The AP U.S. History course is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in U.S. history. Students will develop the skills necessary to interpret historical documents and evaluate various historical perspectives in order to present reasons and evidence clearly. Class will meet every other day (A/B day schedule) for 84 minutes. For students to get the most out of class time they must prepare nightly, making themselves familiar with the assigned reading and vocabulary, as well as completing any written homework assigned. Class time will be structured around a variety of small-group and individual skill based lessons, short lectures, quizzes and multiple choice & essay tests.
Throughout the course, students will examine the content presented through the thematic lenses of American Diversity, American Identity, Culture, Demographic Changes, Economic transformations, Environment, Globalization, Politics and Citizenship, Reform, Religion, Slavery and Its Legacies in North America and War & Diplomacy
The course and exam provide qualified students in secondary school the equivalent to an introductory college course in U.S. history. The AP U.S. History Exam presumes at least one year of college-level preparation. In order to be successful in a collegiate level course, students must be exposed to and develop the analytical and writing skills needed to be pass the AP exam in mid-May of 2013.
According to standards set by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, all Advanced Placement courses are weighted in the following manner; 70% Tests, 15% Quizzes, 15% Student Work
Kennedy, David M., Cohen, Lizabeth, J., Bailey, Thomas. The American Pageant. 13th ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA, 2006.
* Bring this class each day as it will be used as a part of class lecture and discussion.
Schweikart, Larry and Allen, Michael, A Patriot’s History of The United States: From Columbus’s Great Discovery to the War on Terror. Penguin Books. Ltd. New York, 2004.
Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States: 1492 - Present. Harper Collins, NY, 2010.
**All other reading material will be provided by the instructor throughout the year, via print or electronic form
Summer Reading Assignment
Students will be expected to read chapter 1 – 3 of Larry Schweikart & Michael Allen’s A Patriot’s History of The United States and complete a series of written assignments that provide students with the opportunity to develop the writing skills of formulating thesis statements that are supported with specific factual information.
Unit I: Colonial America (1607 – 1750) Days 1-7
During the first half of this unit, students will be focusing on the reasons for European settlement in North America with a concentration on the British colonies beginning with Jamestown. Students will be considering the economic and religious impetus of the early colonial period. Class lecture and discussion will examine the comparative development of the New England and the Chesapeake colonies. (It is expected that student complete the assigned reading in regards to Columbus and European settlement of the New World before 1607, although it will only be addressed minimally in class lecture and discussion.) The second half of this unit will continue to examine the colonial period, but will shift focus to the conflicts between European nations as well as the political upheavals in Britain, and how those ideas and events played themselves out in North America. Students will also reflect upon the changes that were occurring in colonial society in terms of landownership and politics. During this half of the unit, students will study the origins of slavery and economic theory of mercantilism and its practice. Topics: Pueblo
Chap. 2, The Planting of English America pp. 25 – 41; 106- 109
Chap. 3, Settling the Northern Colonies pp. 43 - 63
Chap. 4, American Life in the Seventeenth Century pp. 66 – 82
Chap. 5, Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution pp. 89 – 99; 100 - 104
“Small Group Activity: Colonial Identity” - Students will create a chart that illustrates the motivations for the founding of the New England, Middle, Chesapeake and Carolina colonies. Students will provide information in regard to religious affiliation, leadership, and economy
Write one paragraph for each question:
Discuss the role of religious dissent in the founding of the first New England colonies.
Explain the principal causes of violence and warfare within the colonies during the late seventeenth century.
Why did the economic competition among European nation-states lead to periods of warfare in the colonies from 1697 until 1753?
Explain the connection between the institution of slavery and the building of a commercial empire.
Jigsaw Activity: Historiography of Slavery (1619 – 1741) –Students will read an assigned article about slavery, preparing 5 points to share with jigsaw groups. Students will conclude the lesson by writing a paragraph that demonstrates how the role of African Americans changed over time from 1619 – 1741.
