This course covers the history of Europe from 1300 to the present. It is fast paced, discusses a wide variety of topics, and, similar to a college-level Western history survey, requires sophisticated analysis of historical change. The course is designed for students with highly developed reading and writing skills and requires independent learning and initiative. Students are expected to invest the time and energy necessary to understand the readings and think through complex issues. Topics of study include the Renaissance and Reformation, Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, formation and fall of empires, decline of monarchies, rise of nation-states and democratic governments, spread of totalitarianism, world wars, Cold War, and formation of the European Union. Class discussions are based on in-depth analysis of primary and secondary texts, images, and propaganda. Major assessments focus on strengthening composition skills and formulating interpretations of historical change that analyze the influence of political, economic, social, and cultural factors; examine how society is influenced by religion, nationality, class, ideology, technology, gender, race, and ethnicity; and trace the role of art and literature in shaping Western views of humanity, society, and the world.
Prerequisite: Grade 10—A in The Mediterranean and Europe: Ancient to Early Modern World; Grade 11—B+ in The Rise of the Modern World or The Rise of the Modern World: Art and History.