APUSH 2016-17 : Syllabus


Link to American History 1 syllabus

American History II Honors Syllabus

Honors American History II


Mr. Russ Smith

Room 508

(910) 790-2360



Welcome to the wonderful world of American History. In this course we will explore our national history from post- Reconstruction to the more recent events of the 2000s.  We will study war and peace, growth and stagnation, conflict and resolution, and the fascinating people involved in these events. I get excited about history and expect my students to join in. Our primary goal is to get a better understanding of how past events have shaped our world today and will shape our future. I look forward to the journey!


Here are the details:




Performance                                                                   60%

Practice                                                                          40%


Your final exam will count as 20% of your final grade.




How the class will work:


I teach through a combination of lecture, readings, and a reading and note-taking tool I call NationQuests. There is an emphasis on exploring new information while constantly reviewing things already covered. Our dual purpose is to both learn and retain.



What you will need:


You will need a three-ring binder dedicated to this class, lots of loose-leaf paper and notecards, and at least four dividers. Spiral notebooks are not an option. Proper portfolio organization is vital for full credit. Notebooks will be organized the following way:



1st section: Today in History

2nd Section: Vocabulary

3rd Section: NationQuests

4th Section: Other assignments


Portfolios will be collected every two to three weeks and graded. A current portfolio is a happy portfolio.


Class Rules (Your secret to success!):


  1. Come every day and do what I ask you to do!  I know this sounds pretty simple but it encompasses all requirements.  You’ll understand very soon!


  1. Act like an adult in training (Be respectful of others, quite when needed, and always awake.)


  1. Make-up work must be turned in within one week.


  1. Students should get missed assignments from their fellow classmates.


  1. Your textbook, notebook, and something to write with are a mandatory requirement each and every day. Failure to have these items means a failure for the day!


These are pretty simple requirements and are necessary for a quality learning experience.


Parents are encouraged to be involved with our class. Please feel free to have them call or email me with any questions or concerns.


Plan on enjoying this class.  I hope each of you find it a rewarding experience!







This is a link to our AP textbook: The American Pageant 13th edition


Advanced Placement U.S. History Syllabus

Advanced placement US History is a college level survey course of US history from the pre-Columbian period to the present.  It consists of twelve units.


While the course follows a narrative structure supported by the textbook and audiovisual materials, the following seven themes described in the AP US History Course and Exam Description are woven throughout each unit of study:

1.      Identity

2.      Work, Exchange, and Technology

3.      Peopling

4.      Politics & Power

5.      America in the World

6.      Environment and Geography

7.      Ideas, Beliefs, and Culture

Historical Thinking Skills

These skills reflect the tasks of professional historians.  While learning to master these tasks, AP US History students act as “apprentice historians.”

Chronological Reasoning

            Historical Causation

            Patterns of Continuity and Change Over Time              Periodization

Comparison and Contextualization

Crafting Historical Arguments from Historical Evidence

Historical Interpretation and Synthesis



The main text, The American Pageant, provides students with a basic overview of the evolving American

Experience.  The text is supplemented by a diverse selection of primary and secondary sources.  Using Readings and Essays from Portrait of America, students will analyze primary sources, and essays from historians.  Throughout the year, students will be asked to write essays that are designed to develop skills in argumentation and the use of evidence and interpretation.


Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas A. Bailey. The American Pageant. 13th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.

Secondary Sources

Oates, Stephan and Charles J. Errico, eds. Portrait of America, Vol. 1 & 2.  New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2010.


Zinn, Howard, A People’s History of the United States. 20th ed.  New York, New York: Harper Collins Publisher, Inc., 2003.

Shaara, Michael. The Killer Angels. New York: Random House Publishing Group, 2003.

Moore, Harold G., We Were Soldiers Once…and Young.  Presidio Press, 2004. Grading

      Grades will be calculated on a 60/40 scale.  Exams and projects will count for 60% of the final grade and quizzes, readings, and homework will count as 40% of the final grade

      Student progress will be evaluated, on a unit basis, through homework, writing assignments, quizzes and tests.

