AP US History Syllabus

AP U.S. History

AP U.S. History is a challenging college-level course which will survey the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic evolution of American history from 1491 to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the development of critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of original documents, and historiography.


Historical Thinking Skills

The mastering of these skills is expected to complete the progression of becoming a true historian.

Chronological reasoning

·         Historical causation

·         Patterns of Continuity and Change over time

·         Periodization

·         Comparison

·          Contextualization

·         Historical Argument

·         Appropriate Use of Relevant Historical Evidence

·         Historical Interpretation

·          Synthesis


Thematic Learning Objectives

This course is structured both chronologically and thematically. Seven themes will be woven in to the units of study. The themes include: Identity (ID), Work, Exchange, and Technology (WXT), Peopling (PEO), Politics and Power (POL), America in the World (WOR), Environment and Geography (ENV), and Ideas, Beliefs, and Culture (CUL). All questions on the AP U.S. History exam will measure student understanding of the specific thematic learning objectives.


Primary Textbook

Bailey, Thomas A., Cohen, Lizabeth, Kennedy, David M. The American Pageant. 12th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002.


Primary Sources

Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., The American Spirit: United States History as seen byContemporaries, Volume 1 and 2, 10th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005.


Dollars, Charles M., Reichard, Gary W., American Issues: A Documentary Reader, Columbus: McGraw-Hill/Glencoe, 1994.


Hofstader, Richard. Great Issues in American History: Volume II-Revolution to Civil War, New York: Vintage Books, 1958.


Secondary Sources

Loewen, James, Lies My Teacher Told Me, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007.


Remini, Robert V., Short History of the United States, New York: Harper Collins, 2008.


Zinn, Howard, A People’s History of the United States, New York: Harper, 2005.



Other Sources

Internet and websites, videos, novels, newspaper articles, magazine articles, power points, and quantitative data.



·         Grades will be calculated by points.

·         Student progress will be evaluated through formative and summative assessments which include completion of assignments, reading and writing skills, document analysis, participation in all discussions, projects and presentations, reading quizzes, and unit and semester tests.

·         All tests will consist of multiple choice, free response, and document based questions.

·         Reading quizzes will be on-line through cengage.com.

·         Students will be required to maintain a course notebook.

·         All grades will be posted weekly in Power School.


Summer Assignment

Students will read select chapters from James Loewen’s book, Lies My Teacher Told Me, and write a five page paper analyzing how history is taught and their own philosophy about how it should be taught in this course. An open forum the first day of class will be held to discuss their views.


First Semester


First Quarter:


Unit 1: Settlement-1491-1607


Resources: American Pageant-Ch. 1-2, American Spirit-Ch. 1-2, Zinn-Ch. 1-2, internet sites, videos, power points, and handouts.


Discussion Topics: Environment and Native American cultures, Spanish conquest and settlement, the Columbian Exchange, Structures of empire building, beginnings of slavery and slave trade, European competition and international trade, treatment of Native and African Americans, and the influence of Native Americans, African Americans and Europeans on the development of culture in the Western Hemisphere.


Essential Questions (Essay Prompts):

1.      Describe the origin and development of the major Indian cultures of the Americas.

2.      Explain the changes and the conflicts that occurred when the diverse worlds of Europe, Africa, and the Americas collided after 1492.

3.      Describe the Spanish conquest of Mexico and South America and identify the major features of Spanish colonization and expansion in North America.

4.      Summarize the major factors that led England to begin colonization.




Student Activities:

Students will:

·          Create a comparison chart to identify and explain the cultural development of the Native American populations in Mexico, Southwest, Northeast and California, Great Basin and Great Plains, and the Northeast and Atlantic Seaboard. Topics to be identified and explained are the American Indian cultures in each region, time period, locations and natural environments, social organizations, political institutions, economy, and possible reasons for their declines. Websites to be used: www.nmai.si.eduand www. American-indian.net/cultures.  (PEO-1)(ENV-1)(ENV-2)

·         Create a poster explaining the impact of American Indians, Africans, and Europeans on each other upon their contact in the Western Hemisphere. Include Columbian Exchange, demographic changes, settlement patterns, slave labor, conquistadors, encomienda system, competition, capitalism and international trade, empire building, and new technologies. (PEO-4)(PEO-5)(ENV-1)(WXT-1)(WXT-4)(WOR-1)(WOR-4)(POL-1)

·         Collect evidence from primary and secondary sources to establish your point of view to debate the issue of the treatment of American Indians and Africans by the Europeans and if they were allowed to maintain their autonomy and core beliefs. (CUL-1)(ID-4)(POL-1)(ENV-2)

·         Complete the Issues Connector: Global Interdependence by identifying potential negative and positive consequences of global exchange and interdependence by reading excerpts from primary sources and answering questions to contrast individual’s opinions and link past to present.(WXT-1)(WXT-4)(WOR-1)(POL-1)


Assessments: Comparison chart, poster, debate, participation in discussions, reading quizzes, unit test, and essential questions will be used for short answer, long answer and document based questions.


Unit 2: Colonization-1607-1754


Resources: American Pageant-Ch. 2-5, American Spirit-Ch. 1-5, Zinn-Ch. 3, internet sites, videos, power points, and handouts.


Discussion Topics: Settlement of New England, Middle, and Southern colonies, Jamestown, Puritans, Quakers, economic, political and social development of colonies, colonial life, Native American conflicts, American identity and autonomy, slavery and the plantation system, and Triangular trade.


Essential Questions (Essay Prompts):

1.       Compare and contrast the early colonial empires of Spain, England, and France in terms of motives, economic foundations, and relations with Native Americans and Africans.

