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AP US History

Subject: Social Studies

Course Description:

This challenging course is designed to provide a college-level experience and prepare students for the AP exam in early May. Over two 18 week semesters, the students are engaged in a wide variety of activities, with substantial emphasis on interpreting documents, writing analytical essays, and mastering factual content. Woven into the chronology of the course are the key themes of American History. Issues of American identity, diversity, religion and culture are examined. Economic transformations, the development of politic institutions and reform movements are evaluated. War, slavery, and demographic changes are assessed. Globalization and environmental issues are analyzed. These themes appear consistently in the course as the student journeys through broader course topics such as colonial and antebellum life, civil war and reconstruction, the gilded age and on to modern America.

Major Topics:

Segment 1

  • Early inhabitants of North America
  • European colonization of North America; The Spanish, the French, the English
  • Religion diversity in the colonies; a look at Puritan life in Massachusetts Bay
  • Compare and contrast the New England and the Middle Colonies
  • Africans plight in America- servitude, the middle passage and slavery
  • Mercantilism and plantation economies
  • Causes and consequences of the French and Indian War
  • Britain Cracks Down on the Colonies; the colonies begin to rebel
  • Declaration of Independence- Enlightenment influence
  • American Revolution- battles, leaders, life on the home front
  • Articles of Confederation- weakness of
  • Constitution- Philadelphia convention, the compromises, ratification of
  • Shaping of a new nation – key political figures and their impact
  • Federalists and Republicans – political parties emerge
  • Election of 1800 and Jefferson’s presidency – LA purchase, Embargo Act,
  • Women, African, and American Indians – their role in a new nation
  • War of 1812 – was it a conflict over neutral rights or westward expansion
  • Economic transformations
  • John Marshall’s court rulings and Judicial Review
  • Monroe presidency and the Monroe Doctrine
  • Andrew Jackson- the “Corrupt Bargain”, his beliefs and actions
  • Industry in America and effect on social classes; immigration
  • Renaissance in America- Religion, reform, literature, transcendentalism
  • “Manifest Destiny”- territories, removal of American Indians, gold rush, Oregon Trail
  • The North and the South- two different worlds; Southern Black Society
  • Abolition and Pro-Slavery conflicts- popular sovereignty
  • Mexican War- Texas Annexation
  • Sectional crisis- Compromise of 1850, Bleeding Kansas, Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Election of 1860- Republican party, Abraham Lincoln
  • Secession; N vs. S – mobilization, resources, geography, military strategies and battles
  • Walt Whitman and the war
  • African Americans – emancipation, fighting the war
  • War comes to an end – the effects of war on the North, South, and West; three plans for Reconstruction
  • Changes in the South – sharecropping, crop-lien system, carpetbaggers, Jim Crow
  • Scandals and Politics – Compromise of 1877

Segment 2

  • The New South – Washington, Dubois, Freedman
  • Settling the West, development, mining, ranching, American Indians, social elements, environmental issues
  • Industrial America and labor movement– Robber Barons, effects on the workplace, labor unions
  • Immigration and the Political Machine – Social Darwinism, Social Gospel
  • The Gilded Age – popular culture, politics
  • Populist movement, Farmers Revolt
  • Imperialism – Hawaii, Guam…America builds its Empire
  • Spanish-American War – the Maine, yellow journalism
  • Progressive Era – reform, muckrakers, The Jungle, role of women, Black America
  • Wilson and Mexico – America’s emergence on the world stage
  • World War I – Causes, American Neutrality, Treaty of Versailles, League of Nations, postwar
  • 1920s Return to Normalcy – politics, Harding, Coolidge
  • The Roaring Twenties – culture, prosperity, society, science, Scopes Trial
  • America Turns Reactionary – prohibition, nativism, religion
  • Hoover and the Crash – causes of the Great Depression, Hoover reaction
  • Roosevelt and the New Deal – Alphabet Soup, critics, did it save capitalism?
  • More than the economy is depressed – life during the depression
  • Precursors to WWII – growing aggression in the East and West
  • America from Neutrality to Pearl Harbor
  • A War on two Fronts – battles, strategies, and tactics
  • The Home Front – mobilization, role of women, Japanese-Americans
  • WWII ends – atomic bombs dropped, America emerges as a global power
  • Origins of the Cold War – America and Soviet Union, Presidents actions, Cold War at Home
  • The Golden Age – entertainment, culture, suburbia, changes in science
  • Beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement – desegregation, leaders, forms of protest
  • LBJ Ushers in the Great Society
  • Civil Rights Movement: Martin Luther King vs. Malcolm X
  • Vietnam – Nixon, anti-war movement
  • 1960s – Culture and protest
  • Nixon’s Highs and Lows – Vietnam, China, Watergate, impeachment
  • Ford and Carter – the energy crisis, Iran hostage scandal, deindustrialization
  • Reagan and Bush – the new Right, end of the Cold War, war and diplomacy in the Middle East
  • Clinton and Bush- terrorism

Participation Requirements:

Besides engaging students in challenging curriculum, FLVS guides students to reflect on their learning and to evaluate their progress through a variety of assessments. Assessments can be in the form of essay writing, simulated AP exams, self checks, multiple choice questions, small projects, oral assessments, discussions, and numerous strategies for reading, writing and studying. Instructors evaluate progress and provide interventions through the variety of assessments built into a course, as well as through contact with the student in other venues.

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Course Details

  • Course Code:
  • Course Credits: 2.0

Successful completion of World History is strongly recommended.

Estimated Completion:
2 segments/32-36 Weeks