Ap u. S. History Canton High School Contact Info: mr. Heitman room 607 email

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Key Discussion Topics

  1. Transatlantic Encounters and Colonial Beginnings, 1492-1690.

  2. First European Contact with Native Americans.

  3. Spain’s empire in North America.

  4. French colonization of Canada.

  5. English settlement of New England, the Mid-Atlantic region, and the South.

  6. New England witchcraft episode and Puritan society/religious sects.

  7. Religious diversity in the American colonies and the Great Awakening.

  8. Resistance to colonial authority: Bacon’s Rebellion, the Glorious Revolution, and the Pueblo Revolt.

Major Assessments (MA): Multiple Choice Test and Document Based Question (DBQ)-will focus on the development of slavery and culture in the colonies. Specifically students will: (1) Compare the development of the English colonies with that of the French and Spanish colonies and; (2) Analyze to what extent the early European colonists viewed the Native Americans as inferior people who could be exploited for economic gain. **I will structure the first DBQ/Free Response Essays in the form of take home exams with extensive feedback in class.

Unit Two: The Development of Colonies

In order to understand the economic and political dynamics between England and the colonies; and also how it led to the revolution and the formation of the ‘American Experiment,’ students will be able to:

A. Explain the relationship between England and its colonies, and their cultural development during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

B. Identify the causes and immediate outcomes of the French and Indian War.

C. Predict and describe the effect of England’s postwar policies upon the American colonies.

Reading Assignments (RA): The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 4: “The Empire in Transition,” and The American Pageant- Chapter 5: “Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution.”

Themes: The growth and diversification of the colonial population, expansion and diversification of the colonial economy, rise of slavery as the labor system, social and political life of English colonists, emergence of American literature, philosophy, science, education, and law, stirrings of revolt amid new British controls.

  1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. The disputed origins of slavery and sources of colonial labor.

      2. Immigration patterns and their effect on colonial development.

      3. The factors of soil and climate on development, the emergence of the plantation system.

      4. Cities and Colonial literature education and divergence.

      5. The Stamp Act, the Townshend Duties, the Boston Massacre, and full scale resistance.

Major Assessments (MA): Reading Quiz to be announced (TBA) and Free Response Essay on differences between the Northern and Southern Colonies.

Unit Two Continued - Road to Revolution

To fully understand causal factors leading to revolution, students will:

A. Discuss the various issues and attitudes involving the establishment of the American government starting with the First Continental Congress.

B. Analyze in chronological fashion the critical events that led to The "shot heard 'round the world," starting with the Seven Years War.

Reading Assignments (RA): The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 5: “The American Revolution,” and the American Pageant- Chapter 7: “The Road to Revolution.”

Themes: The growing enmity between the British and French, consequences of the Seven Years' War, policies taken by Parliament in the 1760's and 1770's that served to incite resistance and rebellion, varied responses to English policies made by colonial leaders, and outbreak of military hostilities.

a. Key Discussion Topics:

i. The primary reasons for the growth of the differences between colonial Americans and the British.

ii. The growing conflict between the English, the French, and the Iroquois.

iii. The effects of the war on the American colonists.

iv. The importance of the series of crises from the Sugar Act through the Coercive Acts.

v. The change in American attitudes toward Parliament, the English constitution, and the king.

vi. The significance and accomplishments of the First Continental Congress.

vii. The events of Lexington and Concord and the beginnings of the American Revolution.

Major Assessments (MA): Reading Quiz to be announced (TBA) and Free Response Essay on the British policies toward the American colonies after 1763.


To fully comprehend the American overthrow of British government students will:

  1. Gain critical insight of the problems experienced by the new American government in carrying on a protracted war.

  2. Evaluate how the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and how the contributions of the Founding Fathers led to the creation of a new republic.

Reading Assignment (RA): The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 5: “The American Revolution”(continued), and the American Pageant- Chapter 8: “The Road to Revolution.”

Themes: The political strategies employed by the 2nd Continental Congress, battle strategies and military contingencies, the attempt by Americans to apply revolutionary republican ideology to the building of the nation, and the problems created by the American Revolution and faced by the weak national government.

    1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. The historical debate surrounding the nature of the American Revolution.

      2. The origins and content of the Declaration of Independence and Common Sense.

      3. The three distinct phases of the War for Independence, and its transformation into a new kind of conflict that worked against British military superiority.

