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Advanced Placement United States History

Saraland High School

Mr. Williamson - Instructor

mwilliamson@saralandboe.org

Syllabus
With the historian it is an article of faith that knowledge of the past is a key to understanding the present.  

Kenneth M. Stampp



COURSE PURPOSE

The Advanced Placement United States History course is a challenging course. It is designed to be the equivalent of a freshman college history course. The emphasis of this class will include mastery of factual knowledge, demonstration of an understanding of historical chronology, use of historical data to support an argument or position, differentiating between historical schools of thought, interpreting primary sources, and effectively using analytical skills of evaluation, cause and effect, and compare and contrast.


This course will be designed around certain themes set out by the AP College Board. These include:

  • Diversity in America

  • Growth of an American identity, demographics, and culture

  • Economic trends in United States History, changes in trade, commerce and technology

  • Environmental issues – the impact of a growing society on the environment

  • Globalization – our relationship to the rest of the world from exploration to today

  • Development of American political institutions on a federal, state and local level, the development of political parties over time and the components of citizenship

  • Social reform movements such as anti-slavery, education, labor, temperance, women’s rights, civil rights, war, public health and government

The class will trace these themes throughout the course and will evaluate how they are linked and how they have brought about changes over time.


NOTE: To receive AP credit for this course, students are required to take the AP US History Exam in the spring. Passing scores will receive college credit.

TEXTBOOK AND SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS

Davidson, James West, Brian DeLay, Christine Leigh Heyrman, Mark H. Lytle, Michael

B. Stoff. Nation of Nations: A Narrative History of the American Republic.

Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2008.


Frohnen, Bruce ed. The American Republic: Primary Sources. Indianapolis:

The Liberty Fund Inc. , 2002.


De Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America. 1840.
Zinn, Howard A. A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present. New York:

Harper Collins, 1980, reprint 2005.


Larsen, Erik. Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that

Changed America. New York: Vintage Books, 2004.
Gaddis, John Lewis. The Cold War: A New History. New York: The Penguin Press,

2005.
Various other textbooks, review books and articles will be available for use by the students.



ORGANIZATION:

The Advanced Placement United States History course will cover United States history as prescribed by the College Board and the state course of study. The class will cover two semesters and will prepare students for the state graduation exam as well as the Advanced Placement exam which is given in the spring of the 11th grade year.

Class organization will include lecture and discussion, group work, projects, daily homework including independent reading, and quizzes. Periodically student essays, critiques, reports, and presentations will be required. Each unit also includes discussion of and/or 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 generations, and how such reevaluations of the past continue to shape the way historians see the world today. Each unit will also include readings from selected primary sources from Nations of Nations and other primary source collections. Students will also complete intermittent map activities to familiarize themselves with United States geography, history and expansion.

Grading Categories and Weights


    • Tests, Quizzes, DBQs, FRQs, Projects 60%

    • Class work, Readings 30%

    • Homework 10%

Tests

Tests will be a combination of objective and essay. Document-based questions will be

given at the end of most units.
Projects

There will be one project for fall and spring semesters. These projects are designed to evaluate each students understanding and application of the course materials.


Quizzes

Periodically, verbal or written quizzes will be given to assure the students’ comprehension and retention of reading assignments as well as classroom lectures and discussions.


Discussion Questions

To direct students’ attention to the major themes of the unit, students will be given certain free response questions. At times, students will be asked to prepare a thesis statement and an essay outline for these questions. Periodically, students will have the opportunity to share their outlines with the rest of the class. Many of the free-response essay questions on the tests will come from these questions.


Analyzing Historical Documents

Occasionally the instructor will assign Document Based Questions (DBQs). These questions teach students to analyze the point of view of the writer and the historical context of the document. Typically DBQs require 30 minutes of document analysis and 60 minutes of writing time. Sometimes DBQs are only assigned as weekend homework.


Comprehensive Class Exam

In accordance with school board policy a comprehensive final exam will be given at the end of the semester.



Unit 1- Colonial America (Approximately 2 to 3 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 1-5

Subtopics:
1. The first civilizations of North America

2. Spanish, English, and French Exploration

3. American Indians

4. Early Chesapeake/ New England growth

5. Evolution of the British Empire

6. Mercantilism

7. Culture/ Awakenings
Themes: American identity, culture, diversity
DBQ: 1993, “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?”
FRQ: To what extent and why did religious toleration increase in the American

colonies during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries? Respond with

reference to THREE individuals, events, or movements in American

social/religious history during the 17th and 18th centuries.


