Ap us history Course Syllabus

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AP US History Course Syllabus
Course Overview

This course will attempt to provide the student with a classroom experience at the college level. It is also the aim of this course to prepare the student to master the AP Exam. The course will emphasize document interpretation, compiling a factual understanding of US History, and the writing of essays. This course will explore many topics. They will include but are not limited to: Exploration, Colonial Life in America, the Revolutionary War, the Constitution, Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy, Manifest Destiny, the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, the Progressive Era, WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, The Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, The Great Society, Vietnam, and Globalization. The course will also fulfill the requirement for US history for high school graduation.

This course will also explore many themes that are mandated by the College Board for a thorough understanding of US History. These themes are as follows: American diversity, American identity, American culture, demographic trends, economic trends, environmental issues, political institutions, and components of citizenship, role s of religion, social reforms, history of slavery, war and diplomacy, and the role of the US in a global arena. This course will attempt to show the interconnection of these themes as we move throughout the course.

To achieve these objectives a variety of activities will be utilized. Chapter quizzes will be administered as well Unit Tests. Some units will also require the students to write a document based essay as well as a free response essay chosen by the instructor. Each student will also be required to keep a notebook throughout the year. This notebook will be used by the students to discuss how each of the major themes are integrated into each chapter we study. Finally, each chapter will be supplemented by using the AP Exam prep guide listed in the resource section of this syllabus.

All Students enrolled in this course will be required to take the AP Exam. The cost will be approximately $85.
Each unit will also encourage students to approach history from an historian’s prospective (ex. How has history changed or remained the same or what is the historical significance of an event?). This will be accomplished through discussion and free response questions.


40% Unit Tests

20% DBQ essays

20% Chapter Assignments

20% Quizzes
1. Survey text: You are responsible for reading and studying the survey text by Brinkley. There will be a study guide and calendar located on the web page at the beginning of each unit to assist in understanding the text material and following the schedule for reading and daily activities as well as quiz and test dates. While some of the text will be discussed in detail, much of it will be covered through independent learning. Approximately 65% of the multiple-choice questions on the unit tests will come directly from the text assignment.

Unit reading quizzes consisting of 10-15 questions based on the text and the study guide will be given to encourage students to stay abreast of reading assignments. These quizzes will be daily grades and could be either multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank.

2. Supplemental readings: You will be given primary and secondary reading materials (essays, articles, documents, etc.) within each unit that will deal with an organizing concept that will be emphasized on the unit writing assignments. The materials are to be read and eventually used to help construct and defend a thesis within a timed written essay. These supplemental reading assignments will take the form of individual reading and response to questions, group assignments and seminar-type or group discussions. Also you will be required to write brief essays taking a position on the “Where Historians Disagree” series defending your position.

3. Notes: Good note-taking skills are essential in an A.P. class. You are required to take notes on lectures and discussions and I recommend a spiral notebook for that purpose.

4. Research: Research is a significant part of this college level course. Use of a college library and primary sources in original research will be expected.

Textbook and Other Resources

Alan Brinkley. American History: A Survey. 12th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2007

Primary Source Investigator CD Rom. Boston, Mass: McGraw Hill Companies, Inc., 2007.
Henretta, James A., Brody, David, Dumenil, Lynn. Documents to Accompany America’s History Sixth Edition. Boston, Mass: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2008
Course Schedule

Reading of required text and documents are required to be completed before they discussed in class. The instructor may test periodically to assess reading comprehension. Students will not only be responsible for reading, but for analyzing and interpreting the reading assignments as well, to facilitate in depth classroom discussions of the material.

UNIT 1: Founding of the Colonies

Chapter 1 (pp 4-31)



America Before Colombus (p4)

Where Historians Disagree (pp 8-9)

Europe Looks Westward (p 9)

The Arrival of the English (p23)

Chapter 2 (pp 32-62)


The Early Chesapeake

The Growth of New England

The Restoration Colonies

Borderlands and Middle Grounds

The Evolution of the British Empire
PPT: How to do the DBQ
UNIT 2: Early Colonial Society

Chapter 3



The Colonial Population (p66)

Where Historians Disagree (p 72)

The Colonial Economies (p 78)

Patterns of Society (p 83)

Where Historians Disagree (p89)

Awakenings and Enlightenment (p 90)

UNIT 3: The Empire in Transition

Chapter 4


Loosen Ties (p 100)


The Struggle for the Continent (103)

The New Imperialism (107)

Stirrings of Revolt (113)

Cooperation and War (121)

UNIT 4: The American Revolution

Chapter 5



The States United (p128)

Where Historians Disagree (p130)

The War for Independence (p133)

War and Society (p143)

The Creation of State Governments (p149)

The Search for a National Government (p151)

DBQ: American Revolution
UNIT 5: The Constitution and the New Republic

Chapter 6


Framing a New Government (p160)


Where Historians Disagree (p164)

Federalists and Republicans (p168)

Establishing a National Sovereignty (p172)

The Downfall of the Federalists (p174)

UNIT 6: The Jeffersonian Era

Chapter 7-8


Chapter 7


The Rise of Cultural Nationalism (p182)

The Stirrings of Industrialism (p188)

Jefferson the President (p193)

Doubling the National Domain (p200)

Expansion and War (p204)

The War of 1812 (p209)

Chapter 8

A Growing Economy (p214)

Expanding Westward (p219)

The Era of Good Feelings (p222)

Sectionalism and Nationalism (p224)

The Revival of Opposition (p228)
UNIT 7: Jacksonian Democracy

Chapters 9



The Rise of Mass Politics (p234)

Our Federal Union (p238)

The Removal of the Indians (p242)

Jackson and the Bank War (p246)

The Changing Face of American Politics (p249)

