Theme III: Emergence of the Modern West



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


Essential Question: Were the ideals embraced by an emerging modern European society the result of innovation in a new age or simply imitation of classical thought?



·        Renaissance:

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

o       Northern Renaissance

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

o       Printing press as catalyst for change

o       Education and literature – Scholasticism v. Humanism (Pico’s Oration)

o       Political philosophy – Machiavelli’s The Prince

·        Reformation and Counter-Reformation:

o       Luther and Ninety-Five Theses

o       Decline of the Catholic Church

o       Henry VIII and the Church of England

·        Rise of Absolutism and Constitutionalism:

o       Divine right of kings

o       Move toward constitutionalism

·        Age of Discovery:

o       Maritime exploration and technology

·        The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment:

o       Key figures and philosophies


Performance Standards

Students will:

·        CSS 1.3 – Demonstrate an understanding of significant events and themes in world history.

o       Analyze the impact of technological and scientific change on the world civilizations.

o       Explain how the arts, architecture, music, and literature of a civilization/nation reflect its culture and history.



Content 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:

·        Draw inferences from factual material

·        Read and interpret historical sources critically and analytically

·        Identify and explain historical issues that have shaped the modern world


Focus Questions: