Advanced Placement® European History

This teaching resource provides curated images of works of art and primary source documents, including maps, cartoons, essays, and advertisements that correspond to the four major historical periods outlined in the AP® European History Curriculum and their related Key Concepts. The time periods and Key Concepts are taken directly from the AP® European History Curriculum Framework Concept Outline*.

Period 1: c. 1450 to c. 1648
For this period, images and primary source documents are organized by each of the five Key Concepts of the Outline, providing an overview of: European intellectuals’ shift from an ecclesiastical worldview to an inquiry-based one; the struggle for sovereignty within and among European states; religious pluralism; European exploration and settlement of overseas territories, and encounters and interactions with indigenous populations; the influence of commercial and agricultural capitalism.
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Period 2: c. 1648 to c. 1815
For this period, images and primary source documents are organized by each of the four Key Concepts of the Outline, demonstrating: different models of political sovereignty and their effect on relationships among states and between states and individuals; the expansion of a European commerce and accelerated growth of a worldwide financial network; the popularization and dissemination of the Scientific Revolution; the effect of demographic, environmental, and technological changes on everyday life.
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Period 3: c. 1815 to c. 1914
For this period, images and primary source documents are organized by each of the six Key Concepts of the Outline, demonstrating: how the Industrial Revolution spread from Great Britain to the continent; the effect of industrialization in shaping everyday life experiences; the problems of industrialization and the range of ideological, governmental, and collective responses to them; the struggle to maintain international stability in an age of nationalism and revolutions; the variety of motives and methods that led to the intensification of European global control and increased tensions among the Great Powers; the tension expressed between objectivity and scientific realism, and subjectivity and individual expression.
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Period 4: c. 1914 to the Present
For this period, images and primary source documents are organized by each of the six Key Concepts of the Outline, illustrating: how the total war and political instability of the first half of the 20th century gave way to a polarized state order during the Cold War and eventually to efforts at transnational union; how the stresses of economic collapse and total war engendered internal conflicts between European states and created conflicting conceptions of the relationships between the individual and state, as demonstrated in the ideological battle between liberal democracy, communism, and fascism; the diverse 20th-century intellectual and cultural movements that questioned the existence of objective knowledge, the ability of reason to arrive at truth, and the role of religion in determining moral standards; the way demographic changes, economic growth, total war, disruptions of traditional social patterns, and competing definitions of freedom and justice altered the experiences of everyday life.
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*From: The College Board. “AP® European History Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2015,” 2015. Advanced Placement® and AP® are trademarks registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this website.