      Students will complete a Reading guide based on the 7 themes for each chapter of the textbook

      Students will analyze diverse primary and secondary sources

      There will be formal writing assignments based on the essay formats required for the AP US History Exam 

      Students will be required to work on individual and group presentations Students are required to have a three ring binder for the class, with paper.

UNIT I – Pre-Columbian to 1607

Text Readings: American Pageant, Chapters 1-2

Audiovisuals: National Geographic – America Before Columbus

Secondary Readings: Zinn – Chapter 1


Historical Analysis

David E. Stannard, “The American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World,” from Portrait of America.  Students will analyze Stannard’s argument, evaluate his thesis, evidence, reasoning and respond to these in an essay focusing on the demographic and economic changes among Native American populations as a result of European colonization.  Students will share responses.

Student Activities:

Historical Theme Activity: WXT-2: Explain how patterns of exchange, markets, and private enterprise have developed, and analyze ways that governments have responded to economic issues.


Students will create a current trading network between 3 continents to establish what commodities can be traded, bought, sold, and exchanged, what resources they must use to establish this network, and the transportation technology used to make it happen, to match what was being exchanged through original Columbian Exchange.  This works historical theme number 2, Work Exchange & Technology.

      Students will map migration routes from Asia to America

      Students will analyze similarities and differences between Pueblo, Great Lakes, Iroquois, Mayan, Incan, and Aztec societies.

      Students will have an open discussion on Zinn chapter 1.  Intro to Zinn and his revisionist history. 

      Use primary source analysis to analyze Columbus’ letter to Ferdinand and Isabella, and Columbus’ personal journals

      Using a visual chart, students will analyze Mesoamerican Maize cultivation to determine central locations and establishment of South American Native empires.

      Students will be assigned a tradable good from Columbian Exchange and determine its long term relevance to both the old world and the new.

      Student will do a primary source analysis on Sepulveda & De Las Casas and their differing points of view on natives of the new world.  Students will then argue this information in a mock trial to sway opinion of the class to decide on how to treat natives from that time.


Unit II – 1607-1754

Text Readings: American Pageant, chapters 3-5

Audiovisuals: 10 Days – Massacre at Mystic, Story of US – Rebels

Secondary Readings: Zinn – Chapter 3

Primary Source Readings: Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, The Devil in New England

Historical Analysis:

Gary Nash, “Black People in a White People’s Country,” from Portrait of America.  Students will analyze Nash’s argument, evaluate the thesis, and respond to these in a classroom think, pair, share.  Students will share their responses with the class.

Student Activities:

Historical Theme Activity: ID-1: Explain how ideas about democracy, freedom, and individualism found expression in the development of cultural values, political institutions, and American identity


Students will read primary sources from various people of the times.  Native Americans, Spanish, French, English, Slave, Rich, Poor, etc. to understand why the new world was different to everybody that came here, but also how these individual points of view help us establish a unique American Identity.  This assignment works historical theme number one, Identity. 

      Students will analyze the different approaches to colonization by the Spanish, French, and English by completing a graphic organizer to display information.  They will also display the population, economic activity, and societal structure for each colonial empire established.

      Students will map triangular trade and relate its similarities and differences to Columbian Exchange, and American Imperialism.

      Students will create a map based on the 13 original English Colonies comparing and contrasting social, political, religious, educational, and economic differences.

      Students will work on short essay or Free Response Questions in preparation for the AP Exam o Compare the ways in which TWO of the following reflected tensions in colonial society.  Make sure to form your thesis.

§  King Philips War (1675-1676)

§  Bacon’s Rebellion (1680)

§  Salem witchcraft trials (1692)

§  Stono Rebellion  (1739)

      Students will compare and contrast the viewpoints of the Great Awakening and the Enlightenment and their future impacts on American politics and society including The Salem Witch Trials and Revolutionary Ideals.

      Students will have a reading quiz on Zinn chapter 3 then an open discussion to analyze his support of the pre-Revolution colonial poor.



Unit III – 1754-1789

Text Readings: The American Pageant, Chapters 6-9

Audiovisuals: Story of US – Revolution, Founding Brothers – You Say You Want a Revolution?, Founding Brothers, A Healthy Constitution.

