Course Objectives

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United States History

Advanced Placement

Course Syllabus
Course Objectives:

  • Develop an appreciation for and understanding of the process of historical inquiry:

  • Analyze and study American History by examining primary and secondary source documents and sources:

  • Develop an appreciation for the study of history:

  • Acquire a greater understanding of the fundamental issues that are at the heart of American History:

  • Acquire a better understanding of the history of the United States in political, economic, social and cultural terms:

  • Improve higher level thinking skills specifically to develop ability to analyze historical arguments:

  • Challenge students with college level material:

  • Prepare students to succeed on the AP Test in May:

Core Text:
Garrity/Carnes The American Nation. Tenth edition, Addison,Wesley and Longman 1999

Additional Text and supplements:
A People’s History of the United States, Zinn

Barron’s College Review Series U.S History Part 1&2

Barron’s Taking the AP United States History Exam

Cartoon History of the United States

Speaking of America: Readings in US History, Volumes I & II, Laura A. Belmonte

Primary Source Documents “100 Milestone Documents”

Doing the DBQ: Teaching and Learning with the Document-Based Question
Daily Assignment:
Chapters- For each chapter students will receive an assignment sheet. The Length of assignments may vary, however students will be expected to dedicate at least one hour of homework for each days class. Be prepared to be accountable for your learning!
Students will be expected to be active in class discussions. These class discussions are designed to sharpen analytical skills by allowing the students to ask and answer questions. Discussion will be designed to relate the topics, problems and events from U.S. History to situations and life in the present.
Essays- Students will be required to complete 2 full essays on each chapter. Essays will be written to the standards of the Advanced Placement requirements.
Individual Research and Historical Analysis:

Throughout the year each student will be required to complete two individual American History Analytical Research Projects. Topics will be assigned by the teacher and will relate to expanding or creating insight into existing material that is covered in-class.

Examples of Research Projects:

-The potential impeachment of Andrew Jackson; would their have been a case for impeachment?

-The conflict between the United States Government and the Mormons in 1857

Data Based Question- Students will learn to make evaluative decisions using Primary Source Documents. One DBQ will be required and assigned per week.

Outside Readings- a number of outside source readings will be assigned throughout the year


To understand history or politics it is essential that you learn to critically examine significant documents.  APPARTS is an "easy to remember" acronym for the following: This method will be used for throughout the class to encourage higher-level thinking.

Who created the source? What do you know about the author? What is the author's point of view?

Where and when was the source produced? How might this affect the meaning of the source?

Beyond information about the author and the context of its creation, what do you know that would help you further understand the primary source? For example, do you recognize any symbols and recall what they represent?

For whom was the source created and how might this affect the reliability of the source?

Why was this source produced at the time it was produced?

What main point is the source trying to convey?  What is the central message of the document? 

Why is this source important? What inferences can you draw from this document? Ask yourself, "So what?"  What should a student of history or politics take away from the analysis of this document? 

Units of Study

Unit 1 Discovery and Colonization:

Chapter 1 Europe Discovers America

DBQ- English Colonies, North and South (1993 DBQ)

Chapter 2 American Society in the Making

DBQ- Geography in the Colonies

Unit 2 Revolution and Creation of a Nation

Chapter 3 America in the British Empire

DBQ- Democracy in Weathersfield (1976 DBQ)

Chapter 4 The American Revolution

DBQ- The Declaration of Independence

Chapter 5 The Federalist Era: Nationalism and Triumphant

DBQ- The 1790s: A Critical Period? (1985 DBQ)

Unit 3 Young America

Chapter 6 Jeffersonian Democracy

DBQ- The Alien and Sedition Acts (1977 DBQ)

Chapter 7 National Growing Pains

DBQ- The Missouri Compromise

Chapter 8 Toward a National Economy

DBQ- Erie Canal

Unit 4 Democracy in America

Chapter 9 Jacksonian Democracy

DBQ- Jacksonian Democracy (1990 DBQ)

Chapter 10 The Making of Middle-Class America

DBQ- Northern Middle-Class Women 1776-1876 (1981 DBQ)

Chapter 11 A Democratic Culture

DBQ- The Transcendental Revolution
Unit 5 Expansion and Sectionalism

Chapter 12 Expansion and Slavery

DBQ- The Antebellum South

Chapter 13 The Sections Go Their Ways

DBQ- The 1850s: Prelude to Civil War (1987 DBQ)

Chapter 14 The Coming of the Civil War

DBQ- The Crittenden Compromise (1974 DBQ)
Unit 6 Civil War and Reconstruction

Chapter 15 The War to Save the Union

DBQ- The Emancipation Proclamation

Chapter 16 Reconstruction and the South

DBQ- Jim Crow Laws

Chapter 17 In the Wake of War

DBQ- The Settlement of the West (1992 DBQ)

Unit 1-6 Individual Research and Historical Analysis: Assignment # 1

Unit 7 Industrial Revolution

Chapter 18 An Industrial Giant

DBQ- The Federal Government & Laissez-Faire

Chapter 19 American Society in the Industrial Age

Chapter 20 Intellectual and Cultural Trends

DBQ- John Dewey and Progressive Education

Unit 8 America Emerges

Chapter 21 Politics: Local, State, and National

DBQ- The Populists (1983 DBQ)

Chapter 22 The Age of Reform

DBQ- Booker T. Washington & W.E.B. Dubois (1989 DBQ)

Chapter 23 From Isolation to Empire

DBQ- Expansionism, Old and New (1994 DBQ)
Unit 9 War and Growth

Chapter 24 Woodrow Wilson and the Great War

DBQ- Fight over the Versailles Treaty

Chapter 25 Postwar Society and Culture Change and Adjustment

DBQ- Prohibition, 1900-1919 (1978 DBQ)

Chapter 26 The New Era: 1921-1933

DBQ- The 1920s

Unit 10 Depression and World War 2

Chapter 27 The New Deal: 1933-1941

DBQ- Roosevelt and Court Packing

Chapter 28 War and Peace

DBQ- The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb (1988 DBQ)

Chapter 29 The American Century

DBQ- The Cold War

Unit 11 Modern America

Chapter 30 From Camelot to Watergate

DBQ- Cuban Missile Crisis

Chapter 31 Society in Flux

DBQ- Music and the Effect on Culture of the Sixties

Chapter 32 Running on Empty: The Nation Transformed

DBQ- Nixon and Watergate

Chapter 33 Crimes and Misdemeanors

Unit 7-11 Individual Research and Historical Analysis: Assignment # 2

Supplemental Current Topics:

Election 2000

Bush Presidency

War on Terror

Social and Economical Issues

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