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AP U.S. History Syllabus 2014-2015

Curricular Requirements


CR1a The course includes a college-level U.S. history textbook.


CR1b The course includes diverse primary sources consisting of written documents, maps, images,

quantitative data (charts, graphs, tables), and works of art.

4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

CR1c The course includes secondary sources written by historians or scholars interpreting the past.


CR2 Each of the course historical periods receives explicit instruction.

6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16

CR3 The course provides opportunities for students to apply detailed and specific knowledge

(such as names, chronology, facts, and events) to broader historical understandings.

10, 12, 13, 14, 16

CR4 The course provides students with instruction in the learning objectives in each of the

seven themes throughout the course, as described in the AP U.S. History curriculum


2, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16

CR5 The course provides opportunities for students to develop coherent written arguments that have

a thesis supported by relevant historical evidence.—historical argumentation.

4, 7, 10, 12

CR6 The course provides opportunities for students to identify and evaluate diverse historical


7, 8, 12, 14

CR7 The course provides opportunities for students to analyze evidence about the past from diverse

sources, such as written documents, maps, images, quantitative data (charts, graphs, tables),

and works of art.—Appropriate use of historical evidence

9, 13, 16

CR8 The course provides opportunities for students to examine relationships between causes and

Consequences of events or processes.—Historical causation

14, 17

CR9 The course provides opportunities for students to identify and analyze patterns of continuity

and change over time and connect them to larger historical processes or themes.—Patterns of

change and continuity over time

10, 13, 16, 17

CR10 The course provides opportunities for students to investigate and construct different models of

historical periodization.—Periodization


CR11 The course provides opportunities for students to compare historical developments across or

within societies in various chronological and geographical texts.—Comparison

7, 12

CR12 The course provides opportunities for students to connect historical developments to specific

circumstances of time and place, and to broader regional, national, or global processes.—


7, 13

CR13a The course provides opportunities for students to combine disparate, sometimes

contradictory evidence from primary sources and secondary works in order to create a

persuasive understanding of the past.


CR13b The course provides opportunities for students to apply insights about the past to other

historical contexts or circumstances.

12, 13


Course Description 2014-2015


Congratulations and welcome to AP United States History. The Advanced Placement United States History course is a two-semester class that offers a survey of American History since the 15th century at college-level pace. Extensive reading, writing, and study skills useful in college will be emphasized. The class concludes with a college level exam, prepared by the College Board, which, if passed, may result in college credit. The exam for 2015 will be given on Friday, May 8, at 8:00 am.

Personal Philosophy

The study of history is an intellectually rigorous discipline that involves interaction between past and present. In particular, studying history can help us to understand who we are today, as both individuals and a nation, by examining the responses, adaptations, and decisions people made in response to the conditions around them. The discipline of history involves much more than simply memorizing a body of basic information—it requires both analysis and investigation as we seek to understand why our predecessors made the decisions that they did. My goal is to communicate this perspective to students, so that they will come away from this course with a sense of how invigorating and rewarding the study of history can be.

As a teenager, I experienced events like the Persian Gulf War, race riots in Los Angeles, and the World Wide Web being publicly debuted as an internet service. These were events that highlighted war, racism, and innovation. I realized that history should be used to explain events in the past, not necessarily glorify them. History allows us to make sense of the world we live in when it can be difficult and complex to understand at times. I believe I have a responsibility as a history teacher to do the following: 1) Teach history. (2) Teach people. History is relevant, it is meaningful, and it is everywhere. History is not about dates and figures, it is a story in which we are all actors. In this classroom, you are more than just a student; you are a historian, an investigator, an interpreter, and a critical thinker. Do not look at yourself as simply a “recipient” of history from a teacher, but rather a living, breathing, and creative thinker reflecting on the events of the past and present.
Historical Themes [CR4]

  • Identity (ID)

  • Work, Exchange, and Technology (WXT)

  • Peopling (PEO)

  • Politics and Power (POL)

  • America and the World (WOR)

  • Environment and Geography (ENV)

  • Ideas, Beliefs, and Culture (CUL)

Historical Thinking Skills

  • Historical Causation

  • Patterns of Continuity and Change Over Time

  • Periodization

  • Comparison

  • Contextualization

  • Historical Argumentation

  • Appropriate Use of Relevant Historical Evidence

  • Interpretation

  • Synthesis

Classroom Expectations


  1. Participate in discussions/activities, express your ideas.

  2. Learn to write clearly and persuasively

  3. Work collaboratively

  4. Acquire skills and habits to be successful in college

  5. Learn to assess historical materials


Students in this college-preparatory course will be treated with college-level respect and will

therefore need to exhibit a corresponding level of discipline, behavior, and responsibility. Cheating will not be tolerated; consequences will be a “0” on that project/test/assignment and dismissal from the class. Students are reminded that plagiarism is not permitted. Plagiarism is the attempt to pass someone else's work as your own. Do not, ever, give another student your papers! Do not "loan" another student your paper! If the assignment is to be done cooperatively, it will be very clear! Both students involved in copied work will be given a “0” on the assignment. ANY student involved in plagiarism will receive a “0” on the assignment and will not be allowed to make up the assignment. I permit nothing less than ethical behavior and strong commitment from my students.


Advanced Placement courses are demanding and require daily homework. Students planning to earn a score of 4 or 5 will spend several hours per week studying. Begin planning and preparing now to take the A.P. exam in May.

Homework is mainly reading and NOT daily written work or take-home worksheets. There will be a quiz each Monday on the previous week’s chapter reading. The bonus to the student is that they can plan their own study time to more easily match their schedule. The pitfall is that the student can easily slack off and, after 7-10 days, fall rapidly behind. All assignments are given in advance to allow students to organize their time. The College Board’s AP US History curriculum demands a tight schedule. Every effort will be made to strictly adhere to the syllabus.

