AP European History

Learn all about the course and exam.

About the Course

Study the cultural, economic, political, and social developments that have shaped Europe from c. 1450 to the present. You’ll analyze texts, visual sources, and other historical evidence and write essays expressing historical arguments.

Skills You'll Learn

  • Evaluating primary and secondary sources

  • Analyzing the claims, evidence, and reasoning you find in sources

  • Putting historical developments in context and making connections between them

  • Coming up with a claim or thesis and explaining and supporting it in writing

Equivalency and Prerequisites

College Course Equivalent

An introductory college survey of modern European history

Recommended Prerequisites

None

Exam Dates

  • Wed, May 6, 2020,
    12 PM Local

    AP European History Exam

    This is the regularly scheduled date for the AP European History Exam.

About the Units

The course content outlined below is organized into commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. Your teacher may choose to organize the course content differently based on local priorities and preferences.

Course Content

You’ll explore the rapid changes sparked in the Renaissance and trace their legacy through colonialism and a commercial revolution that changed the shape of European society.

Topics may include:

  • Classical revival and Renaissance developments
  • New monarchies and the foundations of the centralized modern state
  • Technological advances and exploration driven by mercantilism
  • Colonial expansion and development of the slave trade
  • The Columbian Exchange and European commercial revolution

On The Exam

10%–15% of Score

You’ll chart the evolving strains of Christianity in Europe and the far-reaching effects of the Reformation on daily and political life.

Topics may include:

  • The birth of Protestantism and Catholic Reformation
  • Political impacts of religious upheaval and the wars of religion
  • Changes in daily life and public enforcement of morals
  • Mannerism and Baroque Art

On The Exam

10%–15% of Score

You’ll study developments in political power and how they affected the relationships among states and between states and individuals. You’ll also learn about the social, political, and cultural conditions resulting from economic developments in Europe.

Topics may include:

  • The rise of absolutism and challenges to it
  • English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution
  • The Agricultural Revolution and the development of market economies
  • The balance of power in Europe, shifting alliances, and new forms of warfare

On The Exam

10%–15% of Score

You’ll study how scientific thinking and new strains of political thought combined with technological advances transformed much of 18th-century life in Europe.

Topics may include:

  • The Scientific Revolution and developments in understanding of the natural world
  • The Enlightenment and new schools of political thought
  • Population growth and urbanization
  • Neoclassicism and the consumer revolution

On The Exam

10%–15% of Score

You’ll chart England’s increasing role in European matters and the reverberations of the French Revolution across Europe.

Topics may include:

  • The rise of global markets and the growth of Britain’s power
  • The French Revolution, Napoleon’s reign, and the Congress of Vienna
  • Romanticism

On The Exam

10%–15% of Score

You’ll learn about the transformational effects of the Industrial Revolution, technology, and urbanization on European society and political thought.

Topics may include:

  • The Industrial Revolution and societal changes
  • Developments in communication, transportation, and manufacturing
  • The Concert of Europe and conservatism
  • The revolutions of 1848
  • Reform movements, critiques of capitalism, and the emergence of political parties

On The Exam

10%–15% of Score

You’ll explore how the political forces of nationalism and shifting alliances set the stage for World War I.

Topics may include:

  • National unification movements
  • Popular nationalism and Zionism
  • Realpolitik and Bismarck’s reshaping of European alliances
  • Darwinism and Social Darwinism
  • The influence of modernism in intellectual and cultural life
  • New Imperialism in Asia and Africa

On The Exam

10%–15% of Score

You’ll learn about the great upheavals of the 20th century, as well as cultural developments and changing political structures.

Topics may include:

  • World War I and its legacy
  • The Russian Revolution
  • The Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations
  • The Great Depression
  • Fascism and totalitarian movements
  • World War II and the Holocaust
  • 20th-century cultural reactions

On The Exam

10%–15% of Score

You’ll study how competing ideologies and global superpowers came to define much of the latter half of the 20th century.

Topics may include:

  • The Marshall Plan and the Iron Curtain
  • The Cold War
  • Nationalist and separatist movements fueled by ethnic conflict
  • The shape of contemporary western democracies
  • The fall of communism and the formation of the European Union
  • 20th-century feminism
  • Decolonization, globalization, and immigration
  • Existentialism, postmodernism, and groundbreaking forms of art

On The Exam

10%–15% of Score

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