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AP® European History Teaching Resource: Period 1: c. 1450 to c. 1648

Period One: 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.

AP® European History Curriculum Framework

Key Concepts reproduced in this guide are from: The College Board. "AP® European History Course and Exam Description, Including Curriculum Framework, 2017."

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. 

Image Groups for this period

Key Concept 1.1 — The rediscovery of the works from ancient Greece and Rome and observation of the natural world changed many Europeans' view of the world.

Humanism and the Revival of Classical Texts

Printing & Dissemination of New Ideas

Visual Arts & Renaissance Ideas

Science & Persistent Folk Traditions

Key Concept 1.2— Religious pluralism challenged the concept of a unified Europe.

The Protestant and Catholic Reformations

Religious Reform and State Authority

Religion, Politics & Economic Competition

Key Concept 1.3— Europeans explored and settled overseas territories, encountering and interacting with indigenous populations.

Navigation, Cartography, & Military Technologies

Overseas Exploration & Colonization

Colonization & Indigenous Civilizations

Overseas Empires & Trade Networks

Key Concept 1.4— European society and the experiences of everyday life were increasingly shaped be commercial and agricultural capitalism, notwithstanding the continued existence of medieval social and economic structures.

Population Shifts & Growing Commerce

Livelihood of Europeans & Economic Change

Economic Change & Traditional Hierarchy

Livelihood of Europeans & Economic Change

Popular Culture, Leisure & Rituals

Key Concept 1.5— The struggle of Sovereignty within and among states resulted in varying degrees of political centralization.

New Political Institutions

Power Shift: Monarchs & Corporate Groups

Patterns of Diplomacy & Forms of Warfare