Secondary Readings: Zinn, Chapter 4-5

Primary Source Readings: Wealth of Nations, Common Sense, Two Treatises of Government

Historical Analysis:

H.W. Brands, “Miracle at Philadelphia” from Portrait of America.  Students will analyze the main argument, evaluate the thesis, and respond to these ideas in an essay.

Student Activities: 


Historical Theme Activity: POL-3.0: Explain how different beliefs about the federal government’s role in U.S. social and economic life have affected political debates and policies.

Students will have a mock debate on the merits of Federalism and Antifederalism to discuss the merits and faults of both points of view, and how they each individually shaped our early American Republic.  This assignment works historical theme number 4, Politics & Power.

      Students will analyze Pontiac’s Rebellion and its short and long term effects.

      Students will analyze primary sources of John Lock, Adam Smith, and Thomas Paine to discover their effect on American politics and the American economy.

      Students will evaluate and define the term Scots-Irish and map where they settled in the colonies and how that will effect long term settlement in America.

      Students will analyze the following Primary Sources o Benjamin Franklin, on Education During the Enlightenment o Job Johnson, Letter from a Scots-Irish Immigrant o Thomas Barton, Protests on the Frontier: The Paxton Riots o Thomas Jefferson, A summary View of the Rights of British America o Image: Paul Revere’s Boston Massacre o Image: Trumbull’s Battle of Bunker Hill o Map: The United States of America 1783 o James Madison, Federalist No. 54

      Students will write a DBQ from 1999 on American Identity during the American Revolution.

      Students will analyze the three distinct parts of the Declaration of Independence and what is proposed in each one.

      Using a Graphic Organizer students will organize the strengths and weaknesses of the British and Colonial American forces prior to the American Revolutionary War.  

      Students will work on a map activity to discern the border differences before and after the Treaty of Paris, 1783.

      Students will compare and contrast the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution by having a mock convention to discuss the weaknesses of the Articles and the proposition of a new Constitution

      Students will present their information on why the American Revolution was “A Kind of Revolution” according to Zinn.


Unit IV – 1789-1824

Text Readings: The American Pageant, chapters 10-12

Audiovisuals: Presidents-Washington to Monroe

Secondary Readings: Zinn Ch. 6

Historical Analysis

Joseph J. Ellis, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation.  Chapter Three: The Silence.  Students will analyze the main argument of Jefferson and the silence on the slavery issue in American politics, and write an essay on the changing political response towards slavery from 1619 – 1800.

Student Activities: 

      Students will map the Louisiana Purchase and the land additions to the United States up to 1820.  The map will include population densities, race, agricultural focus, and immigration as their tools for analysis to label and categorize.

      Students will use a graphic organizer to explain the similarities and differences between Hamiltonian Federalists and Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans.  This will help students to understand the beginnings of the 2 party system in this country.

      Students will write a response to the 2006 AP US History DBQ on Republican Motherhood and the Cult of Domesticity

      Students will examine Washington’s presidency and the importance of the precedents he established for the office of the President.

      Students will examine the Monroe Doctrine and its changing interpretation throughout US History.

      Students will be divided into groups to create a special interest group for women’s rights, laborers, abolition, and immigrants.  Each group will include a manifesto for their cause and a poster to explain their position.

      Students will analyze the following charts:

o Graph: American Export Trade: 1790-1815 o Table: Wealth in Boston 1687-1848

      Students will analyze the following primary sources:

o   Document: The Harbinger: The Female Workers of Lowell o Document: Alexander Hamilton, Report on Public Credit o Document: Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address o Document: John Marshall, Decision in Marbury v. Madison

o   Document: Meriwether Lewis, The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expeditions o Document: The Hartford Convention Resolutions o Song: Star Spangled Banner

      Students will discuss “The Intimately Oppressed” in an open seminar to discuss the roles of women in the early Republic. – Zinn ch. 6


Unit V – 1824-1850

Text Readings: American Pageant, Chapters 13-17

Audiovisuals: Presidents: John Quincy Adams – Taylor, 10 Days: Gold Rush,  Secondary Readings: Zinn Ch. 8

Historical Analysis

Bray Hammond, Jackson, Biddle, and the Bank of the United States.  Students will analyze this historical interpretation of the Bank War and respond to the ideas in an essay.