2.      Analyze the development of African slavery in the southern colonies.

3.      What economic, social, and ethnic conditions typical of the early southern colonies were generally absent in the New England and Middle colonies?

4.      Examine how the actions of both American Indians and European colonists shaped their relationships in the New England, Middle, and Southern colonies.

5.      How did African Americans develop a culture that combined African and American elements?

6.      Compare the conditions of seventeenth century social, economic, and religious life in the New England region to that developed in the Chesapeake area.

7.      How did the Salem witch episode reflect the tensions and changes in seventeenth century New England life and thought?

8.      Explain the causes of the religious Great Awakening, and describe its effects on American education and politics.

9.      Compare and contrast the social structure and culture of the eighteenth century with that of the seventeenth century. In what ways was the eighteenth century more complex, and in what ways did it clearly continue earlier ideas and practices?


Student Activities:

Students will:

·         Create a chart analyzing the social and economic goals, cultural assumptions and folkways used by the Spanish, French, Dutch, and British in colonizing the New World in the seventeenth century. (WXT-2)(PEO-1)(WOR-1)(ENV-4)

·         Using primary and secondary resources, examine the development of slavery in the North American colonies and debate its necessity or inevitability. How would the colonies be different without slavery? (WOR-1)(WXT-4)(ID-4)(POL-1)(CUL-1)

·         Complete the settlement charts for New England, Middle, and Southern colonies to detail their ethnic groups, religions, reasons for coming, relations with Native Americans, and major products. (WXT-2)(WXT-4)(ENV-2)(ID-5)(PEO-5)(CUL-4)

·         Discuss the reasons for and impact of conflicts between colonizers and native peoples. Include Beaver Wars, Huron Confederation, King Philip’s War, Pequot Wars, Pueblo Revolt, and Bacon’s Rebellion. (WXT-1)(PEO-1)(WOR-1)(POL-1)(ENV-1)(ID-4)(PEO-4)(PEO-5)(CUL-1)

·         Create an impact chart detailing how the Enlightenment, Reformation, counter- Reformation, Commonwealth, Restoration, and Glorious Revolution influenced the growth of the North American colonies. (WXT-1)(WXT-4)(WOR-1)(WOR-2)(CUL-4)

·         Divide into three groups (New England, Middle, Southern colonies) and create a puppet show illustrating colonial life for that region. Include political, economic, social, cultural, religions, education, roles of men, women, and minorities, and basic infrastructures. (WXT-1)(WXT-4)(WOR-1)(WOR-2)(CUL-4)

·         Complete the American way of life chart describing the development of colonial economies, religion, education, culture, politics, and way of life. (WXT-1)(WXT-4)(WOR-1)(WOR-2)(CUL-4)

·         Create a map illustrating the importance of triangular trade and slave trade. (WXT-1)(WXT-4)(WOR-2)(CUL-4)


Assessments: charts, puppet show, map, participation in discussions, essential questions will be used for short answer, long answer, and document based questions, reading quizzes, and unit test.



Unit 3: Rebellion to Nation-1754-1800


Resources: American Pageant-Ch. 6-10, American Spirit-Ch. 6-10, Zinn-Ch. 4-5, Hofstader-Parts 1-4, internet sites, videos, power points, and handouts.


Discussion topics: French and Indian War, Pontiac’s Rebellion, Iroquois Confederation, colonial grievances, British responses, Road to Rebellion, Declaration of Independence, Common Sense, American Revolution, Articles of Confederation, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Federalists v. Anti-Federalists, Federalist papers, relations with other nations, development of political parties, Washington’s Farewell Address, Election s of 1796 and 1800, and Alien and Sedition Acts leading to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions.


Essential Questions (Essay Prompts):

1.      Indicate how and why the Seven Years’ War (French and Indian War) became one of the background causes of the American Revolution.

2.      Evaluate the relative importance of the following as factors prompting Americans to rebel in 1776: Parliamentary taxation, restriction of civil liberties, British military measures, and the legacy of colonial religious and political ideas.

3.      “War is a powerful instrument for social and economic change.” Evaluate this statement with reference to the American Revolution.

4.      Describe the difficult political fight over ratification of the U.S. Constitution between Federalists and Anti-Federalists, and explain why the Federalists won.

5.      Explain how the conflict between Hamilton and Jefferson led to the emergence of the first political parties.

6.      What were the most important issues facing the new federal government, and how did Washington address them?

7.      Although the power of the national government increased during the early republic, this development often faced serious opposition. Compare the motives and effectiveness of those opposed to the growing power of the national government in two of the following: Whiskey Rebellion, Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, Hartford Convention, and the Nullification Crisis.


Student Activities:

The student will:

·         Debate the significance of the French and Indian War as a background cause of the American Revolution. (ID-4)(POL-1)(ENV-2)(ENV-4)(CUL-1)

·         Complete the Road to Rebellion chart identifying the description, rationale, and colonial reactions for each British action taken leading to the Revolutionary War. (ID-1)(WXT-1)(WOR-1)(CUL-2)(CUL-4)

·         Role play an individual’s position and beliefs from this time period about open rebellion to British control and grievances in an open forum to decide joining a bid for independence. (ID-1)(WXT-1)(POL-1)(WOR-1)(CUL-2)(CUL-4)

·         Using secondary sources and links to literature for Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence prove the colonists’ belief in the superiority of republican self-government based on natural rights. (ID-1)(POL-5)(WOR-2)(CUL-4)

·         Write an essay on how and why the phrase “all men are created equal” was incorporated into the Declaration of Sentiments at the Seneca Falls Convention, the Gettysburg Address, and the “I Have a Dream Speech”. Why do you think each speaker/author wanted to use that phrase for full effect? (ID-1)(POL-5)(WOR-2)(CUL-4)

·         Create a visual time line on the causes, turning point battles and events, and effects of the American Revolution.

