• U.S History-11 Course Outline


    In United States History and Government 11, students will be taking a look at the history of this country beginning with the pre-colonial cultures of the Native Americans through the early 21st century. It is a course covering how government and the constitution have influenced or have been influenced by the people, places, and events in the United States. The many questions and activities that we will cover will relate to our primary essential questions of the year—how have the Constitutional Principles been used in American History? What does it mean to be an American? At the end of this course, we will be expected to:

    • cover the 500-year scope of U.S. history—from North America’s pre-Columbian beginnings to the present
    • integrate a number of important themes that recur throughout American history
    • Through the analysis of primary-source documents
      • develop analytic ways of thinking, such as recognizing cause and effect, drawing inferences, dealing with conflicting viewpoints, and tracing the evolution of themes throughout history
    • write often and insightfully
    • weigh different interpretations of history and introduces them to historical criticism
    • form and express thoughtful opinions to be shared with others
    • Examine how can historical problems can be a precedent for contemporary action

    All of these will assist in our development as critical thinkers and in becoming greater contributors in the thinking world. Also, these will help us to develop in becoming people of action as well as excel on the state mandated Eleventh Grade United States History and Government Regents Exam.


    The US Constitution
    • The US Constitution
    • Preamble
    • Legislative, Executive, Judicial Branches
    • Amending Process

    Launching the Nation

    Washington as president. Creation of political parties; Foreign affairs and the establishment of policy of isolationism; Challenges to the Constitution; Expansion of the US under Jefferson; War of 1812

    Balancing Nationalism and Sectionalism
    Factors leading to the Industrial Revolution; development of economies of the North and the South; the American System; Strengthening of the national government through US Supreme Court decisions; Age of Jackson; extension of suffrage; treatment of Native Americans; states' right and the bank

    Reform In America; Expanding Markets; Moving West
    • Religion and Reform
    • Slavery and Abolition
    • Women and Reform
    • The Changing workplace
    • The Rise of immigration

    Union in Peril and the US Civil War
    • The United States in danger, the coming of the Civil War
    • Protest, resistance and violence
    • The birth of the Republican party
    • Slavery and secession
    • The Civil war begins
    • The Politics of the war; leadership of Abraham Lincoln
    • Life during wartime
    • The Legacy of the War

    Reconstruction
    • Politics of Reconstruction
    • Reconstructing Society
    • The collapse of reconstruction
    • Ch 16 Sec 3 Segregation and Discrimination


    Changes on the Frontier

    • Cultures clash on the prairie
    • Settling the Great Plains
    • Farmers and the Populist Movement
    • The end of the frontier

    Industrial Age; Immigration; Urbanization
    • The expansion of industry
    • The age of railroads
    • Big business and labor

    The Progressive Era
    • Origins of Progressivism
    • Women in public life
    • Theodore Roosevelt and the Square Deal
    • William H. Taft
    • Wilson's new freedom

    US Claims an Empire, WWI
    • America claims an Empire
    • The Spanish American war
    • The US acquires new lands
    • America as a world power World War I

    Politics and Life During the Roaring 20's
    • Red Scare
    • Sacco and Vanzetti
    • Restrictive immigration laws
    • labor unrest
    • industrialization after WW I
    • 18th amendment
    • fundamentalism and the Scopes trial
    • Harlem Renaissance
    • Great Depression and New Deal
    • The nation's sick economy
    • Hardship and suffering during the depression
    • Hoover struggles with the depression
    • FDR and The New Deal
    • Groups affected by the ND
    • Impact of the ND

    World War II
    • American moves towards war
    • Mobilizing for defense
    • Truman and the Atomic Bomb
    • The Home front and the internment of Japanese Americans

    Cold War and Post War Boom
    • Origins of the Cold War
    • Civil war in China, civil war in Korea
    • the cold war at home
    • the US and the USSR live on the brink of war
    • the postwar boom

    New Frontier, the Great Society, and Civil Rights
    • JFK and the cold war
    • The New Frontier
    • The Great Society
    • Segregation and the Civil Rights movement

    Vietnam, Nixon, Ford
    • The Vietnam war
    • Richard Nixon Domestic and Foreign Policy
    • Gerald Ford

    Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama
    • Summary of key events in the presidencies of Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama


    A.P. United States History Course Outline


    The AP U.S. History course is designed to teach students to think critically about the issues that have confronted and influenced the United States, through a process that integrates the examination of factual knowledge, the development and application of analytic skills, and the assessment of primary and secondary sources This class is the equivalent of an introductory college survey course in U.S. history, and its content spans the discovery and settlement of the New World to the present. Just as introductory college courses vary in organization and emphasis, the College Board does not prescribe specific texts or other materials for the AP course, nor does it demand particular teaching methods. However, it is expected that AP U.S.