Student Activities: 

Historical Theme Activity: CUL-2.0 Explain how artistic, philosophical, and scientific ideas have developed and shaped society and institutions.

Students will examine the transcendentalist writings of Emerson & Thoreau, and teachings of the 2nd great awakening and describe in poems of their own creation how those ideas shaped the United States for the latter half of the 19th century.  Using poetry can freely express those natural feelings and teachings better than writing an essay.  This assignment works historical theme number 7, Ideas, Beliefs, and Culture.

Historical Theme Activity: PEOP-2.0: Analyze causes of internal migration and patters of settlement in what would become the United States, and explain how migration has affected American life.


Students will work on a map activity that has the migration of all major peoples of the United States to their areas west of the Mississippi.  The students should list and obtain population statistics for each group of people that were in that state or territory prior to the Civil War.  Students should also provide the cause as to why those people migrated to those places in the first place.  This assignment works historical theme number three, Peopling or Migration and Settlement.

      Students will examine the new political election system of mass democracy and its effects on The Corrupt Bargain, Jacksonian Democracy, and the shaping of the American political system of the early to mid 1800s.

      Students will interpret the evolving historiography of the Trail of Tears presented in History in the Making, by Kyle Ward.

      Students will analyze the goals and accomplishments of Frederick Douglass by completing a character study chart.

      Students will compare and contrast ideas of the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of Sentiments from the Seneca Falls Convention.

      Students will interpret the concept of Manifest Destiny by reading Zinn ch. 8 and compare that information with Carlos Maria de Bustamante’s American Invasion of Mexico and then research Manifest Destiny’s effects on social, political, and economic institutions in this country. Students will analyze the following charts:

o   Graph: Distribution of Slave Labor o Graph: Distribution of electoral and popular votes in 1824, 1828, and 1832 elections.

o   Table: Cotton production for the state of Mississippi 1844 Students will analyze the following primary sources:

o   Document: Memoirs of a Monticello Slave o Document: Henry David Thoreau, Walden o Document: Rebecca Cox Jackson, The Shakers o Document: William Lloyd Garrison, Commencement of the Liberator o Document: John L. O’Sullivan, Texas, California, and Manifest Destiny o Image: The Great Prize Fight o Image: John Gast, American Progress


Unit VI – 1850-1877

Text Readings: American Pageant, chapters 18-22

Audiovisuals: Presidents – Fillmore to Johnson, 10 Days – Antietam, Glory Secondary Readings: Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels

Historical Analysis: 

Eric Foner, “The New View of Reconstruction.”  Students will analyze his arguments and thesis and create their own essay comparing and contrasting historical views on reconstruction as well as modern views on its lasting effects.

Student Activities:

      The students will present the South’s main arguments to justify secession, including but not limited to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Sumner-Brooks, Kansas-Nebraska Act, John Brown’s Raid.

      Students will analyze a map of the election of 1860 and develop a thesis statement summarizing the significance of the election results.

      Students will analyze the effects of the Compromise of 1850 and its place amongst the legacy of Henry Clay

      To gain insight on world history perspectives students will research the lasting impact of Commodore

Perry’s visit to Japan from American and Japanese points of view.

      Students will read The Killer Angels to give them insight on the Battle of Gettysburg and how movements in the Civil War happened.  Students are to pick one person from the book and write a character profile essay on that person, explaining their importance to the battle as well as the war.

