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Keep this syllabus in your notebook AT ALL TIMES!

Ms. McIlroy

Office Hours (Rm. 201): Tuesdays 3:30 – 4:30 pm
AP United States History

Gertz-Ressler High School

2009 - 2010
“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you’re likely to see.”-Winston Churchill
Course Overview

Welcome to Advanced Placement United States History, or APUSH, for short. Due to your strong performance in World History last year you have been offered the opportunity to enroll in a college-level course that will both test your abilities and challenge your will to excel at a higher level. This class is difficult. It requires you to learn a great amount of history that covers events and people over a period of more than 500 years. It will not only demand you to read, write and think critically, but stay organized, proactive, and driven in order to succeed. It is important to emphasize that this class moves at a fast pace in order to cover as much material as can be expected on the AP exam at the end of the year. Don’t worry, this course will provide you with the skills and methods needed to make the most of class time, but given your ambition to enroll in this course and skills already shown, I expect you to be able to keep pace and do the work. This course begins in the pre-Columbian societies and will conclude with terrorism in 2001. Students will learn to identify and analyze social, cultural, political, economic, religious, and technological changes that have occurred over time.


Each student will need:

  • 3” three ring binder with 5 tabs

  • spiral notebook exclusively for U.S. History.


Students’ grades will be based on the following:

  • Weekly Quizzes -10%

  • Written Assignments (Including Notes, Essays, One-pagers and Vocabulary) – 35%

  • Tests -35%

  • Final Exam20%

*Attendance and participation are critical to success in this class. Students must attend regularly in order to keep up with the material and receive participation credit.
Students will be required to read at least 50 pages per week in AP U.S. History. The reading is mandatory, and there will be a quiz each week. We will work in class on strategies that aid in students’ depth of understanding. Students will be asked to complete Chapter Study Guides for each chapter, and will use those, along with class notes, to aid them in their studies. At the time of each unit test, students will turn in a Unit Portfolio containing chapter study guides, vocabulary, class notes, and additional assignments.
Assigned Texts (there will be additional readings):

Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas Bailey. The American Pageant. 13th ed. Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2006.

Hofstadter, Richard. The American Political Tradition And The Men Who Made It. New York: Knopf, Inc.,1948

Unit One: Colonization (3 weeks) Chapters 2-5
Reading Week 1 (8/31 – 9/4):

  • Read Chapters 2 & 3 from Bailey, Cohen & Kennedy, American Pageant, The Planting of English America and Settling the Northern Colonies

Reading Week 2 (9/7 – 9/11):

  • Read Chapters 4 & 5, American Pageant, American Life in the Seventeenth Century, Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution, and

Reading Week 3 (9/14 – 9/18):

  • Read American Political Tradition: Introduction

Unit Test 1/Colonial Era (9/18): Multiple Choice
Unit Two: Road to Revolution (2 weeks) Chapters 6 – 7
Reading Week 4 (9/21 – 9/25)

  • Read Chapters 6 & 7, American Pageant, The Duel for North America and The Road to Revolution

Reading Week 5 (9/28 -10/2)

  • Read Chapter 1, American Political Tradition, The Founding Fathers: An Age of Realism

Unit Test/Road to Revolution (10/2): MC and FRQ
Unit Three: Revolutionary America (2 weeks) Chapters 8 - 10
Reading Week 6 (10/5 – 10/9):

  • Read Chapter 8, American Pageant, America Secedes from the Empire

  • Chapter 9 in American Pageant, The Confederation and the Constitution

Reading Week 7 (10/12 – 10/16):

  • Chapter 2, American Political Tradition, Thomas Jefferson: Aristocrat as Democrat

  • Chapter 10 in American Pageant, Launching the New Ship of State

Unit Test: Revolutionary Era (10/16): DBQ with question given in advance
Unit Four: Election of 1800 through Monroe Doctrine (2 weeks) Chapters 11 - 12
Reading Week 8 (10/19 – 10/23):

  • Chapter 11 in American Pageant, The Triumphs and Travails of the Jeffersonian Republic

  • Missouri Compromise Assignment – read text of document. In groups, students should then write persuasive pieces for partisan newspapers in support of or in opposition to this legislation. Make sure they use relevant arguments/rhetoric/politics of the day to persuade. Assign which side each group is to argue.

Reading Week 9 (10/26 – 10/30):

  • Read Chapter 12 in American Pageant, The Second War for Independence and the Upsurge of Nationalism

  • Marbury v. Madison text and analysis

Unit Test: Election of 1800 through Monroe Doctrine (10/30): Multiple Choice and FRQ

Unit Five: Jacksonian Democracy and Westward Expansion (3 weeks) Chapters 13 - 15
Reading Week 10 (10/26 – 10/30):

  • Read Chapter 13, 14 in American Pageant, The Rise of a Mass Democracy, Forging the National Economy

Reading Week 11 (11/9 – 11/13):

  • Read Chapter 15 in American Pageant, The Ferment of Reform and Culture

  • Chapter 3: Andrew Jackson and the Rise of Liberal Capitalism – from the American Political Tradition

Reading Week 12

  • Review reading (chapters 13 – 15)

Unit Test: Jacksonian Democracy (11/18): DBQ test – In-Class Essay with topic given in advance
Unit Six: Manifest Destiny/Sectional Struggle (2 Weeks) Chapters 16 – 18
Reading Week 13 (11/16 – 11/20):

  • Read Chapter 16, 17 American Pageant, The South and the Slavery Controversy, Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy

Reading Week 14 (11/23 – 11/27):

Unit Test: Manifest Destiny/Sectional Struggle (12/4): MC and DBQ
Unit Seven: Civil War/Reconstruction (3 Weeks) Chapters 19 - 22
Reading Week 15 (11/30 – 12/4):

  • Chapter 19 from American Pageant, Drifting Toward Disunion

  • Chapter 5: Abraham Lincoln and the Self-Made Myth – from the American Political Tradition

Reading Week 16 (12/7 – 12/11):

  • Chapter 20, 21 from American Pageant, Girding for War, The Furnace of the Civil War

Reading Week 17 (12/14 – 12/18)

  • Chapter 22 from American Pageant, The Ordeal of Reconstruction

  • APT Chapter 5 questions due (12/18)

Unit Test: Secession/Civil War (12/18): MC and FRQ
WINTER BREAK (12/21 – 1/1) Weeks 18-19

Read Chapter 23 in American Pageant

Unit Eight: The Gilded Age (2 weeks) Chapters 23 - 26
Reading Week 20 (1/4-1/8):

  • Chapter 24, American Pageant, Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age

  • DVD: The Homestead Strike

Reading Week 21 (1/11 – 1/15):

  • Chapter 25, American Pageant,

  • Chapter 26, American Pageant,

  • Primary sources: Chief Joseph, Helen Jackson, Joseph Turner


Final Exam: FRQ, DBQ and MC on Friday, January 22, 2010

Unit One: Imperialism/Progressivism/WWI (1890-1915) (3 weeks) Chapters 27 - 30

Reading Week 1 (1/25 – 1/29):

  • Chapter 27, American Pageant, The Burdens of Empire

Reading Week 2 (2/1 – 2/5):

  • Chapter 28, 29 American Pageant, Progressivism and the Republican Roosevelt

  • The Jungle excerpts

Reading Week 3 (2/8 – 2/12):

  • Chapter 30, American Pageant, The War to End War

  • DVD: Birth of a Nation

In-class practice essays, timed, released AP Exam

Unit 1 Test (2/12): DBQ
Unit Two: Roaring 20s/Great Crash/ (2 weeks) Chapters 31 - 32
Reading Week 4 (2/15 – 2/19):

  • Chapter 31, American Pageant, American Life in the Roaring Twenties

Reading Week 5 (2/22 – 2/26):

  • Chapter 32, American Pageant , The Depression Descends

  • Chapter 11, American Political Tradition, Herbert Hoover and the Crisis of American Individualism

  • DVD: Seabiscuit

Unit Three: FDR: Great Depression/The New Deal and WWII (2 weeks) Chapters 33 - 35
Reading Week 6 (3/1 – 3/5):

  • Chapter 33, American Pageant, The Great Depression and the New Deal

  • Chapter 34, American Pageant, FDR and the Shadow of War

Reading Week 7 (3/8 – 3/12):

  • Chapter 35, American Pageant, America in World War II

  • Chapter 11, APT questions due

Units 2 & 3 Test (3/12): Multiple Choice/DBQ
Unit Four: The Cold War (2 weeks) Chapters 36 - 37
Reading Week 8 (3/15 – 3/19):

  • Chapter 36, American Pageant, the Cold War Begins

  • DVD: Good Night and Good Luck

  • Primary Source Documents from American Spirit:

Reading Week 9 (3/22 – 3/26):

  • Chapter 37, American Pageant, The Eisenhower Era

Unit 4 Test (3/26): MC/FRQ
Unit Five: The Sixties and Seventies (2 weeks) Chapters 38 - 39
Reading Week 10 (4/5 – 4/9):

  • Chapters 38 and 39, American Pageant, The Stormy Sixties, The Stalemated Seventies

Reading Week 11 (4/12 – 4/16):