FRQ –In class
“Although New England and the Chesapeake region were both settled largely by people of English origin, by 1700 the regions had evolved into two distinct societies. Why did this difference in development occur?”
Multiple Choice Test w/Free Response Day 9
Unit II: From Empire to Independence (1754-1789) Days 8 - 13
During the first half of this unit, students will be examining the causes & effects of the French and Indian War, especially the changes in British policies that inflamed the colonists and eventually unified its resistance. During the latter half of this unit students will study the military, political, and diplomatic events of the American Revolution with a concentrated focus on the representative bodies and constitutions of the new republic. Students will consider the relationship between the “American” identity that was forming with the distrust of government power that lay beyond the reaches of local communities and states. Topics:
The French and Indian War
Proclamation of 1763
Thomas Paine/Common Sense
Stamp Act Congress
Olive Branch Petition
Sons of Liberty
Boston Tea Party
“No taxation w/o representation”
Coercive “Intolerable” Acts
First/Second Continental Congress
Lexington & Concord
The War in New England
Articles of Confederation
Treaty of Alliance 1778
Treaty of Paris of 1783
Chap. 6, The Duel for North America pp. 109 – 121
Chap. 7 The Road to Revolution pp. 122 – 138
Chap. 8, America Secedes from the Empire pp. 140 – 163
Chap. 9, The Confederation and the Constitution pp. 164 – 181
Chap. 10, Launching the New Ship of State pp. 181 - 193
Small Group Activity: Graphic Organizer: The Path to Revolution” –Students will identify the causes and effects of the events that led to the American Revolution from 1763 – 1775.
Outline the changes in British policy toward the colonies from 1750 – 1776
“To what extent had the colonists developed a sense of their identity and unity as Americans by the eve of the Revolution?”
Write one paragraph for each question:
How were the ideals of American republicanism expressed in the Declaration of Independence?
Why was the Battle of Saratoga considered the turning point of the Revolutionary War?
How was the Articles of Confederation a great document for beginning a nation during war time, but a terrible document for growing a new nation during peace time?
Multiple Choice Test w/ Free Response Day 14
Unit III: The Evolution of a National Government Days 15 - 17
Through the course of this unit students will evaluate the accomplishments and inadequacies of the Articles of Confederation, and analyze how economic and political changes immediately following the war illustrated the need to reform the new national government and build a strong new national community. Throughout this unit, students will apply their knowledge of the political struggles of the early years of the new republic in their examination of great changes in geography that came about during the Jefferson Administration. Topics:
Articles of Confederation
Land Ordinance of 1785
Declaration of Independence
Bill of Rights
Washington’s Farewell Address
Virginia & Kentucky Resolutions
Bank of the United States
Treaty of Ghent
The Election on 1800
Marbury vs. Madison
Lewis & Clark
The Barbary Pirates
Alien & Sedition Acts
Embargo Act of 1807
Chap. 10, Launching the New Ship of State, cont. pp. 193 - 209
Chap. 11, The Triumphs and Travails of the Jeffersonian Republic pp. 211 – 232
“A Kind of Revolution” (Ch. 5) from Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History of the United States
Small Group Activity: “The Articles of Confederation-The Challenge of Sovereignty” –Students will explain the significance of facts about the AofC and then organize the facts within the categories of Foreign, Domestic, Economic, Political. Each group will then develop a thesis statement concerning why the Aof C failed?
Response to Zinn: Use your knowledge of the U.S. Constitution and The Bill of Rights to support your position for or against Zinn’s statement that “when economic interest is seen behind the political clauses of the Constitution ….the document becomes … the work of certain groups trying to maintain their privileges.”
Graphic Organizer: Evaluate the role of two of the following individuals in promoting American nationalism from 1796 to 1812: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, John Adams
Expanding Maps & Graph reading Skills: Political & economic trends from 1801 – 1815.