      Students will analyze and discuss the following primary source documents and images o Document: A white southerner speaks out against slavery o Document: George Fitzhugh: The Blessings of Slavery o Document: Abraham Lincoln: A House Divided Speech o Image: A poster advertising Uncle Tom’s Cabin o Image: Slave catcher handbill o Document: The Trial of John Brown

o   Document: Charles Memminger, South Carolina Secedes from the Union o Document: Mary Boykin Chesnut, The Crisis at Fort Sumter o Document: Adalbert John Volck, J.F. Meeks, Lincoln and Emancipation o Document: Carl Schurz, Report on Conditions in the South o Document: Thaddeus Stevens, Black Suffrage and Land Redistribution o Image: Thomas Nast, The Rise and Fall of Northern Support for Reconstruction


Unit VI ends first semester.  Students will review for the first semester exam by analyzing and evaluating models of periodization of US history by comparing the model of periodization in the AP U.S. History

Curriculum Framework with the periodization in the class textbook, The American Pageant, and Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States.  They will construct their own periodization based on their evaluations.


Unit VII – 1865-1898

Text Readings: American Pageant, chapters 23-26

Audio Visuals: The Real Wild West, The Immigration Experience, Presidents – Grant to Cleveland Secondary Readings: Zinn, chapter 11, Robber Barons and Rebels

Historical Analysis: Robert Utley, “Sitting Bull and the Sioux Resistance” from Portrait of America.  Students will analyze Utley’s arguments, evaluate his thesis, evidence and reasoning, and respond to these in an essay.  Students will participate in an open discussion to share their findings.


Richard Schneirov, “Thoughts on Periodizing the Gilded Age: Capital Accumulation, Society, and Politics 1873-1898.” Students will analyze the author’s arguments, evaluate his thesis, evidence and reasoning, and respond to these in an essay.  Students will participate in an open discussion to share their findings.

Student Activities:

      Students will compare and contrast the competing interests of labor and capital by completing a Competing Interests Chart.

      Students will learn the difference between vertical and horizontal integration by creating their own classroom businesses that utilize each.

      Students will evaluate the effectiveness of the Knights of Labor, The American Federation of Labor, The American Railway Union, and the Grange in achieving their goals.

      Students will analyze a map: Major Indian Battles and Indian reservations (1860-1900) and compose a thesis paragraph analyzing the effects of westward expansion on Native American peoples and our country’s validation of the Frontier Thesis.

      Students will write a DBQ on the Rise of Big Business from 2012.

      Students will analyze the importance of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s role in US history by completing an Impactful Individual chart.

      Students will be quizzed on their understanding of the material covered in Robber Barons and Rebels, by Howard Zinn

      Students will analyze the following primary source documents and images:

o Document: Horace Greeley: an Overland Journey o Document: Tragedy at Wounded Knee o Document: The Gilded Age o Document: The Dawes Severalty Act o Images: Kansas Homesteaders o Document: Frederick Jackson Turner, Frontier Thesis o Document: Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth o Images: Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives o Images: Thomas Nast vs. Tammany Hall o Document: Josiah Strong, The Dangers of Cities o Document: Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Exposition Address o Document: W.E.B. Du Bois, Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others o William Jennings Bryan, Cross of Gold Speech



Unit VIII – 1896-1920

Text Readings: The American Pageant, chapters 27-30

Audiovisuals: The Building of the Panama Canal, WWI at Home, Presidents – McKinley to Wilson Secondary Readings: Zinn, chapter 12, “The Empire and the People”

Historical Analysis:

Rebecca Elming, Discussions of US Imperialism in Latin America and The Pacific, Students will analyze Elming’s arguments, evaluate her thesis, evidence and reasoning, and respond to these in an essay.  Students will participate in an open discussion to share their findings.

Student Activities: 


Historical Theme Activity:  GEO-1.0: Explain how geographic and environmental factors shaped the development of various communities, and analyze how competition for and debates over natural resources have affected both interactions among different groups and the development of government policies.


Students will work individually to find out how much it would cost to have built a canal through Nicaragua instead of Panama.  Including but not limited to, labor, materials, building supplies, disease, food, water, and recreation.  Once data is compiled students need to find out differences in cost between the real and proposed canals and determine if starting a Panamanian revolution was really the most cost effective way to get a canal.  This assignment works historical theme number 6, Environment and Geography.

      Students will write a DBQ on the Progressive Era from 2003.  