    History teachers will design their course so that it achieves the following:

    • covers the 500-year scope of U.S. history—from North America’s pre-Columbian beginnings to the present
    • integrates a number of important themes that recur throughout American history
    • includes analysis of primary-source documents
    • helps students develop analytic ways of thinking, such as recognizing cause and effect, drawing inferences, dealing with conflicting viewpoints, and tracing the evolution of themes throughout history
    • requires that students write often and insightfully
    • equips students to weigh different interpretations of history and introduces them to historical criticism
    • integrates social, cultural, political, diplomatic, economic, and intellectual history into the narrative of the American experience
    • requires students to form and express thoughtful opinions that they share with others

    As a result of taking the AP History course, students will:
    1. master a breadth of historical content knowledge
    2. demonstrate an understanding of historical chronology
    3. use historical data to support an argument or position and develop advanced skills in reading and writing
    4. interpret and apply data from primary documents, including cartoons, graphs, letters, etc.
    5. effectively use analytical skills of evaluation, cause and effect, comparison and contrast
    6. differentiate between historiographical schools of thought
    7. work effectively with others to complete projects and solve problems
    8. prepare for and achieve a score of 3 or higher on the AP Exam


    Unit 1: The Americas Before Columbus and the Impact of Colonization on Native Peoples

    • Describe the social, political, and economic structures that developed among peoples of North America before contact with Europeans Analyze how contact among American Indians, Africans, and Europeans, challenged and changed each group?
    Unit 2: The English Colonies (Prevalent Themes – American Diversity, American Identity / Exceptionalism, Politics and Citizenship, Religion, Slavery and Its Legacies)

    • Compare and Contrast the development of the New England, Chesapeake, and Southern colonies
    • Analyze the Puritan’s utopian vision and the extent to which they were able to achieve it.
    • Discuss the causes and impact of Bacon’s Rebellion
    Unit 3: The Revolutionary Era, 1754-1789 (Prevalent Themes – War and Diplomacy, American Diversity, American Identity, Politics and Citizenship, Economic Transformations, Slavery and Its Legacies)

    • Contemporary Perspectives on the Causes of the American Revolution (this includes juxtaposing photographs of Congregational Church in the colonies and an Anglican Church in England)
    • The Declaration of Independence, Common Sense
    Unit 4: The Republican Experiment (1776-1790) (Prevalent Themes – War and Diplomacy, American Diversity, American Identity, Politics and Citizenship, Economic Transformations, Slavery and Its Legacies)

    • What were important achievements of the Articles of Confederation?
    • Why did the Articles of Confederation ultimately fail?
    • What compromises were required to produce the Constitution?
    • What are the significant differences between the United States Constitution and the previous Articles of Confederation?
    • What were the major arguments in the debate over ratification?
    Unit 5: The Early Republic (1789-1800) (Prevalent Themes – American Identity, War and Diplomacy, Politics)

    • How did the leadership of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton help ensure the success of the new republic?
    • Were the politics of the Early Republic shaped more by foreign policy or domestic policy?
    • What were the major differences between the Federalist and Democrat-Republican Parties?
    • Compare and contrast the substance and circumstances that led to the Alien and Sedition Acts with that substance of and circumstances that led to the Patriot Act of
    Unit 6: The Republicans in Charge (1800-1824) (Prevalent Themes – American Identity, War and Diplomacy, Globalization, Politics)

    • To what extent was the election of Thomas Jefferson a sort of Revolution of 1800?
    • Analyze John Marshall’s lasting impact on American history
    • Was the Monroe Doctrine an assertion of self-determination or the beginning of an imperialistic attitude toward Latin America?
    • Compare and contrast the relative effectiveness of US foreign policy under the Washington and Adams (Federalists?) versus Jefferson and Madison (Republicans)
    Unit 7: The Age of Jackson (Prevalent Themes – American Identity, American Diversity, Politics and Citizenship, Reform, and Culture)

    • Was Andrew Jackson more a democrat or more a dictator?
    • To what extent was the Age of Jackson truly the age of the masses?
    • Analyze the motives behind Native American policy 1800-1850
    • To what extent was the election of Andrew Jackson evidence of the growing impact of the frontier on the shaping of the American identity and American democracy?
    • How did the Second Great Awakening, Transcendentalist thinkers, and Utopian communities contribute to American culture?
    • Were the reformers of the 1800s motivated by egalitarianism or elitism?
    Unit 8: Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War (1841-1848) (Prevalent Themes – American Identity / Exceptionalism, War and Diplomacy)