Unit IV: America’s Destiny? (1790 – 1850) Days 18 - 21
Students will analyze how territorial and economic expansionism was central to the socio-political debates that arose during the first half of the nineteenth century stemming from the spirit of nationalism that was inspired by the War of 1812. Additionally, this unit will focus on the manner in which the First Industrial Revolution changed the size and social order of America’s pre-industrial cities and towns. Students will examine the way in which the factory system and immigration gave rise to social and religious movements in the first half of the nineteenth century. Additionally, students will continue to look at how territorial expansionism caused greater cleavages between Northerners and Southerners on the issue of slavery. Topics:
Chap. 12, The Second War for Independence & the Upsurge of Nationalism
pp. 233-246; 246-254
Chap. 14, Forging the National Economy pp. 287-318
Chap. 16, The South and the Slavery Controversy, pp. 350-362
Working with documents: “The End of Homespun –The Early Industrial Revolution” –Students will assess primary source documents to evaluate their relative importance in promoting the first Industrial Revolution in the United States.
Small-group Project: “Coming Together –Nationalism Ascendant” –Students will pull together elements of emerging nationalism (from a teacher assigned list) and interpret its significance as a turning point of national thought & action.
Each group will create a series of written responses that address the political, economic & cultural developments from 1800 – 1840
Each group will design an original political cartoon that illustrates a position on domestic issues or foreign policy during the time period
Multiple Choice Test w/ Free Response Day 22
Unit V: Jacksonian America, Reform and the Fight for the ‘Common Man’
Days 23 - 27
During this unit, students will be evaluating the notions of universal manhood suffrage and the emerging reform ideologies of the early 19th century. Students will engage in a variety of small group activities that will shed light on how these issues will drive increasing sectional tensions between the established east and the emerging west as well as the social and political issues that increase the chasm between the North and the South. By the end of the unit student will be well versed in the political battles that defined American politics from the Jacksonian era to the election of 1848.
Second Great Awakening
Charles G. Finney
Alexis De Tocqueville/ Democracy in America
The Election of 1824
Martin Van Buren
Universal White Male Suffrage
Trail of Tears
Reform Movements; Abolitionism, Education, Temperance, Women’s Rights
Seneca Falls Convention
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
William Lloyd Garrison/ The Liberator
Mexican American War
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
American Party/Know -Nothings
Compromise of 1850
Chap. 13 The Rise of Mass Democracy pp. 256-273; 273 – 284
Chap. 15 The Ferment of Reform & Culture pp. 320-345
Chap. 16 The South and Slavery Controversy pp. 362-368
Chap. 17 Manifest Destiny and Legacy, 1841 – 1848 pp. 370-405
Chapter 7, “As Long as Grass Grows or Water Runs” from Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History of the United States
Primary Source Partner Activity –Students will work with a partner to identify one primary source each that explicitly illustrates a major issue during the Jacksonian Era. In class student will construct a 3 to 5 sentence summary of how their primary sources illustrate change over time.
DBQ -“The decision of the Jackson administration to remove the Cherokee Indians to lands west of the Mississippi River in the 1830’s was more a reformulation of the national policy that had been in effect since the 1790’s than a change in policy.” Assess the validity of this generalization with reference to the moral, political, constitutional, and practical concerns that shaped national Indian policy between 1789 and the mid-1830’s.
“Purifying the Nation” –Students will research an assigned antebellum era reformer for homework. They will prepare a one minute presentation for the class that identifies the philosophy of each crusaders, organizations with which they were affiliated, successes and failures of the crusaders during their lifetime, and what value they had to pointing the way to future reform.
Response to Zinn Reading –In an era of rapid territorial expansion and the emergence of reform movements, why do you think Indian Removal did not become an issue in light of how public the U.S. government’s conflict with native peoples was. (1 page)
Free Response Essay (Take Home)
“Analyze the validity of the statement; Abolitionism differed little from other reform movements in its tactics, but the effects of antislavery activism were politically explosive.”