Attendance/makeup work:

Each student is responsible for obtaining and completing all assignments on time. No Late Work Will Be Accepted. A calendar posted on the classroom wall contains at least a few weeks’ advance notice concerning assignments. Work should be turned in early if a student knows he or she will be out, or upon returning to class if the absence was unplanned. Each day missed from class, excused or not, is a major loss; daily attendance is vital to the class.


Students need to bring to class a three-ring binder, paper, pen, pencil, and textbook every day.


Grades are earned via homework, projects, participation, writings/essays, assignments, weekly quizzes, and, especially, teacher-generated tests. Due to the huge amount of written work required by this class, some assignments will be graded "at random." All assignments must be either typed or neatly written in black or blue ink only. Students will be given a grading rubric for all major assignments.

  • Grading Scale:

A = 90-100%

B+ = 89-86%

B = 85-80%

C+ = 79-76%

C = 75-70%

D+ = 69-66%

D = 65-60%

F = 0-59%

  • Grade Components: (see breakdowns below)

-Weekly Chapter quizzes (every Monday)

-Weekly Previews

-Weekly FRQs

-Primary Source Notecards

-Monthly DBQ’s

-Monthly Free-response essays


-Chapter Tests/Unit Multiple Choice Tests

-1st Semester Final Exam (Cumulative 1st semester; 20% of final grade)

-2nd Semester Final Exam project**

Weekly Previews: Each chapter will feature a preview of upcoming information to be covered in the book. This preview will be handed out prior to beginning new material and it will be collected for a grade. Chapter previews include ‘buzz words,’ mastery questions, and timelines and/or graphic organizers.
Reading Quizzes: In AP U.S. history students will take “reading quizzes” on the chapter that was assigned to be read, usually every Monday. These quizzes will come in various forms - some will have multiple-choice questions, some will require writing, listing, matching, etc. The format will change throughout the school year. The purpose of the quizzes is to make sure students are keeping up with the assigned reading and not saving it until the night before the unit exam.
Chapter Tests/Unit Exams (Celebrations of Knowledge): Each history chapter/unit exam will follow the format of the multiple-choice/essay portions of the AP exam. Tests will have an essay(s) periodically and be administered on a weekly basis.
Primary Source Reading & Analysis: This course will involve significant analysis and interpretation of a wide variety of primary sources which will include the following: maps, statistical tables, works of art, photographs, newspaper/magazine articles, diaries, letters, motion pictures, manuscripts, sound recordings, political cartoons, etc. In addition to the class textbook and supplemental book for primary sources, students will engage in assignments that use primary sources from the following digital resources: Library of Congress (American Memory Collection), Gilder Lehrman Library, PBS, and the National Archives. Weekly assignments will focus on the utilization of primary source analysis tools/methods such as A.P.P.A.R.T.S. and S.O.A.P.S. [CR1b]

Writing: There is a significant amount of writing in this course. Specifically, there will be two types of essays:
*Analytical & Interpretive Essays (Long and Short Answer Essays): (25 points)

A "regular" thesis-based essay. You will be expected to utilize facts from your knowledge base to support your thesis. Some of the FRQ writing activities include but are not limited to:

    • Writing thesis statements

    • Writing introduction paragraphs

    • Editing/peer editing

    • Organizing outside information

    • ‘Continuity and change over time’ writing prompts

    • Comparative analysis [CR5]

*Free-response questions/essays will be administered as take-home work as well as timed, in-class assignments.

*Document Based Question, or DBQ: (50 points)

A better name for this type of essay would be Document Enhanced Essay. These are also thesis-based essays but the written material is guided by a set of documents related to the question. The key to these essays is how well one analyzes the given material, provides significant material from outside the documents, and addresses the complexity of the assigned question. DBQ essays will incorporate a wide variety of primary sources from multiple historical eras. [CR5]

*Document-based questions/essays will be administered as take-home work as well as timed, in-class assignments.
Essay Grading Scales:


9 50 25

8 47 23.5

7 44 22

6 42 21

5 40 20

4 38 19

3 36 18

2 34 17

1 30 15
Notecards and Author’s Thesis Papers: Students will analyze primary sources writings using notecards (10 points) and secondary sources (20 points) using thesis papers.

Projects: Students will participate in numerous individual and group projects. Normally these will be research-based projects that culminate in a paper and/or presentation to classmates.


Textbook: Norton, Mary Beth; Sheriff, Carol; Katzman, David. A People and a Nation, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008. [CR1a]

Supplemental Text: Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States, New York: Harper Collins, 1980. [CR1c]
Supplemental Text: Newman, J. & Schmalbach, J. United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination, Des Moines, IA: Amsco School Publications, Inc., 2015. [CR1c]


Throughout the semester we will utilize my class website: for assignments, handouts, videos and other resources. Please check this site often for updates and important information.

As of this year, Argo has established a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) program. At times, we will use technology (i.e. cell phones, IPADS) for educational purposes ONLY. I will authorize when times are appropriate for such devices as unauthorized usage will result in disciplinary action. Please refer to page 39 in your student handbook for further information.

Finally, as a way of increasing the process of communicating information regarding the class (test dates, assignment deadlines, etc.) we will also be incorporating Remind 101 to send out electronic updates to students when necessary. To receive such updates via text (this is not mandatory), please send a text to (708)949-4597 and text the message @afb88.

UNIT I – Discovery and Settlement of the New World (1492-1600) [CR2]

Chapter 1 – Three Worlds Create a New, 1492-1600 (pages 2-30)

Focus: Detailed Description of American, African, and European Societies; North America in 1492; Early European Explorations; Voyages of Columbus, Cabot, and their Successors; Spanish Exploration and Conquest; the Columbian Exchange; Europeans in North America
Supplemental Reading:

A People’s History of the United States:

Chapter 1 – “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress”

Supplemental Reading:

United States History:

Chapter 1 – “A New World of Many Cultures”

Primary source documents: [CR1b]

*Chief Elias Johnson, Legends, Traditions, and Laws of the Iroquois, or Six Nations, and History of the Tuscarora Indians, 1881.

