Spring Break Homework---FRQ analysis

Due Tuesday April 7th

All of these questions have been used on the AP exam over the last 30 years


1.     Choose the most difficult (complicated ) question from each section and analyze it—describe the parts of the question that would need to be answered. (32 pts)


2.     Choose one question from each section(separate from above) and create a simple outline for the possible answer.  You must include at least 3 sub-points(as if for a 5 paragraph essay with 3 support details) for each possible answer. (Don’t write the essay, just the simple outline—48pts)


Example [Outline I. Intro  II. ______ III._______ IV._______V. conclusion]

3.  Extra Credit—write a thesis for each question outlined in question #2 ( 1 pt. for each thesis written up to 16 total)





 (Date of FRQ, if known,  in ( ) )

The Renaissance

  1. To what extent and in what way may the Renaissance be regarded as a turning point in the Western intellectual and cultural tradition? (1977)
  2. Compare and contrast the cultural values of the Enlightenment with those of the 16th century Northern Renaissance. (1982)
  3. Compare and contrast the views of Machiavelli and Rousseau on human nature and the relationship between government and the governed. (1984)
  4. To what extent is the term "Renaissance" a valid concept for a distinct period in early modern European History? (1985)
  5. Describe and analyze the ways that the development of printing altered both the culture and politics of Europe during the period 1450-1600.
  6. Explain the ways that Italian Renaissance humanism transformed ideas about the individual's role in society. (1994)
  7. To what extent and in what ways did women participate in the Renaissance?

The Reformation/Counter Reformation

  1. How did the disintegration of the medieval church and the coming of the Reformation contribute to the development of nation-states in western Europe between 1450 and 1648? (1980)
  2. "Luther was both a revolutionary and a conservative."  Evaluate this statement with respect to Luther's responses to the political and social questions of his day. (1983)
  3. What were the responses of the Catholic authorities of the 16th century to the challenges posed by the Lutheran Reformation? (1985)
  4. Compare and contrast the attitudes of Martin Luther and John Calvin toward political authority and social order.
  5. "The Protestant Reformation was primarily an economic event."  By describing and determining the relative importance of the economic, political, and religious causes of the Protestant Reformation, defend or refute this statement. (1987)
  6. Describe and analyze the ways in which 16th century Roman Catholics defended their faith against the Protestant Reformation.
  7. Compare and contrast the Lutheran Reformation and the Catholic Reformation of the 16th century regarding the reform of both religious doctrines and religious practices.
  8. Describe and analyze the ways that the development of printing influenced both the culture and religion of Europe during the period 1450-1600.
  9. Evaluate the ways in which John Calvin made major changes in the course of the Protestant Reformation.  Be sure to discuss the wide reaching impact of pilgrims from his "New Jerusalem."
  10. "The Reformation was a rejection of the secular spirit of the Italian Renaissance."  Defend or refute this statement using specific examples from 16th-century Europe. (1986)
  11. Discuss the political and social consequences of the Protestant Reformation in the first half of the 16th century.
  12. To what extent did political authorities influence the course of the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century?

The Age of Religious Wars

  1. Discuss the relationship between politics and religion by examining the wars of religion.  Choose TWO specific examples from the following:  Dutch Revolt, French Wars of Religion, English Civil War, Thirty Years War
  2. Evaluate the relative importance of the religious rivalries and dynastic ambitions that shaped the course of the Thirty Years War.
  3. Use the Huguenot conflict in France and the Dutch revolt to illustrate the ways in which the "Religious Wars" were much more political than they were religious.
  4. In what ways did the "new monarchs" of Europe continue to use religion as a tool for nation building during the age of Religious Wars?
  5. Discuss the Thirty Years War as the ending place for a number of conflicts and the starting point for a group of others.
  6. In what ways did religious and economic issues bring about the rise of England and France and the decline of Spain toward the end of the 1500s?
  7. In 1519 Charles of Hapsburg became Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.  Discuss and analyze the political, social, and religious problems he faced over the course of his imperial reign (1519-1556).