“Westward Expansionism-A Force for Unity or Division”
Independent Student Activity –enlarging the U.S. Map Activity
Triad Activity Sectional Framework Activity-students will adopt a persona in order to evaluate the political, social and economic divide that emerged with the rapid expansion of U.S. territory from 1803 – 1848.
Multiple Choice Test w/ Free Response Day 28
Unit VI: The Civil War Era (1850 -1877) Days 29 - 35
During this unit students will examine the causes of the Civil War and its outcomes throughout the Reconstruction era. The first half of the unit will be an in-depth investigation of political debate surrounding socio-economic issues of slavery in antebellum America. The second half of the unit will examine the reasons why political debate was no longer viable in preventing disunion and violent conflict. Additionally, students will look at the limitations of the war and Reconstruction legislation in reshaping race relations in American society. Topics:
Harriet Beecher Stowe/ Uncle Tom’s
Fugitive Slave Act
John Brown’s Raid
Election of 1860
Establishment of the Confederacy
African American soldiers
Total War (Grant & Sherman)
Appomattox Court House
Andrew Johnson (impeachment)
Civil Rights Act of 1866
13th, 14 15th Amendments
Crop lien system
American Missionary Association
Ku Klux Klan
Election of 1876
Chap. 18, Renewing the Sectional Struggle pp. 390-408
Chap. 19, Drifting Toward Disunion pp. 409-433
Chap. 20, Girding for War: The North & the South, pp. 434-452
Chap. 21, The Furnace of Civil War, pp.453 - 477
Chap. 22, The Ordeal of Reconstruction, pp.479 - 499
Small group project: “Compromise & Conflict –The Road to War” –Students will create a power point presentation to teach standard level students the causes of the Civil War and the critical events of the slavery debate since the Missouri Compromise of 1820.
“By the 1850’s the Constitution, originally framed as an instrument of national unity, had become a source of sectional discord and tension and ultimately contributed to the failure of the union it had created. Using the documents and your knowledge of the period 1850 – 1861, assess the validity of this statement.
Counterfactual History Debate: The South could have won the war if …. vs. The North could not have lost the Civil War.
Multiple Choice Test w/ Free Response Day 36
Unit VII: Forging an Industrial Society (1869 – 1910) Days 37 - 41
This unit will look at how the transformation of land west of the Mississippi, the technology explosion of the Second Industrial Revolution, and the massive wave of immigration in the latter quarter of the nineteenth century brought about great social upheaval in America’s cities. Students will examine how politics in the post-Reconstruction era reconfigured the concept of sectionalism in creating a politically adversarial relationship between rural and urban peoples. Additionally, students will study the manner in which federal government became a large bureaucratic state as an outcome of urban political machines and legislation became the only means by controlling big business. Topics:
Chap. 23, Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age, pp. 504-528
Chap. 24, Industry Comes of Age, pp. 530-556
Chap. 25, America Moves to the City, pp. 558- 592
Write a one paragraph response that explains the change over time in the distribution of the American workforce, 1870 – 1920. (p. 681 txbk)
Seminar on industrialization and big business. Selected Readings from Oliver Zunz, Making America Corporate, 1870 – 1920 (1990); Victoria C. Hattam, Labor Visions and State Power (1993); John Ingham, Iron Barons: A Social Analysis of an Urban Elite (1978).
Take Home Essay
“Analyze the reasons for the emergence of the Populist movement in the late nineteenth century.”
DBQ “In the post-Civil War U.S., corporations grew significantly in number size and influence. Analyze the impact of big business on the economy and politics, and the responses of Americans to these changes. Confine your answer to the period 1870-1900.”