*Bartolome de Las Cases, priest and social reformer, In Defense of the Indian, c. 1550.
Assignments/Assessments: points for mastery questions; outline the motivation of Spanish, English and French explorers; determine the political, economic and social organization of plantation, New England, and Middle Colonies and the extent of self-government; chart the similarities and differences between the New England, Middle Colonies, and plantation regions [CR4-ENV]


Unit II – Colonial and Revolutionary America (1600-1789) [CR2]

Chapters 2 – Europeans Colonize North America, 1600-1650 (pgs. 32-58)

Focus: Spanish, French, and Dutch in North America; European Interests in the Caribbean; English Interest in Colonization; Founding of Virginia, Life in the Chesapeake, Founding of and Life in New England

Chapter 3 – North America in the Atlantic World, 1650-1720 (pgs. 60-88)

Focus: Growth of Anglo-American Settlements in North America; Crisis and conflict with American Indigenous Peoples; the Atlantic Trading System, Slavery in North America and the Caribbean; Mercantilism and Profit Potential; the Witchcraft Crisis

Chapter 4 – American Society Transformed, 1720-1770 (pgs. 90-117)

Focus: Population Growth and Ethnic Diversity; Economic Growth and Development; Colonial Cultures, Colonial Families; Politics: Stability and Crisis in British America; Conflicts in Religion

Chapter 5 – Severing the Bonds of Empire, 1754-1774 (pgs. 118-143)

Focus: Renewed Warfare between Europeans and Indians; 1763: A Turning Point; Struggles for Representation: the Stamp Act Crisis, Resistance to the Townshend Acts, Confrontations in Boston, Tea and Turmoil

Chapter 6 – A Revolution Indeed, 1774-1783 (pgs. 144-167)

Focus: Government by Congress and Committee; Contest in the Backcountry; Choosing Sides; War and Independence; the Struggle in the North; Life in the Army and on the Home Front; Victory in the South; the Treaty of Paris

Chapter 7 – Forging a National Republic, 1776-1789 (pgs. 168-194)

Focus: Creating a Republic; the Growth of Racism; Designing Republican Governments; Trials of the Confederation; Order and Disorder in the West; From Crisis to the Constitution; Opposition, Compromise and Ratification of the Constitution
Supplemental Reading:

A People’s History of the United States

Chapter 2 – “Drawing the Color Line”

Chapter 3 – “Persons of Mean and Vile Condition”

Chapter 4 – “Tyranny is Tyranny”

Chapter 5 – “A Kind of Revolution”
Supplemental Reading:

United States History

Chapter 2- “The Thirteen Colonies and the British Empire”

Chapter 3- “Colonial Society in the 18th Century”

Chapter 4- “Imperial Wars and Colonial Protest”

Chapter 5- “The American Revolution and Confederation”
Primary source documents: [CR1b]

*The Maryland Act of Toleration, 1649

*John Pory, Secretary of Virginia, Letter to Sir Dudley Carlton, 1619

*John Eliot, Puritan “The Day-Breaking of the Gospel with the Indians,” 1646

*John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, 1690

*U.S. Bureau of the Census (graph). “Colonial Population Growth, 1660-1780.” Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1790

*Join, or Die (political cartoons). Pennsylvania Gazette, 1754. Library of Congress

*Instructions to the Virginia Delegates to the First Continental Congress, Williamsburg, 1774

* The Colonies Reduced (political cartoon). Political Register, London, 1767. Library of Congress.

*Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776

*The American Rattlesnake (political cartoon). James Gillray, London, 1782. Library of Congress
Assignments/Assessments: path to revolution: outlining provisions, acts, and colonial responses; analyze the Declaration of Independence; determining the effects of the American Revolution; Articles of Confederation: analyzing its effectiveness as an instrument of government; the U.S. Constitution: analyzing competing interests/historical interpretations; comparison/contrast: Articles of Confederation and Constitution; Introducing the DBQ concept: Effects of the American Revolution DBQ [CR4-CUL], [CR6]
Activity: Students must write an essay on the following question: How radical was the Revolution? In writing their essay, students will develop a written argument with a thesis statement that is supported by relevant historical evidence. [CR 5, ID, CUL, POL]
Activity: Students will compare related historical developments across a period of time within one society. Students will focus on the following question for comparison: How was the relationship between the colonies and Great Britain before and after the Seven Years’ War different? What historical evidence helps to characterize these two time periods? [CR11, WOR, POL, CUL]
Activity: Student will connect historical phenomena or processes to either specific circumstances of time and place or to broader regional, national, or global processes. Students will write a long essay that emphasizes contextualization: How did the Enlightenment influence the American Revolution? [CR12, WOR, POL, CUL]


Unit III – The Nation’s First Years (1789-1860) [CR2]
Presidential Administrations: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe

Chapter 8 – The Early Republic: Conflicts at Home and Abroad, 1789-1800 (pgs. 196-219)

Focus: Building a Workable Government; Domestic Policy under Washington and Hamilton; French Revolution and the Development of Partisan Politics; Partisan Politics and Relations with Great Britain; John Adams and Political Dissent; the West in the New Nation; Rebellions at the End of the Century

Chapter 9 – Defining the Nation, 1801-1823 (pgs. 220-245)

Focus: Political Visions in the Early 1800s; National Expansion Westward; the Nation in the Orbit of Europe; War of 1812; the Nationalist Program; Sectionalism Exposed
Supplemental Reading:

United States History

Chapter 6- “The Constitution and the New Republic”

Chapter 7- “The Age of Jefferson”

Chapter 8- “Nationalism and Economic Development”

Chapter 9- “Sectionalism”
Primary source documents: [CR1b]

*George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

*Alexander Hamilton, Constitutionality of the Bank of the United States, 1791

*Congressional Representative John Allen, Speech For the Sedition Act, 1798

*Congressional Representative Albert Gallatin, Speech Against the Sedition Act, 1798

*Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, 1801

*Tecumseh, Letter to Governor William Henry Harrison, August 1810

*John Marshall, Marbury v. Madison, 1803

*James Monroe, The Monroe Doctrine, 1823

*U.S. Bureau of the Census (graph). “Foreign Trade, 1805-1817.” Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970

