G. K. Chesterton once quipped that 'America is the only nation in the world founded on a creed.'

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College Preparatory US History

2013-2014 Syllabus

28 Weeks
Goals: "G. K. Chesterton once quipped that 'America is the only nation in the world founded on a creed.'" So begins the introduction to George Grant's anthology of American political culture, The Patriot's Handbook. In many ways Chesterton and Grant are correct; while other nations in the world define themselves through a shared language, religion, or ethnicity, the United States has the distinction of being the only nation whose membership is defined by knowledge of and belief in a certain set of ideals. This course will examine what those ideals are, their origins, and the ways that the United States has both succeeded and failed to live up to the promise of its ideals.
Content: The course as a whole will focus on the changing meaning of freedom throughout US history. In addition each unit will have other main ideas or essential questions associated with it.

-Critical thinking skills, especially the ability to understand and analyze abstract ideas

-Critical reading and comprehension of secondary and primary source texts

-Analysis of visual sources including artwork, photographs, charts, and maps

-Persuasive writing, including using historical facts as evidence to support normative judgments

-Persuasive speaking

Text: Appleby, Joyce et al. The American Vision. Glencoe/The McGraw-Hill Cos. 2010.

Unit 1: Colonial America and the American Revolution (2 weeks) 1 and 2

Theme: Origins of the United States, formation of unique American institutions

Chapters: 1, 2


1-Pre-Columbian Societies

A-Early inhabitants of the Americas

B-American Indian empires in Mesoamerica, the Southwest, and the Miss Valley

C-American Indian cultures of North America at the time of European contact

2-Transatlantic Encounters and Colonial Beginnings, 1492-1690

A-First European contacts with Native Americans

B-Spain’s Empire in North America

C-French Colonization of Canada

D-English settlement of New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the South

E-From servitude to slavery in the Chesapeake region

F-Religious diversity in the American colonies

3-Colonial North America, 1690-1754

A-Population growth and immigration

B-Transatlantic trade and the growth of seaports

C-The 18th century backcountry and Bacon’s Rebellion

D-Growth of plantation economies and slave societies

E-The enlightenment and the Great Awakening

F-Colonial governments and imperial policy in British North America

4-The American Revolutionary Era, 1754-1783

A-The French and Indian War

B-The Imperial Crisis and resistance to Britain

C-The War for Independence

D-State constitutions and the Articles of Confederation

E-Effects of the Revolutionary war on politics, society, culture

F-Republican Motherhood and education for women


1.1: (1a, 1b, 1c)

1.2: (2a, 2b, 2c)

1.3 (2d)

1.4 (2e, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3f)

1.5 (3a, 3e, 2e. 2f)

2.1 (4a, 4b)

2.2 (4c)

2.3 (4c)

2.4 (4d, 4e, 4f)

>1.2 Indian Language Groups (p. 10)

>5.3 Women and the Revolutionary Cause (p. 73)

Unit 2: The US Constitution and the Early Republic (2 weeks) 3 and 4

Theme: What is the Constitution how does it work, what are its pros and cons?

Chapters: 3, 4


5-The Constitution and the Early Republic, 1787-1815

A-Pros and cons of the Articles of Confederation

B-The US Constitution, structure, ratification, debate

C-Washington, Hamilton, and the shaping of the national government

D-Emergence of political parties; Federalists and Republicans

E-Republican Motherhood and education for women

F-Significance of Jefferson’s Presidency

G-Expansion into the trans-Appalachian West; American Indian resistance

H-The War of 1812 and its consequences


3.1: (5a)

3.2 (5b)

3.3 (5b)

4.1 (5c, 5d)

4.2 (5d)

4.3 (5f, 5g)

4.4 (5h)

>6.5 Controlling Factions in a Republic (p. 95)

>6.8 Woman’s Place in the Republic (p. 100)

>7.6 Sectionalism and Party Competition (114)

Unit 3: Changing America and the Age of Jackson (2 weeks) 5 and 6

Theme: America begins to change in many ways, this lays the groundwork for conflict