Multiple Choice Test/Free Response Day 42
Mid-Term Examination 40MC & DBQ Week of January 14th Unit VIII: Imperialism, Progressivism, and War Days 43 - 50
From the closing decades of the nineteenth century until the US’s involvement in WWI, progressive reformers in America sought to thwart Social Darwinism, increase political participation in politics, and bring about greater government involvement in regulating business and solving social problems in order to combat the excesses of industrial capitalism and urban growth. During the course of this unit, students will examine the role that American business played in promoting the imperialist ideals of US foreign policy and how it produced the reactionary position of the Progressive movement. Topics:
Chap. 28, Progressivism and the Republican Roosevelt, pp. 656-665; 665-685
Chap. 27, Empire & Expansion, pp.626-640; 640-651
Chap. 29, Wilsonian Progressivism at Home & Abroad, pp. 685-688
Seminar on the Progressive Movement. Selected Readings from Richard Hofstadter, The Age of Reform: From Bryan to FDR (1955); Michael McGerr, The Decline of Popular Politics (1986); Sarah Deutsch, Women and the City, Gender, Space , and Power in Boston, 1870 – 1940 (2000)
Take Home Essay
Multiple Choice Test w/ Free Response Day 51
Unit IX: The Great War, “Normalcy” and the Foundation of the American Century
Days 52 - 55
Out of the world wide conflict of The Great War, the United States of America emerged as a society with competing interests and ideals. The mass culture market and the expanding role of women were tempered with Prohibition, religious fundamentalism, and anti-immigration sentiment. Students will reconsider the image of the Jazz Age and decade of prosperity that is commonly depicted in literature and film with their examination of the economic decline that began in the agricultural market immediatelyfollowing WWI and continued to the crash of 1929. Topics:
Chap. 29, Wilsonian Progressivism at Home & Abroad, pp. 688-693
Chap. 30, The War to End War, pp.696-717
Chap. 31, American Life in the “Roaring Twenties”, pp. 720-745
Chap. 32 The Politics of Boom & Bust, pp.746-760
DBQ –‘It was the strength of the opposition forces of liberal and conservative, rather than ineptitude and stubbornness of President Wilson that led to the Senate defeat of the Treaty of Versailles”
Small Group Activity: “The Long Road to Suffrage” –Students will review the changes over time that eventually led to women’s suffrage and then construct a one paragraph response to an opinion on their assigned period.
Small Group Activity: “Roaring Twenties” –Student groups will create an iMovie to demonstrate their expertise on one of the following areas; politics & gov’t, economics, cultural clashes, diplomacy & foreign affairs, mass culture
Take Home Essay “In what ways did economic conditions and developments in the arts and entertainment help create the reputation of the 1920’s as the Roaring Twenties?
Multiple Choice Test w/ Free Response Day 56
Unit X: The Great Depression, the New Deal & the Shadow of War Days 57 - 59 This unit will primarily focus on Roosevelt and the New Deal. Through lecture and class activities, students will analyze to what degree was the New Deal successful in fostering economic recovery and how the role of government in the lives of its citizens changed during the 1930’s. Additionally students will examine how global effects of WWI in Europe and Asia gave rise to the rise of totalitarianism. Topics:
Buying on margin
Emergency Banking Act of 1933
First New Deal
Good Neighbor Policy
National Recovery Administration
Civil Works Administration
John L. Lewis
Tennessee Valley Authority
Indian Reorganization Act
Second New Deal
Social Security Act
20th, 21st Amendments
Chap. 32 The Politics of Boom & Bust, pp.760-768
Chap. 33 The Great Depression & the New Deal, pp. 770-798
“Causes of the Depression” –Students will rank 11 recognized causes of the Great Depression from strongest factor to weakest and then construct a thesis statement that demonstrates how the three most important causes are related.
Analyzing Documents –Students will analyze documents in order to develop a thesis statement and outline an argument that answers, ”Franklin Roosevelt is commonly thought of as a liberal and President Hoover as a conservative. To what extent are these characterizations valid?”
DBQ -“Analyze the responses of Franklin Roosevelt’s administration to the problems of the Great Depression. How effective were these responses? How did they change the role of the federal government? Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1929 – 1941 to construct your essay.”