*U.S. Bureau of the Census (chart). “Manufactures of the United States in 1860.” Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970

*President Andrew Jackson, Message vetoing the Bank, July 10, 1832

*King Andrew I (political cartoon), 1833. Library of Congress

Assignments/Assessments: outline the principle foundations of American foreign policy; investigate the development of political parties by studying the philosophies of Jefferson and Hamilton (compare and contrast); students will evaluate two interpretations of the same concept/historical event (Alien & Sedition Acts) while answering the following key questions: (1) What is the main point(s) of each speech? (2) Connect prior knowledge of the time period to reinforce the author’s main points. (3) Determine the author’s purpose for writing his speech. Is there any indication of bias? [CR6], [CR3], [CR4-POL]
Activity: Students will fill out a graphic organizer that relates to the central question: What was the nature of slavery? Students will evaluate a minimum of two interpretations by scholars beyond the textbook—Ulrich Phillips’ American Negro Slavery (1819), Kenneth Stampp’s The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South (1956), and Eugene Genovese’s Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made. [CR6, PEO, WXT]

Activity: Students will analyze a primary source ( Jefferson’s Letter to Merriweather Lewis, 1820-Lewis & Clark Expedition) and complete an APPARTS notecard. Students must determine the following: audience, place and time, prior knowledge, audience, reason, main idea, and significance. [CR7, ENV]

Unit IV – Antebellum America (1815-1860) [CR2]
Presidential Administrations: Monroe, Quincy Adams, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Filmore, Pierce

Chapter 10 – The Rise of the South, 1815-1860 (pgs. 248-278)

Focus: Comparison/Contrast of Northern and Southern Cultures and Economies; Southern Expansion; Indian Resistance and Removal; Limits of Mobility in a Hierarchical Society; Characteristics of the Planters’ World; Slave Life, Labor, and Culture; Slave Resistance

Chapter 11 – The Modernizing North, 1815-1860 (pgs. 282-309)

Focus: Transportation Revolution (Roads, Canals, Railroads); Government Promotion of Internal Improvements; Factories and Industrialization; Consumption and Commercialization; Families in Flux; Growth of Cities

Chapter 12 – Reform and Politics in the Age of Jackson, 1824-1845 (pgs. 311-333)

Focus: Religious Revival; Moral Reforms; Communitarian Experiments; Abolitionism; Women’s Rights; Jacksonianism and Party Politics; Federalism at Issue: the Nullification and Bank Controversies; the Whig Challenge and the Second Party System

Chapter 13 – The Contested West, 1815-1860 (pgs. 336-364)

Focus: The West: Literature, Art, & Myths; Expansion and Resistance in the Old Northwest; Federal Government and Westward Expansion; Characteristics of the Southwestern Borderlands; Migration to the Far West; Politics of Territorial Expansion

Supplemental Reading:

A People’s History of the United States

Chapter 7 – “As Long as Grass Grows or Water Runs”

Supplemental Reading:

United States History

Chapter 10- “The Age of Jackson”

Chapter 11- “Society, Culture, and Reform”

Chapter 12- “Territorial and Economic Expansion”

Primary source documents: [CR1b]

*President Andrew Jackson, Message vetoing the Bank, July 10, 1832

*King Andrew I (political cartoon), 1833. Library of Congress

*Henry David Thoreau, lecturer and author, “Resistance to Civil Government,” (Civil Disobedience), 1849

*Walt Whitman, poet, “Pioneers! O Pioneers!” 1865

*President James K. Polk, Diary, 21st February, 1848

Assignments/Assessments: trace the role of the judiciary in creating a nation-state; outline the process of nation-building after 1800; America’s progress 1800-1840: tracing the evolution to democracy by studying the philosophies of administration between Jefferson and Jackson (compare to today-Change and continuity over time); purifying the nation: early reformers in American society (research activity); westward expansion: unity or division (assessing the liabilities of continental expansion through geography); development of early 19th century industrial revolution DBQ thesis-writing exercise (Part I); early 19th century industrial revolution DBQ: maintaining a sense of community-essay writing exercise (Part II) [CR3], [CR4-PEO], [CR5], [CR9]
Activity: Students will analyze and evaluate the ways in which ONE of the following areas influenced United States foreign policy in the late 18th century [CR5, WOR, ID, CUL]

-French Revolution

-Washington’s Farewell Address

-XYZ Affair

Activity: Students will identify historical patterns of continuity and change across or within specified time periods within the U.S. Students will address the following prompt: How did subjects portrayed in American painting in the 1780s and in the 1850s demonstrate how significantly the U.S. evolved in just seven decades? Students will answer the prompt in the form of a long-essay. (American theme-Art) [CR9, CUL, PEO]


Unit V – Civil War and Reconstruction (1845-1877) [CR2]
Presidential Administrations: Polk, Tyler, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan, Lincoln, Johnson, Grant

Chapter 14 –Slavery and America’s Future: The Road to War, 1845-1861 (pgs. 366-392)

Focus: War with Mexico and its Consequences; Compromise of 1850; Slavery Expansion and Collapse of the Party System; Slavery and the Nation’s Future; Disunion

Chapter 15 – Transforming Fire: The Civil War, 1861-1865 (pgs. 394-431)

Focus: America Goes to War; War Transforms the South; Wartime Northern Economy and Society; Advent of Emancipation; Life as a Soldier; 1863: the Tide of Battle Turns; Disunity: South, North, and West; 1864-1865: The Final Test of Wills

Chapter 16 – Reconstruction: An Unfinished Revolution, 1865-1877 (pgs. 435-462)

Focus: Wartime Reconstruction (Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan, Wade-Davis Bill, 13th Amendment, Freedmen’s Bureau); the Meanings of Freedom; Johnson’s Reconstruction Plan; Politics and Reconstruction in the South

Supplemental Reading:

A People’s History of the United States

Chapter 8 – “We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God”

