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Topics in European History (Russ, Simpson, Lawrence, and Dodson 8th Grade): The Assignment: Lawrence

Each of the topics is an important time period or influence on European history that we will discuss in class. Your report should include an overview of the time period or event AND should also explain how the time period or event influenced Europe.

What famous event in European History is depicted here?

The Assignment

European History Project

Each student will choose a topic from the list below.  You will then complete an oral presentation meeting the following criteria: 

LENGTH AND FORMAT: Your report should be approximately 2:30-3:30 minutes in length.  In addition to the presentation, you will need a quality visual aid as well as a thorough and typed outline is required.

SOURCES: You must have at least three sources for your report (maximum one encyclopedia, minimum one non-Internet; NO Wikipedia!).  While the exact form in which you cite your sources is not important, it is essential that you do cite your sources.  DO NOT PLAGIARIZE!!  FAMILIARIZE, ANALYZE, and PROSELYTIZE!!

CONTENT: Each of the topics below is an important time period or influence on European history that we will discuss in class.  Your presentation should include an overview of the time period or event AND should also explain how the time period or event influenced European history.  There have been books and books written on all these topics, so you will have to make choices about what information to include or not to include. 

The important thing is that you provide a clear and concise overview and that you explain the significance! You need to develop a thesis statement (like a topic sentence in a paragraph) and prominently display it on your visual aid. You should then organize your presentation into two to four bodies of information, each consisting of a main argument in support of your thesis. 

Go beyond a simple report on your topic and offer an analysis of how this issue/person/event affected peoples and nations.  Try to explore the causes and effects, the “why” as well as the “what.”  Make sure that you organize your content and that you follow the rules or grammar and usage we have discussed!



Simply because you will not write a whole paper, do not be mistaken to think you will not need quality content in your outline or for your presentation.  On the contrary, this project will rely more on specific information – and corresponding analysis - than word filler.


DUE DATE: Wednesday, March 9.

The Topics

Greece – focus on time period before 300BC; legacies in government, philosophy, art, etc

Alexander the Great – life, conquest, and achievements

Hellenism – Greek empires and Greek culture after conquests of Alexander

Roman Republic – expansion of Rome to a few years BC; organization, legacy

Roman Empire – from the time of Julius Caesar to the Germanic invasions of the 300s and 400s AD

Constantine – Roman/Byzantine emperor who legalized Christianity and ruled a united empire

Byzantine Empire – eastern half of Roman Empire, stood until 1453

Justinian – greatest Byzantine emperor

Medieval Europe #1– influence and role of Christianity/Roman Catholic Church

Great Schism – events and views leading to 1054 split between eastern and western church

Medieval Europe #2 – role of feudalism; political organization

Crusades – causes, events, impact of series of battles from 1095 to 1292; How did they change Europe?

Renaissance – Northern Italy in the mid-1300s; causes and impact on arts, politics, religion

Reformation – ideas of Luther, Calvin, others and their influence during the 1500s and beyond

Age of Exploration – European activity around the globe in the 1500s and 1600s

Enlightenment – ideas and impact in 1600s and 1700s; impact on science, religion, politics

French Revolution – overthrow of French monarchy in 1789 to rise of Napoleon, effects in Europe

Napoleon – rise to power, conquests, fall from power, and impact on Europe

Industrial Revolution – impact on wealth and national politics as well as on workers, Europe’s advantage

ImperialismEurope’s dominance over especially Asia and Africa from the 1800’s through WW2

World War I – causes and effects of the Great War

World War II – rise of fascism in Europe and its defeat

Cold War Europe – divided Europe, the ideologies, shifting alliances, US role, collapse of communism

European Union – drive towards one Europe, attitudes among political elite and average people