AP European History Timeline

Social Trends

Growth of European Population

1720 - 1789

Illegitimacy Explosion

1750 - 1850

Conditions of Working Class Improve

1850 - 1914

Birthrates Decline

1880 - 1913

Intellectual Trends

Italian Renaissance

1350 - 1550

Rebirth of classical literature, art, and philosophy. Secularism, individualism, and humanism.

Printing press: Information Revolution (national identity and questioning of Catholic Church).

Northern Renaissance

1450 - 1650

Scientific Revolution

1500 - 1800

Aristotelian principles: crystalline spheres and geocentricism, four elements make up everything).

Causes: universities less about research, Renaissance, technology, Francis Bacon and empiricism, Descartes and deductive reasoning).

Copernicus: heliocentricism, "On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres."
Brache: collected data. Kepler: made results from his data.
Galileo: laws of motion.
Newton: motion and gravity


1700 - 1800

Reason, man over nature, harmony, restraint, intellectual elite.


1800 - 1850

Reaction to Enlightenment. Irrationality, passion, supernatural, madness, power of nature, defying established conventions, newly liberated and educated masses.

Age of Anxiety

1918 - Approx. 1930

Art: modernism, functionalism, Bauhaus (school in Germany for architecture), impressionism, expressionism, cubism, dadaism, surrealism, Fauvism (abstract, 2D, nonrepresentational). Music: Rite of Spring (1913). Movies: new genre for entertainment (Great Train Robbery, Metropolis) and propaganda (Birth of a Nation, Triumph of the Will).

Political Trends

New Monarchies

1400 - 1600

More taxation; enlistment armies; reduced power of nobility and clergy; gave power to bureaucracies that were loyal to king; found new sources of funding (outside of nobles) → take out loans from major banks in Europe → increased debt → no way for collection of loans

Age of Discovery

1450 - 1650


1600 - 1800

Traditional colonial empires.

Absolute Monarchies

1650 - 1800

Characteristics: ruler only answers to self (not nobility or people), more control of bureaucracy and church officials, standing armies, secret police.


1790 - 1914

New Imperialism

1880 - 1914

Renewed drive to create cast political empires. More centered on economics and nationalism than before, but without much actual profit.


1945 - 1970


1970 - Approx. Present

Postcolonial system that perpetuates Western economic exploitation in former colonies.

Economic Trends


Approx. 1300 - 1600

Commercial Revolution and Columbian Exchange

1500 - 1800


1500 - 1800

Prosperity determined by nation's capital. Exports over imports. Dutch East Indies and New World. Ex: Colbert and Hamilton.

Putting Out System (Cottage Industry)

1600 - 1750

Work subcontracted to homes. Raw materials distributed and then final goods collected.

Agricultural Revolution

1600 - 1750

Industrial Revolution

1750 - 1900

Britain first because Ag Revolution, more food, lower prices, available workers, land/resources, capital, stable government, control of seas.

Better technology, better iron. Spinning jenny, then water frame. Water power, coal, steam engine and condenser to make more efficient. Railroads: reliable, cheaper, nationwide, movement to cities.

Religious Trends

Protestant Reformation

1500 - 1650

Religious reasons:
Papal Avignon: seven popes in Avignon, not Rome
Great Schism: multiple popes, loyal to monarchies increases
Inability to deal with Black Death
Selling of indulgences
Nepotism: reserving spots in the church for a specific person
Simony: nobility holding church positions
Pluralism and absenteeism: priest holding more than one position and being absent from one eventually
Ignorance: priests who couldn’t read or write Latin

Political reasons: rising nation states wanted autonomy

Economic reasons: ruler could take church lands and become wealthy

John Wycliff (England): wanted to focus on Bible, not church; personal relationship with God
Jan Hus (Czech Republic): challenged Church for reform; Hussite Wars
Martin Luther (Germany)
John Calvin (France): "Instituties on the Christian Religion;" TULIP: Total depravity (sin is part of humanity), Unconditional election (chose those who are saved), Limited atonement (Jesus only saves a few), Irresistible grace (people follow God), and Preservation (saints can't mess up); community in Geneva; evangelism

Catholic Reformation

1545 - 1563

Counter to Protestant Reformation and Anglican breakaway. Council of Trent (spiritual renewal of Church through scripture, sacraments, and stricter ruler for officials). Holy Office (kept Papal States Catholic, judicial power, enforcement of laws, Index of Banned Books).