Chapters: 5, 6


6-Transformation of the Economy and Society in Antebellum America

A-The transportation revolution and creation of a national market economy

B-Beginnings of industrialization and changes in social class structures

C-Immigration and nativist reaction

D-Planters, yeoman farmers, and slaves in the cotton South

7-The Transformation of Politics in Antebellum America

A-The Era of Good Feelings and nationalism

B-Emergence of the second party system

C-The Bank War, tariff controversy, and states’ rights debates

D-Jacksonian democracy and its successes and limitations

E-Forced removal of American Indians to trans-Mississippi West

8-Religion, Reform, and Renaissance in Antebellum America

A-2nd Great Awakening: Evangelical Protestant revivalism

B-Social reforms

C-Ideals of domesticity??

D-Transcendentalism and utopian communities

E-American Renaissance: literary and artistic expressions

F-Beginnings of abolitionism


5.1: (7a)

5.2: (6a, 6b)

5.3: (6a, 6d)

5.4: (7b)

6.1: (7c, 7d, 7e)

6.2: (6c, 8a, 8d, 8e)

6.3: (8b)

6.4: (8f)

>9.4 King Andrew (p. 146)

>11.2 The Seneca Falls Declaration (p. 174)

>11.3 Newspaper Coverage of the Equal Rights Movement (p. 178)

Unit 4: The Lead-up to the Civil War (2 weeks) 7 and 8

Theme: The short-term causes of the Civil War

Chapters: 7, 8


9-Territorial Expansion and Manifest Destiny

A-Western migration and cultural interactions

B-Territorial acquisitions

C-The Mexican War

10-The Crisis of the Union

A-Pro- and antislavery arguments and conflicts

B-Compromise of 1850 and popular sovereignty

C-The Kansas-Nebraska Act and the emergence of the Republican Party

D-Abraham Lincoln, the election of 1860, secession


7.1: (9a)

7.2: (9a)

7.3: (9b)

7.4: (9b)

8.1: (10a, 10b, 10c)

8.2: (10c)

8.3: (10d)

>12.3 Images of Slavery (p. 195)

>13.4 Justifying Secession (p. 212)

>13.5 Robert E. Lee and Secession (p.214)

Unit 5: The Civil War and Reconstruction (3 weeks) 9, 10, and 11

Theme: How did the experience of the Civil War and Reconstruction change America, how did it not change America?

Chapters: 9, 10, 13.5


11-Civil War

A-Two societies at war: mobilization, resources, and internal dissent

B-Military strategies and foreign diplomacy

C-Emancipation and the role of African Americans in the war

D-Social, political, and economic effects of war in the North, South, and West


A-Presidential and Radical Reconstruction

B-Southern state governments: aspirations, achievements, failures

C-Role of African Americans in politics, education, and the economy

D-Compromise of 1877

E-Impact of Reconstruction

13-The Origins of the New South

A-Reconfiguration of southern agriculture: sharecropping and crop lien system

B-Expansion of manufacturing and industrialization

C-The politics of segregation: Jim Crow and disenfranchisement

D-WEB DuBois, and Booker T. Washington


9.1: (11a, 11b)

9.2: (11c)

9.3: (11d)

9.4, 9.5: (don’t read)

10.1: (12a)

10.2: (12b, 12c)

10.3: (12d, 12e, 13a, 13b)

13.5: (13c, 13d)

>14.6 Sherman and Total War (p. 236)

>15.3 Mississippi Black Codes (p. 247)

>16.6 The Atlanta Compromise (p. 270)

Unit 6: Post-Civil War US, the West and the Gilded Age (2 weeks) 12 and 13

(Winter Break)

Theme: There were lots of problems in the US during this time, what caused them, what were/are some possible solutions?