Chapter 9 – “Slavery without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom”
Supplemental Reading:

United States History

Chapter 13- “The Union in Peril”

Chapter 14- “The Civil War”

Chapter 15- “Reconstruction”

Primary source documents: [CR1b]

*Henry Clay, Resolution on the Compromise of 1850, 1850

*Stephen A. Douglas, Defense of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 1854

*Smoking Him Out (political cartoon). Nathaniel Currier, 1848. Library of Congress

*U.S. Bureau of the Census (chart). “Civilians Employed by the Federal Government.” Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970

*Scott’s Great Snake. J.B. Elliot, 1861. Library of Congress

*Frederick Douglass, Speech, September 24, 1883

*“Slavery is Dead?” (political cartoon). Thomas Nast. Harper’s Weekly, 1867. Library of Congress

Assignments/Assessments: Mexican War: Was this conflict in the nation’s interest? (American policymaker’s intent (document analysis); compromise and conflict-road to the Civil War (researching the causes/effects of the Compromises of 1820, 1833, 1850); abolition: role of individual reformers in effecting change (research); Reconstruction: two views (evaluating the successes and failures of reconstruction after the Civil War). [CR4-CUL, ID], [CR8]

Unit VI – The Gilded Age (1865-1900) [CR2]
Presidential Administrations: Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, Harrison, McKinley

Chapter 17 – The Development of the West, 1865-1900 (pgs. 466-494)

Focus: Economic Activities of Native Peoples; Transformation of Native Cultures; Extraction of Natural Resources; Irrigation and Transportation; Farming the Plains; the Ranching Frontier

Chapter 18 – The Machine Age, 1877-1920 (pgs. 496-526)

Focus: Technology and the Triumph of Industrialization; Mechanization and the Changing Status of Labor; Labor Violence and the Union Movement; Standards of Living; Corporate Consolidation Movement; the Gospel of Wealth and its Critics

Chapter 19 – The Vitality and Turmoil of Urban Life, 1877-1920 (pgs. 528-560)

Focus: Growth of the Modern City; Urban Neighborhoods; Living Conditions in the Inner-City; Managing Cities; Urban Family Life; New Leisure and Mass Culture

Chapter 20 – Gilded Age Politics, 1877-1900 (pgs. 563-587)

Focus: Nature of Party Politics; Issues of Legislation; Tentative Presidents; Discrimination; Disfranchisement; and Responses; Agrarian Unrest and Populism; Depression and Protests of the 1890s; the Silver Crusade and the Election of 1896
Supplemental Reading:

A People’s History of the United States

Chapter 10 – “The Other Civil War”

Chapter 11 – “Robber Barons and Rebels”
Supplemental Reading:

United States History

Chapter 16- “The Rise of Industrial America”

Chapter 17- “The Last West and the New South”

Chapter 18- “The Growth of Cities and American Culture”

Chapter 19- “The Politics of the Gilded Age”
Primary source documents:

*Political cartoon. Literary Digest, 1905. The Granger Collection, NYC

*Booker T. Washington, Speech at Cotton States and International Exposition, Atlanta, September 18, 1895

*U.S. Bureau of the Census (graph). “The Birth Rate, 1820 to 1920.” Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970

*U.S. Bureau of the Census (graph). “Immigration, 1870 to 1920.” Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970

*Jacob A. Riis, journalist, How the Other Half Lives, 1890

*The Only One Barred Out (political cartoon). Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, 1882. Library of Congress.

*U.S. Bureau of the Census (chart). “Money in Circulation in the United States, 1865-1895.” Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970

*Standard Oil Company with Tentacles (political cartoon). Library of Congress

Assignments/Assessments: emergence of industrial America (transforming to industrialization in the last third of the 19th Century -research); national government in late 19th century (tracing the events that solidified the relationship between government and business); impact of industrialization on workers and their families (research); labor unions failure to gain public acceptance (chart outline document analysis); the farmers’ dilemma: evaluating problems facing farmers in the late 19th century (document analysis and questions); the Populist Movement (evaluating the importance of the Populists on political parties (research); divergent paths to equality for African Americans (comparison and contrast of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois); arts in the Gilded Age (how the arts reflected the wants and values of the people during this era); growing economic crisis of the late 19th century (DBQ analysis); philosophies of the industrialists (DBQ analysis), historical interpretations of American industrialization [CR3], [CR4-WXT], [CR5], [CR6], [CR11]
Activity: Students will apply insights about the past to other historical contexts. Students will complete this objective by answering a DBQ containing 7 documents relative to the time period: Some historians have characterized the industrial and business leaders of the 1865-1900 period as “robber barons,” who used extreme methods to control and concentration of wealth and power. To what extent is that characterization justified based on the historical evidence? [CR13b, WXT, CUL, PEO)

Unit VII – The Progressive Era (1895-1920) [CR2]
Presidential Administrations: Cleveland, McKinley, T. Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson

Chapter 21 – The Progressive Era, 1895-1920 (pgs. 590-617)

Focus: National Associations and Foreign Influences; the New Middle-Class; Muckraking; Working-Class Reformers; Socialism, Government and Legislative Reform; New Ideas in Social Institutions; Challenges to Racial and Sexual Discrimination; Teddy Roosevelt and the Revival of the Presidency; Woodrow Wilson’s Progressive Reforms; Southern and Western Progressivism

Chapter 22 –The Quest for Empire, 1865-1914 (pgs. 620-645)

Focus: Imperialist Ambitions and Strategies; Crises in the 1890s: Hawaii, Venezuela, and Cuba; Spanish American War; Asian Encounters and War in the Philippines; Diplomacy in China; Teddy Roosevelt’s Administration

Chapter 23 - Americans in the Great War 1914-1920 (pgs.646-675)

Focus: U.S. Neutrality; Decision for War; Winning WWI, Mobilizing the Home Front; Civil Liberties under Challenge; Red Scare; Defeat of Peace
Supplemental Reading:

A People’s History of the United States

Chapter 12 – “The Empire and the People”

Chapter 13 – “The Socialist Challenge”

