America’s History ebook
Start Here /Week 1: “Introduction”
1. Familiarize students with D2L and VHS learning.
2. Familiarize students with rigor of AP and expectations.
3. Familiarize students group and class discussions.
Week 2: “Colonial America”
1. The difference between Jamestown and Plymouth colonies in terms of objectives, type of settlers, early problems, and reasons for success.
2. The causes and significance of Bacon’s Rebellion.
3. The background of the Massachusetts Bay colony and its founders, the Puritans.
4. The conditions in Puritan Massachusetts Bay that spawned such dissenters as Williams and Hutchinson.
5. The expansion of the original settlements, and the influences of the New World frontier on the colonists.
6. The efforts made by the Dutch to establish a colony, and the reasons for their failure.
7. The reasons for the founding of each of the original 13 colonies.
8. The early economic, religious and political factors in the colonies that tended to produce sectional differences.
9. The effect of the Glorious Revolution on the development of the American colonies.
Week 3: “Life in Provincial America”
1. The disagreement among historians concerning the origins of slavery.
2. The sources of colonial labor, including indentured servants, woman and Africans.
3. Immigration patters and their effect on colonial development.
4. The ways in which factors of soil and climate determined the commercial and agricultural development of the colonies, despite crown attempts to influence production.
5. The emergence of the plantation system, and its impact on Southern society.
6. The New England witchcraft episode as a reflection of the Puritan Society.
7. The reasons for the appearance of a variety of religious sects in the colonies, and the effect of the Great Awakening on the colonists.
8. The beginnings of colonial industry and commerce, and the early attempts at regulation by Parliament.
9. The ways in which colonial literature, education, science, law and justice were diverging from their English antecedents.
Week 4: “The Empire Under Strain”
1. The primary reasons for the growth of the differences between colonial Americans and the British government that resulted in a clash of interests.
2. The colonial attitude towards England and toward other colonies before the Great War for Empire
3. The causes of the Great War for Empire and the reasons for the French defeat.
4. The effects of the war on the American colonists and on the status of the colonies within the British Empire.
5. The options for dealing with the colonies available to the British in 1763, and the reasons for adopting the policies that they chose to implement.
6. The importance of the series of crisis from the Sugar Act through the Coercive Acts and how each crisis changed colonial attitudes toward the mother country.
7. The change in American attitudes toward Parliament, The English constitution and the king. What slogans like “No taxation without representation” really meant.
8. The significance of the convening of the First Continental Congress, and what it accomplished.
9. Lexington and Concord-who fired the first shot and does it really matter?
Week 5: “The American Revolution”
1. American war aims, the problems experienced by the Revolutionary governments in carrying on a protracted war.
2. The aim of the Declaration of Independence, the reasons for its issuance, and its influence throughout the world since 1776.
3. The historical debate concerning the nature of the American Revolution and the reasons for disagreement.
4. The indispensable contributions of Washington to the success of the Revolution.
5. The diplomatic triumph for American negotiator embodied in the Treaty of Paris.
6. The features of the Articles of Confederation, and the reasons for its creation.
7. The type of governments created by the new states, and the important features of their governments.
8. The problems faced by the government under the Articles of Confederation and how they were addressed.
Week 6: “The Constitution and the New Republic”
1. The groups that advocated a stronger national government, and how they, probably a minority, were able to achieve their objective.
2. The origin of the Constitutional Convention, who the delegates were, how well they represented the people and how they were able to achieve a consensus.
3. The historical debate concerning the motives of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention.
4. Federalism and how the constitution is designed to make it work.
5. The importance of The Federalist Papers in the ratification struggle and their significance in the years to come.
6. The effectiveness of George Washington’s solutions to the problems of the presidency and how he, as its first occupant, affected the office and the nation.
7. The financial program of Alexander Hamilton, and its contribution to the success of the new government.
8. The ways in which the weak new nation coped with international problems, and the importance of such events as Washington’s decision for neutrality and “quasi-war with France.
9. The emergence of political parties, their political philosophies, and their influence through the election of 1800.
Week 7: “The Jeffersonian Era”
1. Thomas Jefferson’s views on education, the role of education in the concept of a “virtuous and enlightened citizenry.”
2. The indications of American cultural nationalism that were beginning to emerge during the first two decades of the 19th century.
3. The effects of the revolutionary era on religion, and the changing religious patterns that helped bring on the Second Great Awakening.