Absolutism and Constitutionalism

  1. Machiavelli suggested that a ruler should behave both "like a lion" and "like a fox."  Analyze the policies of TWO of the following European rulers, indicating the degree to which they successfully followed Machiavelli's suggestions:  Elizabeth I of England, Henry IV of France, Catherine the Great of Russia, Frederick II of Prussia.
  2. European monarchs of the late 15th and early 16th centuries were often referred to as "New Monarchs".  What was "new" about them?  Do their actions warrant this label?
  3. In the 17th century, how did England and the Dutch Republic compete successfully with France and Spain for control of overseas territory?
  4. "In the 15th century, European society was still centered around the Mediterranean region but by the end of the 17th century the focus of Europe had shifted north"  Identify and analyze the economic developments between 1450 and 1700 that helped bring about this shift.
  5. In the 17th century, what political conditions accounted for the increased power of both the parliament in England and the monarch in France? (1982)
  6. Analyze the military, political and social factors that account for the rise of Prussia between 1640 and 1786. (1991)
  7. Describe and analyze the changes in the role of Parliament in English politics between the succession of James I and the Glorious Revolution. (1993)
  8. Between 1450 and 1800, many women gained power, some as reigning queens, others as regents.  Identify two such powerful women and discuss how issues of gender, such as marriage and reproduction, influenced their ability to obtain and exercise power.
  9. By 1700 it had become evident that Western Europe and Eastern Europe were moving in opposite directions in terms of their basic social structures.  Discuss.
  10. Describe Peter the Great's attempts to westernize Russia.  Be sure to include a discussion of the causes as well as an evaluation of its effectiveness over time.
  11. Philip II of Spain built the Escorial and Louis XIV of France built Versailles.  Starting with pictures of these palaces, analyze the similarities and differences in the conception and practice of monarchy of these two kings.  
  12. Compare and contrast the goals and major policies of Peter the Great of Russia (ruled 1682-1725) with those of Frederick the Great of Prussia (ruled 1740-1786).
  13. Compare and contrast two theories of government introduced in the period from 1640 to 1780.

Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment

  1. Compare and contrast the cultural values of the Enlightenment with those of the 16th century Northern Renaissance. (1982)
  2. In what ways did Enlightenment thinkers build on or make use of the ideas of Newton and Locke? (1983)
  3. Compare and contrast the views of Machiavelli and Rousseau on human nature and the relationship between government and the governed. (1984)
  4. Compare and contrast the views of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau on the nature of man and the best possible form of government.
  5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the various "enlightened absolutist" regimes of the late 1700s.
  6. Discuss the ways in which enlightenment thought was a major departure from the traditional European view.
  7. Describe the impact of the Scientific Revolution on European thought and culture.
  8. Analyze the ways in which specific intellectual and scientific developments of the 17th and 18th centuries contributed to the emergence of the religious outlook known as "Deism." (1990)
  9. Both Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683) and Adam Smith (1723-1790) sought to increase the wealth of their respective countries.  How did their recommendations differ?
  10. Describe and analyze the influence of the Enlightenment on both elite culture and popular culture in the 18th century.

French Revolution

  1. The French Revolution was a truly successful class revolt in which the lower classes seized the natural rights they deserved.  Support or refute.
  2. Discuss the impact of enlightenment ideals on the French Revolution.
  3. Discuss the role of women in the French Revolution.  How do their actions and treatment reflect the historical context.
  4. “Political leaders committed to radical or extremist goals often exert authoritarian control in the name of higher values."  Support or refute this statement with reference to the policies and actions of Robespierre during the French Revolution. (1989)
  5. Identify the major social groups in France on the eve of the 1789 Revolution.  Assess the extent to which their aspirations were achieved in the period from the meeting of the Estates General (May 1789) to the declaration of the Republic (September 1792). (1996)
  6. Identify and describe the key causes of French Revolution, going back to the reign of Louis XIV.
  7.  “The essential cause of the French Rev. was the collision between a powerful, rising bourgeoisie and an entrenched aristocracy defending its privileges."  Assess the validity of the statement as an explanation of the events from 1788-1792. 