Chapters: 11, 12, 13


14-Development of the West in the Late 19th Century

A-Expansion and development of western railroads

B-Competitors for the West: miners, ranchers, homesteaders, and the American


C-Government policy toward American Indians

D-Gender, race, and ethnicity in the far West

E-Environmental impacts of western settlement

15-Industrial America in the Late 19th Century

A-Corporate consolidation

B-Effects of technological developments on the worker and workplace

C-Labor and unions

D-National politics and influence of corporate power

E-Migration and immigration: the changing face of the nation

F-Proponents and opponents of the new order, eg, Social Darwinism and Social


16-Urban Society in the late 19th Century

A-Urbanization and the lure of the city

B-City problems and machine politics

C-Intellectual and cultural movements and popular entertainment


11.1: (14b, 14d)

11.2: (14b)

11.3: (14c)

12.1: (not necessary, skip)

12.2: (14a)

12.3: (15a)

12.4: (15b, 15c)

13.1: (15e)

13.2: (16a, 16b)

13.3: (15d, 15f, 16c)

>17.3 Urban Mass Transportation (p. 284)

>17.4 Working Class Women (p. 285)

>17.6 The Best Fields for Philanthropy (p. 289)

>18.1 Sources of Immigration (p. 297)

>18.4 Practical Politics, the political machine (p. 301)

1st Exam: Research Paper

Unit 7: The Age of Reform: Populism and Progressivism (2 weeks) 14 and 15

Theme: How did the problems of the Gilded Age lead to the Populist and Progressive movements, were the solutions of the Populists and Progressives effective or did they make things worse?

Chapters: 13.4, 15


17-Populism and Progressivism

A-Agrarian discontent and political issues of the late 19th century

B-Origins of Progressive reform: municipal, state, and national

C-Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson as Progressive presidents

D-Women’s roles: family, workplace, education, politics, and reform

E-Black America: urban migration and civil rights initiatives

13.4: (17a)

15.1: (17b, 17d?)

15.2: (17c)

15.3: (17c, 17e)

>19.1 The Populist Vision (p. 311)

>19.6 Women’s Suffrage and the Working Class (p. 322)
Unit 8: US Becomes a World Power (2 weeks) 16 and 17

Theme: What pulled the US increasingly into world affairs, was this a good thing or a bad thing?

Chapters: 14, 16, 17


18-The Emergence of America as a World Power

A-American imperialism: political and economic expansion

B-War in Europe and American neutrality

C-The First World War at home and abroad

D-Treaty of Versailles

E-Society and economy in the postwar years


14.1: (18a)

14.2: (18a)

14.3: (18a)

16.1: (18b)

16.2: (18c)

16.3: (18d)

16.4: (18e)

>20.3 The White Man’s Burden (p. 329)

>20.6 Theodore Roosevelt as World Policeman (p. 335)
Unit 9: The 1920’s, the Great Depression, and the New Deal (2 weeks) 18 and 19

Theme: What caused the Great Depression, was the New Deal’s plan to use the government to fix the economy effective?

Chapters: 17, 18, 19


19-The New Era: 1920s

A-Business of America and the consumer economy

B-Republican politics: Harding, Coolidge, Hoover

C-The culture of modernism: science, the arts, and entertainment

D-Response to Modernism: religious fundamentalism, nativism, Prohibition

E-The ongoing struggle for equality: African Americans and women

20-The Great Depression and the New Deal

A-Causes of the Great Depression

B-The Hoover administration’s responses

C-FDR and the New Deal

D-Labor and union recognition

E-The New Deal coalition and its critics from the Right and the Left

F-Surviving hard times: American society during the Great Depression


17.1: (19b)

17.2: (19a)

17.3: (19d, 19e)

17.4: (19c)

17.5: (19e)

18.1: (20a)

18.2: (20f)

18.3: (20b)

19.1: (20c)

19.2: (20e)

19.3: (20d, 20e)

>21.2 The Revived KKK (p. 345)

>21.3 The Results of Immigration Restriction (p. 347)

>21.4 Marcus Garvey (p. 349)


Unit 10: America and WWII (2 weeks) 20 and 21

Theme: US interventionist or isolationist? How did WWII help transform America into the country we have today?