4. The evidence noticeable in the first two decades that the nation was not destined to remain the simple, agrarian republic envisioned by the Jeffersonians.
5. The political philosophy of Jefferson, and the extent to which he was able to adhere to his philosophy while president.
6. The Jeffersonian-Federalist struggle over the judiciary-its causes, the main points of conflict, and the importance of the outcome for the future of the nation.
7. Jefferson’s constitutional reservations concerning the Louisiana Purchase, and the significance of his decision to accept the bargain.
8. The reasons for Jefferson’s sponsorship of the Lewis and Clark expedition and the importance of those explorations.
9. The many problems involved in attempting to achieve an understanding of Aaron Burr and his “conspiracy”.
10. What Jefferson and Madison were attempting to accomplish by “peacable coercion” and why their efforts were not successful.
11. The numerous explanations of the causes of the War of 1812, and why there is so much disagreement.
12. The problems caused by Tecumseh’s attempts at confederation and by the Spanish presence in Florida as American’s surged westward.
13. The extent of the opposition to the American war effort and the ways in which the New England Federalists attempted to show their objections.
14. The effects of the War of 1812 on banking, shipping, farming, industry and transportation.
Week 8: “Varieties of American Nationalism”
1. To understand how the dramatic economic growth of the 1820’s and 1830’s was accomplished, and what that growth meant for the nation.
2. To comprehend and articulate how it was that sectionalism and nationalism could exist at the same time and in the same country
3. How the “era of good feelings” came to an end and a new two-party system emerged.
4. How the Missouri Compromise was a firebell in the night and perhaps set the stage for the Civil War.
Week 9: “Jacksonian America”
1. Andrew Jackson’s philosophy of government, and his impact on the office of the presidency.
2. The nullification theory of John C. Calhoun, and President Jackson’s reaction to the attempt to put nullification into action.
3. The supplanting of John C. Calhoun by Martin Van Buren as successor to Jackson, and the significance of the change.
4. The reasons for the Jacksonian war on the Bank of the United States, and the effects of Jackson’s veto on the powers of the president and on the American financial system.
5. The causes of the Panic of 1837, and the effect of the panic on the presidency of Van Buren.
6. The difference in party philosophy between the Democrats and the Whigs, the reasons for the Whig victory in 1840, and the effect of the election on political campaigning.
7. The negotiations that led to the Webster-Ashburton Treaty and the importance of this treaty in Anglo-American relations.
8. The reasons why Calhoun, Clay and Webster were never able to reach their goal-the White house.
Week 10: “America’s Economic Revolution”
1. The reasons why the Northeast and Northwest tended to become more dependent on each other, while the South became isolated from the rest of the nation in the 1840’s and 1850’s.
2. The vast changes taking place in the Northeast as agriculture declined while urbanization and industrialization progressed at a rapid rate.
3. The characteristics of the greatly increased immigration of the 1840’s and 1850’s, and the immigrants effects on the development of the free states.
4. The reasons for the appearance of the nativist movement in the 1850’s.
5. The living and working conditions of both men and women in the Northern factory towns and on the Northwestern farms.
Week 11: “Slavery Cotton and the Old South”
1. The structure of southern society, and the role of an enslaved people in that society.
2. The pace of the South, with its increasing reliance on King Cotton, in the nation’s economy.
3. The continuing historical debate over the South, it’s “peculiar institution“ and the effects enslavement had on blacks.
4. The widening differences between the labor systems of the North and the South, and the effect of these systems on the society in each section.
Week 12: “An Age of Reforms”
1. The two basic impulses that were reflected in the reform movements, and examples of groups illustrating each impulse.
2. The contributions of a new group of literary figures (Cooper, Whitman Poe) to American cultural nationalism.
3. The transcendentalists and their place in American society.
4. The sources of American religious reform movements, why they originated where they did, their ultimate objectives, and what their leadership had in common.