Hundred Years War

1337 - 1453

Northern France devastated; at conclusion of war, England now only controlled the city of Calais; use of the longbow and cannon contributed to the end of the feudal ideal.

Hapsburgs-Valois Wars

1494 - 1559

Thirty Years War

1618 - 1648

Origin: Peace of Augsburg brought uneasy truce. Religious conflicts. End: Peace of Westphalia.

Bohemian Phase

1618 - 1625

Calvinists upset about loss of rights. Defenestration of Prague: Catholics out window. Catholic League v. Protestant Union. Battle of White Mountain: Catholics/HRE win.

Danish Phase

1625 - 1629

Lutheran Danes v. Ferdinand II (HRE emperor). Wallenstein: makes huge gains for Catholics. Edict of Restitution. Catholics/HRE wins.

Swedish Phase

1630 - 1635

French and Swedes (Gustavus) join forces. Idea of all Catholic German states gone. Catholic/HRE wins, but both sides tired.

French Phase

1635 - 1648

After Sweden, France gets more involved. French attack Spain to help allies. French win by default.

War of Spanish Succession

1701 - 1713

Caused by French Bourbon succession to the throne of Spain that jeopardized European balance of power; coalition army led by the British and Prussians defeated the French and Spanish; thrones of Spain and France could never unite; would be the last of Louis XIV's wars of expansion

Seven Years War

1754 - 1763

Balkan Wars

1912 - 1913

World War I

1914 - 1918

Causes: economic rivalry, imperialism, arms race, alliances, nationalism, Balkan "powder key." Schlieffen Plan: Germany cuts through Belgium. Central powers v. allied powers. Technology: machine guns, u-boats, tanks. Gas and airplanes not as much of an impact.

World War II

1939 - 1945

Bosnian War

1992 - 1995

Country-Specific Conflicts

Spanish Inquisition

1478 - 1834

German Peasant Revolt


Followed Luther, but got rejected.

French Wars of Religion

1562 - 1598

Struggle between the Church and Huguenots that ended with the accession of the former Huguenot and first Bourbon king, Henry IV.

English Civil War

1642 - 1649

Parliamentarians (Roundheads) v. Royalists (Charles). Cromwell.

Russian Pugachev's Rebellion

1774 - 1775

American Revolution

1775 - 1783

French Revolution

1789 - 1799

First estate (clergy), second estate (nobility), third estate (everyone else: bourgeoisie, urban poor, peasants).

Causes: global revolutions, money, resentment of royals, Enlightenment, poor crops).

Constitutional Monarchy (1789): Estates General, Oath of Tennis Court (National Assembly). Dismissed moderate Finance Minister Necker; replaced by Foulon. Bastille (prisoners, guns). Great Fear (tensions), Declaration on the Rights of Man.
Republic in Reign of Terror (1791-1794): September Massacre (angry crowds), National Convention makes republic (Girondists think Revolution is done, Mountain think it must continue). Louis XVI executed (Reign of Terror: Committee on Public Safety led by Robespierre; planned economy).
Directory (1794-1799): Robespierre starts housecleaning Mountain; gets executed.

Haitian Revolution

1791 - 1804

1848 Revolutions


French uprising against the increasingly oppressive Louis-Philippe sparked a wave of revolt (German states, Austria, Russia, Poland, Italy) by the middle and lower classes against conservative governments; failed because of internal class and ethnic divisions.

Austro-Prussian War


Prussian victory ended Austrian influence in German; important step towards German unification.

Russian Revolution/Civil War

1917 - 1921

Context: Nicholas the czar. Karl Marx. Slow to industrialize. Failure in Russo-Japanese War and WWI. Bloody Sunday (led to riots and formation of useless Duma). WWI; protests; army joins protestors; Nicholas abdicates; Petrograd Soviet calls for overthrow of provisional government; Bolsheviks (Reds) seized government; Decrees on Peace, Land, and Workers; universal health care, rights for women. Whites weren't unified against Reds. Red Terror.

Spanish Civil War

1936 - 1939

Francisco Franco toppled democratically elected Popular Front and established a military dictatorship; Hitler used this war to test his new weaponry.

Crimean Crisis


Notable Treaties, Congresses, etc.

Treaty of Tordesillas


Papal comprise that awarded land west of the Line of Demarcation to Spain and land east of the Line to Portugal.

Diet of Worms


Martin Luther called to answer for himself before Catholic Church

Peace of Augsburg


Ended Schmalkaldic Wars about religion.

Edict of Nantes


Ended French Religious Wars. Huguenots given religious freedom (150 cities), but still persecuted.