·         Analyze political cartoons, maps, charts, and writings from Enlightened thinkers to determine the emergence of an American culture and national identity. (ID-5)(WXT-2)(WXT-4)(POL-2)(CUL-2)(ENV-3)

·         Using primary and secondary sources, compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation to the U.S. Constitution. (ID-1)(POL-5)(WOR-2)(CUL-4)(WXT-6)(POL-5)(WOR-5)

·         Divide into groups and take a principle of the U.S. Constitution and locate provisions in the document itself to examine its importance to the formation of the new government and national identity. (WXT-6)(POL-5)(WOR-5)(ID-5)(WXT-2)(WXT-4)(POL-2)(CUL-2)(CUL-4)

·         Complete Issues Connector: Expanding and Protecting Civil Rights by answering questions as they read excerpt from primary sources to apply information, draw conclusions, and link the past to the present. (ID-4)(WOR-2)(POL-5)(CUL-2)(WXT-6)(POL-5)(WOR-5)

·         Using primary and secondary sources, complete the thought bubbles for Jefferson and Hamilton and link their ideas to the emergence of political parties. (WXT-6)(POL-5)(WOR-5)(ID-5)(WXT-2)(WXT-4)(POL-2)(CUL-2)(CUL-4)

·         Complete the handout, Foreign Policy Issues (1783-1800), to determine the U.S. response for each issue. (ID-5)(ID-6)(PEO-5)(POL-1)(WOR-1)(WOR-5)(POL-2)(PEO-4)

·         Analyze the significance of Washington’s Farewell Address in shaping U.S. political parties and foreign policies. (WOR-5)(POL-2)(WXT-6)(POL-5)

·         Determine the threat of the Alien and Sedition Acts to citizens’ individual Constitutional rights. (WXT-6)(POL-5)(ID-4)(WOR-2)(POL-5)(CUL-2)


Assessments: Debates, charts, time lines, graphic organizers, handouts, bubble thoughts, essays, document based questions, reading quizzes, and unit test.


Second Quarter:


Unit 4: Nationalism to Sectionalism-1800-1848


Resources: American Pageant-Ch. 11-15, American Spirit-Ch. 11-15, Zinn-Ch.7-9, Hofstadter-Part 5, internet sites, videos, power points, and handouts.


Discussion Topics: Louisiana Purchase, Embargo Act 1807, Marshall Court, Monroe Doctrine, Missouri Compromise, Clay’s American System, War of 1812, Jacksonian Democracy, factory system, cotton gin, cotton kingdom, slave rebellions, spoils system, Indian Removal Act, Worchester v. Georgia, rise of Whig Party,  Bank and Nullification Crisis, 2nd Great Awakening, Transcendentalism, Reform Movements, Abolitionism and Women’s Rights.


Essential Questions (Essay Prompts):

1.      What were the political and economic consequences of the Louisiana Purchase?

2.      What were the real causes of the War of 1812? Was the declaration of war a “mistake”, or the result of President Madison’s genuine fear that the American republican experiment could fail?

3.      How would the key events of the period-the spread of Jeffersonian democracy, the Louisiana Purchase, and new war with Britain-look in the eyes of an American Indian leader like Tecumseh?

4.      Describe and explain the burst of American nationalism that followed the War of 1812.

5.      How did the forces of nationalism compete with sectional interests in the economic and judicial struggles of the period?

6.      Why did the issue of admitting Missouri to the Union precipitate a major national crisis?

7.      Did the Monroe Doctrine foreshadow America’s growing willingness to assert its national power, even at the risk of conflict with European powers?

8.      Why did Calhoun and the South see the Tariff of 1828 as such an “abomination” and raise threats of nullification over it?

9.      Discuss the attitudes, policies, and events that led to the “Trail of Tears” Indian removal in 1837.

10. How did the size and character of the population affect American social and economic life?

11. How did the existence of a vast western frontier shape Americans’ values and society?

12. What were the effects of the new factory and corporate systems of production on early industrial workers, and how did they respond to these conditions?

13. How did the new transportation system create a commercially linked national economy and a specialized sectional division of labor?

14. Describe the effects of the market revolution on the American economy, including the new disparities between rich and poor.

15. How did the major changes in American religion reflect the spirit of American democracy and liberty?

16. In what ways were the movements of American religion, reform and culture a reflection of mass democracy, societal problems, and the politics of the time?


Student Activities:

The students will:

·         Using primary and secondary sources including photographs, maps, and charts, divide into pairs to analyze a packet of documents to justify Jefferson’s purchase of the Louisiana Territory. (POL-2)(POL-5)(POL-6)(ID-5)(ENV-3)

·         Create a comparison chart for regions of United States (North, South, and West) to clarify the political and economic development and sectional issues confronting the new republic. (POL-2)(POL-5)(POL-6)(ID-5)

·         Analyze the landmark court cases of the Marshall Court to examine their promotion of American nationalism. (POL-2)(POL-5)(POL-6)(ID-5)

·         Create a visual timeline of the causes, turning point battles and events, and effects of the War of 1812. (WOR-5)(WOR-6)

·         Analyze the Monroe Doctrine’s impact on U.S. foreign policy in the past and present. (WOR-5)(WOR-6)

·         Using excerpts from the Missouri Compromise and the map on p.247 of the textbook, determine the implications of the compromise, the slave issue, and its impact on sectionalism and national politics. (ENV-3)(POL-6)

·         Using the timeline of inventions of the 1800s, categorize how the inventions improved communications, provided new sources of heat/energy, provided greater conveniences, and developed new forms of recreation and entertainment. (WXT-2)(WXT-5)