5. The two distinct sources from which the philosophy of reform arose.
6. American educational reform in the antebellum period, and the contribution of education to the growth of nationalism.
7. The role of women in American society, and the attempts to alter their relationships with men.
8. The origins of the anti-slavery movement, and the sources of its leadership.
9. The role of abolitionism and the antislavery movement, and the strengths and weaknesses of that part of the movement.
Week 13: “The Impending Crisis of the Civil War”
1. Manifest Destiny, and its influence on the nation in the 1840’s.
2. The origin of the Republic of Texas, and the controversy concerning its annexation by the U.S.
3. The reasons why the U.S. declared war on Mexico, and how the Mexican War was fought to a successful conclusion.
4. The impact of the Wilmot Proviso on the sectional controversy.
5. The methods used to enact the Compromise of 1850, and its reception by the American people.
6. The role of the major political parties in the widening sectional split.
7. The part played by Stephan Douglas in the enactment of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the effect of this act on his career and on the attitudes of the people in all sections.
8. The impact of the Dred Scott decision on sectional attitudes and on the prestige of the Supreme Court.
9. The reasons for Lincoln’s victory in 1860, and the effect of his election on the sectional crisis.
Week 14: “The Civil War”
1. The reasons why all attempts to reach a compromise in the time honored way failed in 1860 &1861.
2. The unique problems faced by the newly inaugurated Lincoln, and his use of executive powers to solve them up to July 4, 1861.
3. The ways in which the Confederate States of America (CSA) compared with the U.S. in manpower, natural resources, finances, industrial potential and public support.
4. The significant legislation enacted by Congress once Southern members were no longer a factor.
5. The considerations involved in Lincoln’s decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, and its reception in the North, in the South and in Europe.
6. The basic structure of the government of the CSA, how it differed from that of the U.S. and how it dealt with the vital question of states’ rights.
7. How other nations, particularly England and France, viewed the struggle, and how their courses of action affected the outcome.
Week 15: “Reconstructing the Nation”
1. The conditions in the former Confederacy after Appomattox that would have made any attempt at genuine reconstruction most difficult.
2. The differences between the Conservative and Radical views on Reconstruction process and the reasons for the eventual Radical domination.
3. The function of the impeachment process in the case of Andre Johnson, and the significance of his acquittal for the future of Reconstruction.
4. Radical Reconstruction in practice, and Southern (black and white) reaction to it.
5. The national problems faced by Grant, and the reasons for his lack of success as chief executive.
6. The diplomatic successes of the Johnson and Grand administrations, and the role of the presidents in achieving them.
7. The greenback question and how it reflected the postwar financial problems of the nation.
8. The alternatives that were available during the election of 1876, and the effects of the so-called Compromise of 1877 on the south and on the nation.
9. The methods used in the South to regain control of its own affairs, wand what course of action it chose thereafter.
10. The reasons for the failure of the South to develop a strong industrial economy after Reconstruction
11. The ways in which Southerners decided to handle the race question, and the origin of the system identified with ”Jim Crow”
12. The response of the blacks to conditions in the South following Reconstruction.
Week 16: “The Civil Rights Movement”
1. The significance of the Supreme Court’s desegregation decision.
2. The significance of MLK Jr. and other key individuals to the civil rights movement.
3. The cumulative effects of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1965.
4. How the Civil Rights Movement was caused and effected by the political, economic, social and religious climate of the nation.
Week 17: “The Conquest of the Far West”
1. The pattern of settlement on the last American frontier, and the significance of the frontier in American history.
2. The impact of the discovery of gold and silver in the West both on the region and the nation as a whole.
3. The development of the cattle industry in the American Southwest after 1860.
4. The methods used by the federal government to reduce the threat of the Plans Indians, and the Indians’ ultimate fate.
5. The reasons for the transition from subsistence farming to commercial farming and the effect of the change on the West.
Week 18: “Industrial Supremacy”
1. The reasons for the rapid industrial development of the U.S. in the late 19th century.
2. The specific impact of technological innovation in promoting industrial expansion.
3. The role of the individual entrepreneur in the development of particular industries.
4. The changes that were taking place in American business organization.
5. The was in which classical economics and certain ideas of Darwin were used to justify and defend the new industrial capitalism.
6. The critics of the new industrial capitalism, and the solutions they proposed.
7. The condition of women, immigrants, and children in the work force.
8. The rise of reorganized labor generally failed in its efforts to achieve its objectives.
Week 19: “The Age of the City”
1. The patterns and processes of urbanization in late 19th century.
2. The changes in the pattern of immigration in the late 19th century.
3. The new economic and social problems created by urbanization.
4. The relationships of both urbanization and immigration to the rise of boss rule
5. The early rise of mass consumption and its impact on American life, especially for women.
6. The changes in leisure and entertainment opportunities including organized sports, vaudeville, movies and other activities.
