Advanced Placement American History

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Advanced Placement American History

Mr. Mullooly

The Advanced Placement program in United States History is a challenging course that is meant to be the equivalent of a freshman college course and can earn students college credit. It is a two semester survey of American history from the age of exploration to the present. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable time to homework and study, are necessary to achieve success. Emphasis is placed on critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of original documents, and historiography. The themes will include discussions of American diversity, the development of a unique American identity, the evolution of American culture, demographic changes over the course of America’s history, economic trends and transformations, environmental issues, the development of political institutions and the components of citizenship, social reform movements, the role of religion in the making of the United States and its impact in a multicultural society, the history of slavery and its legacies in this hemisphere, war and diplomacy, and finally, the place of the United States in an increasingly global arena. The course uses themes and/or topics as broad parameters for structuring the course.


Students will

  • Master a broad body of historical knowledge

  • Demonstrate an understanding of historical chronology

  • Use historical data to support a position

  • Interpret and apply data from original documents

  • Effectively use analytical skills or evaluation, cause and effect,

comparison and contrast

  • Prepare for and successfully pass the AP exam


  • The American Pageant. Bailey, Thomas and David Kennedy. 12th edition

  • Morgan Park AP USH History Binder (1600-1865)

  • Morgan Park AP USH History Binder (1865-2001)

  • UIC GIS maps:

  • Eric Foner. Reconstruction (Harper Perennial Books, 2002. (selections)

  • AP Princeton Review (recommended)

Class Fees

AP USH has a class fee of $15.00. Students who have reduced or free lunch will have a waiver. The fee will go towards the purchase of two Morgan Park AP USH binders. The binders will include notes and source materials that are necessary for the class, and will help the student prepare for the AP test in May.


This course has several purposes. First and foremost, students will learn U.S. history and government. The course is also intended to prepare students to take the AP U.S. History Exam.
Grading (%)

90-100 = A

80-89 = B

70-79 = C

60-69 = D

below 60 = F


40% Tests & Quizzes

40% Essays

20% Homework & Class Work


Reading is the backbone of this class. You must read all of the assignments. We will not cover everything in class, yet you are still responsible for the readings. I encourage you to take your own notes so you may better process the information. If you do have trouble processing the information, do not hesitate to ask me about it, either in class, after class, or by email. Discussion questions based on the readings are meant to direct students to the major themes of the units of study. Students should prepare a thesis statement and an essay outline for each question.


  • Because part of the AP exam is an 80 question multiple choice assessment, multiple choice tests will be part of your class assessment. All tests will mirror the time constraints of those on the AP examinations (55 minutes for 80 questions, 48 minutes for 70 questions, etc.)

  • Tests will include questions taken primarily from the textbook, but will include various questions concerning supplemental readings, handouts, maps, and charts.

  • The Final will count as 10% of the semester grade.

  • Tests can take the form of an open-note or closed note test, and at times done individually or in groups.


  • Essays will be assigned on a regular basis. They will take two forms: the free-response essays and the Document-Based Question.


  • Homework can take on several forms. The due date of homework will always be announced in advance. Homework is to be turned in at the beginning of class.

  • Expect to spend at least one-half hour a night completing homework or reading.

Class work

Class will be a time to preview, review, or discuss class readings. From time to time, students will be meeting in the computer lab for assignments. Also, students will be working in groups on class projects.

Students will keep a separate AP Portfolio at home divided by unit. The binder will be broken up into course units.

Late Work

  • Late work will only be accepted in the case of an excused absence from class. If you miss class due to a school function, I expect the work to be turned in early. It is the student’s responsibility to find out what has been missed, and they have one day upon their return to turn in the missed work.

  • If a student misses a test, the student must make up the test when he/she returns to school. Speak with me to make an appointment.

  • If you have an excused absence when a take home test or essay is due, you will email me your response the day it is due. Late take home essays or tests will not be accepted.


  • Cheating is unacceptable. During tests or quizzes, you must remain completely silent so your peers can concentrate and so I will not confuse your actions with cheating. If I catch you cheating, I will notify parents, the counselor, the dean, and your grade will be a zero. I encourage the use of study groups and cooperative learning, but use them to learn from each other and not to do work for one another.