Secondary Sources:

Zinn, Howard. A Peoples’ History of the United States 1492- Present (2005)

The class will read and write a review on the readings.

Students will write an essay comparing their beliefs growing up about the heroes

of exploration such as Christopher Columbus, to what they learn from reading
primary sources.

Students will also hold a debate over the good vs. bad of exploration.

Primary Sources:

Students will view Chesapeake Bay map, Jamestown Settlement map, and

Tobacco Prices chart from 1618-1710.
Unit 2- Revolutionary America (Approximately 2 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 6-7


Subtopics:

1. Seven Years War

2. Stirrings and Revolts

3. Acts/ Boston Tea Party

4. Continental Congress/ Declaration of Independence

5. The war for Independence

6. Articles of Confederation

7. Peace of Paris


Themes: American Diversity, American Identity, Demographic Changes, Politics

and Citizenship


DBQ: 2004, “In What ways did the French and Indian War (1754-63) alter the

political, economic and ideological relations between Britain and its American

colonies?”

FRQ: What effect did the Great Awakening have on American colonists’ decision to declare independence?


Secondary Sources:

John Dickinson. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania (1767)

Each group will look at the Ideological Origin and write a summary to be shared

with the class.

Students will also analyze propaganda used in news and in paintings during the

Revolution.

Primary Sources:

Students will view a map of all the colonies, a chart of imports vs. exports 1768-

1783, and a map of the three phases of the Revolutionary War.
Unit 3- Critical Period and the writing of the Constitution (Approximately 2-3 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 8-9


Subtopics:

1. Philadelphia Convention

2. Federalists/vs Anti-Fedralists

3. Bill of Rights

4. Washington Presidency
Themes: American Identity, Politics and Citizenship
FRQ:

Compare and contrast the presidencies of George Washington and John Adams


Explain the formation of the Federalist and Republican parties during the Early Republic
Primary Sources:

Bill of Rights: Students will analyze this document and evaluate the significance of each amendment and its application.

Students will view a map of the 1796 and 1800 election results.
Unit 4- The Age of Jefferson and the “Era of Good Feelings”

(Approximately 2 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 9-11


Subtopics:

1. Jefferson Presidency (Louisiana Purchase, John Marshall)

2. Madison

3. War of 1812

4. Nationalism/ Expansion

5. Monroe

6. Election of 1824

7. Economic Revolution


Themes: Reform, Politics and Citizenship, Environment, Demographic

Changes, Economic Transformations


DBQ: 1998, “With respect to the federal Constitution, the Jeffersonian

Republicans are usually characterized as strict constructionists who were

opposed to the broad constructionism of the Federalists. To what extent was this

characterization of the two parties accurate during the presidencies of Jefferson

and Madison?”
Primary Sources:

Students will view a map of The Benevolent Empire”, and a chart of economical

growth from 1780-1860.
Unit 5- Sectionalism/ Age of Jackson (Approximately 2 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 12-14


Subtopics:

1. The South

2. The North

3. Westward expansion

4. Jackson Presidency

5. Rise of Mass Politics

6. Removal of the Indian

7. Bank War

8. Economic Revolution

9. Territorial Expansion/ Sectional Crisis


Themes: Politics and Citizenship, Environment, Demographic Changes,

Economic Transformations, American Diversity


DBQ: 1990, “Jacksonian Democrats viewed themselves as guardians of the

United States Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty, and equality of

economic opportunity. To what extent do you agree with the Jacksonians’ view

of themselves?”


Students will hold a mock trial of Andrew Jackson’s Impeachment. Each student

will be put into a different group and use the research to argue their side in the

trial.
Secondary Sources:

Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr. The Age of Jackson (1945).

Students will read the following text to answer questions about the rise of

Jacksonian Democracy.

Students will also analyze Andrew Jackson political cartoon.

Primary Sources:

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835).

Students will read excerpts from this book and answer questions about American life during the Age of Jackson.

Students will view a chart of voter turnouts from 1820-1860, map of 1828, 1832,

and 1836 election results.