      Students will compare and contrast Progressive Era reform with the antebellum reform movements

      Students will analyze William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt by completing presidential profile charts to compare and contrast their periodization differences

      Students will evaluate the differing ideas and plans towards accomplishing the goal of a Panama Canal by doing a Primary Source history lab.

      Students will analyze the causes of America’s entrance into WWI and how they compare with the causes of the Spanish American War.

      Students will analyze a map of acquired territory through American Imperialism and evaluate how these territorial gains weaken or strengthen the United States

      Students will quiz on Zinn’s Empire and the People to determine if Imperialism was the best course of action for our country at the time.  Open discussion will follow.

      Students will hold a mock session of Congress to discuss the long and short term benefits of signing the Treaty of Versailles, the Fourteen Points, and joining the League of Nations after WWI. Students will analyze the following primary source documents and images:

o   Document: Lincoln Steffens: From “The Shame of the Cities” o Document: Eugene Kennedy: A Doughboy Describes the Fighting Front o Images: WWI Propaganda Posters

o   Table: The Great Migration: Black Population Growth in Selected Northern Cities

o   Document: Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House o Document: Robert M. La Follette, Autobiography

o   Document: Theodore Roosevelt, The Struggle for Social Justice

o   Document: Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom

o   Document: Alfred Thayer Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History o Document: John Hay, Open Door Notes

o   Document: Theodore Roosevelt, The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine o Images: The Roosevelt Corollary, Big Stick Diplomacy o Document: Henry Cabot Lodge, Speech Before the Senate o Image: Immigration to the United States 1901-1920


Unit IX – 1920-1941

Text Readings: The American Pageant, chapters 31-34

Audiovisuals: Hitler’s Nuremberg Speech, Presidents – Harding to Franklin Roosevelt

Secondary Readings: Amity Schlaes, The Forgotten Man, graphic novel depicting the hardships of the Great Depression

Historical Analysis:

Eugene N. White, The Stock Market Boom and Crash of 1929 Revisited.  Students will analyze White’s arguments, evaluate his thesis, evidence and reasoning, and respond to these in an essay.  Students will participate in an open discussion to share their findings. 

Student Activities:

      Students will analyze the early and later roles of Father Charles Coughlin in national politics by completing an Impactful Individual chart.

      Students in groups will determine the causes of the stock market crash of 1929.  Politically, socially and economically.

      Students will make individual presentations on one aspect of the Roaring 20s, radio, movies, automobiles, literature, fashion, changing roles of women, etc.  

      Students will analyze the goals and accomplishments of New Deal programs and determine if the New Deal met, finished, or exceeded the goals of the Progressive Era.

      Students will interpret the meaning of the images and text in The Forgotten Man.  Using this as a visual source of information to understand the hardships of the great depression from all aspects of society.  Men, Women, African Americans, Rich, Poor, Political and long term effects on American Culture and society. Students will analyze a map of Hitler’s controlled and annexed territory prior to WWII and compare and contrast that with American Manifest Destiny, Westward Expansion and Imperialism Students will analyze the following primary source documents and images:

o   Document: Charles E. Coughlin: A Third Party o Image: Ford Automobile Advertisement o Image: Vacuum Cleaner Advertisement

o   Images: Posters for New Deal Programs, PWA, CCC, AAA, WPA o Document: Herbert Hoover, American Individualism o Document: Andrew Mellon, Fundamental Principles of Taxation o Image: Advertisement for Listerine

o   Document: William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, Transcript of the Scopes Trial o Document: Marcus Garvey, Editorial in Negro World o Document: Huey Long, The Long Plan

o   Document: Margaret Sanger, The Cause for Birth Control o Document: Republican and Democratic National Platforms from 1936

Unit X – 1941-1953

Text Readings: The American Pageant, chapters 35 & 36

Audiovisuals: Band of Brothers, The Pacific, 10 Days – Einstein and the bomb, Presidents – Roosevelt to Eisenhower, Good Night and Good Luck

Secondary Readings: Zinn, chapters 16 & 17,  “A People’s War” and “Or Does it Explode?”

