Syllabus

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