  • Plagiarism is a form of cheating and will be handled according to school policy. Remember to cite your sources and do your own work. Remember to save all work to a hard drive and external source.

Classroom Atmosphere

This classroom should be comfortable for everyone. As a class, we should respect our peers. Many times there will be disagreements and debates, but let that not impede proper manners.

Advanced Placement American History

Course Guide

Mr. Mullooly
It cannot be stressed enough how important the class readings are to success in this class and on the AP exam in May. Dates are subject to change. Notice will be given for all changes.
Each unit utilizes discussions of and writing about related historiography: how interpretations of events have changed over time, how the issues of one time period have had an impact on the experiences and decisions of subsequent generations, and how such reevaluations of the past continue to shape the way historians see the world today.
Students are responsible for keeping up with reading assignments and being aware of, and ready for, quizzes and tests. Class will be a combination of lecture, group work, coverage of discussion questions, and answering student questions. Periodically, student essays, reports, or presentations will be required. All essays will be scored according to the 9-point rubric included in the syllabus. Each unit will be organized around an essential question (EQ) related to the content.

Students will be expected in each unit to synthesize material from a variety of primary and secondary resources to answer each unit’s essential question(s).

Unit Title/ Essential Question(s)


School Schedule


Key Discussion Topics

1. Colonies: Clash of Cultures:

How do societies cope with change?

Chapter 2-6

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)

Summer- 9/21

  • Colony Museum

  • Test

The Salem witch trials, Puritan beliefs, differences in colonial regional development, and the African American experience in colonial America

2. Revolution or War for Independence?:

How Revolutionary was the American Revolution?

Chapter 7-8

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Test

  • Mind Map

The origins of resistance; the British response; the decision for independence; the military course of the war; and peace negotiations.

3. Constitution: Counterrevolution?

When is the federal government justified in imposing its will on American citizens? 

Chapter 9-10

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Debate: Federalists & Anti-Federalists

  • Quiz

The structure of the government under the Articles of Confederation; weaknesses and accomplishments of the Articles’ government; foreign affairs in the Confederation period; the nationalist critique and the role of Hamilton and Madison; the Constitutional Convention; and the debate over ratification.

4. New Nation in a World of Wolves: What threatened the new republic's stability?

How was the stability maintained?

Chapter 11

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Essay

Jefferson’s imprint; causes and results of the “strange” War of 1812; [nationalism cum sectionalism; the demise of the Federalists and the rise of the two-party system

5. Market Revolution Origins

To what extent does America have a "limitless" future?

Chapter 12

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Test

The Market Revolution. Monroe Doctrine, Missouri Compromise, Lowell Mills, slavery

6. Market Revolution: Jackson, Slavery, Removal, & the Common Man

To what extent does America have a "limitless" future?

How do societies cope with change?

Chapter 13

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Jackson DBQ Essay

Mass democracy; Jackson versus Calhoun; the Bank War; the Indian removal; the rise of the working class; the Whig alternative;

7. Market Revolution: Reform/ Reaction

What does it mean to be reformer?

Chapter 14-15

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Multiple Choice Test

  • Reform Map

Abolition & Antebellum Reform, Senecca Falls, Juvenile Delinquency, Women’s Suffrage, Transcendentalism, 2nd Great Awakening

8. Manifest Destiny or a Poison Apple?

What of the territories: slave or free?

Chapter 17

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Quiz

O’Sullivan’s phrase — “Young America” — the lure of the West (1820–1840); Texas, New Mexico, Utah, and Oregon; Polk and war with

Mexico; and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

9. 1850s: Liberty or Equality

Who is sovereign? States Rights vs. Federal Government?

Chapter 18-19

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Power-Point

  • Test

The “peculiar institution” and its impact on the South; abolitionism and North–South relations

10.Civil War & Reconstruction: New Birth of Freedom or a Pyrrhic Victory?

What does freedom mean?

How do you create unity when there is disunity?

