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AP Euro Unit 1 Curriculum Outline

Disclaimer: This outline is sourced directly from the AP European History Course Framework released by the College Board. This is a lightweight, web-friendly format for easy reference. Omninox does not take credit for this outline and is not affiliated with the College Board. AP is a reserved trademark of the College Board.

Table of Contents

Unit 1 (you are here)
Unit 2
Unit 3
Unit 4
Unit 5
Unit 6
Unit 7
Unit 8
Unit 9

TOPIC 1.1 - Contextualizing Renaissance and Discovery

U1_Learning Objective A: Explain the context in which the Renaissance and Age of Discovery developed.

  • KC-1.1: The rediscovery of works from ancient Greece and Rome and observation of the natural world changed many Europeans' view of their world.
    • KC-1.1.I: A revival of classical texts led to new methods of scholarship and new values in both society and religion.
    • KC-1.1.III: The visual arts incorporated the new ideas of the Renaissance and were used to promote personal, political, and religious goals.
  • KC-1.3: Europeans explored and settled overseas territories, encountering and interacting with indigenous populations.
    • KC-1.3.I: European nations were driven by commercial and religious motives to explore overseas territories and establish colonies.
  • KC-1.4: European society and the experience of everyday life were increasingly shaped by commercial and agricultural capitalism, notwithstanding the continued existence of medieval social and economic structures.
    • KC-1.4.I: Economic change produced new social patterns, while traditions of hierarchy and status continued.
    • KC-1.4.II: Most Europeans derived their livelihood from agriculture and oriented their lives around the seasons, the village, or the manor, although economic changes began to alter rural production and power.
  • KC-1.5: The struggle for sovereignty within and among states resulted in varying degrees of political centralization.
    • KC-1.5.I: The new concept of the sovereign state and secular systems of law played a central law in the creation of new political instutitions.

TOPIC 1.2 - Italian Renaissance

U1_Learning Objective B: Explain how the revival of classical texts contributed to the development of the Renaissance in Italy.

  • KC-1.1.I.A: Italian Renaissance humanists, including Petrarch, promoted a revival in classical literature and created new philological approaches to ancient texts. Some Renaissance humanists furthered the values of secularism and individualism.

U1_Learning Objective C: Explain the political, intellectual, and cultural effects of the Italian Renaissance.

  • KC-1.1.I.B: Humanist revival of Greek and Roman texts, spread by the printing press, challenged the institutional power of universities and the Catholic Church. This shifted education away from a primary focus on theological writings toward classical texts and new methods of scientific inquiry.
  • KC-1.1.I.C: Admiration for Greek and Roman political institutions supported a revival of civic humanist culture in the Italian city-states and produced secular models for individual and political behavior.
  • KC-1.1.III.A: In the Italian Renaissance, rulers and popes concerned with enhancing their prestige commissioned paintings and architectural works based on classical styles, the developing "naturalism" in the artistic world, and often the newly invented technique of geometric perspective.

TOPIC 1.3 - Northern Renaissance

U1_Learning Objective D: Explain how Renaissance ideas were developed, maintained, and changed as the Renaissance spread to northern Europe.

  • KC-1.1.III.B: The Northern Renaissance retained a more religious focus, which resulted in more human-centered naturalism that considered individuals and everyday life appropriate objects of artistic representation.
  • KC-1.2.I.A: Christian humanism, embodied in the writings of Erasmus, employed Renaissance learning in the service of religious reform.

TOPIC 1.4 - Printing

U1_Learning Objective E: Explain the influence of the printing press on cultural and intellectual developments in modern European history.

  • KC-1.1.II: The invention of printing promoted the dissemination of new ideas.
    • KC-1.1.II.A: The invention of the printing press in the 1450s helped spread the Renaissance beyond Italy and encouraged the growth of vernacular literature, which would eventually contribute to the development of national cultures.

TOPIC 1.5 - New Monarchies

U1_Learning Objective F: Explain the causes and effects of the development of political institutions from 1450 to 1648.

  • KC-1.2.II.A: Monarchs and princes, including the English rulers Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, inititated religious reform from the top down in an effort to exercise greater control over religious life and morality.
  • KC-1.5.I.A: New monarchies laid the foundation for the centralized modern state by establishing monopolies on tax collection, employing military force, dispensing justice, and gaining the right to determine the religion of their subjects.
  • KC-1.5.I.C: Across Europe, commercial and professional groups gained in power and played a greater role in political affairs.
  • KC-1.5.I.D: Continued political fragmentation in Renaissance Italy provided a background for the development of new concepts of the secular state.

TOPIC 1.6 - Technological Advances and the Age of Exploration

U1_Learning Objective G: Explain the technological factors that facilitated European exploration and expansion from 1450 to 1648.

  • KC-1.3.II: Advances in navigation, cartography, and military technology enabled Europeans to establish overseas colonies and empires.

U1_Learning Objective H: Explain the motivations for and effects of European exploration and expansion from 1450 to 1648.

  • KC-1.3.I.A: European states sought direct access to gold, spices, and luxury goods to enhance personal wealth and state power.
  • KC-1.3.I.B: The rise of mercantilism gave the state a new role in promoting commercial development and the acquisition of colonies overseas.
  • KC-1.3.I.C: Christianity was a stimulus for exploration as governments and religious authorities sought to spread the faith, and for some it served as a justification for the subjugation of indigenous civilizations.

TOPIC 1.7 - Rivals on the World Stage

U1_Learning Objective I: Explain how and why trading networks and colonial expansion affected relations between and among European states.