·         Using a passage from Loom and Spindle by Harriet Hanson Robinson, explain why the Lowell girls went on strike in 1836. Describe how the girls seemed to feel about their work. (WXT-2)(WXT-5)

·         Work with a partner to examine one of the following boom and bust cycles: 1819, 1837, or 1857. Research the cycle to determine what economic variables played important roles in the cycle, how the variables changed, and why some variables caused growth and others caused decline. Use what you have learned to make an illustrated poster of your boom and bust cycle. (WXT-2)(WXT-7)(PEO-2)(Peo-3)(ID-5)(ID-6)

·         Using the website http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/democraticparty.html., create a CNN broadcast about the spoils system, universal white male suffrage, National Bank Crisis, Nullification Crisis, Indian Removal Act, use/misuse of veto power, alienation of cabinet members, or territorial expansion to determine if the Age of Jackson promoted or hindered the expansion of democracy. (WOR-6)(POL-6)

·         Measure the importance of the plantation system, factory system, the American system, westward expansion, immigration, and labor movement had on the market revolution and its effects on migration patterns, gender and family relations, and the distribution of political power. (WXT-2)(WXT-7)(PEO-2)(PEO-3)(ID-5)(ID-6)

·         Create a persuasive brochure on a religious, political, or social reform movement to encourage new membership and promote the principles of democracy and the 2nd Great Awakening. (CUL-2)(POL-3)(POL-6)(WOR-2)(ID-1)(ID-2)(CUL-5)

·         Complete the Issues Connector: Church and State by reading excerpts from the first amendment and major court cases to answer questions that examines its application and applies information. (CUL-2)(POL-3)(POL-6)(WOR-2)(ID-1)(ID-2)(CUL-5)


Assessments: charts, visual timeline, handouts, essays, CNN broadcast, brochure, document based questions, reading quizzes and unit tests.


Unit 5: Disunion-1844-1877


Resources: American Pageant-Ch. 16-22, American Spirit-Ch. 16-22, Zinn-Ch. 9-10, Hofstadter-Parts 6-7, internet sites, videos, power points, and handouts.


Discussion Topics: Manifest Destiny, Texas Annexation, Aroostook War, Mexican War, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexican Cession, Gadsden Purchase, slavery and expansion, Wilmot Proviso, formation of Republican Party, Compromise of 1850, Kansas-Nebraska Act, John Brown, Abolitionist authors and leaders, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Dred Scot case, Lincoln-Douglas debates, Election of 1860, Secession, “Rich Man, Poor Man” fight, draft riots, Habeas Corpus, Union and Confederacy, turning point battles, Emancipation Proclamation, Civil War Amendments, Reconstruction plans, balance of power in federal government, KKK, sharecropping, Freedmen’s Bureau, carpetbaggers and scalawags, Jim Crow laws, and Election of 1876.



Essential Questions (Essay Prompts):

1.      Although Americans perceived Manifest Destiny as a benevolent movement, it was in fact aggressive imperialism pursued at the expense of others. Assess the validity of this statement.

2.      Discuss the impact of territorial expansion on national unity between 1800 and 1850.

3.      Analyze the effectiveness of political compromise in reducing sectional tensions in the periods 1820-1861.

4.      What were the causes and consequences of the Mexican War?

5.      What was the effect of the morally powerful slavery debate on American political parties? What caused the demise of the Whig Party, and the rise of the Free Soil and Republican parties?

6.      How did each crisis event of the 1850s help lead toward the Civil War?

7.      How did the Civil War change from a limited war to preserve the union into a “total war” to abolish slavery?

8.      How did the North and the South each handle their economic and human resource needs? Why were the economic consequences of the war so different for the two sides?

9.      What changes did the Civil War bring about in civilian society, North and South? How did it particularly affect women?

10. What were the major problems facing the South and the nation after the Civil War? How did Reconstruction address them, or fail to do so?

11. How did African Americans take advantage of political, economic, and social opportunities of Reconstruction, despite their limitations?

12. Would you agree with historians who argue that even if Reconstruction failed at the time, it laid the foundations for later successes of the civil rights movement? Why or why not?


Student Activities:

The student will:

·         Create a board game representing Manifest Destiny through the depiction of international treaties, territorial expansion, Indian policies and treaties, settlers, and trail systems to explain the complications that arose politically, economically, and socially due to the U.S. geographical expansions. (WOR-5)(WOR-6)(ID-2)(WXT-2)(ENV-4)

·         Create a power point presentation organizing the issues and events that led to the Civil War in chronological order and highlighting most important to least important. (ID-5)(POL-3)(POL-5)(POL-6)(CUL-2)(CUL-6)(POL-2)(PE)-5)(ID-5)

·         Using the website- http://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/prelude/, analyze the causes, turning point battles and events, and effects of the Mexican-American War. (ID-2)(WXT-2)(WOR-5)(WOR-6)(ENV-4)

·         In groups, create a newspaper Year in Review -1861 to establish Northern and Southern point of view. Include five events that best describe 1861, key people, one political cartoon, one editorial, and two advertisements. Be prepared to discuss why each side was unwilling to compromise and how that unwillingness affected their region and the nation as a whole. Then apply that same attitude to present day politicians and issues. (ID-5)(POL-3)(POL-5)(POL-6)(CUL-2)(CUL-6)(POL-2)(PEO5)

·         Complete the Issues Connector: Federal Power and States’ Rights by reading excerpts from primary sources to answer questions that recognize bias, draw conclusions, and apply information. (ID-5)(POL-3)(POL-5)(POL-6)(CUL-2)(CUL-6)

·         Using historychannel.com 150 civil war interactive, identify and describe key issues, events,  and people; turning point battles; effects to women, African Americans, politics, economics, and society; and discuss how the Civil War changed political, economic, and social structures post war. (POL-5)(CUL-2)(ENV-3)

·         Using the Emancipation and the U.S. Constitution, explain how the 13th Amendment expanded on the Emancipation Proclamation. (POL-5)(POL-6)(ID-5)

·         Using primary and secondary sources, determine the success and failures of Reconstruction and tell how it still impact our society and culture today. (POL-5)(POL-6)(ID-5)(ID-2)(POL-6)


Assessments: Board game, power point presentation, newspaper, handouts, participation in discussions, essays, document based questions, reading quizzes, unit test, and semester exam.