7. The main trends in literature and art during the Gilded Age and early 20th century.
8. The impact of the Darwinian theory of evolution on the intellectual life of America.
9. The profound new developments in American education opportunities.
Week 20: “From Stalemate to Crisis”
1. The nature of American party politics in the last third of the 19th century.
2. The problems of political patronage in the administrations of Hayes, Garfield and Arthur that led to the passage of the Pendleton Act
3. The circumstances that permitted the Democrats to gain control of the presidency in the elections of 1884 & 1892.
4. The origins, purposes, and effectiveness of the Interstate Commerce Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act.
5. The position of the two major parties on the tariff question, and the actual trend of tariff legislation in the 1880’s and 1890’s.
6. The rise of agrarian discontent as manifested in the Granger movement, the Farmers’ Alliances, and the Populist movement.
7. The rise of the silver question from the Crime of ’73 through the Gold Standard Act of 1900.
8. The significance of the presidential campaign and election of 1896.
9. The reasons for the decline of agrarian discontent after 1898.
Week 21: “The Age of Imperialism”
1. The new Manifest Destiny, and how it differed from the old Manifest Destiny.
2. The objectives of American foreign policy at the turn of the century with respect to Europe, Latin America and Asia.
3. The variety of factors that motivated the U.S. to become imperialistic.
4. The relationship between American economic interests, especially tariff and the developments in Hawaii and Cuba.
5. The causes of the Spanish-American War.
6. The military problems encountered in fighting the Spanish and, the Filipinos.
7. The problems involved in developing a colonial administration for America’s new empire.
8. The motives behind the Open Door notes and the Boxer intervention.
9. The nature of the military reforms carried out by Elihu Root following the Spanish-American War.
Week 22: ” The Rise of Progressivism”
1. The origins of the progressive impulse.
2. The humanitarian reforms of the period, and the role of the church in carrying out the Social Gospel.
3. The progressive emphasis on scientific expertise, organization reform, and professionalism.
4. The role of women’s groups in promoting reform.
5. The aims and accomplishments of the progressives at the state and local levels.
6. The temperance movement and its relationship to other progressive reforms.
7. The movement to restrict immigration, and how allowing fewer immigrants was regarded as a reform.
8. The women’s suffrage movement and more radical demands for equal rights for women.
9. The various proposed solutions to the problems of the trusts: socialism, regulationism, and trust busting.
Week 23: “The Battle for National Reform”
1. The nature and extent of Teddy Roosevelt’s square deal progressivism.
2. The similarities and differences between the domestic progressivism of Taft and of Roosevelt.
3. The conservation issue, and why it triggered the split between Taft and Roosevelt.
4. The consequences of the split in the Republican party in 1912.
5. The differences between Roosevelt’s New Nationalism and Wilson’s New Freedom.
6. The differences between Woodrow Wilson’s campaign platform and the measures actually implemented during his term.
7. The new direction of American foreign policy introduced by Teddy Roosevelt, especially in Asia and the Caribbean.
8. The similarities and differences between Taft’s and Roosevelt’s approach to foreign policy.
9. The reasons for the continuation of American interventionism in Latin America under Wilson.
Week 24: “America and the Great War”
1. The background factors and the immediate sequence of events that caused the U.S. to declare war on Germany in 1917.
2. The contributions of the American military to Allied victory in World War I.
3. The extent of government control of the economy during WWI.
4. Propaganda and the extent of war hysteria in the U.S. during WWI.
5. The announced American objectives in fighting the war.
6. Woodrow Wilson’s success and failures at Versailles.
7. The circumstances that led the U.S. to reject the Treaty of Versailles.
8. The economic problems the U.S. faced immediately after the war.
9. The reasons for the Red Scare, and the resurgence of racial unrest in postwar America.
Week 25: “The New Era”
1. The reasons for the industrial boom in the 1920’s, after the initial period of economic readjustment following WWI.
2. The nature and extent of labor’s problems.
3. The plight of the American farmer.
4. The changes in the American way of life and American values in the 1920’s in the area of consumerism, communications, religion and the role of women.