Peace of Westphalia


Ended Thirty Years War. Marked shift from religious conflicts in Europe to political/national ones. Created pretty stable country borders up to WWI.

Peace of Utrecht


Led to territorial expansion for British and Prussians.

First Treaty of Paris


Second Treaty of Paris


Treaty of Ghent


Congress of Vienna


Got ride of Napoleon. Dominated by Metternich. Redrew the map of Europe after Napoleon. Created a pretty stable Europe.

Berlin Conference


Divided up Africa.

Treaty of Versailles


Ended WWI. Dominated by the "peace of vengeance" for French and British (as opposed to the "peace of justice" approach by Woodrow Wilson (self-determination, League of Nations, and forgiveness); Germany had to pay massive reparations, accept total blame for the war, demilitarize the Rhineland, cede Alsace-Lorraine to the French, give up its colonies, forgo rearmament, and greatly reduce its military

Munich Conference


Appeasement of Hitler with Sudetenland.

Yalta Conference


Big Three established United Nations; partitioned Germany (and Berlin) into four zones; Soviets agreed to help US in the war against Japan.

Marshall Plan


US provided billions in aid to post-WWII Europe.

Truman Doctrine


US had right to intervene to stop spread of communism.



Counterpart to American Marshall Plan.

Brezhnev Doctrine


Soviet Union had right to intervene in countries to prevent capitalism.

English Leaders

Henry VIII

1509 - 1547

Founded Anglican Church (Act of Succession and Act of Supremacy). Didn't really change church. Took monastic land.

Edward VI

1547 - 1553

Actually changes Anglican church.

Mary I

1553 - 1558

Wanted to change church back. Married to Spanish king, who was Catholic.

Elizabeth I

1558 - 1603

Protestant Virgin Queen. Realpolitik. Gives Parliament more respect/power. No heir.

James I

1603 - 1625

Believed in divine right. Sympathetic to Catholics. Lacked common touch.

Charles I

1625 - 1649

Parliament passed Petition of Right (1628). Parliament dissolved (1629-1640). Long Parliament (1640-1660). Led to English Civil War.


1649 - 1660

Puritanical dictatorship.

Charles II

1660 - 1685

Returns from France. Wanted to party mostly. People angry (plague, London fire, Catholic brother, wars).

James II

1685 - 1688

"Too pro-French and too pro-Catholic." Test Act: Catholic.

William and Mary of Orange

1688 - Approx. 1700

Replaced James II in bloodless "Glorious Revolution."

French Leaders

Henry IV

1589 - 1610

Hires Duke of Sully to control bureaucracy and finances (panlette tax on titles and gabelle salt tax). Cleaned up government while rearranging titles.

Louis XIII

1610 - 1643

Mother fired Sully. He hired Cardinal Richelieu (broke power of nobility, divided France into Generalities, king more powerful, nobles less powerful, more bureaucracy, French Academy).

Louis XIV

1643 - 1715

The Fronde (part of French Civil War, 12 years of uprising, wanted rights back).


1804 - 1815

Image and propaganda in battle. Wins a lot; gets lot of territory. Can't beat England. Defeated in Egypt (Rosetta Stone). Declared himself First Consul. Civil Code: equality for all men. Invades Russia, army depleted. Exiled to Elba.

Russian Leaders

Peter the Great

1682 - 1725

Start of Russian Renaissance. Sophia ruled through him. Built navy. Built St. Petersburg.

Catherine the Great

1762 - 1796

Expanded Renaissance. Expanded Russian territory by 1/3. Good advisors. Enlightened absolutist.


1918 - 1922

New Economic Policy: capitalist but successful. Death created political power vacuum (Stalin v. Trotsky).


1923 - 1953

Five-Year Plan (heavy industry, ag). Collectivization (war on kulaks). Industrialization. Women gained equality in the workplace. Propaganda that glorified Stalin and state. Great Purge of Communist Party.


1955 - 1964

Reformer of Communist Party. De-stalinization. Increased consumer goods and ag. Peaceful coexistence.


1964 - 1982

Stagnation. Re-stalinization. Czechoslovakia and Prague Spring. Brezhnev Doctrine. Invasion of Afghanistan.


1985 - 1991

Perestroika: economic restructuring to limit private enterprise. Glasnost: openness. Democratization (grassroots, free elections). Rise of Oligarchs.


1991 - 1999

Withdrew from USSR. Formation of Commonwealth of Independent States.


2000 - Approx. Present

Consolidating power (expanding economy, re-establishing world power).