Napoleon and Romanticism

  1. Evaluate the value of Napoleon's conquest of Europe in light of his attack on the Ancien Regime.
  2. Discuss the rise and fall of Napoleon.  Be sure to include an evaluation of the factors that made him an effective leader as well as the traits that led to his demise.
  3. "The Romantic Movement was an extreme reaction to the enlightenment, so extreme that it set back the cause of human progress."  Support or refute.
  4. Discuss some of the ways that Romantic musicians, writers, and artists responded to political and socioeconomic conditions from the period 1800 to 1850.  Document your response with specific examples from at least 2 of the 3 disciplines: visual arts, music, and literature.
  5. Napoleon I is sometimes called the greatest enlightened despot.  Evaluate this assessment in terms of Napoleon I's policies and accomplishments.  Be sure to include a definition of enlightened despotism in your answer.

Reaction, Restoration, and the ISMs

  1. Evaluate Metternich's attempts to maintain the old order in Europe. Be sure to discuss their short term and long term success.
  2. Compare and contrast conservatism, nationalism, and liberalism.
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of collective responses by workers to industrialization in Western Europe during the course of the 19th Century.
  4. A favorite device of social critics has been to construct model societies to illuminate the problems and short-comings of their times and to project a possible blueprint for the future.  Describe and compare the utopias of Jean Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx.  What were the chief faults they found with their own societies and how were their utopias designed to correct them?
  5. How and in what ways did the writings of Karl Marx draw on the Enlightened concepts of progress, natural law, and reason?
  6. Compare and contrast political liberalism with political conservatism in the first half of the nineteenth century in Europe.


  1. In February 1848, the middle classes and workers in France joined to overthrow the government of Louis Philippe.  By June the two groups were at odds in their political, economic, and social thinking.  Analyze what transpired to divide the groups and describe the consequences for French politics. (1990)
  2. 1848 was a critical year for the conservative interests trying to maintain the ways of the Ancien Regime.  Discuss three of the "revolutions" of 1848 and evaluate the ways in which they put an end to the old order.
  3. Compare and contrast the roles of British working women in the pre-industrial economy (before 1750) with their roles in the mid19th century.
  4. Between 1815 and 1848 the condition of the laboring classes and the problem of political stability were critical issues in England.  Describe and analyze the reforms that social critics and politicians of this period proposed to resolve these problems. (1991)
  5. Analyze and compare the effects of nationalism on Italian and Austro-Hungarian politics between 1815 and 1914. (1989)
  6. Although the revolutions of 1848 took place at roughly the same time and in reasonable proximity to one another, in certain ways they were different from one another. Compare the 1848 uprisings in France and Austria in terms of causation, participants, goals, and outcomes of each revolution. What were the key differences? In what ways were they similar?
  7. The uprisings of 1848 enjoyed early success. only to see their gains destroyed by counterrevolution. How do we account for the early success and later collapse of the revolutionary movements of 1848?

Agricultural/Industrial Revolutions

  1. Discuss the combination of social, cultural, political, and economic factors that allowed Great Britain to be the first nation to industrialize. (1978)
  2. How did the agricultural revolution serve as a starting point for the industrial revolution and the changes it made on society?
  3. Describe the change in the lifestyle and working conditions of the average peasant forced out by the enclosure movement.
  4. Analyze the influence of the theory of mercantilism on the foreign and domestic policies of European nations between 1650 and 1775.
  5. Describe and analyze the economic, cultural, and social changes that led to and sustained Europe's rapid population growth in the period from approximately 1650 to 1800.
  6. Analyze the changes in the European economy from about 1450 to 1700 brought about by the voyages of discovery and by colonization.  Give specific examples. (1992)
  7. In 1490 there was no such country as Spain, yet within a century it had become the most powerful nation in Europe and within another had sunk to the status of a third-rate power.  Describe and analyze the major social, economic, and political reasons for Spain's rise and fall. (1993)
  8. Compare the economic, political, and social conditions in Great Britain and in France during the eighteenth century, showing why they favored the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain more so than in France.