Unit 6- Antebellum America (Approximately 2 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 14-15


Subtopics:

1. Reforms crusades

2. Religion

3. Art


4. Cotton Economy

5. The 1850’s


Themes: Environment, Culture, American Identity, reform
Secondary Sources:

Foner, Eric. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican



Party before the Civil War (1970)

Students will use the text to understand the ideas that united the Republicans in

the 1850’s prior to the Civil War. They will write an FRQ about these ideas.
Primary Sources:

Students will view a map of the 1820 Missouri Compromise, chart of southern

population whites’ vs. slaves and free blacks, and a map of southern agriculture.
Unit 7- The Civil War and Reconstruction (Approximately 4 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 16-17


Subtopics:

1. The Impending Crisis

2. Sectional Debate

3. Crisis of the 1850’s

4. The Civil War

5. Reconstruction and the new South


Themes: reform, politics and citizenship, demographic changes, culture,

American identity, American diversity.


DBQ: 1984, “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.”
FRQ:

Was Reconstruction a success or a failure? Students will choose a side and use evidence from lectures and reading to explain their answer.

Primary Sources:

Students will analyze multiple political cartoons from Reconstruction and briefly explain who is the audience, what is the message and what evidence does the reader have to make their interpretations?

Students will view a chart of slave vs. free states population, map of the 1860

railroad lines, chart of the resources in the north vs. the south, chart of soldiers

occupations, and a map of the war strategies (Anaconda Plan). Students will

also view maps of individual battles.


Unit 8- New South and Westward Expansion (Approximately 1 week)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 18


Subtopics:

1. Politics of the new south

2. Southern Economy

3. Western Railroads

4. Western Farmers
Themes: politics and citizenship, demographic changes, culture, American

identity, American diversity.


FRQ:

Following Reconstruction, many southern leaders promoted the idea of a

“New South.” To what extent was this “New South” a reality by the time of the

First World War? In your answer be sure to address TWO of the following.

Economic development

Politics


Race relations
Secondary Sources:

Students will find outside resources to create a newspaper with various topics

relevant to the people relocating to the western frontier.

Primary Sources:

Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” (1893). Students will read this document and answer questions concerning this document and juxtaposed to lectures about the settlement of the West.

Students will view a map of Railroad construction by 1890, map of major cattle

trails, and a map of land uses by 1880.


Unit 9- Industrialization and the Gilded Age (Approximately 3 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 19-21


Subtopics:

1. Industrial Growth

2. Laissez-faire conservatism

3. Rise of urban society

4. Intellectual and cultural movements

5. National politics

6. The Gilded Age
Themes: politics and citizenship, demographic changes, culture, American

diversity, economic transformation.


DBQ: 1979, “To what extent and for what reasons did the policies of the federal

government from 1865 to 1900 violate the principles of laissez-faire?”


DBQ: 1983, “Explain the reasons for agrarian discontent and evaluate the validity

of the farmers’ complaint.”


Secondary Sources:

Erik Larsen, Devil in the White City (2004).

Trachtenberg, Alan. The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the

Gilded Age (1982).

Fink, Leon. Workingman’s Democracy: The Knights of Labor and American



Politics (1983).

Students will use the texts to answer questions about the economic changes that

affected American life during the Gilded Age.
Primary Sources:

The Ocala Platform, The People’s Party Platform, students will evaluate these populist political platforms and use them as a guide to create their own political platform.

Students will view maps of election results by states for the 1880, 1884, 1888,

and 1892 Presidential elections


Unit 10- The Progressive Era (Approximately 2 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 21-22


Subtopics:

1. Foreign Policy 1865-1914

2. Origins of Progressivism

3. Reforms

4. Socialism

5. Black America

6. Roosevelt’s Square Deal

7. Taft


8. Wilson

Themes: politics and citizenship, demographic changes, culture , economic

transformation, reform, globalization.
Secondary Sources:

Erik Larsen, Devil in the White City (2004).


