UNITED STATES HISTORY
The essential “big picture” questions we will consider in this course include:
- What forces and challenges shaped early settlements in Colonial America?
- How do challenges force a society to change?
- How do people affect change in their society?
- Is there one American experience?
- Does America live up to its founding ideals?
- What motivations and intentions shape foreign affairs?
- How have foreign affairs shaped or influenced modern American society?
- To what extent does the American economy shape the American experience?
- What does it mean to be a global leader?
Below are outlines of the units and content we will cover this year. Readings for all units will be comprised of both textbook and teacher-distributed documents.
WEEK ONE: WELCOME TO U.S. HISTORY!
- Introductions and class procedures
- Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”, the nature of sources in history (and journalism)
- Historical thinking, document analysis tools.
REQUIRED STUDENT MATERIALS: Spiral notebook, folder, writing utensil (pencil or black/blue pen). Access to a computer and smartphone with a digital camera will be necessary for some homework assignments. If you do not have access, not to worry, please see Mr. Wentworth and accommodations will be made.
UNIT ONE: COLONIAL AMERICA
- To what extent did European colonization impact the native peoples of the North American continent?
- What factors caused political, social and economic differences among the colonies?
- How did historical examples shape the development of colonial political structures?
TOPICS: Colonial settlements, relations with Native Americans, impact of geography, colonial economic developments, French and Indian War, foundations of self-governance.
UNIT TWO: AMERICAN REVOLUTION & CONSTITUTIONAL FOUNDATIONS
- What were the causes & effects of the American revolution?
- What are the basic components of and systems of the US Federal Government?
- How does federalism shape American society?
TOPICS: Causes and effects of the American Revolution, Articles of Confederation, Constitutional Convention, George Washington’s Presidency.
UNIT THREE: CIVIL WAR ERA (EXPANSIONISM, NATIONALISM AND SECTIONALISM)
- How did westward expansion impact America between 1800 and 1865?
- Why did feelings of sectionalism arise in America between 1800 – 1865?
- What were the causes and effects of the Civil War?
TOPICS: Louisiana Purchase, Indian Removal Act, Monroe Doctrine, Abolition debate, rise of sectionalism, Dred Scott decision, use of executive power during war time, Lincoln-Douglass debates, Confederacy v. Union.
UNIT FOUR: RECONSTRUCTION
- With greater legal and civil rights, how did the lives of African Americans & women in America change after the civil war?
- To what extent did westward expansion impact the American economy?
- What impact did westward expansion have on immigrants, indigenous peoples, and all American citizens?
TOPICS: Political cartoons, Reconstruction-era federal policies, Jim Crow, literacy tests, westward expansion & development, Chinese Exclusion Act, Woman’s Suffrage movement.
UNIT FIVE: PROGRESSIVE ERA (INDUSTRIALIZATION AND IMMIGRATION)
- How did rapid growth in industrialization and urbanization lead to changes in American society?
- To what extent did progressive era social, political, and economic reforms shape American society?
TOPICS: Robber Barons & Captains of Industry, Pullman strike, Jacob Riis & impact of urbanization on immigrants, 19th amendment, Progressive Era reforms.
UNIT SIX: AMERICAN IMPERIALISM & WORLD WAR I
- To what extent did World War I affect American society socially, politically, and economically?
- Why did the United States take on a more active role as a world leader in the early 1900’s?
TOPICS: Spanish American War, Roosevelt Corollary, causes and effects of WWI, Schenck v. United States, Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points of Peace, Treaty of Versailles, League of Nations.
UNIT SEVEN: PROSPERITY & DEPRESSION (1920’s & 1930’s)
- How did the American economy and American culture change in the 1920’s and 1930’s?
- What were the causes and effects of the Great Depression?
TOPICS: Harlem Renaissance, Great Depression & economic indicators, Prohibition & Temperance, New Deal, comparison and contrast of 1920’s & 1930’s.
UNIT EIGHT: WORLD WAR II
- How did US participation in WWII shape the role of the United States in the modern world?
- How did US participation in WW2 affect the American economy & society?
TOPICS: World War II in Europe, US Neutrality (Isolation debate), FDR & WWII, US Entry into WW2, Pearl Harbor & Japanese Internment, Impact of WWII on US Foreign Policy, The Atomic Bomb
UNIT NINE: THE COLD WAR (1945-1980)
- What were the causes and effects of the Cold War?
- How did the Cold War impact American foreign and domestic policy?
TOPICS: Impact of the Cold War on the United States, Cuban Missile Crisis, Space Race , Vietnam War, presidencies of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.
UNIT TEN: DOMESTIC CHANGE (SOCIAL, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC)
- How did the role of the Federal Government in American society evolve from 1945 to the present?
- To what extent did the Civil Rights movement shape modern American society?
TOPICS: Civil Rights Movement, Warren Court , social movements in the modern era , Federal government & the social safety net, impact of Johnson & Reagan presidencies on the economy.
UNIT 11: CONTEMPORARY AMERICA
- What are the effects of international conflict, economic competition, and globalization on the USA & American society?
- How has the role of the United States of America as a global leader evolved?
TOPICS: Persian Gulf War , modern foreign policy, War on Terror & impact on America, globalization & the economy, Obama Presidency.
CONCLUSION: REGENTS EXAM PREP & REVIEW