|Summer assignment for AP US History
You are expected to come into the first day of class 2015-16 having completed the following:
Read and take annotated notes on both Alan Taylor’s Colonial America: A Very Short Introduction and the first two chapters of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States (Links are available to the Zinn reading).
For both the Zinn and the Taylor books, cite and provide two specific examples for each of the seven APUSH learning objectives (see below). For example you would cite two examples from Taylor on how he addresses themes related to Ideas, Beliefs, and Culture and cite two examples from the Zinn chapters as well. You will do this for each of the seven themes.
Write a one-page comparison of how Zinn and Taylor approach their historical investigation of this period in American history. What are some similarities and differences in their perspective, content covered, and choice of evidence?
Reading: Alan Taylor; Colonial America: A Very Short Introduction
Howard Zinn; A People’s History of the United States
Links to Chapters one and two provided.
Thematic Learning Objectives From the CollegeBoard
The content learning objectives for the AP U.S. History course and exam are organized under seven themes, which are topics of historical inquiry to explore throughout the AP U.S. History course
This theme focuses on the formation of both American national identity and group identities in U.S. history. Students should be able to explain how various identities, cultures, and values have been preserved or changed in different contexts of U.S. history, with special attention given to the formation of gender, class, racial, and ethnic identities. Students should be able to explain how these subidentities have interacted with each other and with larger conceptions of American national identity.
2) Work, Exchange, and Technology
This theme focuses on the development of American economies based on agriculture, commerce, and manufacturing. Students should examine ways that different economic and labor systems, technological innovations, and government policies have shaped American society. Students should explore the lives of working people and the relationships among social classes, racial and ethnic groups, and men and women, including the availability of land and labor, national and international economic developments, and the role of government support and regulation
This theme focuses on why and how the various people who moved to, from, and within
the United States adapted to their new social and physical environments. Students examine migration across borders and long distances, including the slave trade and internal migration, and how both newcomers and indigenous inhabitants transformed North America. The theme also illustrates how people responded when “borders crossed them.” Students explore the ideas, beliefs, traditions, technologies, religions, and gender roles that migrants/immigrants and annexed peoples brought with them and the impact these factors had on both these peoples and on U.S. society.
4) Politics and Power
Students should examine ongoing debates over the role of the state in society and its potential as an active agent for change. This includes mechanisms for creating, implementing, or limiting participation in the political process and the resulting social effects, as well as the changing relationships among the branches of the federal government and among national, state, and local governments. Students should trace efforts to define or gain access to individual rights and citizenship and survey the evolutions of tensions between liberty and authority in different periods of U.S. history.
5) America in the World
In this theme, students should focus on the global context in which the United States originated and developed as well as the influence of the United States on world affairs. Students should examine how various world actors (such as people, states, organizations, and companies)
have competed for the territory and resources of the North American continent, influencing the development of both American and world societies and economies. Students should also investigate how American foreign policies and military actions have affected the rest of the world as well as social issues within the United States itself.
6) Environment and Geography — Physical and Human
This theme examines the role of environment, geography, and climate in both constraining and shaping human actions. Students should analyze the interaction between the environment and Americans in their efforts to survive and thrive. Students should also explore efforts to interpret, preserve, manage, or exploit natural and man-made environments, as well as the historical contexts within which interactions with the environment have taken place.
7) Ideas, Beliefs, and Culture
This theme explores the roles that ideas, beliefs, social mores, and creative expression have played in shaping the United States. Students should examine the development of aesthetic, moral, religious, scientific, and philosophical principles and consider how these principles have affected individual and group actions. Students should analyze the interactions between beliefs and communities, economic values, and political movements, including attempts to change American society to align it with specific ideals.