🚀 Thematic Guides
Theme 1: INTERACTION OF EUROPE AND THE WORLD (INT)
Theme 4 (SOP) - States and Other Institutions of Power
Theme 6 (NEI) - National and European Identity
🎨 Unit 1: Renaissance and Exploration
1.6Age of Exploration
⛪️ Unit 2: Age of Reformation
2.4Wars of Religion
2.616th-Century Society & Politics in Europe
👑 Unit 3: Absolutism and Constitutionalism
3.1Context of State Building from 1648-1815
3.2The English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution
3.3Continuities and Changes to Economic Practice and Development from 1648-1815
3.6Balance of Power in Europe from 1648-1815
🤔 Unit 4: Scientific, Philosophical, and Political Developments
4.0Unit 4 Overview: Scientific, Philosophical, and Political Developments
4.1Context of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment
4.518th Century Culture and Art in Europe
🥖 Unit 5: Conflict, Crisis, and Reaction in the Late 18th Century
5.0Unit 5 Overview: Conflict, Crisis, and Reaction in the Late 18th-Century
5.2The Rise of Global Markets in the 18th-Century
5.4The French Revolution
5.6Napoleon's Rise, Dominance, and Defeat
🚂 Unit 6: Industrialization and Its Effects
6.0Unit 6 Overview: Industrialization and Its Effects
6.2The First Industrial Revolution
6.3The Second Industrial Revolution
6.4Social Effects of Industrialization
6.5The Concert of Europe and European Conservatism
6.6Revolutions from 1815-1914
6.7Intellectual Developments from 1815-1914
6.819th Century Social Reform Movements
6.9Institutional Reforms of the 19th Century
✊ Unit 7: 19th-Century Perspectives and Political Developments
7.0Unit 7 Overview: 19th-Century Perspectives and Political Developments
7.3National Unification and Diplomatic Tensions
7.7Effects of Imperialism
💣 Unit 8: 20th-Century Global Conflicts
8.4Versailles Conference and Peace Settlement
8.6Fascism and Totalitarianism
🥶 Unit 9: Cold War and Contemporary Europe
9.4Two Super Powers Emerge
9.7The Fall of Communism
9.1420th- and 21st-Century Culture, Arts, and Demographic Trends
🧐 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
📋 Short Answer Questions (SAQ)
📝 Long Essay Questions (LEQ)
AP European History Free Response Help - FRQ/LEQ
⏱️ 3 min read
May 11, 2020
After the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, a new competitive state system developed, heralding to new patterns of warfare and diplomacy. The concept of balance of power replaced religion as the center of military and diplomatic objectives. Balance of power asserted that nations could secure their own security by preventing any one state from gaining too much power.
Thus, nations had increased incentive to work together to prevent domination by any one nation and check the power of other nations. After the Thirty Years War, France emerged as the dominant European power under the rule of Louis XIV, the “Sun King.” In addition, the decline of the Holy Roman Empire–which was not holy, Roman, or much of an empire–as well as the decline of the Ottoman Empire, allowed other nations to expand.
Louis XIV wanted to expand France’s borders, causing other nations to align to offset France’s power. France’s main rival was Spain, as Louis desired to take over Spanish Habsburg possessions. In the Dutch War, Louis invaded the Spanish Netherlands, but was forced to retreat by combined English and Swedish pressure, leading to the Dutch War (1672-1678), during which Spain ceded Flanders and Franche-Comte to France.
In response, William of Orange created the Grand Alliance (aka the League of Augsburg) with England, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire to check French expansion. The Nine Years War that pitted the Grand Alliance against France resulted in a loss of the French territory Lorraine (although France kept the Alsace region) and the acceptance of William of Orange as the rightful King of England.
The War of Spanish Succession was most damaging for Louis and France. Charles II of Spain died without an heir, meaning the Spanish throne would be passed to Louis XIV’s grandson, Philip. Other European nations feared this would allow Louis XIV to merge the Spanish and French thrones. The Grand Alliance went to war against France to prevent Philip from taking the throne.
In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht ended the war. Philip could become King of Spain (Philip V), but the Spanish and French thrones could never unite. Austria also gained control of the Spanish Netherlands (Belgium) as well as Naples, Milan, and Sardinia and the Duke of Brandenburg became King of Prussia, which would emerge as a powerful German state. Finally, the war devastated the French economy, driving France into deep debt and turning public opinion against Louis XIV.
The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century and the subsequent Peace of Augsburg left the Holy Roman Empire religiously divided between Protestantism and Catholicism. The Thirty Years War and the Treaty of Westphalia politically divided the empire into 300 states. The Holy Roman Emperor had no army, revenue or even central authority, and as a result, Habsburg ruled Austria and Hohenzollern ruled Prussia became the leading German states within the empire.
Poland also experienced decline in the 18th century. The king was elected by the diet (legislature), made up of nobles who restricted monarchical power, and all political decisions required the unanimous support of all nobles, meaning little was ever accomplished. Poland soon became vulnerable to stronger nations, and throughout the 18th century, it was partitioned by Russia, Prussia and Austria. After the final partition in 1795, the state of Poland ceased to exist.
The Ottoman Empire also experienced marked decline. After combined Austrian, German and Polish expelled the Ottomans at the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the Ottomans ended their westward expansion, sparking a gradual period of decline. The empire would remain intact until WWI, but it was increasingly regarded as the “sick man of Europe.” Internal pressures, despite attempts to modernize, weakened the empire throughout the 19th century.
Advances in military technology created new forms of warfare, including greater reliance on infantry, firearms, mobile cannon, and more elaborate fortifications, causing a military revolution. These developments were financed by heavier taxation, requiring a larger bureaucracy, which furthered the rise of consolidated nation-states. New military techniques and institutions tipped the balance of power to states that were able to acquire sufficient resources to support a growing, modern military.
🎥 Watch: AP Euro - Economics and Society (1450-1789)
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