Advanced Placement United States History – Period 1: 1491-1607



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Advanced Placement United States History – Period 8: 1945-1980

Theme This course examines the history of America from 1491 to present day. Throughout the course, students will learn about the political, religious, social, economic, and diplomatic events that have shaped United States history through the critical analysis of primary and secondary materials. The course is designed to encourage students to become historians and researchers who are able to use historical facts and evidence with the goal of creating deeper conceptual understandings of critical developments in U.S. history. Students will learn to weigh evidence and interpretations as they build their factual knowledge of U.S. history and apply those facts analytically to draw conclusions about the issues that shaped and continue to shape this country.

Strand History

Topic

After World War II, the United States grappled with prosperity and unfamiliar international responsibilities, while struggling to live up to its ideals.



Pacing

25 days


Content Statement

1. The United States responded to an uncertain and unstable postwar world by asserting and attempting to defend a position of global leadership, with far-reaching domestic and international consequences.

Learning Targets:

 I can show that after World War II, the United States sought to stem the growth of communist military power and ideological influence, create a stable global economy, and build an international security system.

 I can understand that as the United States focused on containing communism, it faced increasingly complex foreign policy issues, including decolonization, shifting international alignments and regional conflicts, and global economic and environmental changes.

 I can illustrate how Cold War policies led to continued public debates over the power of the federal government, acceptable means for pursuing international and domestic goals, and the proper balance between liberty and order.


2. Liberalism, based on anticommunism abroad and a firm belief in the efficacy of governmental and especially federal power to achieve social goals at home, reached its apex in the mid-1960s and generated a variety of political and cultural responses.

Learning Targets:

 I can analyze how seeking to fulfill Reconstruction-era promises, civil rights activists and political leaders achieved some legal and political successes in ending segregation, although progress toward equality was slow and halting.

 I can explain that stirred by a growing awareness of inequalities in American society and by the African American civil rights movement, activities also addressed issues of identity and social justice, such as gender/sexuality and ethnicity.

 I can describe how as many liberal principles came to dominate postwar politics and court decisions, liberalism came under attack from the left as well as from resurgent conservative movements.


3. Postwar economic, demographic, and technological changes had a far-reaching impact on American society, politics, and the environment.

Learning Targets:

 I can show that rapid economic and social changes in American society fostered a sense of optimism in the postwar years, as well as underlying concerns about how these changes were affecting American values.

 I can illustrate that as federal programs expanded and economic growth reshaped American society, many sought greater access to prosperity even as critics began to question the burgeoning use of natural resources.

 I can analyze t




Content Elaborations

1: A. The United States developed a foreign policy based on collective security and a multilateral economic framework that bolstered non-Communist nations.


1: B. The United States sought to “contain” Soviet-dominated communism through a variety of measures, including military engagements in Korea and Vietnam.
1: C. The Cold War fluctuated between periods of direct and indirect military confrontation and periods of mutual coexistence (or détente).
1: D. Postwar decolonization and the emergence of powerful nationalist movements in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East led both sides in the Cold War to seek allies among new nations, many of which remained nonaligned.
1: E. Cold War competition extended to Latin America, where the U.S. supported non-Communist regimes with varying levels of commitment to democracy.
1: F. Ideological, military, and economic concerns shaped U.S. involvement in the Middle East, with several oil crises in the region eventually sparking attempts at creating a national energy policy.
1: G. Americans debated policies and methods designed to root out Communists within the United States even as both parties tended to support the broader Cold War strategy of containing communism.
1: H. Although the Korean conflict produced some minor domestic opposition, the Vietnam War saw the rise of sizable, passionate, and sometimes violent antiwar protests that became more numerous as the war escalated.
1: I. Americans debated the merits of a large nuclear arsenal, the “military industrial complex,” and the appropriate power of the executive branch in conducting foreign and military policy.
2: A. Following World War II, civil rights activists utilized a variety of strategies — legal challenges, direct action, and nonviolent protest tactics — to combat racial discrimination.
2: B. Decision-makers in each of the three branches of the federal government used measures including desegregation of the armed services, Brown v. Board of Education, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to promote greater racial justice.
2: C. Continuing white resistance slowed efforts at desegregation, sparking a series of social and political crises across the nation, while tensions among civil rights activists over tactical and philosophical issues increased after 1965.
2: D. Activists began to question society’s assumptions about gender and to call for social and economic equality for women and for gays and lesbians.
2: E. Latinos, American Indians, and Asian Americans began to demand social and economic equality and a redress of past injustices.
2: F. Despite the perception of overall affluence in postwar America, advocates raised awareness of the prevalence and persistence of poverty as a national problem, sparking efforts to address this issue.
2: G. Liberalism reached its zenith with Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society efforts to use federal power to end racial discrimination, eliminate poverty, and address other social issues while attacking communism abroad.
2: H. Liberal ideals were realized in Supreme Court decisions that expanded democracy and individual freedoms, Great Society social programs and policies, and the power of the federal government, yet these unintentionally helped energize a new conservative movement that mobilized to defend traditional visions of morality and the proper role of state authority.
2: I. Groups on the left also assailed liberals, claiming they did too little to transform the racial and economic status quo at home and pursued immoral policies abroad.
3: A. A burgeoning private sector, continued federal spending, the baby boom, and technological developments helped spur economic growth, middle-class suburbanization, social mobility, a rapid expansion of higher education, and the rise of the “Sun Belt” as a political and economic force.
3: B. These economic and social changes, in addition to the anxiety engendered by the Cold War, led to an increasingly homogeneous mass culture, as well as challenges to conformity by artists, intellectuals, and rebellious youth.
3: C. Conservatives, fearing juvenile delinquency, urban unrest, and challenges to the traditional family, increasingly promoted their own values and ideology.
3: D. Internal migrants as well as migrants from around the world sought access to the economic boom and other benefits of the United States, especially after the passage of new immigration laws in 1965.
3: E. Responding to the abuse of natural resources and the alarming environmental problems, activists and legislators began to call for conservation measures and a fight against pollution.
3: F. Although the image of the traditional nuclear family dominated popular perceptions in the postwar era, the family structure of Americans was undergoing profound changes as the number of working women increased and many social attitudes changed.
3: G. Young people who participated in the counterculture of the 1960s rejected many of the social, economic, and political values of their parents’ generation, initiated a sexual revolution, and introduced greater informality into U.S. culture.
3: H. Conservatives and liberals clashed over many new social issues, the power of the presidency and the federal government, and movements for greater individual rights.