      4. The impact of the Revolution on women and minorities.

      5. The features of the Articles of Confederation, and the reasons for its creation and; the problems faced by the government under the Articles of Confederation.

Major Assessments (MA): Test & Document Based Question (DBQ) on how views of the colonial revolutionaries clashed with the conservative philosophy of the loyalist colonists.

Unit 3 Continued - The Republic

At the conclusion of this section students will be able to:

  1. Identify and paraphrase the problems facing the New Republic.

  2. Define and explain the main arguments and viewpoints of the Federalists and Anti Federalists regarding the structure of government and the Constitution.

  3. Summarize the events before and after the Constitutional Convention and; analyze how this impacted political behavior or policy during the first Presidential administrations.

(RA): The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 6: “The Constitution and the New Republic.”

Themes: The origins of and debates surrounding the U.S. Constitution, America's "first party system," United States establishment in the world view, and the emergence of Thomas Jefferson.

    1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. The groups that advocated a stronger national government.

      2. The historical debate concerning Constitutional Convention.

      3. The debate over the Virginia and New Jersey plans.

      4. The idea of federalism and the working design of the American Constitution.

      5. The importance of The Federalist Papers in the ratification struggle.

      6. The emergence of the first party system.

      7. How the weak new nation coped with various domestic and international problems.

      8. The presidency of John Adams and the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Major Assessments (MA): Intensive Multiple Choice Exam and Free Essay Question/Response on strengths and limitations of the Federalists and Anti Federalist debate.

Unit Four: The Age of Jefferson

After completing this sections students will:

A. Examine complicated facets of Thomas Jefferson's presidency.

B. Evaluate the burgeoning geographical, economic, and cultural independence that forged the American experience during this period.

Reading Assignment (RA): The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 7: “The Jeffersonian Era.”

Themes: The rise of American culture and the impact of industrialism upon it, the political repercussions of expansion, namely the Louisiana Purchase and War of 1812.

    1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. American cultural and nationalist aspirations.

      2. Republic Education, new societal roles, and the growth of industrialism.

      3. The political philosophy of Thomas Jefferson and Jeffersonian-Federalist struggle for power and dominance.

      4. America’s Westward and Global Expansion.

      5. The strange story of Burr vs. Hamilton.

Major Assessments (MA): Mixed format quiz (multiple choice, true/false, short answer) and Free Response Essay on fact versus myth: Thomas Jefferson.

Unit Four Continued- American Nationalism

Upon completion of this chapter:

  1. Students will be able to illustrate the effects of war victory: nationalism, economic revival, westward expansion, and a strengthening of the national government.

  2. Students will summarize how major American perceptions ushered in major political change.

Reading Assignment (RA): The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 8: “Varieties of American Nationalism.”

Themes: The effects of postwar expansion and continued economic growth, the rise of sectional controversy arising from slavery, prominent decisions of the Marshall Court, the Monroe Doctrine and American nationalism, and the end of the "era of good feelings" and the rise of America's "second party system.”

  1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. Effects of the War of 1812 on banking, shipping, farming, industry, and transportation.

      2. The character of westward expansion into the Old Southwest and Old Northwest; and the “Era of Good Feelings.”

      3. The Panic of 1819 and the Missouri Compromise.

      4. The emergence of the: Federal Judiciary, Native American Policy, and the Monroe Doctrine.

      5. The era of J.Q. Adams and the significance of the election of Andrew Jackson.

Major Assessments (MA): Test & DBQ on how Industrialization improved the political, social, and economic quality of life of the American farmer and industrial worker between 1830 and 1910. Documents used will include: A Plea for Non-property Suffrage (1841), Wage Slavery in New England (1832), “Slavers” of New England Girls (1846), Agitation for the Ten Hour Day (1835), as well as others to be determined by the instructor.

Unit Five: Age of Jackson

Upon Completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the impact of Andrew Jackson’s philosophy of government upon the office of the Presidency and the American People.

  2. Describe the emergence of Calhoun, Clay, and Webster and their multiplicative effect upon U.S. economic and political policy.

Reading Assignment (RA): The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 9: “Jacksonian America.”

Themes: The expansion of the electorate during the Age of Jackson, growing tension between nationalism and states' rights, the Cherokee Nation’s “Trail of Tears,” competing views of American economic development, and the rise of the Whig Party as an alternative to Andrew Jackson and the Democrats.

