Okay, this is summer reading for AP US History at Elgin High School, but it won’t take 10 days! Instead, it will get you thinking about various turning points in American history while introducing you to the framework of our study. Our discussion on day 1 will depend on your thoughtful work described below.
Get a copy of the book* by buying it online (about $11.00) or checking out a copy from Gail Borden Library.
Read any 3 chapters.
Review the 9 Time Periods, 7 Themes, and 9 Thinking Skills in the attached packet.
***The following describes the written part of your work***
For each of the 3 chapters you read,
identify the time period
Find a theme that this event relates to
(***most importantly***) in two good paragraphs for each of the three chapters you choose, explain how the author discusses, analyzes and explains historical causation and why the change was “unexpected.”
*The book- 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America, Stephen M. Gillon, The History Channel, 2006
The Nine Thinking Skills
The College Board invites us to not just “study history,” but to “think like historians.” The nine skills outlined below define the range of work we will be doing throughout the school year. (These are the skill categories that appear in the gradebook for this course.) It is understood that these thinking skills will not be useful or coherent without the knowledge base that comes from reading, discussing and remembering the content shown in the key concept outline.
1. Historical Causation- identify, analyze, and evaluate the relationships among multiple historical causes and effects.
2. Patterns of Continuity and Change over Time- recognize, analyze, and evaluate the dynamics of historical continuity and change over periods of time.
3. Periodization-describe, analyze, evaluate, and construct models that historians use to organize history into defined time periods.
4. Comparison- describe, compare, and evaluate multiple historical developments.
5. Contextualization- recognize and explain ways in which historical phenomenon or processes connect to broader regional, nation, or global processes.
6. Historical Argumentation- define and frame a question about the past through the construction of an argument.
7. Appropriate Use of Relevant Historical Evidence- describe and evaluate evidence about the past from diverse sources and draw appropriate conclusions.
8. Interpretation- describe, analyze, evaluate, and construct diverse interpretations of the past.
9. Synthesis- develop meaningful and persuasive new understandings of the past.
The Time Periods
(Our units of instruction will be based on these.)
Historians organize their interpretation and analysis of events and developments into eras. They see an endpoint or a beginning that marks a transition big enough to label a new time period. As historians review one another’s work they may differ over how the time periods should be divided up or labeled. This skill of “periodization” is based on the “interpretative lens” of the individual historian.
Period 1: 1491-1607- Contact among peoples in North America creates a New World
Period 2: 1607- 1754- Distinctive colonial and native societies emerged from the conflict and maneuvering of Europeans and American Indians.
Period 3: 1754-1800- A new American Republic emerges out of colonial reaction to the British attempts to reassert control.
Period 4: 1800-1848- Rapid economic, territorial, and demographic changes occur alongside an effort to define and extend democratic ideals.
Period 5: 1844-1877- Expansion and growth caused tensions that led to a civil war followed by an effort to define and extend democratic ideals once again.
Period 6: 1865-1898- Enormous changes grew out of the United States rapid transition from agricultural/ rural to industrial/ urban.
Period 7: 1890-1945- Challenges at home and abroad resulted in a much larger and debated role for both federal and state governments.
Period 8: 1945-1980- Post war prosperity was accompanied by new international responsibilities and a new effort to define and extend democratic ideals.
Period 9: 1980- Present- As the United States transitioned to a new century filled with challenges and possibilities, it experienced renewed ideological and cultural debates, sought to redefine its foreign policy, and adapted to economic globalization and revolutionary changes in science and technology.
The Thematic Learning Objectives
(aka “Big Ideas” that help us to understand history more intentionally and broadly.)
This theme focuses on the formation of both American national identity and group identities in U.S. history.
ID-1 Competing Conceptions of National Identity, late colonial-antebellum
ID-2 Impact of Manifest Destiny, territorial expansion, Civil War and industrialization on beliefs about progress and national destiny, 19th century
ID-3 Influence of U.S. involvement in Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Great Depression and Cold War on public debates about national identity, 20th century
ID-4 How Conceptions of Group Identity emerged out of cultural interactions between colonizing groups, Africans and American Indians, colonial era
ID-5 Role of economic, social, political and ethnic factors in formation of regional identities, colonial period through 19th century
ID-6 How migration has influenced the growth of racial and ethnic identities and conflicts over ethnic assimilation and distinctiveness, periods 3-9
ID-7 How changes in class identity and gender roles have related to economic, social and cultural transformations, since the late 19th century
ID-8 How civil rights activism in the 20th century affected the growth of identity-based political and social movements