Primary Sources:

Students will view a timeline of reform movements starting with the Second Great

Awakening through the Christian Evangelical Movement.
Unit 11- World War I (Approximately 2 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 23


Subtopics:

1. Problems of Neutrality

2. Mobilization

3. Wilson’s Fourteen Points

4. Post War demobilization
Themes: politics and citizenship, culture , economic transformation, globalization.
DBQ: 1991, “It was the strength of the opposition forces, both liberal and

conservative, rather than the ineptitude and stubbornness of President Wilson

that led to the Senate defeat for the Treaty of Versailles?”
Secondary Sources:

Alabama Virtual Library- students will research from 3 sources on AVL to

complete a project on the World War I. 1 source must be a scholarly article,

while two must be books (e-books). They will compile all their research into a

paper as well as presenting to the class with at least one visual aid.
Primary Sources:

Students will view and create their own map of major battles in WWI. Students

will also view a chart of casualties by countries.
Unit 12- The 20’s and the New Era (Approximately 1 week)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 24


Subtopics:

1. The New Era

2. Republican Governments

3. Economic Development

4. New Culture

5. Conflict of Cultures


Themes: politics and citizenship, culture , economic transformation, reform,

globalization.


FRQ:

Presidential elections between 1928 and 1948 revealed major shifts in political party

loyalties. Analyze both the reasons for these changes and their consequences during

this period.


Secondary Sources:

Lweis, David L. When Harlem was in Vogue (1981).

Students will use the text as well as the internet to research and find works of art

from the Harlem Renaissance. They will make a poster board to present to the

class.
Primary Sources:

Students will view a map of 1920 election results by states.


Unit 13- The Depression and the New Deal (Approximately 2 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 25


Subtopics:

1. Stock Market Crash

2. Economy

3. Hoover

4. New Deal

5. Roosevelt

6. Second New Deal

7. Recession of 1938


Themes: politics and citizenship, culture , economic transformation, globalization,

reform, American diversity, American identity.


DBQ: 2003, “Analyze the responses of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration to

the problems of the Great Depression. How effective were these responses?

How did they change the rold of the federal government”
Secondary Sources:

Alabama Virtual Library- students will research from 3 sources on AVL to

complete a project on the Great Depression in Alabama. All sources must be

scholarly articles. Students will write a two page review on issues in Alabama

during the Depression.
Primary Sources:

Students will create a chart of Government Agencies created during the Great

Depression.
Unit 14- World War II (Approximately 2 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 26


Subtopics:

1. Diplomacy in the 1930’s

2. The Global Crisis

3. America in a world at war

4. Diplomacy

5. Post war atmosphere/ the United Nations


Themes: politics and citizenship, culture, economic transformation, globalization,

reform, American diversity, American identity.


DBQ:1988, “The United States’ decision to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima

was a diplomatic measure calculated to intimidate the Soviet Union in the post-

Second-World-War era rather than a strictly military measure designed to force

Japan’s unconditional surrender. Evaluate this statement.”


Secondary Sources:

Wyman, David S. The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust,



1941-1945.

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143

Students will do research through reading and the Holocaust National Museum

webpage to find a victim of the Holocaust. They will research the life of their

individual and determine whether they were survivors.
Primary Sources:

Students will view and create their own map of major battles in WWII. Students

will also view a chart of casualties by countries.
Unit 15- The Cold War (Approximately 1 week)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 27


Subtopics:

1. Post War adjustments

2. Truman Presidency

3. Taft-Hartley Act

4. Election of 1948

5. Europe and Middle East

6. China and Korea
Themes: politics and citizenship, culture, economic transformation, globalization,

reform, American diversity, American identity.


Secondary Sources:

John Lewis Gaddis, The Cold War: A New History (2005).

May, Elaine T. Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era (1988)

Students will use the texts to answer questions about the Cold War Era and its

effects on America.
Primary Sources:

Students will view a chart of WWII and Cold War Conferences. Students will also

see a map of the division in Berlin.
Unit 16- The 50’s and 60’s (Approximately 3 weeks)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 28-30


Subtopics:

1. McCarthyism

2. Civil Rights Movements

3. American People

4. Space Race

5. Eisenhower Presidency

6. Kennedy Presidency

7. New Domestic Programs

8. Foreign Policy/ Vietnam

9. Nixon Presidency

10.Roe v. Wade

11.Watergate Crisis


Themes: politics and citizenship, culture , economic transformation, globalization,

reform, economic transformations, culture.


DBQ: “Analyze the changes that occurred during the 1960’s in the goals,

strategies, and support of the movement for African American civil rights.”


Secondary Sources:

Gitlin, Todd. The Sixties:Years of Hope, Days of Rage (1993).

Students will use the text as well as outside articles that they will find to better

understand life in the sixties. They will find an adult who was in college during

the sixties and conduct an interview. They will compile their research and

information into a presentation for the class.


