The AP course and exam 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 exam presumes at least one academic year of college-level preparation, a description of which is set forth in this book.

The inclusion of historical course material in the Course Description and in the exam is not intended as an endorsement by the College Board or ETS 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 exam is based and is therefore appropriate as a measure of the skills and knowledge acquired in this course.

The AP European History course 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 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 exam.

The exam is divided into three parts: a multiple-choice section dealing with concepts, major historical facts and personalities, and historical analysis; a documentbased 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 exam provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate that they are qualified to pursue upper-level history studies at college.

All sections of the exam 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 exam. 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 exam. Students need to understand the designations for centuries; e.g., the seventeenth century is the 1600s, not the 1700s. 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 deal with the period from the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic era to the present. A number of questions may be cross-chronological or combine several approaches. No essay or multiple-choice question will focus on the pre-1450 or the post-2001 period.

1. 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, including ideologies characterized as “-isms,” such as socialism, liberalism, nationalism

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

2. 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

3. 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 social groups, classes, races, and ethnicities within and outside Europe

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