Historical Analysis:

Martin J. Sherwin, The Atomic Bomb and the Origins of the Cold War. Students will analyze the author’s arguments, evaluate his thesis, evidence and reasoning, and respond to these in an essay.  Students will participate in an open discussion to share their findings.

Student Activities:

      Students will analyze war maps from WWII focusing on major campaigns of the US military through Island Hopping in the Pacific, and the Italian, French and African battles in the European theater of the war.

      Students will evaluate the significance of a DMZ and the separation of North and South Korea.

      Students will compare and contrast the home front during WWI and WWII.

      Students will discuss Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms and their impact on WWII and the future of American foreign policy.

      Students will make individual, chronological, presentations on the major battles of WWII.  Discussing the combatants, the outcome, and the historical relevance to the war.

      Students will compare and contrast the Atlantic Charter, The Casablanca Conference, The Tehran Conference, The Yalta Conference and the Potsdam Conference to determine their effectiveness in the outcome of the war.

      Students will write an essay describing the effects of McCarthyism on Hollywood and Blacklists Students will write a DBQ on Cold War Fears from 2001.

      Students will discuss the rise of Communist China and connect those events to the Political, social, and economic status of Chinese/United States relations today.

      Students will work in groups to determine the effectiveness of the Berlin Airlift, the Nuremberg Trials, and the Marshall Plan after WWII.

      Students will analyze the following primary sources and images:

o   Document: Gerald P. Nye, The Profits of War and Preparedness

o   Document: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat on the Great Arsenal of Democracy o Document: Journal from Japanese Internment Camp o Images: WWII Propaganda Posters o Document: Remembering the War Years on the Home Front o Document: Executive Order 9066 to Prescribe Military Areas o Document: George F. Kennan, Containment Policy

o   Document: Joseph McCarthy, Communists in the US Government o Document: Nikita Krushchev, Peaceful Coexistence

o   Document: NSC-68



Unit XI – 1952-1980

Text Readings: The American Pageant, chapters 37-39

Audiovisuals: Presidents – Kennedy to Carter, Zapruder Film, Letters from Vietnam, Selma

Secondary Readings: Hal Moore, We Were Soldiers Once…and Young, novel describing the events of the battle of Ia drang valley in Vietnam.

Historical Analysis: 

George W. Hopkins, Historians and the Vietnam War: The Conflict Over Interpretations Continues.  Students will analyze Hopkins’ arguments, evaluate his thesis, evidence and reasoning, and respond to these in an essay. 

Students will participate in an open discussion to share their findings.

Student Activities: 

Historical Theme Activity: WOR-2.0 Analyze the reasons for and results of U.S. diplomatic, economic, and military initiatives in North America and overseas.

Students will map all of America’s foreign activity during the cold war.  Communist countries will be red, countries that are now allies to the United States will be blue, and countries that the United States interfered with, but we have negative relations with them now will be green.  Students are to pick one of these examples and write a short essay on how this affected our economy, our foreign relations, and our military objectives of the time.  This assignment works historical theme number 5, American and the World.

      Students will examine Hal Moore’s interpretation on the origins of the Vietnam War and its early conflicts by reading “We Were Soldiers Once…and Young.”  They will answer the question, “Was the Vietnam War just a political war, or did the soldiers, and citizens drafted, fight the war out of duty and honor. Students will interpret the message of and evaluate the effectiveness of “Duck and Cover” drills

      Students, working in groups will do a presentation on one of the pioneers of 1950’s rock and roll or one of the pioneers of counterculture rock and roll movement of the 60’s, that will include two songs by the artist or band and historical analysis.

      Students will compare and contrast the Korean and Vietnam wars by completing a conflict comparison chart

      Students will compare and contrast public criticism of the Vietnam War with criticism of the war efforts in World War I and World War II.  Drawing on Young Americans for Freedom, SDS, folk music, and NY Times editorials.

      Students will research and debate the following: “There was a fundamental contradiction between

Lyndon Johnson’s efforts to stop Communism abroad and renew America through the Great Society.”