UNIT 8: America’s Economic Revolution

Chapter 10



The Changing American Population (p260)

Transportation, Communications, and Technology (p265)

Commerce and Industry (p271)

Men and Women at Work (p274)

Patterns of Industrial Society (p279)

The Agricultural (p288)

UNIT 9: Cotton, Slavery, and The Old South

Chapters 11



The Cotton Economy (p292)

White Society in the South (p298)

Slavery: The Peculiar Institution (p303)

The Culture of Slavery (p310)

UNIT 10: Antebellum Culture and Reform

Chapter 12


The Romantic Impulse (p316)

Remaking Society (p322)

The Crusade Against Slavery (p330)

UNIT 11: The Impending Crisis

Chapter 13



Looking Westward (p338)

Expansion and War (p346)

The Sectional Debate (p 351)

The Crisis of the 1850’s (p355)

UNIT 12: The Civil War

Chapter 14


The Secession Crisis (p368)


The Mobilization of the North (p371)

Where Historians Disagree (p377)

The Mobilization of the South (p379)

Strategy and Diplomacy (p383)

The Course of Battle (p388)

UNIT 13: Reconstruction and the New South

Chapter 15



The Problems of Peacemaking (p402)

Radical Reconstruction (p406)

The South in Reconstruction (p409)

The Grant Administration (p414)

The Abandonment of Reconstruction (p416)

The New South (p421)

DBQ: Slavery

UNIT 14: The Conquest of the Far West

Chapter 16



The Societies of the Far West (p434)

The Changing Western Economy (p442)

The Romance of the West (p447)

The Dispersal of Tribes (p453)

The Rise and Decline of the Western Farmer (p457)
UNIT 15: Industrial Supremacy

Chapter 17



Sources of Industrial Growth (p464)

Capitalism and Critics (p472)

Industrial Workers in the New Economy (p477)
Free Response Essay: Robber Barons v Captains of Industry
UNIT 16: The Age of the City

Chapter 18



The Urbanization of America (p490)

The Urban Landscape (p497)

Strains of Urban Life (p501)

The Rise of Mass Consumption (p504)

Leisure in the Consumer Society (p506)

High Culture in the Age of the City (p513)

UNIT 17: From Stalemate to Crisis

Chapter 19



The Politics of Equilibrium (p522)

The Agrarian Revolt (p527)

The Crisis of the 1890’s (p533)

A Cross of Gold (p537)

UNIT 18: The Imperial Republic

Chapter 20



Stirrings of Imperialism (p544)

War With Spain (p549)

The Republic as Empire (p558)
UNIT 19: Rise of Progressivism

Chapter 21-22



The Progressive Impulse (p566)

Women and Reform (p572)

The Assault on the Parties (p577)

Sources of Progressive Reform (p581)

Crusade for Social Order and Reform (p584)

Challenging the Capitalist Order (p587)

TR and the Modern Presidency (p594)

The Troubled Succession (p598)

Wilson and the New Freedom (p601)

The Big Stick (p604)

UNIT 20: America and the Great War

Chapter 23



The Road to War (p614)

War Without Stint (p616)

The War and American Society (p621)

The Search for Social Unity (p624)

The Search for a New World Order (p628)

A Society in Turmoil (p632)

UNIT 21: The New Era

Chapter 24



The New Economy (p642)

The New Culture (p647)

A Conflict of Cultures (p657)

Republican Government (p661)

UNIT 22: The Great Depression

Chapters 25-26


The Coming of the Great Depression (p668)

The American People in Hard Times (672)

The Depression and American Culture (p678)

The Unhappy Presidency of Herbert Hoover (p685)

Launching the New Deal (p694)

The New Deal in Transition (p699)

The New Deal in Disarray (p707)

Limits and Legacies of the New Deal (p709)

Chapter 27-28



The Diplomacy of the New Era (p720)

Isolationism and Internationalism (p723)

From Neutrality to intervention (p728)

War on Two Fronts (p740)

The American People in Wartime (p743)

The Defeat of the Axis (p756)

Free Response Essay: TBA
UNIT 24: The Cold War

Chapter 29



Origins of the Cold War (p768)

The Collapse of Peace (p770)

American Society and Politics (p775)

The Korean War (p779)

The Crusade Against Subversion (p782)
DBQ: Cold War

UNIT 25: The Affluent Society

Chapter 30



The Economic Miracle (p790)

The Explosion of Science and Technology (p793)

People of Plenty (p798)

The Other America (p807)

The Rise of Civil Rights (p809)

Eisenhower Republicanism (p812)

Eisenhower, Dulles, and the Cold War (p813)
UNIT 26: Civil Rights, Vietnam, and Liberalism

Chapter 31



Expanding the Liberal State (p822)

The Battle for Racial Equality (p826)

Flexible Response (p832)

The Agony of Vietnam (p834)

The Traumas of 1968 (p843)
UNIT 27: The Crisis of Authority

Chapter 32



The Youth Culture (p852)

The Mobilization of Minorities (p 857)

The New Feminism (p863)

Environmentalism in a Turbulent Society (p866)

Nixon, Kissinger, and the War (p869)

Nixon, Kissinger, and the World (p873)

Politics and Economics Under Nixon (p874)

The Watergate Crisis (p879)

UNIT 28: From the Age of Limits to the Age of Reagan

Chapter 33



Politics and Diplomacy After Water Gate (p886)

The Rise of the New American Right (p89)

The Reagan Revolution (p895)

America and the Waning of the Cold War (p901)

UNIT 29: The Age of Globalization

Chapter 34


A Resurgence of Partisanship (p910)

The Economic Boom (p916)

Science and Technology in the Economy (p19)

A Changing Society (p922)

A Contested Culture (p927)

The Perils of Globalization (p933)

The War on Terrorism (p936)

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