Ap u. S. History Syllabus

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AP U.S. Historymcj02505920000[1]mcj02505920000[1]


Mrs. Vanessa Allman

This course is designed to provide a college level experience in preparation for the AP Exam in May 2010. An emphasis is placed on interpreting documents, mastering a significant body of factual information, and writing critical essays. Topics include life and thought in colonial America, revolutionary ideology, constitutional developments, Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy, nineteenth-century reform movements, and Manifest Destiny. Other Progressive topics include the Civil War and Reconstruction, immigration, industrialism, Populism, Progressivism, World War1, the Jazz Age, the Great Depression , the New Deal, World War11, the Cold War, the post Cold War era and the United States at the beginning of the 21st Century. This course will fulfill the United States history graduation requirement.

We will move through this class very quickly, for the most part we cover a chapter in about five days. The reading will be rigorous; it is not uncommon for an assignment to be 20 plus pages per night along with a series of questions.

In addition to the topics listed above the course will emphasize a series of key themes throughout the year. These themes have been determined by the College Board as essential to a comprehensive study of United States history. 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

  • The role of the United States in an increasingly global arena.

The course will track these themes throughout the year, emphasizing the ways in which they are interconnected and examine the ways in which each helps to shape the changes over time.

AP U.S. History Exam Date: Friday, May 6, 2011

Course Objectives:

  • Master a broad body of historical knowledge

  • Demonstrate an understanding of historical chronology

  • Use historical data to support an argument or position

  • Differentiate between historiographical schools of thought

  • Interpret and apply data from original documents, including cartoons, graphs, letter, etc

  • Effectively use analytical skills of evaluation, cause and effect, compare and contrast

  • Work effectively with others to produce products and solve problems

  • Prepare for and successfully pass the AP U.S. History Exam


  • Kennedy, David M. Lizabeth Cohen and Thomas Bailey. The American Pageant

  • Cayton, Perry, Reed and Winkler. America Pathways to the Present


(District Grading Scale) Grading Breakdown

A=90-100% Tests & Projects 50%

B=80-89% Quizzes 35%
C=70-79% Homework 10%
D=60-69% Preparedness & Participation 5%
F=59% and below

Exams will frequently consist of essays which will require a significant amount of writing. Essay exams will require students to use historical examples, supporting details and evidence of critical thinking.

Students should expect to have a homework assignment every night.

There will be at least two quizzes per week.

All quizzes will be returned the next day, essay exams will generally be returned in 3-4 days.


By your placement in an AP Class the expectation is that you have already mastered many of the requisite study skills. You should be prepared to work for the entire class period. You should have at least two spiral notes books and a pencil and pen. If you are not prepare you will receive a ZERO for the day.

Extra assistance is available either before school (7:00-7:30 A.M.) or during the regularly scheduled CP.

Tentative Schedule of Topics:

All of the following readings should be completed by the beginning of the week during which they will be discussed. Each unit also 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 generation, and how such reevaluations of the past continue to shape the way historians see the world today.

The New World Beginnings

  • Pre-Columbian cultures, early exploration, introduction of slavery, Spanish and French claims, the rise of mercantilism

The planting of American Colonies

  • New England and the Puritans, religious dissent, colonial politics and the conflict with the British authority.

  • DBQ on Chesapeake and New England Colonies

American Life in the 17th Century

  • Tobacco and rice colonies, African American colonial family life, dissent in New England and the Salem Witch trials

Colonial Society on the Eve of the Revolution

  • Immigration and demographic change, the Atlantic economy, the Great Awakening, education and culture of the colonies.

Unit Test

The Duel for North America

  • Colonial involvement in British imperial wars, consequences of the French and Indian War and the Proclamation of 1763.

The road to the American Revolution

  • The roots of revolution and the role of mercantilism, end of benign neglect, and failure of diplomacy.

America Secedes from the Empire

  • The American revolution, wartime diplomacy, life on the home front, women and the war, the impact of the war on the institution of slavery.

The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution

  • The role of religion, slavery, economy and sectionalism on the Constitution

Unit Test

The Rise of a new nation:

  • Review early national politics economics, diplomacy during the French revolution, and the making of the office of the presidency.

  • The Marshall Court the diplomacy of Jefferson and Madison and the War of 1812.

  • DBQ Compare the political philosophies of Jefferson and Hamilton.