Chapter 14 – “War is the Health of the State”

Supplemental Reading:

United States History

Chapter 20- “Becoming a World Power”

Chapter 21- “The Progressive Era”

Chapter 22- “World War I and Its Aftermath”

Primary source documents:

*Platform of the American Anti-Imperialist League, October 17, 1899

*Woodrow Wilson (political cartoon). 1914, The Granger Collection, NYC

*Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, 1906

*Good trust, bad trust (political cartoon). Clifford Berryman, Washington Evening Star, 1907. Library of Congress

*Arthur Zimmermann, German Foreign Minister, January 19, 1917

*Robert M. Lafollette, Congressional Record, October 6, 1917

*Liberty bonds (poster). Frederick Strothmann, 1918. Poster from the Third Liberty Loan Drive. Library of Congress

Assignments/Assessments: climate of imperialism: analyzing the attitudes and principles of foreign policy (comparing and contrasting the positions of American imperialists and anti-imperialists; explaining the Spanish-American War (develop and evaluate why the U.S. entered into war with Spain); foreign policy for a new age (examine the changing role of U.S. in world affairs in the early 20th century through historical periodization); reforms and progressivism research project; the Jungle: muckrakers and political reforms (literature review); defending neutral rights (examining steps the U.S. took before entering WWI); the Treaty of Versailles (defeat in the U.S. Senate) DBQ analysis [CR3], [CR4-WOR], [CR9], [CR10], [CR12], [CR13b]
Activity: Students will analyze a primary source (Robert M. Lafollette, Congressional Record, 1917) and complete an APPARTS notecard. Students must determine the following: audience, place and time, prior knowledge, audience, reason, main idea, and significance. [CR7, PEO, POL, WOR]
Activity: Students will explain ways that historical events and processes can be arranged within blocks of time. Students will respond to the following prompt in the form of a blog assignment: If you were writing a history of women in the United States, what years would you include in a chapter title “Women in the Progressive Era”? Explain your choices using relevant historical evidence (i.e. NAWSA, Margaret Sanger) [CR10, ID, POL]
Unit VIII – The Emergence of Modern America (1920-1945) [CR2]
Presidential Administrations: Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, F. Roosevelt, Truman

Chapter 24 – The New Era, 1920-1929 (pgs. 676-705)

Focus: Big Business; Politics and Government; Consumer Society; Cities, Migrants, and Suburbs; New Rhythms of Everyday Life; Racism: KKK; Immigration; Fundamentalism; New Found Leisure; Cultural Currents: Harlem Renaissance, Literature, Music; Election of 1928 and the End of the New Era

Chapter 25 – Great Depression and the New Deal, 1929-1941 (pgs. 706-737)

Focus: Hoover and Hard Times; FDR and Launching of the New Deal; Political Pressure and the Second New Deal; Labor; Federal Power and the Nationalization of Culture; Limits of the New Deal

Chapter 26 – The United States in a Troubled World, 1920-1941 (pgs. 738-765)

Focus: Attempting Peace and Order in the 1920s; World Economy; Cultural Expansion; Great Depression; U.S. Dominance in Latin America; the Course of War in Europe; Japan, China, and New Order in Asia; U.S. Entry into WWII

Chapter 27 – Second World War at Home and Abroad, 1941-1945 (pgs. 766-793)

Focus: U.S. at War; Production Front and American Workers; Life on the Home Front; Limits of American Ideals; Life in the Military; Winning the War
Supplemental Reading:

A People’s History of the United States

Chapter 15 – “Self-Help in Hard Times”

Chapter 16 – “A People’s War”
Supplemental Reading:

United States History

Chapter 23- “The Modern Era of the 1920s”

Chapter 24- “The Great Depression and New Deal”

Chapter 25- “Diplomacy and World War II”

Primary source documents:

*Cars on Credit (poster). General Motors, 1925. The Granger Collection, NYC

*Margaret Sanger, Woman and the New Race, 1920

*F. Scott Fitzgerald, novelist, The Great Gatsby, 1925

* U.S. Bureau of the Census (graph). “GNP, 1929-1941.” Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970

*U.S. Bureau of the Census (graph). “Unemployment, 1929-1941.” Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970

*Eleanor Roosevelt, This I Remember, 1949

*The Only Way We Can Save Her (political cartoon). Carey Orr, 1939. Granger Collection, NYC

*Executive Order No. 8802, June 25, 1941

*Executive Order No. 9066, February 19, 1942

*Four Freedoms, Franklin Roosevelt, Speech to Congress. January 6, 1941.

Assignments/Assessments: prohibition (examining effects and influences; literature of the 20s analysis; the twenties at bay: drawing conclusions of the crucial significance of the 20s (research); causes of the Great Depression (gaining understanding of multiple causes); New Deal DBQ Part I (analysis); New Deal DBA Part II (essay-writing); “Okie” Grapes of Wrath: developing insights into a novel; isolation and neutrality 1930: reviewing U.S. foreign policy between 1929-1939; isolationism: fact or revisionist (a review of U.S. foreign policy of the 1920s by testing revisionist interpretations; axis partners: What if? (Examining foreign policy if different choices had been made); Pearl Harbor: interpretations of history (understanding complex facts) [CR3], [CR4-WXT, POL, ID], [CR6], [CR8], [CR13a]
Activity: Students will fill out a graphic organizer that relates to the central question: Was the New Deal Revolutionary? Students will evaluate a minimum of two interpretations by scholars beyond the textbook—Arthur M. Schlesinger, Carl Degler, Richard Hofstader, and William E. Leuchtenburg. [CR6, PEO, POL, WXT]
Unit IX – Coming of Age (1945-1980) [CR2]
Presidential Administrations: Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter

Chapter 28 – Cold War and American Globalism, 1945-1961 (pgs. 794-822)

Focus: From Allies to Adversaries; Containment in Action; the Cold War in Asia; Korean War; Struggle for the Third World

Chapter 29 – America at Midcentury, 1945-1960 (pgs. 824-855)