      Students will write an essay with a definitive thesis comparing the Civil Rights movements of the 1950s and 60s with the Civil Rights movements of the Progressive Era, under Washington and Du Bois, focusing on the southern, northern, and western regions of the US.

      Students will analyze the presidency of Richard Nixon by completing a graphic organizer on his strengths and weaknesses, his 1960, 1968, and 1972 campaigns for president, and his domestic vs. his foreign policy.

      Students will write poems about the anti-war, counterculture, environmentalist, movements.

      Students will analyze the following maps: Divided Europe, War in Southeast Asia, the Election of 1980

      Students will analyze the presidencies of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter using Presidential Profile Charts. 

      Students will analyze the following primary source documents and images:

o   Image: Nixon Bidding Farewell o Document: Kennedy’s Inaugural Address o Document: Rosa Parks, Describing My Arrest o Document: Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka

o   Document and Image: George M. Humphrey, The Interstate Highway System o Document: Michael Harrington, The Other America o Document: The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

o   Document: Malcolm X and Yusef Iman, Black Nationalism o Document: National Organization for Women, Statement of Purpose o Table: Nixon’s Vietnamization

o   Document: Watergate: Taped White House Conversations

o   Document: Gloria Steinem, Statement in Support of the Equal Rights Amendment

o   Document: Jimmy Carter, The National Crisis of Confidence

Unit XII – 1980-Present

Text Readings: The American Pageant, chapters 40-42

Audiovisuals: Presidents – Reagan to Obama

Secondary Readings: Zinn, chapter 25, “The 2000 Election and the War on Terrorism”

Historical Analysis:

Richard K. Herrmann, Regional Conflicts as Turning Points: The Soviet and American Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Angola, and Nicaragua.  Students will analyze the author’s arguments, evaluate his thesis, evidence and reasoning, and respond to these in an essay.  Students will participate in an open discussion to share their findings.

Student Activities: 

      Students will analyze the international and domestic effects of the Iranian Hostage Crisis by creating and completing an effects graphic organizer.

      Working in groups the students will research and do a class presentation showing at least two causes and two effects of the end of the Cold War

      Students will create a film ad for a return to conservatism at home, and a focus on the family

      Students will analyze the Presidency of Ronal Reagan by completing a Presidential Profile Chart

      Students will compare and contrast the 1980s conservative policies and New Deal policies on the role of government in America, and our two party system.

      Students will summarize the arms reduction agreement initiated by Reagan and Gorbachev.

      Students will discuss how Reagan’s aggressive foreign policy led to the end of the Cold War.

      Students will compare and contrast America’s involvement in Vietnam and our current involvement in the Middle East.

      Students will analyze a map on growing American involvement in global affairs from 1980-2004.

      Students will analyze the campaigns of Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson from the 1912 election and compare that with the Clinton, Bush, Perot election of 1992.  Students will write an essay on the changing political mindset of Americans in two similar, yet different elections.

      Students will compare the domestic and foreign policies of the Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama administrations in a FRQ essay.

      Students will discuss Zinn, chapter 25, and compare his opinions to that of the news media reports on the event.

      Students will have an open discussion about the events of 9/11.  Teacher will facilitate.

      Students will examine different musical genres from punk, rap, country, and pop, to see how music from these genres comments, or does not comment on larger political and cultural trends.

      Students will analyze the following primary source documents and images o Image: American Hostage in Iran o Image: Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate o Document: Reagan, Tear Down This Wall o Document: Reagan, First Inaugural Address o Document: George H.W. Bush, Iraqi Aggression in Kuwait o Document: Bill Clinton, On World Trade Talks in Seattle o Document: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell o Document: Bush vs. Gore

o   Document: Report on Catastrophic Hurricane Evacuation Plan Evaluation

o   Table: 2000 Election results, Recounts

AP Exam Review Period

The second semester concludes with a period of review for the Advanced Placement US History Exam.  Students will then take a practice exam, and practice their writing skills.


Post AP Exam Period

Following the AP Exam, the course concludes with a historical film festival of feature films and documentaries in which the students will gain insight and inspiration to make their own film on a specific event from US History.  This film no less than 10 minutes will count as their second semester final exam grade.