AP Chapter 2


AP European History: The Western Heritage Since 1300

Chapter 2: Renaissance and Discovery


Learning Objectives:

  1. How did humanism affect culture and the arts in 14th and 15th Century Italy?
  2. What were the causes of Italy’s political decline?
  3. How were the powerful monarchies of northern Europe different from their predecessors?
  4. How did the northern Renaissance affect culture in Germany, England, France, and Spain?
  5. What were the motives for European voyages of discovery, and what were the consequences?

 Chapter Outline:

  1. The Renaissance in Italy (1375-1527)
  2. Italy’s Political Decline: The French Invasions (1494-1527)

III. Revival of Monarchy in Northern Europe

  1. The Northern Renaissance
  2. Voyages of Discovery and the New Empires in the West and East
  3. In Perspective

Chapter 2 Review Questions

The Renaissance in Italy

  1. What was Jacob Burckhardt’s interpretation of the Renaissance? What criticisms have been leveled against it? What did the term mean in the context of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy?
  2. How would you define Renaissance humanism? In what ways was the Renaissance a break with the Middle Ages, and in what ways did it owe its existence to medieval civilization?
  3. Who were some of the famous literary and artistic figures of the Italian Renaissance? What did they have in common that might be described as “the spirit of the Renaissance”?

Italy’s Political Decline: The French Invasions

  1. Why did the French invade Italy in 1494? How did this event trigger Italy’s political decline?

How did the actions of Pope Julius II and the ideas of Niccolò Machiavelli signify a new era in Italian civilization?

  1. A common assumption is that creative work proceeds best in periods of calm and peace. Given the combination of political instability and cultural productivity in Renaissance Italy, do you think this assumption is valid?

The Northern Renaissance

  1. How did the Renaissance in the north differ from the Italian Renaissance? In what ways was Erasmus the embodiment of the northern Renaissance?

Voyages of Discovery & New Empires in the East and West

  1. What factors led to the voyages of discovery? Why were the Portuguese interested in finding a rout to the East? Why did Columbus sail west across the Atlantic in 1492?


chiaroscuro(68)                        encomienda(92)           mannerisms(73)

condottieri(63)             Golden Bull(82)                       Platonism(66)

conquistadores(92)       hacienda(92)                studia humanitatis(63)

%d bloggers like this: