Syllabus: ap united States History Syllabus General Course Information

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Syllabus: AP United States History Syllabus

General Course Information: AP U.S. History is a college level introductory course on United States History, designed for 11th grade students. This course will focus on the colonial America, revolutionary ideology, constitutional development, Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy, nineteenth-century reform movements, and Manifest Destiny. Other topics include the Civil War and the Reconstruction, immigration, industrialism, Populism, Progressivism, World War I, the Great Depression, and New Deal, World War II, the cold War, the post-Cold War era, and the United States at the beginning of the twentieth-first century. This course will fulfill the United States history requirements. Course material will be taught through a variety of means including: lecture and note taking, class discussion, intensive reading, group and individual projects, and current events.

Themes emphasize throughout the year have been determined by the College Board as a comprehensive study of United States history. Themes listed will include a variety of class discussions on American Diversity, American Identity, Culture, Demographic Changes, Economic Transformations, Environment, Globalization, Politics and Citizenship, Reform, Religion, Slavery and Its Legacies in North America, War and Diplomacy. The course is designed to trace these themes throughout the year in order to make connections in how they help improve changes in our society. Students will be able to understand the importance of participation in their community as they interconnect the ways history shape our nation.

Course Outcome: These are the general goals:

1. Prepare students for the responsibilities of social contract including voting and positive participation in the local community

2. Prepare students for the AP U.S. History exam

3. Analyze the history and interpretations of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

4. Examine the roles, powers, and relationships between formal and informal institutions in the United States

5. Recognize typical patterns of political processes and behavior and their consequences

6. Know important facts, concepts, and theories pertaining to U.S. history.


Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas Bailey. The American Pageant. 14th ed. Boston, Mass.: Houghton Miffin Co., 2010

Thomas A. Bailey, David M. Kennedy. The American Spirit 9th ed. Boston, Mass.: Houghton Miffin Co., 1998

Grading: Tests 30%, historical essays/power point presentations 25%, Final 20%, class projects 10%, homework 10%, and class binder 5%. Essays must be type, double spaced or written in ink. Essay grading will depend on the length and topic, use supporting resources, grammar, spelling, and critical thinking.

Grading: Grades are determined by the percentage of total course points earned by the student.

90-100% A

80-89% B

70-79% C

60-69% D

Below 60% F

Fall Semester

Calendar by weekly

Class Objectives

Homework Assignment


Makers of America:

The Spanish Conquistadores

Unit One: Founding the New Nation33,000 B.C.-A.D. 1783
Chapter 1: New World Beginnings 33,000 B.C.E. – 1769 C.E.

  • The geology of the New World

  • Native Americans before Columbus

  • Europeans and Africans

  • Columbus and the early explores

  • The ecological consequences of Columbus’s discovery

  • The conquest of Mexico

  • Spain builds a New World empire

Chapter 1 Test: 30 multiple Choice Questions and answer two out of three free response questions.

Key Term and People to Know

Reading Assignment:

Bernal Diaz del Castillo; The Conquest of New Spain(Penguin Classics)1963


Makers of America:

The Iroquois

Chapter 2: The Planting of English America 150 0 -1733

  • England’s Imperial Stirrings

  • Elizabeth Energizes England

  • England on the Eve of Empire

  • England Plants the Jamestown Seeding

  • Cultural Clash in the Chesapeake

  • The Indian’s New World

  • Virginia: Child of Tobacco

  • Maryland: Catholic Haven

  • The West Indies: Way Station to Mainland America

  • Colonizing the Carolinas

  • The Emergence of North Carolina

  • Late-Coming Georgia: The Buffer Colony

  • The Plantation Colonies

Class Reading: The Iroquois

Chapter 2 Test: 30 multiple Choice Questions and answer two out of three free response questions.

Key Term and People to Know

AP Review Questions for Chapter 2 (pages 45A – 45B)

Reading Assignment: Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New Nation.


Chapter 3: Settling the Northern Colonies 1619 – 1700

  • The Protestant Reformation Produces Puritanism

  • The Pilgrims End Their Pilgrimage at Plymouth

  • The Bay Colony Bible Commonwealth

  • Building the Bay Colony

  • Trouble in the Bible Commonwealth

  • The Rhode Island “Sewer”

  • New England Spreads Out

  • Puritans Versus Indians

  • Class Reading: The English

  • Seeds of Colonial Unity and Independence

  • Andros Promotes the First American Revolution

  • Old Netherlanders at New Netherland

  • Friction with English and Swedish Neighbors

  • Dutch Residues in New York

  • Penn’s Holy Experiment in Pennsylvania

  • Quaker Pennsylvania and Its Neighbors

  • The Middle Way in the Middle Colonies

Chapter 3 Test: 30 multiple Choice Questions and answer two out of three free response questions.

Key Term and People to Know

Reading Assignment

Planting an Empire: the Early Chesapeake in British North America (1 -13)


The Atlantic Slave Trade, 1500-1860

From African to African American

Chapter 4: American Life in the Seventeenth Century 1607-1692

  • The Unhealthy Chesapeake

  • The Tobacco Economy

  • Frustrated Freemen and Bacon’s Rebellion

  • Colonial Slavery

  • African in America

  • Sothern Society

  • The New England Family

  • Life in the New England Towns

  • The Half-way Covenant and the Salem Witch Trials

  • The New England Way of Life

  • The Early Settlers’ Days and Ways

Chapter 4 Test: 30 multiple Choice Questions and answer two out of three free response questions.

Key Term and People to Know

Reading Assignment

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

Read Chapter 1 and 2


Chapter 5: Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution 1700-1775

  • Conquest by the Cradle

  • A Mingling of the Races

  • The Structure of Colonial Society

  • Clerics, Physicians, and Jurists

  • Workaday America

  • Horsepower and Sailpower

  • Dominant Denominations

  • The Great Awakening

  • Schools and Colleges

  • A Provincial Culture

  • Pioneer Presses

  • The Great Game of Politics

  • Colonial Folkways

Chapter 5 Test: 30 multiple Choice Questions and answer two out of three free response questions.

Key Term and People to Know

Reading Assignment

Poor Richard’s Almanack (1747)by Benjamin Franklin
Document or any reading on Education in the Thirteen colonies.


Makers of America:

The French

Chapter 6: The Duel for North America 1608-1763

  • France Finds a Foothold in Canada

  • New France Fans Out

  • The Clash of Empires c

  • Makers of America: The French –13th Ed

  • Restless Colonists

  • War’s Fateful Aftermath

Chapter 6 Test: 30 multiple Choice Questions and answer two out of three free response questions.

Key Term and People to Know

Reading Assignment

Richard White;

The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815.

Read Introduction, Chapter one, and the Epilogue


Chapter 7: The Road to Revolution 1763-1775

  • The Deep Roots of Revolution

  • Mercantilism and colonial Grievances

  • The Merits and Menace of Mercantilism

  • The Stamp Tax Uproar

  • Forced Repeal of the Stamp Act

  • The Townshend Tea tax and the Boston “Massacre”

  • The Seditious Committees of Correspondence

  • The Brewing in Boston

  • Parliament Passes the “Intolerable Acts”

  • Bloodshed

  • Imperial Strength and Weakness

  • American Pluses and Minuses

  • A Thin Line of Heroes

  • Chronology

Chapter 7 Test

Key Term and People to Know

Reading Assignment:

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams Political careers.
The American Revolution; before, during and after.


Makers of America:

The Loyalists

Chapter 8: America Secedes from the Empire 1775-1783

  • Congress Drafts George Washington

  • Bunker hill and Hessian Hirelings

  • The Abortive conquest of Canada

  • Thomas Paine Preaches Common Sense

  • Paine and the Idea of “Republicanism”

  • Jefferson’s “Explanation” of Independence

  • Patriots and Loyalists

  • The loyalist Exodus

  • Blow and Counterblow

  • The Land Frontier and the Sea Frontier

  • Yorktown and the Final Curtain

  • Peace at Paris

  • A New Nation Legitimized

Chapter 8 Test

Key Term and People to Know

Current Event

Read the Declaration of Independence

And George Washington’s autobiography.
John Jay: Founding Fathers by Walter Stahr

First Class Project:

The 27 Amendments of the U.S. Constitution

Power point/Poster/Essay


Chapter 9: The Confederation and the Constitution 1776-1790

  • The Pursuit of Equality

  • Constitution Making in the States

  • Economic Crosscurrents

  • A Shaky Start Toward Union

  • Creating a Constitution

  • The Articles of confederation: America’s First Constitution

  • Landmarks in land Laws

  • The World’s Ugly Duckling

  • The Horrid Specter of Anarchy

  • A convention of “Demigods”

  • Patriots in Philadelphia

  • Hammering Out a Bundle of Compromises

  • Safeguards for Conservatism

  • The Clash of Federalists and Antifederalists

  • The Great Debate in the States

  • The Four Laggard States

  • A Conservative Triumph

Chapter 10: Launching the new Ship of State 1789-1800

  • Growing Pains

  • Washington for President

  • The Bill of Rights

  • Hamilton Revives the Corpse of Public Credit

  • Customs Duties and Excise Taxes

  • Hamilton Battles Jefferson for a Bank

  • Mutinous Moonshiners in Pennsylvania

  • The Emergence of Political Parties

  • The Impact of the French Revolution

  • Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation

  • Embroilments with Britain

  • Jay’s Treaty and Washington’s Farewell

  • John Adams Becomes President

  • Unofficial Fighting with France

  • Adams Puts Patriotism Above Party

  • The Federalist Witch Hunt

  • The Virginia (Madison) and Kentucky (Jefferson) Resolutions

  • Federalists Versus Democratic-Republicans

Key Term and People to Know

Reading Assignment:

The Federalist No. 10


Washington Farewell Address 1796


Makers of America:

Settlers of the Old Northwest

Chapter 11: The Triumphs and Travails of the Jeffersonian Republic 1800-1812

  • Federalist and Republicans Mudslingers

  • The Jeffersonian “Revolution 1800”

  • Responsibility Breeds Moderation

  • Jeffersonian Restraint

  • The “Dead Clutch” of the Judiciary

  • Jefferson, a Reluctant Warrior

Chapters 11 and 12 Test

  • The Louisiana Godsend

  • Louisiana Long View

  • The Aaron Burr Conspiracies

  • A Precarious Neutrality

  • The Hated Embargo

  • Madison’s Gamble

  • Tecumseh and the Prophet

  • Mr. Madison’s War

Chapter 12: The Second war for independence and the Upsurge of Nationalism 1812-1824

  • On to Canada over Land and Lakes

  • Washington Burned and New Orleans Defended

  • The Treaty of Ghent

  • Federalist Grievances and the Hartford Convention

  • The Second War for American Independence

  • Nascent Nationalism

  • “The American System”

  • The So-Called Era of Good Feelings

  • The Panic of 1819 and the Curse of hard Times

  • Growing Pains of the west

  • Slavery and Sectional Balance

  • The Uneasy Missouri Compromise

  • John Marshall and Judicial Nationalism

  • Judicial Dikes Against Democratic Excesses

  • Sharing Oregon and Acquiring Florida

  • The Menace of Monarchy in America

  • Monroe and His Doctrine

  • Monroe’s Doctrine Appraised

Key Term and People to Know

Reading Assignments:

  1. “Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions”

  2. Marbury V. Madison.

Second Class Project: U.S. Presidents

Power point/Poster/Essay


Maker of America:

Mexican and Texican
The Irish
The Germans

Chapter 13: The Rise of a Mass Democracy 1824-1840

  1. The “Corrupt Bargain” of 1824

  2. A Yankee Misfit in the White House

  3. Going “Whole Hog” for Jackson in 1828

  4. “Old Hickory” as President

  5. The Spoils System

  6. The Tricky “Tariff of Abominations”

  7. “Nullies” in South Carolina

  8. The Trail of Tears

  9. The Bank War

  10. “Old Hickory” Wallops Clay in 1832

  1. Burying Biddle’s Bank

  2. The Birth of the Whigs

  3. The Election of 1836

  4. Big Woes for the “Little Magician”

  5. Depression Doldrums and the and the Independent Treasury

  6. Gone to Texas

  7. The Lone Star Rebellion

  8. Log Cabins and Hard Cider of 1840

  9. Politics for the People

  10. The Two Party System

Chapter 14: Forging the National Economy 1790-1860

  1. The Westward Movement

  2. Shaping the Western Landscape

  3. The March of the Millions

  4. The Emerald Isle Moves West

  5. The German Forty-Eighters

  6. Frare-Ups of Antiforeignism

  7. Creeping Merchanization

  8. Whitney Ends the Fiber Famine

  9. Marvels in Manufactoring

  10. Workers and “Wage Slaves”

  1. Women and the Economy

  2. Western Farmers Reap a Revolution in the Fields

  3. Highways and Steamboats

  4. “Clinton’s Big Ditch” in New York

  5. The Iron Horse

  6. Cables, Clippers and Pony Riders

  7. The Transport Web Binds the Union

  8. The Market Revolution

Chapters 13 and 14 Test: 40 Multiple Choice Questions and answer two out of three free response questions.

Key Term and People to Know

Reading Assignment:

Veto of the Bank Renewal Bill

The Monroe Doctrine

Makers of America: The Oneida Community

Chapter 15: The Ferment of Reform and Culture 1790-1860

  • Reviving Religion

  • Denominational Diversity

  • A Desert Zion in Utah

  • Free Schools for a Free People

  • Higher Goals for Higher Learning

  • An Age of Reform

  • Demon Rum-The “Old Deluder”

  • Women in Revolt

  • Wilderness Utopias

  • The Dawn of Scientific Achievement

  • Artistic Achievements

  • The Blossoming of a National Literature

  • Trumpeters of Transcendentalism

  • Growing Literature Lights

  • Literary Individualists and Dissenters

  • Portrayers of the Past

Practice AP Exam

Key Term and People to Know

Reading Assignment:

Whiteness ,”Reform, and Slavery

Melville’s Moby Dick


Unit Two Exam: 60 Multiple Choice Questions

And Answer two out of three free response questions

AP U.S. History Winter Break Homework Assignment

Spring Semester


The Californios

Unit Three: Testing The New Nation 1820-1877

Chapter 16: The South and the Slavery Controversy 1793-1860

  • “Cotton is King”

  • The Planter “Aristocracy”

  • Slaves of the Slave System

  • The White Majority

  • Free Blacks: Slaves Without Masters

  • Plantation Slavery

  • Life Under the Lash

  • The Burdens of Bondage

  • Early Abolitionism

  • Radical Abolitionism

  • The South Lashes Back

  • The Abolitionist Impact in the North

Chapter 17: Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy 1841-1848

  • The Accession of “Tyler Too”

  • John Tyler: A President Without a Party

  • A War of Words with Britain

  • Manipulating the Maine Maps

  • The Lone Star of Texas Shines Alone

  • The Belated Texas Nuptials

  • Oregon Fever Populates Oregon

  • A Mandate (?) for Manifest Destiny

  • Polk the Purposeful

  • Misunderstandings with Mexico

  • American Blood on American (?) Soil

  • The Mastering of Mexico

  • Fighting Mexico for Peace

  • Profit and Loss in Mexico

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