Second Semester


Third Quarter:


Unit 6- The Gilded Age-1865-1898


Resources: American Pageant-Ch. 23-26, American Spirit-Ch. 23-26, Zinn-Ch. 11, internet sites, handouts, videos, and power points.


Discussion Topics: Native American policies, assimilation, Plains Wars, Wounded Knee, farming, ranching, mining, The Grange, Populist Party and Omaha Platform, growth of big business, robber barons, Social Darwinism, Gospel of Wealth, Social Gospel, labor unions, strikes, immigration, urbanization, new technologies, leisure activities, segregation, life at the turn of the century, Gilded Age politics, and political machines.


Essential Questions (Essay Prompts):

1.      Analyze the emergence of the Populist Movement in the late 19th century.

2.      Describe how the end of Reconstruction led to a loss of black rights and the imposition of the Jim Crow system of segregation in the South.

3.      Describe how the economy came to be dominated by giant “trusts”, such as those headed by Carnegie and Rockefeller in the steel and oil industries.

4.      Analyze the social changes brought by industrialization, particularly the altered position of working men and women.

5.      What new opportunities did the cities create for Americans?

6.      What new social problems did urbanization create? How did Americans respond to those problems?

7.      Describe the “New Immigration” and explain why it aroused opposition from many native-born Americans.

8.      Explain the growing debates about morality in the late 19th century, particularly in relation to the changing roles of women and the family.

9.      Why did American culture and writing actually flourish amidst the troubling and conflict-ridden politics and economics of the period?

10. Analyze the brief flowering and decline of the cattle and mining frontiers.

11. How did the whites finally overcome resistance of the Plains Indians, and what happened to the American Indians after their resistance ceased?

12. How did the forces of economic class conflict and race figure into farmer and labor revolts of the 1880s and 1890s?

13. To what extent were the defeat of the American Indians, the destruction and exploration of western resources, and the populist revolt of farmers caused by the Gilded Age forces of industrialization and urbanization?


Student Activities:

The student will:

·         Create an analysis graphic organizer detailing the effects of segregation on African Americans usingPlessy v. Ferguson, photographs, newspaper articles, and personal accounts. (ID-2)(CUL-3)(CUL-5)(CUL-6)

·         Partner up. Each set of partners will be given a picture of immigrants arriving in Ellis Island or Angel Island. Choose one person in the photograph to create an oral history of their immigrant experience. One partner will create questions to ask during an interview as a historian. The other partner will be the person in the photograph from years later. (ID-6)(PEO-2)(PEO-3)(PEO-6)(POL-3)

·         Complete Issues Connector: Migration and Urbanization by reading excerpts from primary sources to answer questions that will make inferences and connections. (ID-6)(PEO-2)(PEO-5)(PEO-6)(POL-3)

·         Create a presentation about an invention worthy to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame by explaining its development and impact on society. (WXT-3)(WXT-6)(WOR-3)(CUL-3)(CUL-5)

·         Complete Issues Connector: Technology and Society by reading excerpts from primary sources to answer questions that apply information, explain problems, identify alternatives, and links past to present. (WXT-5)(WXT-6)(WXT-7)(PEO-6)(ID-5)

·         Create a “reality show” to show the disparity of wealth by showcasing the lifestyles of the rich and famous and how the other half lives. Imbed the concepts of Social Darwinism, Gospel of Wealth, and Social Gospel; unequal distribution of wealth; and the role of journalism in exposing these circumstances. (WXT-3)(WXT-6)(WOR-3)(CUL-3)(CUL-5)

·         Read Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe and The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and write a three page paper comparing and contrasting the lives of the slaves found in Uncle Tom’s Cabin with the lives of the wage slaves found in The Jungle. Write a two page paper explaining which role you would assume. Be sure to use specific examples from both books to make your argument. (WXT-5)(WXT-6)(WXT-7)(PEO-6)(ID-5)

·         Working with a partner, write two book reviews. One partner will review Helen Hunt Jackson’s, A Century of Dishonor while their partner reviews a more recent book (last 25 years) that also discusses American Indian rights. As you and your partner read portions of the books, discuss similarities and differences between the books and create a table or Venn diagram that compares and contrasts key issues for American Indians, then and now. (PEO-4)(ENV-5)(POL-6)

·         Complete the Issues Connector: American Indian Policy by reading excerpts from primary sources to answer questions that draw conclusions, synthesize information, and make connections. (PEO-4)(ENV-5)(POL-6)

·         Read excerpts and watch video clips of “The Wizard of Oz” and compare it to the Omaha Platform. (ENV-5)(WXT-5)(WXT-7)(POL-3)(PEO-3)(PEO-5)

·         Complete the Issues Connector: Women in American Society by reading excerpts from primary sources to answer questions that draw conclusions, apply information, make connections, and links past to present. (ID-6)(PEO-2)(PEO-3)(PEO-6)(POL-3)


Assessments: Graphic organizers, oral history, handouts, presentations, reality show, papers, book reviews, participation in discussions, essays, document based questions, reading quizzes, and unit test.