5. The reflection of these changed valued in American literature and art.
6. The effects of Prohibition on American politics and society.
7. The reasons for xenophobia and racial unrest in the 1920’s.
8. The debacle of the Harding administration.
9. The pro business tendencies of the Republican administration in the 1920’s.
Week 26: “The Great Depression”
1. The causes of the Depression and The effects of the Depression on business and industry.
2. The problems of unemployment and the inadequacy of relief.
3. The particular problems of farmers in the Dust Bowl.
4. The impact of the Depression on minorities.
5. The impact of the Depression on working women and the American family.
6. The reflection of the economic crisis in American culture.
7. President Hoover’s policies for fighting the Depression and promoting American interests abroad.
Week 27: “The New Deal”
1. The series of emergency measures designed to restore confidence that were enacted during the first 100 days.
2. The New Deal programs for raising farm prices and promoting industrial recovery.
3. The first federal efforts at regional planning.
4. The New Deal program for reforming the financial system
5. The federal relief programs and Social Security.
6. The political pressures from both the left and the right that caused Franklin Roosevelt to move in new directions from 1935 on.
7. The changes in organized labor during the New Deal period.
8. The effects of the Court-packing scheme, and the recession of 1937 and 38 on Roosevelt and the New Deal.
9. The impact of the New Deal on minorities and women and the lasting significance of the New Deal to the American economy and political system.
Week 28: “The Global Crisis & WWII”
1. The new directions of American foreign policy in the 1920’s.
2. The effects of the Great Depression on foreign relations.
3. The pattern of Japanese, Italian and German aggression that eventually led to WWII
4. The factors that led to the passage of neutrality legislation in the 1930’s.
5. The specific sequence of events that brought the U.S. into the war.
6. The efforts of the federal government to mobilize the nation’s economy for war production.
7. The effects of American participation in the war on the Depression and on New Deal reformism.
8. The changes that the wartime involvement brought for women and racial and ethnic minorities.
9. The contributions of the U.S. military to victory in North Africa and Europe.
10. The contributions of the U.S. military to victory in the Pacific.
Week 29: “The Cold War”
1. The background of U.S. relations with the Soviet Union before WWII.
2. The extent of collaboration between the U.S. and S.U. during WWII, and the differences of view that developed between the two nations concerning the nature of the postwar world.
3. The meaning of the doctrine of containment, and the specific programs that implemented containment.
4. The problems of postwar readjustment in the U.S. especially controlling inflation.
5. The nature of the Fair Deal, its successes and failures.
6. The significance of China’s becoming communist to America’s foreign policy in Asia.
7. The circumstances that led the U.S participation in a limited war in Korea.
8. The reaction of American public opinion to Truman’s handling of Korea, including his firing of General Douglas MacArthur.
9. The nature and extend of American fears of internal communist subversion during the early Cold War years.
Week 30: “The Affluent Society” Economics and Culture Post WWII
1. The strengths and weakness of the economy in the 1950’s and early 60’s.
2. The changes in the American life style in the 1950’s.
3. The significance of the Supreme Court’s desegregation decision.
4. The characteristics of Eisenhower’s middle of the road domestic policy.
5. The new elements of American foreign policy introduced by John Foster Dulles.
Week 31 : “Vietnam”
1. The reasons why the U.S. involvement in Vietnam changed both quantitatively and qualitatively in 1965.
2. The reasons why the 1968 Tet offensive had such a critical impact on both policy toward Vietnam and American domestic politics.
Week 32 : The Crisis of Authority” Feminism to Watergate
1. The reasons for the rise of the New Left and the counterculture.
2. The problems of American Indians and Hispanics and the nature of their protest movements.
3. The meaning of New Feminism.
4. The Nixon-Kissinger policy for terminating the Vietnam War, and the Paris peace settlement.
5. The changes in American foreign policy necessitated by the new perception of the world as multipolar.
6. The objectives of the New Federalism, and a comparison of it to government policies of the previous half-century.
7. The ways in which the Supreme court in the Nixon years began a change to a more conservative posture and the reasons for this change.
8. The reasons for the decline in the American economy in the early 1970’s and President Nixon’s reaction to the decline.
9. The significance of Watergate as an indication of the abuse of executive power.
Week 33: Review
1. Review Activities
2. Revisit writing criteria
1. This course will be designed to offer those students interested in taking the AP Exam the greatest possible chance of passing
2. This class will provide an understanding of past concepts related to present ones
3. This course can be used as a tool for those students preparing for college to get aquatinted with the demands of a post secondary curriculum.