The Rise of Mass Democracy

  • Jacksonian democracy and the Whigs, Missouri Compromise, national policy toward Native Americans, the era of the common man, the Texas revolution and the expansion of slavery.

Unit Test

Manifest Destiny and it Legacy under President Polk

  • Popular Sovereignty, the Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Law.

Drifting Toward Disunion Abolition in the 1850s

  • The role of John Brown, the impact of Dred Scott, the political crisis in the election of 1860.

The Battle for States Rights

  • The first two years of the war, both sides are confident that the war will end in a short time, what led the so many to this conclusion? What events let them know that they were mistaken? What was the significance of the following battles: Battle of Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam etc? How did technology change the war?

The tide of the War Turns

  • What advantages did the North have over the South? Importance of the following Draft, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Grant as General, Sherman’ March to the Sea, The assassination of President Lincoln.

  • DBQ What factors made Lincoln a Great President?

The Ordeal of Reconstruction

  • The politics and economics of Reconstruction, experiences of freedmen, the rise of the New South, Radical Republicans and impeachment.

The Gilded Age

  • The rise of big business and the role of business in politics, class and ethnic conflict, and the rise of Jim Crow.

Unit Test

Industry Comes of Age

  • Era of Robber Barons, labor unions the division between rich and working class, government regulation of big business, and the growth of the American economy

  • DBQ Are these great industrialist Robber Barons or Captains of Industry?

America Moves to the Cities

  • Urbanization, new waves of immigration, renewed instances of nativism, cultural life in Urban America, the new women, and African American push for expanded civil rights.

Empire and Expansion

  • Examine the factors that led to American expansion into other territories. Define the Term Imperialism. What role did Teddy Roosevelt play in the expansion? How did imperialism impact the Spanish American War?

Unit Exam

Progressive movement

  • Progressive reforms, the trust, urbanization and the resulting political impact of, Dollar Diplomacy and environmental issues.

President Wilson and World War 1

  • How did Events in Europe bring America into this conflict? How the war help America grow into a World Power.

American Life during the Twenties

  • Examine the factors that led to the growth of industry during the 1920s. Students should include things such as installment buying, advertisements, and the assembly line.

The Politics of Boom and Bust

  • Isolationism in the 1929s, foreign debt, overproduction and Black Tuesday.

The Great Depression and the New Deal

  • Failure of the Hoover and administration and the changing role of government in the lives of Americans. Outline the role of FDR in the recovery, relief and reform of the 1930s. Examine the cultural and economic changes of the 30s. Did the New Deal end the depression?

Unit Exam

FDR and the Shadow of War

  • Examine the attempts at neutrality and isolation during the pre war years.

America enters World War II

  • The attack on Pearl Harbor, the war in Europe, and Japan. Discuss how the war changed the role of women and minorities during the war. Debate the decision by Truman to drop the Atomic bomb.

The Cold War Begins

  • Post war prosperity the Baby Boom, communism and containment will all be discussed. Outline all of the following post war issues, Cold War, Marshall Plan, and the Iron Curtain.

The Eisenhower Era

  • Examine the Consumer Culture, the Civil Rights movement, McCarthyism and post war culture.

The Kennedy Administration

  • President Kennedy has to focus on several major issues including the Bay of Pigs, Building of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Examine the domestic problems especially the Civil Rights movement led by Dr. King.

The Great Society and the New Frontier

  • Compare the ideas of President Kennedy and Johnson. How did each deal with the following issues, War on Poverty, Communism, and Vietnam.

Turbulent decade of the 1960s

  • Examine the changes and conflicts that took place during this period. War Protest, Black Power, Women’s Rights, Immigration and the Environment.

Unit Exam

The Stalemated Seventies

  • Rise of Conservatism, economic stagnation, crisis over presidential power, affirmative action, foreign policy, end of the Vietnam War and oil embargo. The new right and the emergence of Reaganomics.

America Confronts the Post Cold War Era

  • The Clinton era, post Cold War politics and foreign policy, the contested election of 2000 and the attack on the World Trade Center.

The Bush Era

  • The war in Iraq and the economic downturn.

President Barak Obama and the Future of America

  • Major issues include the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the current economic recession and the bailout of Major Corporations. Should the government continue to play a large role is the everyday lives of America or do we have too much government interference? Include issues such as No Child Left Behind, Universal Health Care, and FEMA...

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