    • Analyze the arguments in favor of manifest destiny
    • Was the Annexation of Texas a mutual decision between two sovereign nations?
    • Was the United States justified in going to war with Mexico
    Unit 9: The Dawn of the Industrial Revolution and The Growing Division Between North and South (Prevalent Themes – Economic transformations, Globalization, Demographic Changes)

    • What were the great advances in technology of the antebellum period and how did they help deepen sectionalism in the United States?
    • What were the advantages and disadvantages of the change from a subsistence economy to a market economy?
    • Why were the market revolution and Henry Clay’s American System unable to bridge the economic divide between North and South?
    Unit 10: The Road to Disunion (1848-1861) (Prevalent Themes – American Diversity, Politics and Citizenship, Culture

    • Should slavery be allowed or outlawed in California?
    • Should the people of Kansas and Nebraska be allowed to vote on slavery?
    • To what extent should the United States government protect the rights and security of slaveholders? (Dred Scott, John Brown)
    • Should abolitionist writings be outlawed? (Culture)
    • Can any state choose to secede from the union?
    • Why was John Brown such an important force in pushing the nation toward war?
    • Were southern fears of the election of Abraham Lincoln reasonable?
    • How did Southerners justify slavery and how did slaves resist it?
    Unit 11: The America Civil War (1861-1865) (Prevalent Themes – War and Diplomacy, Slavery and Its Legacies)

    • What were the most significant advantages and disadvantages of each side during the war?
    • How justified were Lincoln’s treatment of the Copperheads and his actions to restrict civil liberties?
    • Compare and contrast Lincoln’s actions to President George W. Bush’s actions after 9/11.
    • Were the Emancipation Proclamation and Gettysburg Address merely superficial gestures or did they represent a significant change in the purpose of the war?
    • Were the strategy and tactics used by General Sherman immoral?

    Unit 12: Reconstruction (1865-1877) (Prevalent Themes – American Diversity, Politics and Citizenship, Slavery and Its Legacies, Economic Transformations)

    • Why were African Americans unable to gain equal rights after the American Civil War?
    • How radical was Radical Reconstruction?
    • Should Andrew Johnson have been impeached?
    • Who / what was most responsible for the failure of Reconstruction?
    Unit 13: The Great West and The Agricultural Revolution, 1865-1896 (Prevalent Themes – American Diversity, American Identity, Politics and Citizenship, War and Diplomacy, Economic Transformation, Environment)

    • What are the environmental challenges facing all farmers? (Environment)
    • Analyze the impact of industrialization on the American Farmer (Economic Transformations, American Diversity)
    • Analyze the response of the American Farmer to industrialization (Politics and Citizenship)
    • Who / what was most responsible for the destruction of Plains Indians culture? (War and Diplomacy, Economic Transformations, Politics and Citizenship, Environment)
    • Evaluate Frederick Jackson Turner’s Thesis that the frontier was the most significant factor in shaping American Democracy and The American Character (American Identity)
    Unit 14: Industry Comes of Age (1865-1900) (Economic Transformation, Politics, American Diversity, Environment, Demographic Changes)

    • On balance, did the unrestrained capitalism of this time period produce more benefit or do more harm to American society?
    • Why is this time period called The Gilded Age?
    • How did political machines control city politics?
    • What were the main principles of the Gospel of Wealth and Social Darwinism?
    • In the second half of the nineteenth century, what were the goals of labor unions and how successful were labor unions at achieving their goals? Why?
    Unit 15: The Immigrant Experience (1800-1910) (Prevalent Themes – Economic Transformation, Globalization, American Diversity, American Identity, Politics and Citizenship, Religion)

    • How did patterns of immigration change from the early nineteenth century to the early twentieth century?
    • Compare and contrast the experiences of Old Immigrants and New Immigrants
    • What were the specific push and pull actors the led immigrants to the United States?
    • How did immigrant groups adapt to and contribute to the nation’s cultural and economic fabric?
    • How did native-born Americans respond to immigrants?
    Unit 16: The Progressive Era (1900-1916)) (Prevalent Themes – Economic Transformation, Globalization, American Diversity, American Identity, Politics and Citizenship, Religion)