  1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. Effects of the election of Andrew Jackson and his policies upon America’s political, economic, and cultural institutions.

      2. Nullification theory and Native American Policy.

      3. The Bank War and the Taney Court.

      4. The Panic of 1837 and the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.

Major Assessment (MA): Mixed format quiz and Free Response Essay Question: Was Andrew Jackson a champion of democracy and a symbol of anti-elitism?

Unit Five Continued- America's Economic Revolution

After finishing this chapter students will be able to:

  1. Accurately describe the changes that were taking place within the nation in terms of population growth, urbanization, and immigration.

  2. Realize and explain the significant lifestyle change produced from the expansion of American infrastructure: canals, railroads, roads, factories, and towns.

RA: The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 10: “America’s Economic Revolution.”

Themes: The nature of the rapid immigration and urban growth between 1820 and 1840, the pronounced effect of the transportation and communications revolutions of the 1820s and 1830s on the American economy; along with the transformation in women's social and economic roles as a consequence of the factory system.

    1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. Major demographic change in America.

      2. Rise of Nativism.

      3. The influence of burgeoning railroad, telegraph networks, canals, and mechanization.

      4. The patterns of society, including social inequality, familial relationships, and leisure activities.

      5. The vast changes taking place in the Northeast as agriculture declined while urbanization and industrialization progressed at a rapid rate.

MA: DBQ Essay: Using the information provided in the following readings: Wage Slavery in New England (1832), “Slavers” of New England Girls (1846), The Coming of the Irish (1836), John C. Calhoun The Pro-Slavery Argument (1837), Chattel Slavery Versus Wage Slavery (1840) Students will agree or disagree with the following statement: The slaves in the South were better off than the urban, industrial workers of the North.

Unit Six: The Old South

After finishing the chapter students will:

  1. Be able to distinguish between the economies and societies of the American North and the American South based upon rigorous analysis of cultural norms and industrial development.

  2. Examine the stark contrast between the life perspectives as a slave versus that of a slave master.

RA: The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 11: “Cotton, Slavery, and the Old South,” and Through Women’s Eyes- Chapter 4: “Pedestal, Loom, and Auction Block.”

Themes: The effect of short-staple cotton's rise on the economic development of the South, class and gender dynamics of Southern white society, slave resistance and cultural expression, and myth versus reality of the Old American South.

  1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. The expansion of short-staple cotton throughout the South.

      2. The workings of trade and industry under the southern agricultural system.

      3. The structure and founding myths of Southern plantation society.

      4. The forms of active and passive resistance African-Americans engaged in to combat slavery in the Old South.

      5. The culture of African-American slavery, as expressed through religion, music, language, and family life.

      6. The continuing historical debate over the South, its "peculiar institution," and the effects of enslavement on the blacks.

MA: Test & DBQ/Free Response Essay on: Did the goals of Manifest Destiny helped to encourage increased sectionalism that lead to civil war? Documents used will include: Manifesto of the Anti-Slavery Society (1833), John Quincy Adams arguments before the Supreme Court in Amistad case (1841), The Blessings of the Slave (1849), Comparing Slave Labor & Wage Labor (1850), John C. Calhoun Demands Southern Rights (1850) as well as others to be determined by the instructor.

Unit Six Continued- Era of Reform

A thorough study of Chapter 12 should enable students to identify and describe:

  1. The two basic impulses that were reflected in the reform movements.

  2. The sources of American religious, educational, and abolitionist movements and the ultimate objectives of each.

RA: The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 12: “Antebellum Culture and Reform,” The American Nation- Chapter 10: “The Making of Middle Class America,” Journal of Economic Growth (2006): “Education and income of the states of the United States: 1840–2000.”

Themes: The development by American intellectuals of a national culture committed to the liberation of the human spirit, as expressed in art, literature, utopian communities, and transcendental philosophy and; the emergence of the crusade against slavery as enacted by prominent abolitionists as William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass.

    1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. The contributions of the Hudson River School, antebellum writers, and the transcendentalists to the overall reform movement.

      2. The development of utopian communities and religious revival movements.

      3. The origins and development of the nineteenth century women's movement.

      4. The rise of abolitionism and its effects upon American educational, social, and political institutions.

MA: Reading Quiz to be announced (TBA) and after reviewing various paintings (Erastus, Sargent), along with charts and graphs on 1840 era population density, occupation, and education distribution students will respond to the Free Response Question: “Did the reform movement succeed or fail?”