Content Vocabulary

 hydrogen bomb  Miranda v. Arizona

 massive retaliation  Students for a Democratic Society

 space race  Black Panthers

 Suez Crisis  Beat movement

 OPEC  The Affluent Society

 Fannie Lou Hamer  Rachel Carson

 John Lewis  Clean Air Act

 Thurgood Marshall  Watergate

The Feminine MystiqueBakke v. University of California

 Gloria Steinem  Phyllis Schlafly

Griswold v. Connecticut





Academic Vocabulary

 analyze  evaluate

 compare  examine

 contrast  explain

 define  synthesize

 describe  understand




Formative Assessments

Students will be required to produce written synopses of the chapters to help them establish their basic conceptual knowledge of the concepts of the unit that is being studied. Any lack of understanding will be dealt with throughout the teaching of the unit. Daily feedback will be given in class as part of the ongoing assessment of students’ abilities and comprehension. All summative assessments will be utilized in a formative manner as well as a summative manner.




Summative Assessments

Students will be required to produce evidence of mastery of content materials through a variety of methods. They will take multiple choice exams, complete document based questions, and answer short response/essay prompts. These evaluations are patterned after the type of exam they will complete for the College Board in mid-May. These assessments will provide students definitive feedback in how well they are mastering the material and what work they need to do to be prepared for the Advanced Placement Exam.



Resources

America Past and Present, by Divine. (At the time of this writing, we are going through the textbook adoption process and this is likely to change.)

 Various primary source excerpts and documents

A History of the American People, by Paul Johnson

A Patriot’s History of the United States, by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen

From Colony to Superpower, by George Herring




Enrichment Strategies

The nature of the course is already enriched as the expectation is that the content and materials are equivalent to a college freshmen survey course. Some strategies for enriching the course further would be to read any of the books on the resources list, obtain full length versions of excerpted primary sources, or explore the Miller Centers website which contains a series of academic essays on each president and covers more details than the College Board requires.



Integrations

Depending on the unit, a variety of integrations will be utilized. Definitive links will be made with the English department in terms of coordination of writing as well as passages, texts, short reads, and novels that are being utilized in the English classroom. Math will be used in analyzing statistics most often pertaining to elections but not solely. Scientific discoveries and developments will be integrated throughout the discussion of the process of creating modern America. STEM will be incorporated specifically in discussion on industrialization and wartime production. Geography will be a constant as we use maps to illustrate the geographic changes to America and the changing electoral process as well as utilizing world maps for understanding America’s growth as a super power. Visual arts will be used consistently throughout the course in the nature of how art reflects American ideals as well as the importance of political cartoons as a political tool.




Intervention Strategies

Students struggling to succeed in Advanced Placement United States History must first determine if the coursework is too difficult for their abilities. Many students struggle with the volume and level of reading required for success in this course. In those cases it is suggested that a student consider purchasing a study guide book for the Advanced Placement Exam to help them with their reading comprehension. These books outline key concepts in a simple form which helps the student when reading the textbook to focus on main ideas. Students struggling with writing should set up an appointment to meet with the teacher to discuss writing strategies and should also consider meeting with the English and History academic assistants. Students who are struggling with multiple choice exams should make an appointment to come in to go over old exams to get a better idea how to take the multiple choice exam and guide their studying for future tests. Visiting the College Board website for the Advanced Placement United States History exam will provide the student with an additional resource if they are struggling.



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