Focus: Shaping Postwar America; Domestic Politics in the Cold War Era; Cold War Fears and Anti-communism; Struggle for Civil Rights; Creating a Middle-Class Nation; Men Women & Youth at Midcentury; Limits of the Middle-Class Nation

Chapter 30 – The Tumultuous Sixties, 1960-1968 (pgs. 856-886)

Focus: Kennedy and the Cold War; Civil Rights Movement; Liberalism and the Great Society; Johnson and Vietnam; a Nation Divided; 1968
Chapter 31 – Continuing Divisions and New Limits 1969-1980 (pgs. 888-918)

Focus: New Politics of Identity: African- Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native-Americans; Women’s Movement and Gay Liberation; End in Vietnam; Nixon, Kissinger, and the World; Presidential Politics and the Crisis of Leadership; Economic Crisis of the 1970s; Era of Cultural Transformation; Renewed Cold War and Middle East Crisis

Supplemental Reading:

A People’s History of the United States

Chapter 17 – “Or Does It Explode?”

Chapter 18 – “The Impossible Victory: Vietnam”

Chapter 19 – “Surprises”

Chapter 20 – “The Seventies: Under Control?”
Supplemental Reading:

United States History

Chapter 26- “Truman and the Cold War”

Chapter 27- “The Eisenhower Years”

Chapter 28- “Promise and Turmoil”

Chapter 29- “Limits of a Superpower”

Primary source documents:

**Mr. X (George F. Kennan), State Department professional, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” Foreign Affairs, July 1947

*Joseph R. McCarthy, Speech to the Women’s Club of Wheeling, West Virginia, February 1950

*Supreme Court, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, May 17, 1954

*Walter Lippmann, journalist, essay written six days after Sputnik, October 1957

*Lyndon B. Johnson, State of the Union Message, January 12, 1966

*National Organization for Women, June 1966

*Selma to Montgomery march (photo), 1965, Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photo/Library of Congress

*U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (graph). “U.S. Forces in Vietnam, 1964 to 1973.” Vietnam Conflict Extract Data File and other sources

*I Am Not a Crook (political cartoon). A 1974 Herblock Cartoon, Herb Block Foundation

*David Burner, historian, Making Peace with the 60s, 1996

*James T. Patterson, Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974, 1996

Assignments/Assessments: Cold War revisited (analyze events of the Cold War from different perspectives); Truman Doctrine (evaluate); McCarthyism and the climate of fear (recognize the long-term effects of the Red Scare); Korean inquiry (analyze U.S. involvement); economic recovery after WWII (using statistics as a basis for hypothesis about the U.S. economy during the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations; New Frontier and Great Society programs analysis; Vietnam—a reappraisal (investigate background history of U.S. involvement); Black revolution: where do we go from here? (research significant individuals and their accomplishments including the forces responsible for advances in the liberation of African Americans; Native Americans—a forgotten minority (recognize the depth of the problems facing Native Americans in today’s society); women’s suffrage (view feminism from a historical context and probe various factors in the fights for and against this movement); women’s rights—a chronicle of reform (evaluate and account for progress in the women’s rights movement since WWII); the crimes of Watergate (understand the accumulated crimes and scandals of the Nixon Administration and how they contributed to his resignation and tone of the nation), use of political cartoons, newspaper editorials, propaganda, etc. criticizing Vietnam War [CR4-POL, WOR], [CR7], [CR9]
Activity: Students must examine the question: Who started the Cold War? Use specific knowledge from the time period to answer writing prompt: United Nations, communist satellites, iron curtain, Winston Churchill, Red Scare, nuclear arms race, Truman Doctrine, atomic bombs [CR3, WOR, POL]
Unit X – New World Order (1980-Present) [CR2]
Presidential Administrations: Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush

Chapter 32 – Conservatism Revived, 1980-1992 (pgs. 920-947)

Focus: Reagan and the Conservative Resurgence; Reaganomics; Reagan and the World; American Society in the 1980s; End of the Cold War and Global Disorder

Chapter 33 – Into the Global Millennium: America since 1992 (pgs. 950-984)

Focus: Social Strains and New Political Directions; “The New Economy” and Globalization; Paradoxes of Prosperity; September 11 and the War on Terrorism; War and Occupation in Iraq; Americans in the First Decade of the New Millennium
Supplemental Reading:

A People’s History of the United States

Chapter 21 – “Carter-Reagan-Bush: The Bipartisan Consensus”

Chapter 22 – “The Unreported Resistance”

Chapter 23 – “The Coming Revolt of the Guards”

Chapter 24 – “The Clinton Presidency”

Chapter 25 – “The 2000 Election and the ‘War on Terrorism’

Supplemental Reading:

United States History

Chapter 30- “Conservative Resurgence”

Chapter 31- “Challenges of the 21st Century
Primary source documents:

*Sean Wilentz, historian, The Age of Reagan: A History 1974-2008, 2008

*Joshua Freeman, historian, American Empire, 2012

*George W. Bush, Veterans Day Speech, November 11, 2005

*Barack Obama, Speech to Congress, February 24, 2009

*Ray Suarez, news correspondent, Latino Americans, 2013

Assignments/Assessments: Reagan Revolution: fundamental beliefs and philosophies; the Reagan Doctrine and the invasion of Grenada (research); the Moral Majority and the Christian Right: tracing strategies for political influence; the technological revolution: examine technology of the 90s and the extent of its reach; Operation Desert Storm: compare and contrast experiences of both Iraqi and America troops during this conflict; the Collapse of Communism: analyze what communism meant on a global scale and infer what the fall of a superpower (U.S.S.R.) meant to the U.S. and the rest of the world [CR4-POL, CUL]
Activity: Students will address the causes and effects of boom and bust economic cycles. Student will also focus on the theme of continuity and change over time as it pertains to these economic trends. This assignment will focus on the following historic examples of boom/busts: Panic of 1837, Panic of 1893, 1920s boom, Great Depression, 1980s boom, and the 2007-08 bust. *Questions for student to answer: What caused the boom/bust? What were the effects of the boom/bust? What is the link between the causes/effects of the boom/bust? Over time, what has been consistent about booms/busts? What has changed? [CR8, CR9, WXT]


FYI…What the AP Program Can Do for You:
Confidence — AP helps you develop better study habits, improve your writing skills and sharpen your problem-solving abilities — giving you the confidence to tackle the academic challenges that you can expect in college.