Unit Seven: On the Eve of War- Part One

After finishing the chapter students will:

  1. Illustrate how the Manifest Destiny effected America's westward migration into Texas, California, and Oregon.

  2. Describe the impact of the Missouri Compromise, War in Texas, and Mexican War had upon the sectional controversy.

RA: The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 13: “The Impending Crisis,” and The American Nation- Chapter 12: “Expansion and Slavery;” with the focus on “House of Polk” political cartoon and maps of Mexican War and Free/Slave areas, New U.S. Territories.

Themes: The influence of Manifest Destiny on Americans during the period, and how it shaped American policy in Texas, Oregon, California, and the Southwest.

  1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. The concept of Manifest Destiny and its influence on the nation through the 1840s and beyond.

      2. The origin of the Republic of Texas and the controversy concerning its annexation by the United States.

      3. The reasons why the United States declared war on Mexico, and how the Mexican War was fought to a successful conclusion.

(MA): Due to the complexity of all the political and social events leading to the Civil War, an alternative assessment and audio/visual supplemental materials will be used. Specifically, students will be given a political leader from the period (President, Congressman) to research and script lines for a class debate or clever political advertisement. Individuals such as Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, and John Brown will be used. Students will be graded on a rubric evaluating historical accuracy and presentation skills.

Supplemental materials include: PBS Film: Looking of Lincoln (2009) and Abolitionism: From William Lloyd Garrison to John Brown.

Unit Seven: On the Eve of War- Part 2

After finishing this unit students will be able to:

  1. Assess how the Wilmot Proviso, Compromise of 1850, and Kansas-Nebraska Act strengthened sectional divisions and accelerated the country down the path toward civil war.

  2. Summarize how the Dred Scott case and 1860 election was the “final straw” in determining Southern States’ decision to leave the Union.

RA: Finish Chapter 13 “The Impending Crisis” and; John C. Calhoun Demands Southern Rights (1850), Abraham Lincoln Appraises Abolitionism (1854), Abraham Lincoln Freeport Speech & Alton Speech: Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858), Fire-Eaters Urge Secession (1860), The North Resents Threats (1860), Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural Address (1861).

Themes: The expansion of slavery into the western territories that deepened divisions between the North and the South leading to war along with the effect of the dispute over slavery in reshaping the American political-party system.

    1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. The impact of the Wilmot Proviso on the sectional controversy.

      2. The methods used to enact the Compromise of 1850.

      3. The role of the major political parties in the widening sectional split.

      4. The enactment of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the effect of this act on the attitudes of the people in all sections.

      5. The reasons for Abraham Lincoln's victory in 1860 and the effect of his election on this sectional crisis.

MA: Mixed format exam and SMART Board or PowerPoint (Group project) on key figures in the sectionalism and slavery crisis.

Unit Eight: The Civil War

After finishing the chapter students will:

  1. Describe why all attempts to reach a compromise failed in 1860 and 1861.

  2. Summarize the unique problems faced by the newly inaugurated President Lincoln and his use of executive powers to solve them, up to July 4, 1861.

  3. Compare and Contrast the ways in which the Confederate States of America compared with the United States in manpower, natural resources, finances, and industry.

  4. Appraise the world view, particularly England and France and the diplomatic responses to the Civil War.

RA: The Unfinished Nation- Chapter 14: “The Civil War.”

Themes: The establishment of the Confederacy, the failure at compromise, and the road to Fort Sumter. The social and economic mobilization of both the Union and Confederacy for war, and the efforts of Presidents Lincoln and Davis to act as commanders in chief under their respective constitutions.

  1. Key Discussion Topics:

      1. The many interpretations of the causes of the Civil War advanced by historians.

      2. Public and resource support: North vs. South.

      3. The significant nationalistic legislation enacted by Congress once southern members were no longer a factor, including the Homestead Act, Morrill Act, and National Bank Acts.

      4. The step-by-step considerations involved in President Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

      5. The military mobilization of the North and the basic structure of the government of the Confederate States of America; along with the vital question of states' rights.

      6. The military strategies adopted by both sides of the Civil War, and the major battles that marked the course of America's bloodiest conflict.

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