Big Questions

Unit 1 Slavery & Politics

1-1. How did the U.S. acquire land stretching from Texas to the Pacific? 2, 3
Why do we care? Land is often at the center of conflicts, such as the current one in Israel. The way a country acquires land can have long-term effects. 

1-2. Was the War with Mexico justified? 3, 5
Why do we care? Anytime the U.S. is deciding whether to intervene in a conflict, we ask if it is justified. It is good to look at historical examples to help guide us in this decision-making.

1-3. What is the relationship between the westward expansion of the United States and the issue of slavery? 2, 3, 5, 6
Why do we care? Expanding borders introduces new people, resources, and neighbors.  It also can cause a shift in who controls the government.

1-4. What caused the Civil War? 2, 5, 6
Why do we care? More than 600,000 people died in the Civil War, which is more than all other U.S.-involved wars combined.  What caused so many to lay down their lives? 


Unit 2 Civil War & Reconstruction

2-1. How did the Union win the Civil War? 2, 6
Why do we care? The biggest conflict on American soil caused the loss of more than 600,000 lives. Today, markers and monuments to the Civil War decorate much of the country.  We should understand why they were placed there and why this event has such an impact on American history. 

2-2. How did the Civil War change America?  5,6,8,10
Why do we care? Anytime a conflict occurs, countries undergo change.  For example, America’s security measures and approach to foreign policy changed drastically after Sept. 11, 2001. The Civil War drastically changed the country in many ways. 

2-3. How free were the newly freed slaves?  2, 5, 6, 10
Why do we care? Labels can often be misleading. You must dig beyond the surface to find out what is really happening.


Unit 3 Westward Life

3-1. How did government policies affect Native Americans? 1,2,3,6
Why do we care? At MCHS, Native Americans are part of our local history and our school culture. Knowing the contributions and challenges of Native Americans is essential to understanding not only the history of this area, but also arguments about Indian sovereignty.  

3-2. Why did conflict start between Big Business and Labor?  2,3,5,7
Why do we care? Our jobs and economy today are built on principles established earlier in our nation’s history. Knowing why we have these laws and benefits provides us with understanding for furthering or re-evaluating them. 


Unit 4 New America

4-1. What challenges and benefits did immigration present for the immigrants and the United States? 1,2,3,4,5
Why do we care? Disagreements over immigration today have similar tones to those more than 100 years ago.  

4-2. How did the Progressive Movement change America?  2,3,5,6,8
Why do we care? Many of the laws, policies, business practices, and environmental beliefs we have today were shaped during the Progressive Movement.  

4-3. How did WWI change the world’s approach to war? 2,6,8,9
Why do we care? Causes and effects of WWI are prevalent today. Even our rules of warfare were changed by WWI. 


Unit 5 The Great Depression

5-1. Why did America change its mind on Prohibition? 2,3,4,5,6,7,10
Why do we care? The 18th Amendment is the only one in the nation’s history that was repealed.  This question shows how society’s approach to banning substances and the law enforcement of that ban can change over time. 

5-2. What caused the Great Depression?  2,3,5,6,7,8
Why do we care? Presidencies are made by good economies.  This question addresses how a nation’s economy can go bad and how those principles apply in today’s world. 

5-3. How did government change because of the New Deal?  2,5,6,7,10
Why do we care? The federal government and the Democratic Party grew tremendously during the times of the New Deal.  This new approach changed how and when we look to government. 


Unit 6 WW2 and Cold War Beginnings

6-1. What cost of war is worth the price of victory? 2,3,4,5,6,7,10
Why do we care? General William Tecumseh Sherman once said, "War is hell." It indeed can be. How far a country goes to secure victory not only reflects its values, but also the values of the time period. 

6-2. How did war affect American society?  2,3,5,6,7,8 
Why do we care? When soldiers are fighting, those at home often sacrifice, which could come in the form of material goods or freedoms.

6-3. How did U.S. foreign policy change from WW2 to the Cold War?  2,5,6,7,10
Why do we care? America's approach to conflict constantly evolves based on the country's needs. Some patterns emerge historically. 


Unit 7 Civil Rights

7-1. Describe the different methods that have been used to try and achieve Civil Rights.

7-2. What government action has been taken to provide more Civil Rights for all?


Unit 8 Living with Turmoil & Change

8-1. How did presidential leadership affect world and domestic events?


Unit 9 Ending the Cold War and Middle East wars

9-1. How did the Cold War affect U.S. relations in the Middle East?

9-2. How did the War on Terror affect U.S. foreign policy?