigorous and considered equivalent to freshman college courses; therefore, the class is only open to qualifying scholars. AP European courses can be found in universities and college examination preparation programs.

Below is a list of concepts that are included in the AP European History curriculum:

  • Social welfare programs
  • Revolts of 1968
  • The Great Depression
  • Mass production
  • Mercantilism
  • Consumer revolutions

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  • American History
  • Ancient Studies
  • Asian History
  • Classical Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies
  • Cultural Resource Management
  • European History
  • Historic Preservation
  • History of Science and Technology
  • Holocaust Studies
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Museum Studies
  • Public History and Archival Administration

List of Common Course Topics

Interaction Between Europe and the World

In this section, students explore historical interactions between Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. Coursework begins in the 15th century and examines European efforts to travel across the globe. Students will analyze the various motives of these ventures, as well as each respective journey's successes and failures. Next, students will explore European colonies, and the interactions between the newly-claimed land and the motherland. Also studied is the impact of these relations on contemporary society, as students will discuss how past actions have helped shape European politics, culture, and society

Poverty & Prosperity

In this part of the coursework, lessons may focus on the commercial revolution in the 17th and 18th centuries and its impact on European markets. A series of factors led to unprecedented wealth for some, but the new income was not distributed evenly. Students will analyze this gulf between rich and poor and its effects on European society. Concepts such as socialism and Marxism are also introduced.

Knowledge & Visions

European thought in the 15th century experienced a radical shift from absolute truths about the world to more subjective interpretations of events and ideas. This period was known as the Enlightenment, and this portion of the AP European History curriculum focuses on both the ideas that were born in this era, as well as the methods used by notable philosophers and scholars.

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