Chapter 20-22

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)

Selections from Eric Foner’s Reconstruction


  • DBQ Essay

  • Multiple Choice Test

The South’s chance of victory; a question of leadership; Lincoln versus Davis; emancipation; the military course of the war in brief; Reconstruction; the sharecropping system; the “crime” of ’76; and the Compromise of 1877.

11. Industrial Civil War

Who is responsible to ensure equality and access to the American Dream?

To what extent,

did labor unions

embody the spirit or undermine the spirit of the American Dream?

Chapter 23-26

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Test

  • DBQ Mural

Settling the West: a question of exploitation; laissez faire and social Darwinism; the rise of the industrialists; labor’s response; urbanization; immigration and “Tweedism”; the “Social Gospel” ; the politics of the 1890s: big government Republicans and the Populists

12. Imperialism & Progressives: America redefined

What is a reformer?

What is the burden or responsibility of being a world power?

Chapter 27-30

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Debate

  • Test

Progressivism: a ferment of ideas; the “muckrakers”; “trustbusting”; the “Social Justice” movement; the “Purity” crusade; state and local reforms; women’s suffrage; the progressive presidents — Teddy Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson; the “Square Deal” and the “New Freedom.

The imperialist arguments; war with Spain Teddy Roosevelt

13. WWI & 1920s: Clash of Ideas/ Culture

Is is the United States responsibility to make the world "safe for Democracy?

Why do Americans both love and fear new ideas?

Chapter 31-32

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Test

  • Essay:GIS Maps: Great Migration

Neutrality (1914-1917); “Over There”; “Over Here”; and the treaty controversy.

Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover: “Republican Orthodoxy”; normalcy; the “Red Scare”; immigration legislation; the “new” Ku Klux Klan; the Harlem Renaissance; the crash of the stock market and the onset of the Great Depression; and Hoover and Voluntarism.

14. Whose New Deal?

What is role of the government in helping people?

Chapter 33 (optional)

Chapter 34

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Test

The origins and effects of the Great Depression; Hoover’s “Voluntarism” approach; Franklin Roosevelt and the “Hundred Days”; relief, recovery, and reform; critics of the New Deal — the “Economic Royalists” on the right and Long, Townsend, and Coughlin; the Supreme Court fight and the end of the New Deal

15. WWII: Freedom abroad, at home, and the Atom Bomb
Was the dropping of the atomic bomb the correct decision?

Chapter 35 (optional)

Chapter 36

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Test

  • Atom Bomb DBQ Presention

Isolationism, pacifism, and neutrality and their ramifications for U.S. policy in Europe, Latin America, and Asia during the 1920s and

early 1930s; neutrality legislation of the 1930s; undeclared war in Europe and

the course of U.S.–Japanese relations in the late 1930s; Pearl Harbor; halting the

German blitz; turning the tide in the Pacific and the decision to drop the A-bomb;

16. Civil War, Cold Rights

What does freedom mean?

How realistic is the dream of equality

To what extent is the Civil Rights movement a revolution?

Chapter 37-38

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Test

  • DBQ Essay

Cold War in Europe; the beginning of atomic diplomacy; Marshall Plan, NATO); crisis in Berlin; the Cold War expands: the loss of China and the Korean War; the Cold War at home:

McCarthyism; Ike, Dulles, and the Cold War in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin

The postwar economic boom and the rise of the suburbs; did the 1950s represent the true “good life”?

16. Tumultuous 1960s

How should America confront racial inequality?

How do societies cope with change?

Chapter 39

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


America; JFK and “flexible response”: The civil rights struggle; the New

Frontier; the Warren court; and the Great Society’s War on Poverty.

17. 70s& 80s: Conservative Resurgence

How do societies cope with change?

Chapter 40-41

Primary sources (including maps, tables, & charts)


  • Test

Involvement and escalation in Vietnam; Vietnam dilemma and stalemate; the student revolt; Black Power and Women’s Lib; the election of 1968; Nixon, Kissinger ending the Vietnam War; the election of 1972; and


Friday, May 9: AP USH Test


I have read the syllabus and course guide. I am aware that the course has a $15 course fee for two AP US history course binders.
Printed Student Name:____________________________________

Parent Signature:_____________________________________________

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