DVD: Dear America

  • Primary Source Documents from American Spirit: Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, MLK’s I Have a Dream; George Wallace, Lyndon Johnson and others

Unit 5 Test (4/16): Multiple Choice

Unit Six: The Eighties to the Present (1 week) Chapters 40 - 41
Reading Week 12 (4/19 – 4/23):

  • Chapters 40 & 41, American Pageant, The Resurgence of Conservatism and America Confronts the Post Cold War Era

Prepare for AP U.S. History Exam (2 weeks) (4/26 – 5/7)
AP U.S. History Exam: Friday, May 7, 2010
(*Readings Subject to Change)


  • Chapter Study Guides – 5 pts (due each week/chapter)

You may select whichever of the following formats works best for you. Chapter study guides will be stamped on Fridays, but turned in with the unit portfolio. Please pay close attention to guidelines.

1. Questions (5 pts)

2. Clone the Author (5 pts)

  • You must formulate and answer an essential question

  • You must copy 15 key quotes from the text

  • You must explain what each quote means in your own words

  • You must explain the significance of each quote to the essential question

3. Bullet points (5 pts)

  • You must formulate and answer an essential question

  • You must provide two bullet points of information from each red heading in the chapter

4. Synopsis (5 pts)

  • You must formulate and answer an essential question

  • You must provide a 2-3 sentence synopsis of each red heading in the chapter

  • Chapter Notes - 5 pts (due each week/chapter)

In addition to completing the Chapter Study Guides, you will need to complete, in your notes, a synopsis of the five key points from your readings. I will be checking your notes and stamping them – only completed assignments will receive credit. Scores will be part of your overall notes grade. The format you should use is below:

KEY POINT #1: The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 united the English and also allowed the English to dominate the Atlantic Ocean. (p.26)
MY THOUGHTS/QUESTIONS: Why were England and Spain battling against each other? Why was it important that England came to dominate the Atlantic Ocean?
SIGNIFICANCE: After the Protestant Reformation, Protestantism became the main religion in England and England’s rivalry with Catholic Spain intensified. Philip II of Spain sent his “Invincible Armada” to invade England in 1588. After the Spanish Armada was crushingly defeated by the English sea dogs, England now dominated the Atlantic Ocean, leading the English to take control of colonizing the new world.

  • Hofstadter Questions (20 pts each)

You will be given questions for each of the assigned chapters in The American Political Tradition. These questions are to be answered in 1-2 paragraphs each. They will be due at the end of each unit. Each Hofstadter assignment is worth 20 pts maximum of extra credit.

  • Essays (50 pts each)

You will write three essays during the fall semester. Each essay should be 3-5 pages in length, typed, and double-spaced. Your essays should reflect your thoughts and analysis of the material we’ve been studying. Plagiarized essays will be returned for no credit. Please be sure to cite from your textbook/other sources to support your conclusions.

Essay #1: To Ratify or Not to Ratify… Due 10/13/09
Write an editorial in support of or against the ratification of the Constitution. You should formulate your arguments based on your understanding of the position of the Federalists (Alexander Hamilton) and the Antifederalists (Thomas Jefferson). Be sure to address issues of states rights, a strong, central government, rural vs. urban economies, and the importance of a Bill of Rights. Your editorial should both outline your position and demonstrate the weaknesses of the opposite point of view. Use evidence from you textbook/other sources to support your claims.

Essay #2: Andrew Jackson: Champion of the Common Man or Democratic Tyrant? Due 11/17/09
Write an essay evaluating 3-4 of Jackson’s critical decisions as president (national bank, Indian Removal Act, increased suffrage, nullification, etc.) Were these decisions made in justifiable defense of the common man and his rights, or were they naked power grabs by a president who wielded too much power. Use evidence and citations from your text/other sources to support your claims.

Essay #3: Failed Compromises Due 12/16/09
Choose one of the compromises over slavery enacted prior to the Civil War (Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850, Kansas-Nebraska Act). Assess why the compromise failed to resolve the issue of slavery, then discuss whether any compromise could have been reached that would have avoided Civil War between the North and the South. Use evidence from your textbook/other sources to support your claims.

Student Contract

I have read the above standards and expectations and accept the responsibility for meeting them.

Student name (print): Date:

Student signature:

Parents: What is your preferred method of contact to discuss your student’s progress or areas of concern? Please check one and provide the additional requested information.
Phone (Phone number: )
Email (Email address: )
Gertz-Ressler –AP U.S. History – Contact Information for Parents:

Teacher’s name: Ms. Stephanie McIlroy

Room: 201


School Telephone: (213) 745-8141
Please feel free to contact me regarding your student’s assignments, progress, or behavior in AP U.S. History. I look forwarded to working with you and your student this year!

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