Ap us history Information and Summer Assignments 2014-2015 Contact Information

Download 43.92 Kb.
Size43.92 Kb.
AP US History Information and Summer Assignments


Contact Information

If you have any questions related to the summer assignment shoot me an email. mailto:b17gmike@yahoo.com

Also, you can go ahead and sign up as a subscriber on our class website


we will also be using an online quiz/testing website but I will have to set that up for the coming school year once we have rosters in place. But if you want to at least look it over it is

Information about the Coming Year

For the first time in many years the AP US History course has changed format and you will be the first class to experience this new version of the class and exam. The new test will focus on demonstration new skills as well as basic information about American History. You will be required to demonstrate your abilities in the history skills below:

Chronological Reasoning

a. Historical Causation: This is basically how and why events transpire in the historical process. In this process you follow a chain of events to understand important results.

b. Patterns of Continuity and Change over Time: As the name implies historians are not always looking for sudden and sweeping changes but also how and why history has not changed. What issues have not changed over time.
c. Periodization: This is related to how historians “chunk” periods into workable themes. For example, we work with terms such as the Era of Good Feelings. You would need to know the causation of why this came about, what aspects of the period saw changes and what things stayed the same. But of course, you also need to know when something occurred (in this case 1816-1824).
Comparison and Contextualization

a. Comparison: Historians like everyone else build their understanding of events based largely upon their relationship to other events. For example, in the 19th century there was a movement called Populism that eventually died out. But a new movement called Progressivism replaced it. Both movements could be compared because theyr shared many common themes.

b. Contextualization: While American History is certainly shorter than other histories, one still has to understand context related to other events. This is an especially important skill when it comes to understanding visual and written primary sources. Usually we look at the context in either “long term” or “short term events.” For example putting goods on a boat and sailing them from Memphis to St. Louis sounds easy enough. We understand this in context of our time of powered travel. But flash back to 1810 and this isn’t so easy sailing against the current of the mighty Mississippi River having nothing but paddles!
Crafting Historical Arguments from Historical Evidence

a. Historical Argumentation: This is an important aspect of the historical process. You and I might view an event from often radically different positions. Our interpretation of what just happened might be shaped by numerous previous experiences. We will examine how and why historians believe that events happened and these arguments are, in many ways, just as important to learn as the history itself.

b. Use of Relevant Historical Evidence: This is related to the use of sources to build historical arguments and also to understand the source’s reliability. Primary sources are usually the strongest and most reliable evidence (but there are exceptions). We will spend much time examining written primary and secondary sources and judging their significance, tone, bias, and intended purposes. This becomes an important skill in writing the DBQ essay.
Historical Interpretation and Synthesis

a. Interpretation: Closely linked to the above idea is the notion of understanding the point of view of a source. You will have to write a DBQ essay this year based upon primary and secondary source documents where you will have to analyze the sources for certain points of view.

b. Synthesis: This is really the process of writing essays based upon all of the above skills. In some ways this is a form of comparison usually various skills and background. In some cases, your arguments must come from various realms of history. The Depression we know was an economic event but it had social, political, and cultural effects.

Another major change for the coming year is that now the information for the class (and the AP exam itself) will revolve around 5 key themes of history. These themes have associated objectives that will form the basis of most of our essays this year. The themes are also based upon identified time frames. These themes are found below:



Power and Politics


Summer Research


Your assignment for this summer is three-fold. The first objective is to examine the period of early American History long before there was even the concept of a United States at all. This will involve you doing a little research based upon the questions given below. These questions examine three cultures that came together to create a common American culture (African, European, and Native-American). The intent is to provide a foundation for latter discussion and to allow us to move ahead so that when the 1st semester commences we can start a deeper examination of colonial America.

The second objective is to get a head start on the colonial period of U.S. History. This is the time frame that is often featured on the AP US exam but was once frequently overlooked. In the new AP US redesigned course, it will now be more important for the exam materials. Our primary objective is to establish some background on Spanish, French, and Dutch (and a couple of Portuguese dudes) colonial efforts. We will start the year 1st week of the school year with the more important and successful English colonization of North America. The matrix
The third objective is to read one of the books listed below and to write a critical book review (instructions below). It is important that you not put this assignment off until the last minute Together the guided reading/research and the book review constitute TWO TEST GRADES FOR THE 1ST Quarter. In addition, there may be an exit test of some type to gauge your understanding of the Pre-Columbian to early colonization period.
1. The vast majority of African-Americans today can trace their ancestry back to sub-

Saharan Africa (also known as Senegambia). What modern day nations constitute the

Senegambia region today? Provide a brief geographical description of the region based

upon the following criteria: type of land, major rivers, climate, and other prominent

geographical features.
2. Powerful African empires once controlled Senegambia and West Africa. Name at least

THREE of these empires and any prominent emperors from the 13th to 16th centuries.