Chapters: 20, 21


21-The Second World War

A-The rise of fascism and militarism in Japan, Italy, and Germany

B-Prelude to war: policy of neutrality

C-The attack on Pearl Harbor and US declaration of war

D-Fighting a multifront war

E-Diplomacy, war aims, and wartime conferences

F-The US as a global power in the Atomic Age

22-The Home Front During the War

A-Wartime mobilization of the economy

B-Urban migration and demographic changes

C-Women, work, and family during the war

D-Civil liberties and civil rights during wartime

E-War and regional development

F-Expansion of government power


20.1: (21a, 21b)

20.2: (21b, 21c)

20.3: (holocaust)

20.4: (21b, 21c)

21.1: (22a, 22c)

21.2: (not necessary, cover in lecture)

21.3: (22b, 22c, 22d, 22e, 22f)

21.4: (not necessary, cover in lecture)

21.5: (21e, 21f)

>23.3 Lindberg (p. 383)

>23.6 America and the Holocaust (p. 388)

>24.6 Women and Wartime Mobilization (p. 407)

Unit 11: The Cold War and the 1950’s (2 weeks) 22 and 23

Theme: How did the Cold War impact almost every facet of US history in between WWII and 1990? What were the pros and cons of the 1950’s?

Chapters: 22, 23


23-The United States and the Early Cold War

A-Origins of the Cold War

B-Truman and containment

C-The Cold War in Asia: China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan

D-Diplomatic strategies and policies of Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations

E-The Red Scare and McCarthyism

F-Impact of the Cold War on American Society

24-The 1950’s

A-Emergence of the modern civil rights movement

B-The affluent society and the “other America”

C-Consensus and conformity: suburbia and middle class America

D-Social critics, nonconformists, and cultural rebels

E-Impact of changes in science, technology, and medicine


22.1: (23a)

22.2: (23b, 23c)

22.3: (23e, 23f)

22.4: (23d)

23.1: (24b, 24c)

23.2: (24e, is this really necessary?)

23.3: (24d, 24e)


>25.4 Restraining Communism: Map (p. 422)

>26.4 Problems of Suburbia (p. 437)
Unit 12: The Modern Civil Rights Movement (2 weeks) 24 and 25

Theme: What are the protections that citizens have, how did they get them? What are some ongoing civil rights struggles?

Chapters: 25, 28.4


A-Impact of WWII on Civil Rights movement

B-Brown vs. Board

C-Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Alabama bus boycott


E-Sit-ins and student protest

F-School integration—Little Rock

G-March to Washington DC

H-Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 1965

I-Ongoing civil rights struggles


25.1: (a, b, c, d, e, f)

25.2: (e, g, h)

25.3: (i)

28.4: (i)

>26.7 A Strategy for the Civil Rights Movement

Unit 13: JFK, LBJ, Vietnam and Protest during the 60’s and 70’s (1 week) 26

Theme: America had a lot of problems during the 60’s and 70’s, better to address these problems or support your country no matter what?

Chapters: 24, 26, 27


25-The Turbulent 1960’s

A-From the New Frontier to the Great Society

B-Expanding movements for civil rights

C-Cold War confrontations: Asia, Latin America, and Europe

D-Beginning of Détente

E-The antiwar movement and the counterculture

24.1: (25a)

24.2: (25c)

24.3: (25a)

26.1: (25c)

26.2: (25e, 26b)

26.3: (25e)

27.1: (25e)

27.2: (25e)

27.3 (25e)

Unit 14: Modern America 1970 to the Present (1 week) 27

Theme: America has become more divided since the end of WWII, why?

Chapters: 28, 29, 30


26-Politics and Economics at the End of the 20th Century

A-The election of 1968 and the “silent majority”

B-Nixon’s challenges: Vietnam, China, Watergate

C-Changes in the American economy: the energy crisis, deindustrialization, and

the service economy

D-The New Right and the Reagan Revolution

E-End of the Cold War

27-Society and Culture at the End of the 20th Century

A-Demographic changes: surge of immigration after 1965, Sunbelt migration,

and the graying of America

B-Revolutions in biotechnology, mass communication, and computers

C-Politics in a multicultural society

28-The United States in the Post-Cold War World

A-Globalization and the American Economy

B-Unilateralism vs multilateralism in foreign policy

C-Domestic and foreign terrorism

D-Environmental issues in a global context


28.1: (26a, 25d)

28.2: (26b)

28.3: (26c)

28.5: (28d)

29.1: (27a, 26d, 27c)

29.2: (???)

29.3: (???)

29.4: (26e)

30.1: (????)

30.4: (28a)

3RD EXAM: Research Paper

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