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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Advanced Placement Modern European History

- Advanced Placement European History -
Class Debate Information: Debates

Voltaire or Rousseau

Debate Topic
Whose views during the Enlightenment on government have had a greater impact on the world: Voltaire or Jean-Jacques Rousseau?

Left: Bust of Voltaire. Right: Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Team Structure

1. Each team will consist of 5 or 6 members drawn at random.

2. There must be an equal distribution of speaking responsibilities (each speaker gives at least one speech).

3. Cross examination will be conducted as a panel (but in a orderly and organized manner--that means one question at a time).

Team Responsibilities

Affirmative Team
Your responsibility is to argue in favor of Voltaire's views of government and man and to demonstrate, using facts and reason, that he had a greater impact on the world and the nations of the world should adopt his views.

Negative Team
Your responsibility is to argue in favor of Rousseau's views on government and man and to demonstrate, using facts and reason, that he had a greater impact on the world and the nations of the world should adopt his views.

Both teams must also attempt to refute as best they can, using facts and reason, the case and argument of the opposing team.


1. Each team will be required to support their argument with logic as well as reason.

2. Speakers will be able to and should cite sources, dates, documents, etc. to support their case.

3. All empirical evidence must be verifiable by inclusion and citation of a reference source (author, title, publication, date, and page numbers)

Debate Structure
The debate will follow the following format:

First Affirmative/Negative Constructive Speeches (a statement of the basic position of both teams outlining their case). 8 minutes for each speaker. A cross examination period will separate all constructive speeches.

Cross Examination (following both speeches the opposing team will have opportunity to ask questions as a panel regarding their opponents speech). 3 minutes for each C-X period.

Second Affirmative/Negative Speeches (a combination of statements both refuting the opposing teams case and rebuilding your own case). 8 minutes for each speaker. Cross Examination. 3 minutes for each C-X.

First Affirmative/Negative Rebuttals (a similar speech to the second constructive speeches) 4 minutes for each rebuttal.

Second Affirmative/Negative Rebuttals (a summation of the issues in the debate that you believe the judges must decide the debate on). 4 minutes for each rebuttal.

Each team will also receive no more than two minutes prep time between each speech.


1. There will be 5 students who will serve as judges. Chosen at random.

2. Your instructor Mr. Sedivy will act as judge and keep track of time during speeches, cross examination and between speeches.


1. The debate will have a total value of 100 points and judges will determine the score of each team and speaker on the basis of the AP point system of 1 to 9 points.

2. The winning team shall receive a score of 100 points (AP 9)

3. The losing team shall receive a score ranging between 76 (AP 1) and 92 (AP 9)

4. The final scores will be based on an average of the scores awarded by the three judges.

5. The decision of the 5 judges will be final and will be announced the day following the debate.

Debate Date
The debate date will be announced in class.

Additional Enlightenment Info at Mr. Sedivy's Site:
| Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution Quotes | Voltaire |
| The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment |

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- AP Modern European History in Depth -

Lecture Notes and Further Reading
| Methods and Rules for a Prince: How Should a Prince Rule? |
| Borg vs Hick: Theories on Jesus and Christianity |
| Kant's Epistemological Model and Religious Pluralism |

Liberating Dachau
| World War II - Dachau Concentration Camp Complex |
| Unanswered Questions: The Railroad Boxcars |
| I Company Recollections and Quotes |
| Liberating Dachau: The 42nd Division at the Jourhaus |
Dachau, Germany
| Dachau: WWII Concentration Camp Memorial | 2 | 3 |

Related Information
| Poems and Prose From the 8th - 15th Centuries | 1 | 2 |
| Marseillaise, the National Anthem of France:
A Modern-day Controversy
| Sacré Phew! |
| French Culture: Historical Champagne and Wine Trivia |

Famous Modern European History Quotes
| Index of Quotes by Speaker / Historical Period |
| Famous Quotes from the Dark and Middle Ages |
| Relevant Quotes from the Reformation and Renaissance |
| Quotes from England: 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries |
| Quotes from the French Revolution and Napoleon Era |
| Modern European History Quotes from the 1800s |
| Quotes from Europe and Asia - 1900s | Winston Churchill |
| American Quotes from the Early 1900s and World War I |
| US 20th-Century and World War II Quotes |

AP Class Activities
| Play the Role of Philip II |
| Visual Interpretations - French Revolution Art |
| "Ism" Maps of Europe and Asia |
| Industrial Revolution: England's Advantage |
| Marx and Tocqueville | America's Entry Into World War I |
Trials - Simulations
| Trial of Martin Luther | Trial of Adolf Hitler |

Helpful Information for Students
| AP Essay Writing Skills |
| Student-Developed Class Presentation Topics |

Debate Information
| Guide: Individual Debate Position | Debate Self Evaluation |
| Existence of God | Catherine the Great or Frederick the Great |
| Locke - Hobbes | Voltaire or Rousseau |

Additonal Course Info / AP Class Policy
| AP European History Syllabus: Quarter 1 | Quarter 2 | Quarter 3 |
| Writing Assignments, Exams, Critical Book Reviews, More |
| AP Booklist and Fees |



Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Advanced Placement Modern European History | Rise of Nation State England | World History |
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