Multiple Choice Test w/ Free Response Day 60
Unit XI: From Neutrality to Taking Sides: WWII & Cold War Eras, 1933 – 1949
Days 61 - 65
This unit will begin with the rise of totalitarianism in Europe and Asia in the 1920’s and 1930’s taking a close look at the political and economic systems practiced in these nations compared to that of the US. Students will analyze the causes of WWII as they stemmed from the failures of the Versailles Treaty and the world wide economic depressions during the decades between the wars. Student will also examine how WWII raised America’s international commitments to new heights, especially in the in the years following 1945. Topics:
Chap. 34, Franklin D. Roosevelt & the Shadow of War, pp. 800-820
Chap.35, America in World War II, pp. 821-847
Chap. 36, The Cold War Begins, pp. 852-872
Small Group Activity: “Axis Partners-Clouds of War” –Students will examine FDR’s 1937 “Quarantine Speech” in relationship to another specific international event from 1937 – 1941. Students will work on the skills of recognizing cause and effect relationships and assessing the validity of the following hypothesis: “President Roosevelt’s Quarantine Speech was not a prescribed course of action but a sounding board to elicit public opinion on U.S. intervention in world conflicts.”
Working with Primary Sources: Students will analyze & evaluate the thinking that led to Japanese-American internment policies after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
Small Group Activity: WWII Conferences –(Part I) Students will answer guided questions based on summaries from international conferences and agreements from 1941-1945 in order to form generalizations about causes of the Cold War. (part II) Student groups will debate one another from the position of the Soviet Union or the other European Allies. (Part III) Students will construct a thesis statement assessing the extent to which roots of the Cold War may be found in agreement made at Allied wartime conferences.
Multiple Choice Test w/ Free Response Day 66
Unit XII: Making Modern America (1945 – 1960) Days 67 - 70
During this unit, students will look at how the threat of the spread of communism drove foreign & domestic policy of the United States in the years following WWII until the late 1980’s. The “American dream” that became more attainable for many in the 1950’s and 1960’s was the antithesis of the Communist threat posed by the other super power –the Soviet Union. Lecture and class activities will analyze how increased defense spending and military containment that was once deemed vital for the continued existence of our democratic society would within two decades give way to great divisions in American society. Topics:
Julius & Ethel Rosenberg
Employment Act of 1946
Election of 1948
Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
Montgomery Bus Boycott
Civil Rights Act of 1957
Federal Highway Act of 1956
Battle of Dien Bien Phu
Chap. 36, The Cold War Begins, pp. 872-879
Chap. 37, The Eisenhower Era, pp. 882-908
Take Home Essay
“Compare and contrast United States society in the 1920’s and 1950’s with respect to two of the following:
role of women
Take Home Essay
“Analyze the influence of two of the following in American-Soviet relations in the decade following WWII.”
Communist Revolution in China
Multiple Choice Test w/ Free Response Day 71
Units XIII: US Domestic Agenda & Foreign Policy, from Kennedy to Clinton
In this final unit of the year, students will examine the foundation for the civil rights struggle that was laid with the participation of African-Americans in WWII both militarily and domestically. During a time when US foreign policy was directed towards battling communism, it became increasingly clear that many Americans were still disenfranchised from “democratic” society. Students will also analyze the role that the “baby boom” generation played in shaping domestic issues since the 1960’s, and the origins of the growing mistrust and lack of confidence in government in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Chap. 40, The Resurgence of Conservatism, 966 – 987
Chap. 41, America Confronts the Post-Cold War Era, 989 - 1011
Constructing a Graphic Organizer: “Categorizing the Who, What, When, Where, Why & How of the Vietnam War”
DBQ (In Class) Analyze the changes that occurred during the 1960’s in the goals, strategies, and support of the movement for African-American civil rights. Use the documents and your knowledge of the history of the 1960’s to construct your response.”
Respond to Chap. 21 “Carter-Reagan: The Bipartisan Consensus” from Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History of the United States: 1492 – Present. “ What does Zinn mean when he describes Presidents Carter and Reagan’s administrations as “remain[ing] within the historic political boundaries of the American system.” (1 page)