Unit 7-Progressive Era to World War II-1890-1945


Resources: American Pageant-Ch. 27-35, American Spirit-Ch. 27-35, Zinn-Ch. 12-16, internet sites, videos, power points, and handouts.


Discussion Topics: Muckrakers, African American progress and problems, Progressive reforms, presidents, legislation, and amendments, imperialism, Roosevelt Corollary, Panama Canal, Big Stick diplomacy, Dollar diplomacy, causes and effects of World War I, Wilson’s Fourteen Points, Treaty of Versailles, Red Scare, immigration policies, xenophobia, fundamentalism v. modernism, Scopes Trial, flappers, Jazz Age, modern pop culture, impact of automobile and radio, mass production and advertising, crash of Stock Market, causes and effects of Great Depression, The New Deal, causes and effects of World War II, Neutrality Acts, Cash and Carry, Lend-Lease, Atlantic Charter, Pearl Harbor, island hopping, D-Day, Pacific and European campaigns, Manhattan project, and Yalta and Potsdam.


Essential Questions (Essay Prompts):

1.      What were the key arguments for and against U.S. imperialism?

2.      How was the U.S. overseas imperialism in 1898 similar to and different from earlier

3.      What were the strengths and weaknesses to Theodore Roosevelt’s aggressive foreign policy? What were the benefits of TR’s activism and what were the drawbacks?

4.      Discuss the origins and nature of the progressive movement.

5.      What did the progressive movement accomplish at the local, state, and national level?

6.      How was progressivism a response to the development of the new urban and industrial order in America?

7.      Explain what caused America to enter World War I.

8.      Did World War I substantially alter American society and culture, or were its effects primarily an “affair of the mind” i.e. altering American ideas and world views?

9.      Describe the cultural conflicts over such issues as immigration, cultural pluralism, prohibition, and evolution.

10. Discuss the rise of mass-consumption economy, led by the automobile industry.

11. Describe the cultural revolution brought about by the radio, films, and changing sexual standards.

12. Explain how the stock market crash set off the deep and prolonged Great Depression.

13. How did some of the economic policies of the 1920s and 1930s help cause and deepen the depression?

14. How did the early New Deal legislation attempt to achieve the three goals of relief, recovery, and reform?

15. Was the New Deal essentially a conservative attempt to save American capitalism from collapse, a radical change in traditional American anti-government beliefs, or a moderate liberal response to a unique crisis?

16. How did Roosevelt manage to move the United States toward providing effective aid to Britain while slowly undercutting isolationist opposition?

17. Describe the war’s effects on American society, including regional migration, race relations, and women’s roles.

18. How did the United States and its allies develop and carry out their strategy for defeating Italy, Germany, and Japan?

19. Examine the controversy over the use of the atomic bomb.


Student Activities:

The student will:

·         Complete the Issues Connector: Territorial Expansion of the United States by reading excerpts from primary sources to answer questions that summarize and draw conclusions. (WOR-6)(WOR-7)(ENV-5)(POL-6)

·         Working with a partner, research events leading to the Spanish-American War. What could you have done to prevent the U.S. from entering the war? Discuss your strategies in an oral presentation. (WOR-6)(WOR-7)(ENV-5)(POL-6)

·         Debate how the causes and effects of American imperialism impacted society, the economy, and foreign policy. (WOR-6)(WOR-7)(ENV-5)(POL-6)

·         Show how the Progressives solved the problems of the Gilded Age by creating a graphic organizer. (WXT-6)(WXT-7)(WXT-8)(POL-3)(ENV-5)(CUL-5)

·         Create a “farcebook” page for each Progressive president detailing the events, issues, legislation, and foreign policies associated with their administration.

·         Complete the Issues Connector: Social Problems and Reforms by reading excerpts from primary sources to answer questions that link past to present. (WXT-6)(WXT-7)(WXT-8)(POL-3)(ENV-5)CUL-5)

·         Locate National Parks on the map provided to demonstrate how Theodore Roosevelt implemented his conservation policies. (WXT-6)(WXT-7)(WXT-8)(POL-3)(ENV-5)(CUL-5)

·         Create an illustrated timeline to explain causes, turning point battles and events, and effects of the U.S. involvement in World War I. (WOR-4)(WOR-7)(ID-3)(POL-6)

·         Complete the Issues Connector: America Goes to War by reading excerpts of primary sources to answer questions to explain why war is needed or should be opposed and to draw conclusions about justifying going to war. (WOR-4)(WOR-7(ID-3)(POL-6)

·         Dissect Wilson’s Fourteen Points to determine its key points and impact. (WOR-4)(WOR-7)(ID-3)(POL-6)

·         Debate the successes and failures of the Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations. (WOR-4)(WOR-7)(ID-3)(POL-6)

·         Read the viewpoints of A. Mitchell Palmer and Frederick R. Berkley to discern America’s point of view about revolutionaries and their threat to the United States. (ID-6)(WOR-4)(PEO-2)(PEO-6)(PEO-7)(WXT-6)

·         Complete the Issues Connector: U.S. Immigration Policy by reading excerpts from primary sources to answer questions to determine policy trends and to synthesize information about common concerns. (ID-6)(WOR-4)(PEO-2)(PEO-6)(PEO-7)(WXT-6)

·         Create a power point depicting life during the Jazz Age. Include political views, economic growth and superficial prosperity, social and cultural conflicts, and impact of mass consumerism. (ID-6)(ID-8)(WXT-3)(WXT-5)(CUL-3)(CUL-6)(CUL-7)

·         Create a flow chart about the causes and effects of the Great Depression from the crash of the stock market in 1929 to FDR’s election in 1932. (ID-6)(ID-8))(PEO-3)(WOR-4)

