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
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,
Various other textbooks, review books and articles will be available for use by the students.
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%
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.
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.
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)
relevant to the people relocating to the western frontier.
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
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.”
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
Students will use the texts to answer questions about the economic changes that
affected American life during the Gilded Age.
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
1. Foreign Policy 1865-1914
2. Origins of Progressivism
5. Black America
6. Roosevelt’s Square Deal
Themes: politics and citizenship, demographic changes, culture , economic
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.”
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.
Students will create the Great Society chart. Students will view maps of Vietnam
Unit 17- The Last 30 Years (Approximately 1 week)
Reading: Nations of Nations, Chapter 30-32
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.
Students will create their own DBQ on any topic in the last thirty years.
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.
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.
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.