Credit — Entering college with AP credits gives you time to move into upper-level courses in your field of interest, pursue a double major, or study/travel abroad.

College Success — Research consistently shows that students who are successful in AP typically experience greater academic success in college than similar students who do not participate in AP.

Research shows that your AP experience can benefit you in several important ways when you reach college:

AP students are more likely to graduate from college in four years - students who take longer to graduate at public colleges and universities can spend up to $19,0001 for each additional year.

AP helps students qualify for scholarships - 31 percent of colleges and universities look at AP experience when determining scholarships.2

1- Costs include tuition, fees, and books only, and do not include room, board, and other living expenses. Average Estimated Undergraduate Budgets, 2008-09 (Enrollment-Weighted). The College Board, "Trends in College Pricing," 2008.

2- Unpublished institutional research, Crux Research, Inc. March 2007.


This is a list of skills that the student will acquire or strengthen throughout the course of the year:

  • Finding main ideas

  • Summarizing

  • Sequencing events/chronological order

  • Categorizing/organizing information

  • Analyzing causes and effects

  • Comparing and contrasting

  • Making inferences and predictions

  • Making generalizations

  • Drawing conclusions

  • Distinguishing fact from opinion

  • Recognizing bias, propaganda, and stereotypes

  • Linking past to present

  • Analyzing primary and secondary sources

  • Analyzing points of view

  • Analyzing political cartoons and images

  • Interpreting maps, charts, tables, lists, diagrams, graphs, and statistics

  • Outlining

  • Creating an oral presentation

  • Test taking skills

  • Taking notes with graphic organizers

  • Understanding specialized vocabulary

  • Formulating thesis statements

  • Organizing an essay

  • Formulating constructed responses/extended response essays


  1. American Culture – diverse individual and collective expressions through literature, art, philosophy, music, theater, and film throughout U.S. history. Popular culture and the dimensions of cultural conflict within American society.

  1. American Diversity – diversity of U.S. people and relationships among different groups. The role of race, class, ethnicity, and gender in the history of the U.S.

  1. American Identity –views of the American national character & ideas about U.S. exceptionalism. Recognizing regional differences within the context of what it means to be an American.

  1. Demographic Changes – political, social, economic implications – changes in birth, marriage, and death rates; life expectancy and family patterns; population size and density. The economic, social, and political effects of immigration, internal migration, and migration networks.

  1. Economic Transformation – changes in trade, commerce, and technology across time. The effects of capitalist development, labor and unions, and consumerism.

  1. Environmental Issues – ideas about the consumption and conservation of natural resources. The impact of population growth, industrialization, pollution, and urban and suburban expansion.

  1. Globalization – engagement with the world from the 15th century to present: colonialism, mercantilism, global hegemony, development of markets, imperialism, cultural exchange.

  1. Politics & Citizenship – colonial and revolutionary legacies, U.S. political traditions, growth of democracy, & development of the modern state. Defining citizenship; struggles for civil rights.

  1. Religion in the U.S. – the variety of religious beliefs and practices in America from prehistory to the 21st century; influence of religion on politics, economics, and society.

  1. Slavery and its impact and legacy – systems of slave labor and other forms of unfree labor (e.g., indentured servants, contract labor) in Native American societies, the Atlantic World, and the American South and West. The economics of slavery and its racial dimensions. Patterns of resistance and the long-term economic, political and social effects of slavery.

  1. Social & Political Movements and Reforms – includes anti-slavery, education, labor, temperance, women’s rights, civil rights, gay rights, public health, and government.

  1. War & Diplomacy – armed conflict from the pre-colonial period to the 21st century; impact of war on American foreign policy and on politics, economy, and society.

AP U.S. History Exam Format


Question Type

Number of Questions


Percentage of Total Exam Score


Part A: Multiple-choice questions

55 questions

55 minutes


Part B: Short-answer questions

4 questions

45 minutes



Part A: Document-based question

1 question

60 minutes


Part B: Long essay question

1 question

35 minutes


Exam Content

The AP U.S. History Exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long and includes both a 100-minute multiple-choice/short-answer section and a 95-minute free response section. Each section is divided into two parts, as described below. Student performance on these four parts will be compiled and weighted to determine an AP Exam score.

The U.S. History Course and Exam Description, Effective Fall 2014 (.pdf/2MB) provides complete details about the exam.

Section I: Multiple-Choice/Short-Answer Section

Part A – The multiple-choice section will contain a number of sets of questions, with between two and five questions per set, that ask students to respond to stimulus material a primary or secondary source, including texts, images, charts, graphs, maps, etc. This stimulus material will reflect the types of evidence that historians use in their research on the past.

Part B – Short-answer questions will directly address one or more of the thematic learning objectives for the course. At least two of the four questions will have elements of internal choice, providing opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know best.

Section II: Free-Response Section

Part A – The document-based question measures students’ ability to analyze and synthesize historical data and to assess verbal, quantitative, or visual materials as historical evidence. As with the long essay, responses to the document based question will be judged on students’ ability to formulate a thesis and support it with relevant evidence.

Part B – To provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know best, they will be given a choice between two comparable long essay options. The long essay questions will measure the use of historical thinking skills to explain and analyze significant issues in U.S. history as defined by the thematic learning objectives.

Dear Parent or Guardian,

You have read the information which outlines the general nature of my expectations for student success in AP United States History. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at school at _____________________________. I can also be reached by e-mail at:__________________________________.
Thank you,

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I have read and understand the requirements for success in my son's/daughter's AP United States History class. I understand this slip is due in the classroom on Friday, August 15, 2014.

Student's Name:

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