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Should Americans Accept The College Board’s Deformed History Of Europe?


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:snip:Some Major Problems with European History Treatment

First, APEH treats European history starting in 1450. The cut-off date is at one level understandable. No single high school course can cover everything. But in this case, APEH leaves all of the classical world and the Middle Ages in obscurity. The Europe that APEH studies is a Europe without Homer, Plato, Virgil, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, and Dante. The course begins during the Renaissance, which was a “rebirth” of something or other. It is Europe without Alexander, Caesar Augustus, Constantine, Attila, and Charlemagne.
Note that the standard high school curriculum has no other place for European history prior to 1450, except as a splinter of AP World History, so this truncation of the European past is final. And because hardly any American colleges and universities require students to take European history courses, the AP European history course will be, for most students, the last time they will formerly study the subject. So they will largely pick up their knowledge of the European past from movies and popular culture.
Even starting in 1450, the 2015 version of APEH still manages to bypass the history of liberty, both as a concept and as an evolving set of institutional arrangements. From the Magna Carta (over the time horizon in 1215) to the Glorious Revolution, from the end of the slave trade to the emancipation of the Russian serfs, from the time when people were mainly “subjects” of feudal lords and kings to the time when people were mainly citizens, this great sweep of European history has gone missing from the framework.
Europe is now, as it has been for the last 1,500 years, the site of profound religious conflict. One can hardly make sense of European history without describing the history of religion, but the College Board has tried. Britain appears to have been singled out for especially bare treatment, perhaps because British history is hard to present without a focus on freedom.:snip:

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