Late 19th-Century Politics; German and Italian Unification

  1. Compare and contrast Bismarck's unification of Germany with the efforts of Cavour and Garibaldi in Italy.
  2. Identify the barriers to German unification that existed for hundreds of years.  How was Bismarck able to overcome these?
  3. Assess the extent to which the unification of Germany under Bismarck led to authoritarian government there between 1871 and 1914. (1988)
  4. Discuss the process by which Great Britain continues to give representation to new groups throughout the 1800s.  In what other places in British history do such patterns exist?
  5. How do the reigns of Alexanders II & III fit in with their predecessors going back to Peter the Great?  What historical patterns, if any, can you identify?
  6. Discuss the instability of the Austrian Regime from 1848 to 1914.  In what ways is this instability stirring the larger pot of European conflict?
  7. "The centralized governments of continental Europe dominated the rate and direction of industrial development in their respective countries in the period 1850-1940."  Explain the facts and events that form the basis of this statement and describe the specific ways in which the statement is a valid generalization about the period 1850-1940.
  8. Evaluate the effectiveness of collective responses by workers to industrialization in Western Europe during the course of the 19th century.

Late 19th-Century Science and Culture

  1. Analyze the key developments that characterized the European economy in the second half of the 19th century.
  2. Describe the physical transformation of European cities in the second half of the nineteenth century and analyze the social consequences of this transformation.
  3. Discuss the ways European Jews were affected by, and responded to, liberalism, nationalism, and anti-Semitism in the 19th century.
  4. Compare and contrast the roles of British working women in the preindustrial economy (before 1750) with their roles in the era 1850 to 1920. (1998)
  5. (Two pictures: an upper MC family and a very poor family)  Contrast how a Marxist and a Social Darwinist would account for the differences in the two pictures.
  6. To what extent did Marx and Freud each challenge the nineteenth-century liberal belief in rationality and progress?
  7. To what extent and in what ways did intellectual developments in Europe in the period 1880-1920 undermine confidence in human rationality and in a well-ordered, dependable universe?
  8. These two pictures suggest technological and urban transformations characteristic of modern Europe.  Using the pictures as a starting point, describe the extent of these changes and their effects on working and middle-class Europeans in the second half of the nineteenth century.  (See Gustave Caillebotte's "Paris, A Rainy Day" and Honore Daumier's "Third-Class Carriage" at ARTCHIVE.)
  9. Describe and analyze responses to industrialization by the working class between 1850 and 1914.

WWI and the Russian Revolution

  1. "Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tyrant that it deposed." Evaluate this statement with regard to the English Revolution (1640-1660), the French Revolution (1789-1815), and the Russian Revolution (1917-1930). (1978)
  2. In what ways and why did Lenin alter Marxism? (1983)
  3. Compare and contrast the roles of the peasantry and urban workers in the French Revolution with the peasantry and urban workers of the Russian Revolution. (1985)
  4. To what extent and in what ways did Nationalist tension in the Balkans between 1870 and 1914 contribute to the outbreak of the First World War?
  5. Compare and contrast the degree of success of treaties negotiated in Vienna (1814-1815) and Versailles (1919) in achieving European stability.
  6. "The tsarist regime fell in 1917 because it had permitted tremendous change and progress in some areas while trying to maintain a political order that had outlived its time." Assess the validity of this statement as an explanation of the abdication of Nicholas II in 1917. (1987)
  7. Discuss and analyze the long-term social and economic trends in the period 1860 to 1917 that prepared the ground for revolution in Russia.
  8. "1914-1918 marks a turning point in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe."  Defend, refute, or modify this statement with reference to the generation before and the generation after the First World War.
  9. Analyze and assess the extent to which the First World War accelerated European social change in such areas as work, sex roles, and government involvement in everyday life.

Interwar Years

  1. Compare and contrast the extent to which Catherine the Great and Joseph Stalin were "Westernizers".
  2. Account for the responses of the European democracies to the military aggression by Italy and Germany during the 1930s.
  3. Compare and contrast the relationship between the great powers and Poland in the periods 1772-1815 and 1918-1939.
  4. Why did Germany's experiment with parliamentary democracy between 1919 and 1933 fail? (1982)
  5. Compare the rise to power of the fascists in Italy with the Nazis in Germany. (1983)
  6. Compare and contrast the ways in which the following paintings reflect the artistic styles and political conditions of the eras in which they were produced. (Goya's Third of May and Picasso's Guernica).
  7. Contrast European diplomacy in the time periods 1890-1914 and 1918-1939.  Include in your analysis goals, practices, and results. (1992)
  8. Support or refute: "Dictators in 20th century Europe have had much greater control over culture and society than the divine right monarchs of earlier centuries."
  9. How and in what ways did European painting or literature reflect the disillusionment in society between 1919 and 1939?  Support your answer with specific artistic or literary examples.
  10. Compare and contrast the French Jacobins' use of state power to achieve revolutionary goals during the Terror (1793-1794) with Stalin's use of state power to achieve revolutionary goals in the Soviet Union during the period 1928-1939.