  • KC-1.3.III: Europeans established overseas empires and trade networks through coercion and negotiation.
    • KC-1.3.III.B: The Spanish established colonies across the Americas, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, which made Spain a dominant state in Europe in the 16th century.
    • KC-1.3.III.C: The Atlantic nations of France, England, and the Netherlands followed by establishing their own colonies and trading networks to compete with Portuguese and Spanish dominance in the 17th century.
    • KC-1.3.III.D: The competition for trade led to conflicts and rivalries among European powers in the 17th and 18th centuries.

TOPIC 1.8 - Colonial Expansion and Columbian Exchange

U1_Learning Objective J: Explain the economic impact of European colonial expansion and development of trade networks.

  • KC-1.3.III.A: The Portuguese established a commercial network along the African coast, in South and East Asia, and in South America in the late 15th and throughout the 16th centuries.
  • KC-1.3.IV.i: Europe's colonial expansion led to a global exchange of goods, flora, and fauna; a shift toward European dominance; and the expansion of the slave tradde.
  • KC-1.3.IV.A: The exchange of goods shifted the center of economic power in Europe from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic states and brought the latter into an expanding world economy.
  • KC-1.3.IV.B.i: The exchange of new plants, animals, and diseases — the Columbian Exchange — created economic opportunities for Europeans.

U1_Learning Objective K: Explain the social and cultural impact of European colonial expansion and development of trade networks.

  • KC-1.3.IV.ii: Europe's colonial expansion led to a global exchange of goods, flora, fauna, cultural practices, and diseases, resulting in the destruction of some indigenous civilizations, a shift toward European dominance, and the expansion of the slave trade.
  • KC-1.3.IV.B.ii: The exchange of new plants, animals, and diseases — the Columbian Exchange — in some cases facilitated European subjugation and destruction of indigenous peoples, particularly in the Americas.

TOPIC 1.9 - The Slave Trade

U1_Learning Objective L: Explain the causes for and the development of the slave trade.

  • KC-1.3.IV.C: Europeans expanded the African slave trade in response to the establishment of a plantation economy in the Americas and demographic catastrophes among indigenous peoples.

TOPIC 1.10 - The Commercial Revolution

U1_Learning Objective M: Explain European commercial and agricultural developments and their economic effects from 1450 to 1648.

  • KC-1.4.I.A: Innovations in banking and finance promoted the growth of urban financial centers and a money economy.
  • KC-1.4.II: Most Europeans derived their livelihood from agriculture and oriented their lives around the seasons, the village, or the manor, although economic changes began to alter rural production and power.
    • KC-1.4.II.A: Subsistence agriculture was the rule in most areas, with three-crop field rotation in the north and two-crop rotation in the Mediterranean; in many cases, farmers paid rent and labor services for their lands.
    • KC-1.4.II.B: The price revolution contributed to the accumulation of capital and the expansion of the market economy through the commercialization of agriculture, which benefited large landowners in western Europe.
    • KC-1.4.III.A: Population recovered to its pre-Great Plague level in the 16th century, and continuing population pressures contributed to uneven price increases; agricultural commodities increased more sharply than wages, reducing living standards for some.

U1_Learning Objective N: Explain European commercial and agricultural developments and their social effects from 1450 to 1648.

  • KC-1.4.I: Economic change produced new social patterns, while traditions of hierarchy and status continued.
    • KC-1.4.I.B: The growth of commerce produced a new economic elite, which related to traditional land-holding elites in different ways in Europe's various geographic regions.
  • KC-1.4.II.C: As western Europe moved toward a free peasantry and commercial agriculture, serfdom was codified in the east, where nobles continued to dominate economic life on large estates.
  • KC-1.4.II.D: The attempts of landlords to increase their revenues by restricting or abolishing the traditional rights of peasants led to revolt.
  • KC-1.4.III.B: Migrants to the cities challenged the ability of merchant elites and craft guilds to govern, and strained resources.
  • KC-1.4.IV.C: From the late 16th century on, Europeans responded to economic and environmental challenges, such as the Little Ice Age, by delaying marriage and childbearing. This European marriage pattern restrained population growth and ultimately improved the economic condition of families.

TOPIC 1.11 - Causation in the Renaissance and Age of Discovery

U1_Learning Objective O: Explain the causes and consequences of the Renaissance and Age of Discovery.

  • KC-1.1: The rediscovery of works from ancient Greece and Rome and observation of the natural world changed many Europeans' view of their world.
    • KC-1.1.I: A revival of classical texts led to new methods of scholarship and new values in both society and religion.
    • KC-1.1.III: The visual arts incorporated the new ideas of the Renaissance and were used to promote personal, political, and religious goals.
  • KC-1.3: Europeans explored and settled overseas territories, encountering and interacting with indigenous populations.
    • KC-1.3.I: European nations were driven by commercial and religious motives to explore overseas territories and establish colonies.
  • KC-1.4: European society and the experiences of everyday life were increasingly shaped by commercial and agricultural capitalism, notwithstanding the continued existence of medieval social and economic structures.
    • KC-1.4.I: Economic change produced new social patterns, while traditions of hierarchy and status continued.
    • KC-1.4.II: Most Europeans derived their livelihood from agriculture and oriented their lives around the seasons, the village, or the manor, although economic changes began to alter rural production and power.
  • KC-1.5: The struggle for sovereignty within and among states resulted in varying degrees of political centralization.
    • KC-1.5.I: The new concept of the sovereign state and secular systems of law played a central role in the creation of new political institutions.