3. Examine in some detail the nature of religious beliefs and practices among the

Senegambians Your discussion should include types of deities, the role (if any) of

emperors, religious leaders, and a word or two about eschatology. What impact did the

the arrival of Islam have upon the people and culture of sub-Saharan Africa?

4. Provide a general discussion of African society (obviously, this will vary from

group to group but there are a few comparisons). Your discussion should include the

following: social hierarchy, gender roles, and education. What was the African view

of property and land ownership?

5. What factors combined to make West Africa the primary source of slaves that came to

Western Hemisphere?

II. Native-America (This will generally be confined to a discussion of North American tribes)

1. Historians trace the lineage of most Native Americans from Asia (particularly

Siberia). Explain the origins of this theory and what factors may have driven this

early wave of immigration?
2. Among tribes in North America geographic location often equated to levels of

advancement. What factors may account for this trend?

3. In North America, the Anasazi Pueblo were some one of the most highly advanced

tribes. What characteristics point to this level of advancement (You might look at

architecture, farming techniques, trade, and social factors)?
4. The religious beliefs of Native-Americans resembled those of many non-Muslim

Africans. Though the beliefs varied among tribes and regions there are many

comparisons. Examine native beliefs paying attention to the following: deities, rites

and customs, and religious leaders.

5. The tribes in the Mid-south are generally classified as Mississippian or “mound

builders.” What were the purposes for these often very large mounds?

6. Cahokia, in southwest Illinois was a powerful empire and the largest urban complex

in North America (not surpassed until 18th century Philadelphia). It was the closest

resemblance to European empires of the 18th century to be found in North America.

However, when the Europeans arrived found it, Cahokia had long since been

abandoned. What are some of the theories that could account for its demise?
7. It was once believed that native tribes were very localized, rarely ever venturing

beyond clearly defined areas. We now know that many tribes had extensive trade

networks. What evidence supports this fact?
8. We tend to think of the political designation of “chief” as being a powerful leader.

However, this is not always true. In which types of tribes were chiefs not so

powerful? Provide a general discussion of native societies. Provide information about social

structures, gender roles, and views of property ownership?

III. Europe in the late 15th and 16th centuries (This will generally be confined to Western Europe)
1. What impact did the scientific revolution have upon sailing and maritime


2. Why did the rise of nation-states have an impact upon exploration beyond

Western Europe?

3. What was the enclosure movement in England and why will this have an impact

Later colonization in the New World?

4. What religious upheavals occurred in the 16th century and would having a lasting

impact upon migration patterns? What was primogeniture and why will this have an impact upon later migration?

5. Examine the rise of Puritanism in England and, why this will have an impact on later

migration to the New World.

6. What maritime powers were beginning to explore and colonize the Western

Hemisphere by the 16th century?

7. What motives did the following powers have in exploring and colonizing in the

New World: Portugal, Spain, France, and the Netherlands?

8. Racism and slavery are as old as the human race. But, what was different about the

Transatlantic slave system that developed in the 16th century? What European

Powers developed the slave trade? What factors combined to make West Africa the primary source of

slaves in the Western Hemisphere?



The books that we will read this summer are Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis (ISBN 0375405445) or 1776 by David McCullough (978-0743226721). Both books examine the lives of some of the early founders of the republic.

1. Typed paper 4 pages minimum, double-spaced, 12 font
2. Discuss Ellis’ or McCullough’s examination of the central figures in the book.
3. Which characters did you like the most and which the least? Explain your reasoning.
4. This review is due within one week of start of the 1st semester
On the matrix below, ID and Study the key people and terms. This needs to have some good detail. You will have a quiz on this during the first couple of weeks of school. So be prepared!!!!

Christopher Columbus

Vasco Nunez de Balboa

Juan Ponce de Leon

Hernando Cortez


Spanish Armada defeat 1588 (effects)

Colombian Exchange

Atahualpa and Incas

Montezuma and Aztecs

Francisco Pizarro

Prince Henry the Navigator

Vasco da Gama

Triangular Trade

Jacques Cartier

Robert de la Salle

Marquette and Joilet

Samuel de Champlain

Quebec and Montreal

Couriers des bois

Pedro Alvares Cabra

Giovanni Verrazano

Joint Stock Company

Treaty of Tordesillas


Mestizos and mulattos

indentured servitude

New Netherlands (New Amsterdam)

Iroquois Confederation

Headright system

Yeoman and


slave codes

Peter Stuyvesant

Franchise (political)

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page