Theme III: Resurrection of the Western World


Purpose: To recognize and evaluate the influence of classical ideals on emerging modern western culture.


Standard:  Evaluate the impact of major belief systems on societies and nations.  (CSS 1.3)


Essential Question: Were the ideals embraced by an enlightened European society the result of innovation in a new age or simply imitation of classical thought?  (Innovation or Imitation?)


Focus Questions:




·       Role of Italian states (Florence, Venice) in bringing about the Renaissance

·       Visual arts in the Renaissance (painting, sculpture, architecture)

·       Literature (education?) – Scholasticism v. Humanism (Pico’s Oration)

·       Political philosophy – Machiavelli, The Prince

Exploration and the Scientific Revolution:

·       Printing press

·       Maritime technology / Exploration (European rivalry?  Britain-Spain / Britain-France)


·       Luther and Ninety-Five Theses

·       Decline of the Catholic Church

·       Henry VIII and the Church of England


·       Divine right of kings

·       Move toward constitutionalism


Theme Objectives:

·       Renaissance:  Explain how the political, cultural, and intellectual ideas of the Renaissance revived the classics and laid the foundation for the modern state.

·       Exploration and Scientific Revolution:  Analyze the impact of technological and scientific change on Western civilization.

·       Reformation:  Identify and evaluate the factors which called into question the traditional scope and power of the Catholic Church

·       Absolutism:  Assess monarchs’ use of divine right to justify their authority.


Skill Objectives:

(A)  Detect cause and effect relationships

(H)  Draw inferences from factual material

Read and interpret historical sources critically and analytically

Identify and explain historical issues that have shaped the modern world