·         Construct a Hooverville and write a series of journal entries about the emotions of individuals living in those conditions. (ID-6)(ID-8)(PEO-3)(WOR-4)

·         Organize the New Deal legislation into three categories: Relief, Recovery and Reform. (WOR-3)(ID-7)(WXT-3)(WXT-5)(POL-3)

·         Debate if Roosevelt went too far or not far enough with his New Deal programs. Include personal perspectives from the time period. (WOR-3)(ID-7)(WXT-3)(WXT-7)(POL-3)

·         Rank from 1-10 the New Deal programs that have impacted the U.S. politics and economics the most. (WOR-3)(ID-7)(WXT-3)(WXT-5)(POL-3)

·         Create a Ken Burns documentary about the U.S. involvement in World War II to examine the causes, home front issues, involvement in European and Pacific arenas, and short and long term consequences of the war. Include original photographs, audios, and documents. (WOR-4)((WOR-7)(ID-3)(ID-6)(POL-5)


Assessments:  Handouts, debates, farcebook pages, maps, timelines, power points, flow charts, journal entries, documentaries, participation in discussion, essays, document based questions, reading quizzes, and unit test.


Fourth Quarter:


Unit 8-Cold War and the Crisis of Confidence-1945-1980


Resources: American Pageant-Ch. 36-39, American Spirit-Ch. 36-39, Zinn-Ch. 17-20, internet sites, videos, handouts, and power points.


Discussion Topics:  Marshall Plan, Truman Doctrine, Berlin Crisis, NATO, Warsaw Pact, Containment, Chinese Revolution, Korean Conflict, United Nations, McCarthyism, Red Scare, CIA, Duck and Cover, conformity, suburbs, highway system, television, rock-n-roll, Sputnik, NASA, Cuban Missile Crisis, Great Society, War on Poverty, 1968, Civil Rights Movement and Legislation, Warren Court, Vietnam, Counterculture, Crisis in Confidence, Pentagon Papers, Kent State, Watergate, Consumer and Environmental Movements, Energy Crisis, Iran Hostage Crisis, and inflation and the economy.


Essential Questions (Essay Prompts):

1.      Discuss American efforts to “contain” the Soviets through the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, and NATO.

2.      How and why did the American economy soar from 1950 to 1970?

3.      Why did World War II-unlike World War I-lead to permanent end to American isolationism?

4.      Describe the rise and fall of McCarthyism and the beginning of the civil rights movement.

5.      How did television and other innovations of the “consumer age” affect American politics, economics, society, and culture in the 1950s?

6.      Argue for or against: American politics, society, and culture in the 1950s were all stagnant and narrow, and did not address the real social problems facing the country.

7.      What successes and failures did Kennedy experience home and aboard?

8.      What were Johnson’s major domestic achievements, and why did they come to be overshadowed?

9.      Discuss the course of the black movement of the 1960s, from civil rights to Black Power.

10. Explain how the Vietnam War brought turmoil to American society and eventually drove Johnson and the divided Democrats from power in 1968.

11. Describe the cultural rebellions of the 1960s and indicate their short term and long term consequences.

12. Describe Nixon’s foreign policy in relation to Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and communist China.

13. How did the administrations of the 1970s attempt to cope with the interrelated problems of energy, economics, and the Middle East?

14. Why can the 1970s be characterized as a “decade of stalemate?” What caused the apparent inability of the federal government to cope with the new problems of the time?


Student Activities:

The student will:

·         Create a flow chart identifying the events and issues that escalated Cold War tensions. (WOR-4)(WOR-7)(WOR-8)

·         Analyze the political cartoon about McCarthyism to determine its consequences on American society. (ID-3)(POL-7)(WOR-4)(CUL-5)

·         Complete the Issues Connector: Civil Liberties and National Security by reading excerpts from primary sources to answer questions that draw conclusions, draw inferences, and synthesize information. (ID-3)(POL-7)(WOR-4)CUL-5)

·         Analyze the Truman Doctrine to determine why it became the cornerstone of American foreign policy. (ENV-5)(WOR-3)(WOR-7)(WOR-8)

·         Create a collage depicting the development of the youth culture of the 1950s. (WXT-3)(WXT-5)(CUL-5)(CUL-6)(CUL-7)(PEO-3)

·         Use TV shows, music, and movies from the 1950s to explain the cultural conflicts of conformity, racial tensions, youth rebellion, and economic disparity. (ID-8)(POL-3)(POL-4)(POL-7)

·         Create museum displays to represent the struggles and conflicts that made the 1960s so challenging. Include political events and legislation, war and diplomacy, social movements, protest movements, cultural changes and conflicts, and the impacts to American life. Use original photographs, documents, recordings, video clips, and newspapers. (ID-8)(POL-3)(POL-4)(POL-7)(POL-2)(POL-5)(WXT-3)(WXT-5)(CUL-5)(CUL-6)(CUL-7)(PEO-3)

·         Debate the issue of which is more effective in achieving the overall goal of an oppressed group, active resistance or passive resistance. (ID-7)(POL-5)(CUL-6)(CUL-7)

·         Create a board game called “Space Race to the Moon” to play in class. (ENV-5)(WOR-3)(WOR-7)(WOR-8)

·         Working in small groups identify objects for a time capsule depicting 1969 and the baby-boom generations’ hope for the future. (POL-3)(ID-8)(POL-2)(POL-5)(POL-7)

·         Work in groups to design and construct a Vietnam Veterans’ Wall. (ID-7)(POL-5)(CUL-6)(CUL-70

·         Complete the Issues Connector: America and the World by reading excerpts from primary sources to answer questions that synthesize information, draw inferences, compare and contrast, and link past to present. (POL-3)(ID-8)

·         Create a newspaper examining the events of the 1970s to explain why it became a period of ‘A Crisis of Confidence.” Include five events, three editorials, three visuals, one political cartoon, and two advertisements. Use original photographs, documents, and personal accounts. (POL-2)(POL-5)(POL-7)(ID-6)(PEO-2)(PEO-3)(PEO-7)(ENV-5)(WXT-8)(ID-7)(CUL-6)(CUL-7)


Assessments: Flow chart, handouts, collages, museum displays, board games, memorial walls, newspapers, participation in discussions, essays, document based questions, reading quizzes, and unit test.