WWII and Beyond

  1. Identify four specific changes in science and technology, and explain their effects on Western European family and private life between 1918 and 1970. (1995)
  2. Compare and contrast the women's suffrage movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the European feminist movements of the 1960's and 1970's. (1996)
  3. Analyze the ways in which technology was an issue in European social activism between 1945 and 1970.  Be sure to include three of the following:  environmentalism, peace movements, student protests, women's movements, workers' movements. (1990)
  4. Describe and analyze the resistance to Soviet authority in the Eastern bloc from the end of WWII through 1989.  Be sure to include examples from at least two Soviet satellite nations. (1997)
  5. Using specific examples from Eastern and Western Europe, discuss economic development during the period 1945 to the present, focusing on ONE of the following: 
    a) Economic recovery and integration 
    b) Development of the welfare state and its subsequent decline (1998)
  6. Analyze the common political and economic problems facing Western European nations in the period 1945-1960 and discuss their response to these problems. (1994)
  7. Analyze criticisms of European society presented by European authors in the period 1940 to 1970.  Be sure to discuss at least two works. (1992)
  8. Analyze the ways in which the Cold War affected the political development of European nations from the end of the Second World War in 1945 to the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. (1987)
  9. Compare and contrast the political and economic effects of the Cold War (1945-1991) on Western Europe with the effects on Eastern Europe.
  10. Between 1945 and 1970, virtually all European colonies achieved independence.  Discuss the changes within Europe that contributed to this development.

General or Uncategorizable

  1. "Repeatedly in the course of modern European history a single state has threatened the balance of power; these threats have been met by coalitions of powers which have dissolved when the threats were contained."  Discuss this statement with regard to France under Louis XIV and the Soviet Union under Stalin, and show how it would apply in each case.
  2. Describe and analyze the economic, cultural, and social changes that led to and sustained Europe's rapid population growth in the period from approximately 1650-1800.
  3. Write an essay that relates the development of the large conscripted citizen army from its origins in the levee en masse to the emergence of the modern nation-state.
  4. Analyze the major social, political, and technological changes that took place in European warfare between 1789 and 1918.
  5. Compare the economic roles of the state under 17th-century mercantilism and 20th-century communism.  Illustrate your answer with reference to the economic system of France during Louis XIV's reign under Colbert and of the USSR under Stalin.
  6. Compare the ways in which the two works of art reproduced below express the artistic, philosophical, and cultural values of their times.  (See Michelangelo's "David" and Giacometti's "Man Pointing" at ARTCHIVE.)
  7. Compare and contrast the patronage of the arts by Italian Renaissance rulers with that by dictators of the 1930s.
  8. Compare and contrast the women's suffrage movements of the late 19th century and early 20th centuries with the European feminist movements of the 1960s and 1970s.
  9. To what extent and in what ways has 20th-century physics challenged the Newtonian view of the universe and society?
  10. Analyze how and why western European attitudes toward children and child-rearing changed in the period from 1750-1900. (2007)
  11. Describe and analyze how overseas expansion by European states affected global trade and international relations from 1600-1715.
  12. How did new theories in physics and psychology in the period from 1900-1939 challenge existing ideas about the individual and society?
  13. Compare and contrast the French Jacobins' use of state power to achieve revolutionary goals during the Terror (1793-1794) with Stalin's use of state power to achieve revolutionary goals in the Soviet Union during the period 1928-1939.
  14. Describe and analyze the differences in the ways in which artists and writers portrayed the individual during the Italian Renaissance and the Romantic era of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
  15. Compare and contrast the relationship between artists and society in the Baroque era and in the twentieth century.  Illustrate your essay with references to at least TWO examples for each period.
  16. Explain why Europe saw no lasting peace in the period between the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 and the Peace of Paris in 1763.