    • What were the common goals and values of the Progressives?
    • What were the various goals of individual progressives and how successful were they at achieving them?
    • Why were women so critical the Progressive movement?
    • How did Booker T Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois approach the challenge for African Americans differently? To what extent is this debate still relevant today?
    • After struggling for decades, why were women finally able to secure suffrage rights in 1919?
    Unit 17: American Imperialism (1890-1909) (Prevalent Themes – War and Diplomacy, Globalization, Economic Transformation, American Identity / Exceptionalism)

    • What were the basic arguments in support of imperialist policy?
    • How did The United States exert its influence overseas?
    • What were America’s most powerful motives for turning outward?
    • In what ways did events in China and Japan force the United States to take a more global attitude?
    • Contrast American Imperialism with European Imperialism
    Unit 18: The United States in World War I (Prevalent Themes – War and Diplomacy, Globalization, Politics and Citizenship, Slavery and Its Legacies, Economic Transformation)

    • Why did the United States enter World War I? (Write Wilson’s war speech for him)
    • How did World War I impact life in the United States? (To what extent was Wilson himself responsible for the failure of the League of Nations and a flawed Treaty of Versailles?
    • How has the US Supreme Court’s interpretation of the right to free speech changed over time?
    Unit 19: The Roaring Twenties (Prevalent Themes – American Diversity, American Identity, economic Transformations, Culture, Politics and Citizenship, Demographic Changes, Religion)

    • Evaluate the American economy in the 1920s
    • To what extent were the 1920s “roaring” for African Americans and women?
    • To what extent can the 1920s be viewed as a time of conflict between various culture groups (rural s. urban young vs. old, nativist vs. immigrant

    Unit 20: The Great Depression (1929-1941) (Prevalent Themes – Economic Transformations, American Politics and Citizenship, Globalization [Hawley Smoot], Demographic Changes, Reform, Culture)

    • What were the causes of the Great Depression?
    • Why does Herbert Hoover get blamed for the Great Depression?
    • What were the positive and negative effects of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s use of the federal government as an agency of social reform?
    • Did the New Deal threaten or save American capitalism?
    • Evaluate the New Deal’s effect on minority groups
    • How did the Great Depression affect families and how did Americans respond (Culture)
    Unit 21: America in World II (1933-1945) (Themes – War and Diplomacy, Slavery and Its Legacies Economic Transformation, American Identity/Exceptionalism, American Diversity)

    • Why did the neutrality laws fail to prevent America’s growing involvement with the military conflicts in Europe and Asia?
    • Analyze World War II’s impact on domestic policy and life on the home front
    • To what extent did America betray its own ideals on the home front?
    • Based on his record from 1930-1944, evaluate FDR’s commitment to civil rights
    • Evaluate President Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb
    Unit 22: Postwar America and The Cold War of the 1950s and 1960s (War and Diplomacy, American Identity, Economic Transformations, Culture)

    • How did World War II and The Cold War change the fundamental goal of United States foreign policy?
    • How was the Cold War fought in the 1950s and 1960s?
    • In hindsight, in the 1950s and 1960s were American fears of the Soviet Union legitimate?
    • What political, economic, and social factors led Americans to increasingly value conformity in the1950s?
    • In what way did this lead to the roots of the counterculture movement of the 1960s?
    Unit 23: The Turbulent 1960s (Themes – War and Diplomacy, American Diversity, Politics and Citizenship, Culture, Slavery and Its Legacies, Reform, Environment)

    • To what extent did the 1960s begin as a time of great hope and optimism?
    • Why did the United States become so entrenched in Vietnam? How did escalation contribute to the growth of counterculture movements?
    • What were the various ways that specific civil rights activists practiced civil disobedience and passive resistance to fight segregation and discrimination? What other groups protested for social change in the 1960s?
    • How was the struggle for equality different in the North than it was in the South?
    • What civil rights issues remained unresolved going into the 1970s?
    • Did the goals and methods of Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, and The Black Panthers represent a necessary new phase or a counterproductive perversion of the civil rights movement?
    • Why did Americans reverse course and turn to Richard M. Nixon in the election of 1968?
    Unit 24: The Stalemated Seventies

    • On balance, where should President Nixon rate among other presidents in United States history?
    • Evaluate President Ford’s decision to pardon Richard Nixon
    • Evaluate the goals and effectiveness of the foreign policy of the Nixon and Carter administrations
    Unit 25: The Trend Toward Conservatism (1968–1992)

    • What caused the resurgence of conservatism in the United States?
    • What were the domestic goals of Ronald Reagan and how successful was he at achieving those goals?
    • How did conservative policies extend into the Clinton Presidency in the 1990s?
    • To what extent does Ronald Reagan deserve credit for ending the Cold War?
    • How did the end of the Cold War present both benefits and new challenges to the United States and the world?