Primary Sources:

Students will create the Great Society chart. Students will view maps of Vietnam

and Asia.
Unit 17- The Last 30 Years (Approximately 1 week)

Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 30-32


Subtopics:

1. Conservative Social Agenda

2. Ford and Rockefeller

3. Carter Presidency

4. Reagan Presidency

5. Society today

6. The age of Globalization
Themes: politics and citizenship, culture , economic transformation, globalization,

reform, economic transformations, culture.


DBQ:

Students will create their own DBQ on any topic in the last thirty years.


Secondary Sources:

Herring, George. America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-

1975. Students will use the text as well as outside articles that they will find to

better understand life in the sixties. They will find an adult fought in Vietnam and

conduct an interview. They will compile their research and information into a

presentation for the class.







HOUSEKEEPING NOTES


PARTICIPATION


The key to successful classroom discussion will be engaging and thoughtful participation by members of our class. So that we may have this type of discussion, readings must be completed by the date they are assigned. The lecture portion of this course will not cover all topics, material, and facts, therefore, it is important that you actually read the textbook to provide a full historical context so that you may participate effectively. Each member of class may also be asked to lead part of discussion on certain days.

DISCUSSION


Learning takes different shapes and forms. Sometimes it comes through collaborating with one another and working collectively, and sometimes it is an individual effort. The expression of ideas is not exclusively conveyed through the written word. Sometimes ideas can be more effectively expressed through art, music, or the spoken word. This course values all of these forms of learning and expression. Discussion gives you the opportunity to formulate arguments, voice your own opinions, and engage with your fellow classmates with regard to the concepts and topics covered in lectures, our conversations, and the readings. Each student’s participation and effort will be evaluated every class. Students may also be asked to formulate learning groups and/or do group work.


IMPORTANT ADVICE CONCERNING THE CLASS
During class, please be courteous and keep noise levels to a minimum. So as not to disturb others, please do not pack-up your belongings until the instructor tells you—- this is disruptive. Class will conclude on time, thus there is no need for a disruption.
**Note about e-mail communication: The instructor will reply to e-mail using the

address of the sender. However, to help ease communication, all students

should have a working email address.
** Any student who plagiarizes material will face academic consequences for the course.

If you are in such a position where you have to resort to claiming someone else’s work

as your own, see the instructor before a small problem becomes a major one!

** Free speech, communication of ideas (whether popular or

unpopular), discussion and respectful intellectual engagement

is encouraged and expected. This is called academic freedom.


** Comments, concerns, or suggestions about the course are

welcome. If you are encountering difficulties or problems,

please speak to the instructor.

A NOTE ON GRADES


Grades are wonderful when we are doing well in class and we are getting A’s. On the other hand, when things aren’t going as well, it’s a different story. When students are focused on the end product of “THE GRADE,” students aren’t as focused on learning, developing critical thinking skills, and thinking about the historical and contemporary issues at hand. This course attempts to foster such skills. In order to achieve this goal, students will receive extensive comments on all assignments. The instructor will maintain qualitative notes evaluating each piece of work a student submits. Each student’s written and verbal performance, level of effort, level of attention paid in class, and participation will be evaluated.
STATEMENT ON PLAGARISM AND ACADEMIC HONESTY

Saraland High School is committed to the fundamental value of academic honesty. Plagiarism is defined as one form of academic misconduct which is "subject to investigation and disciplinary action through appropriate school procedures." Plagiarism is using somebody else's ideas and/or words in your writing without correctly identifying the sources. As one resource for helping you avoid plagiarism, your written work in this class may be submitted to Turnitin.com, or a similar detection method, for an evaluation of the originality of your ideas and proper use and attribution of sources. Assignments submitted to Turnitin.com will be included as source documents in a restricted access database solely for the purpose of detecting possible plagiarism of such documents. As part of this process, you may be required to submit electronic as well as hard copies of your writing. By taking this course, you agree that all assignments may be subject to some form of originality review. A paper not submitted according to procedures and format set by the instructor may be penalized or may not be accepted at all.



As a member of AP U.S. History, you are held to the following agreement:
I have read the syllabus and understand the format of the class, the requirements regarding written work and participation, and the methods of evaluation for this course, AP U.S. HY. I also promise to uphold academic integrity and honesty and am aware of the possible consequences for engaging in academic dishonesty.

By signing this I agree to the above statement.


________________________________________________________________________


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