• AP European History Themes





    States and Other Institutions of Power



    ➤ What forms have European governments taken, and how have these changed over time?

    ➤ In what ways and why have European governments moved toward or reacted against representative and democratic principles and practices?

    ➤ How did civil institutions develop apart from governments, and what impact have they had upon European states?

    ➤ How and why did changes in warfare affect diplomacy, the European state system, and the balance of power?

    ➤ How did the concept of a balance of power emerge, develop, and eventually become institutionalized?





    Individual and Society (IS)


    ➤ What forms have family, class, and social groups taken in European history, and how have they changed over time?

    ➤ How and why have tensions arisen between the individual and society over the course of European history?

    ➤ How and why has the status of specific groups within society changed over time?




    Objective Knowledge and Subjective Vision


    ➤ What roles have traditional sources of authority (church and classical antiquity) played in the creation and transmission of knowledge?

    ➤ How and why did Europeans come to rely on the scientific method and reason in place of traditional authorities?

    ➤ How and why did Europeans come to value subjective interpretations of reality?





    Interaction of Europe and the World (INT)

    ➤ Why have Europeans sought contact and interaction with other parts of the world?

    ➤ What political, technological, and intellectual developments enabled European contact and interaction with other parts of the world?

    ➤ How have encounters between Europe and the world shaped European culture, politics, and society?

    ➤ What impact has contact with Europe had on non-European societies?





    Poverty and Prosperity (PP)


    ➤ How has capitalism developed as an economic system?

    ➤ How has the organization of society changed as a result of or in response to the development and spread of capitalism?

    ➤ What were the causes and consequences of economic and social inequality?

    ➤ How did individuals, groups, and the state respond to economic and social inequality?


    AP European History Skills

    Historical Causation

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    • Compare causes and/or effects, including between short-term and long-term effects.

    • Analyze and evaluate the interaction of multiple causes and/or effects.

    • Assess historical contingency by distinguishing among coincidence, causation, and correlation, as well as critique existing interpretations of cause and effect.

    Patterns of Continuity and Change over Time

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    • Explain ways that historical events and processes can be organized within blocks of time.

    • Analyze and evaluate competing models of periodization of European history.


    • Explain ways that historical events and processes can be organized within blocks of time.

    • Analyze and evaluate competing models of periodization of European history.


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    • Compare related historical developments and processes across place, time, and/or different societies, or within one society.

    • Explain and evaluate multiple and differing perspectives on a given historical



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    • Explain and evaluate ways in which specific historical phenomena, events, or processes connect to broader regional, national, or global processes occurring at the same time.

    • Explain and evaluate ways in which a phenomenon, event, or process connects to other, similar historical phenomena across time and place.

    Historical Argumentation

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    • Analyze commonly accepted historical arguments and explain how an argument has been constructed from historical evidence.

    • Construct convincing interpretations through analysis of disparate, relevant historical evidence.

    • Evaluate and synthesize conflicting historical evidence to construct persuasive historical arguments.

    Appropriate Use of Relevant Historical Evidence

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    • Analyze features of historical evidence such as audience, purpose, point of view, format, argument, limitations, and context germane to the evidence considered.

    • Based on analysis and evaluation of historical evidence, make supportable inferences and draw appropriate conclusions.


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    • Analyze diverse historical interpretations.

    • Evaluate how historians’ perspectives influence their interpretations and how models of historical interpretation change over time.


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    • Combine disparate, sometimes contradictory evidence from primary sources and secondary works in order to create a persuasive understanding of the past.

    • Apply insights about the past to other historical contexts or circumstances, including the present.