Unit 9-Modern America-1980-Present


Resources-American Pageant-Ch. 40-42, American Spirit-Ch. 40-42, internet sites, videos, power points, and handouts.


Discussion Topics: Equal Rights, New Right, Modern Conservatives, Moral Majority, supply-side economics, Mikhail Gorbachev, break-up of Soviet Union, CIS, Democratic revolutions, Persian Gulf War, terrorism, Contract with America, Somalia, Kosovo, Oklahoma City bombing, Election of 2000, 9/11, War on Terrorism, Bush’s Imperial Presidency, Liberals v. Conservatives, Voter Apathy, Barrack Obama, Obama Care, and state of U.S. economy


Essential Questions (Essay Prompts):

1.      How did the conservative movement re-shape American politics?

2.      What were the goals of Reagan’s “supply-side” economic policies and what were their short-term and long-term effects?

3.      Compare the “Reagan Revolution” with the New Deal from the viewpoint of how they both radically transformed American economics and politics.

4.      Explain America’s growing involvement in the Middle East, including the first Persian Gulf War and its aftermath.

5.      Discuss the causes and consequences of the violence that plagued American society in the 1990s.

6.      Describe Clinton’s economic policies, and the impact of the economic boom of the 1990s on the issues of global trade.

7.      Argue for or against: the presidential election of 2000, despite its controversies, demonstrated the strength and resiliency of America’s democracy.

8.      Discuss the impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks on American society and global involvements, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

9.      What caused the increased polarization in American politics in the early 2000s?

10. What were the consequences of the dramatically charged American economy? What caused the rapidly increasing gap between rich and poor?

11. What barriers to women’s complete economic equality proved most difficult to overcome?

12. How were changes in America society reflected in literature and the arts in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries?

13. How does the relative “uniqueness” of America’s history and culture affect its relationship to such increasingly international issues as economic development, the environment, immigration, and terrorism?


Student Activities:

The student will:

·         Debate the effectiveness of cutting taxes to stimulate economic activity in your community. Would tax cuts help or hurt the people and businesses in your town, county, or city? (WXT-8)(POL-4)

·         Using Reagan’s “Tear Down this Wall” speech identify Gorbachev’s commitment to reform. List actions that citizens can take to demonstrate their commitment to democracy. Then, list actions world leaders can take to demonstrate their commitment to democracy. (WOR-7)(WOR-8)

·         Create a visual timeline to identify the events and issues from the end of the Cold War to present day events which explain the U.S. involvement in world affairs. (POL-7)(WOR-7)(WOR-8)

·         Debate the issue of should illegal immigrants be deported or otherwise punished, or should they be allowed to continue working and living in the United States. (ID-6)(ID-7)(PEO-2)(PEO-3)(PEO-7)

·         Complete Issues Connector: Education and American Society by reading excerpts from primary sources to answer questions that draw inferences, apply information, and synthesize information. (WXT-3)(WXT-7)(WOR-3)(ENV-5)(CUL-7)

·         Create a 20/20 episode about a modern issue that impacts American society today. Include original photographs, documents, video clips, recordings, and personal accounts. Your main theme is “personal is political.” (WXT-3)(WXT-7)(WOR-3)(ENV-5)(CUL-7)(ID-6)(ID-7)(PEO-2)(PEO-3)(PEO-7)


Assessments: Lists, timelines, displays, handouts, 20/20 episodes, participation in discussions, essays, document based questions, reading quizzes, unit test, and semester exam.


AP Exam Review: Students will create quiz show type questions to be used in a review game and take a practice test.


Post AP Exam: Students will evaluated movies, TV shows, and music to determine the evolution of American pop culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


Course Expectations:

AP US History is a college level course. Students can expect nightly reading assignments where they will complete their SPICE charts. The AP curriculum stresses higher order thinking skills within a rigorous academic context. The course will consist of lecture, discussions, video clips/documentaries, analyzing primary and secondary documents, group work and presentations.


Classroom Expectations:

  • Follow all district and school policies.
  • Mutual respect: Unconditional positive regard towards others, community, and self.
  • Act with integrity: Do what is right.
  • Be prepared: Come ready to learn, that includes attitude as well as materials.
  • Show class: Act with maturity.
  • Be on time: In room before bell sounds.


Absences:  It is the student’s responsibility to make up assignments missed due to a school related or a non -school related absence.  Due dates are followed .


Late policy: Late work will only be accepted one class period after the date the assignment is due.

  • For unexcused absences and if students are present when assignment is due and did not turn in the assignment, late work will receive no more than 50% of original credit.
  • Excused absences will follow school policy



  • Pen, pencil and notebook paper at all times.
  • Three ring binder with dividers.
  • Clear plastic sheets for important papers.
  • One two pocket folder.


Grading scale:


89-80= B

79-70= C


Below 59=F


Weight of Assignments: Assignments are given a point value. Students’ grades will be calculated based

on points completed.


Power school: Grades will be updated by Friday each week.


Contact Information: Parents can contact me by email at katherine.golliher@bcsemail.org. Communication is a key element to success in any class.












Signature Form:

Students and parents need to sign the signature form and return it to me by September 1, 2017. ( 10 pts)



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