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Advanced Placement American History

Dr. Mark Mraz

Course Outline:

Advanced Placement American History is a year long (two semesters) intensive study of the History of the United States from European exploration to the present. Emphasis will be placed on critical thinking, reading and writing skills. Preparation for the AP exam is part of the class; this can mean the possibility of earning college credit.


The participants will:

1. Discuss the origins of the American Indian.

2. Explore Pre-Columbian civilizations.

3. Understand conditions in Europe prior to the Colombian land fall.

4. Consider the consequences of the Colombian land fall.

5. Study Europeans efforts at American colonization.

6. Comprehend the impact of the English colonization of America.

7. Study the colonial way of life.

8. Understand the English Imperial colonial system.

9. Discuss the Anglo-French global rivalry.

10. Examine the events which led to the American Revolution.

11. Explore the causes, course and outcome of the American War for Independence.

12. Comprehend the accomplishments and weaknesses of the Confederation government.

13. Examine the writing and ratification of the United States Constitution.

14. Discuss the Federal Period of American History.

15. Understand Jeffersonian Democracy.

16. Study sectionalism and nationalism.

17. Comprehend Jacksonian Democracy.

18. Understand the dynamics of economic and social growth from 1800 to 1860.

19. Explore American intellectual currents prior to the Civil War.

20. Discuss the causes, course and outcome of Manifest Destiny.

21. Study the Old South, slavery and the anti-slavery movement.

22. Explore the political developments from the Election of 1848 through the secession of the lower South and the period prior to Lincoln’s inauguration.

23. Trace the course of the American Civil War from Fort Sumter to Appomattox.

24. Comprehend the Reconstruction Period from the end of the Civil War to the Compromise of 1877.

25. Discuss the economic and agricultural developments in the South and the West.

26. Explore the rise of big business.

27. Understand the emergence of modern America in the late 19th Century.

28. Examine Gilded age politics and the rise of the Populists.

29. Trace American expansion and foreign policy from the Civil War through the

administration of Theodore Roosevelt.

30. Explore the antecedents and main features of progressive.

31. Understand the domestic policies of the administrations of Roosevelt, Taft and


33. Study the policies of Woodrow Wilson and the Great War.

34. Explore the defensive mood of the 1920s.

35. Explain the Republican resurgence and decline.

36. Comprehend the election of FDR and the significance of the New Deal.

37. Examine American foreign policy between the wars.

38. Understand the causes, course and outcome of World War II.

39. Discuss domestic and foreign policies of the Truman administration.

40. Examine postwar America of the 1950s.

41. Understand Eisenhower’s domestic and foreign policies.

42. Study the administrations of Kennedy and Johnson.

43. Discuss the rebellion and reaction of the 1960s and 1970s.

44. Explain Nixon’s foreign and domestic policies.

45. Discuss the administrations of Ford and Carter.

46. Examine the domestic and foreign policies of Reagan and Bush.

47. Explore the presidency of Clinton.

48. Discuss the impeachment of Clinton.

49. Discuss the American character in the 1990s

50. Postulate about the future of America in the new century.


1. The Collision of Cultures

2. England and Its Colonies

3. Colonial Ways of Life

4. The Imperial Perspective

5. From Empire to Independence

6. The American Revolution

7. Shaping a Federal Union

8. The Federalists: Washington and Adams

9. Republicans: Jefferson and Madison

10. Nationalism and Sectionalism

11. The Jacksonian Impulse

12. The Dynamics of Growth

13. An American Renaissance

14. Manifest Destiny

15. The Old South: An American Tragedy

16. The Crisis of the Old Order

17. The War of the Union

18. Reconstruction: North and South

19. New Frontiers: South and West

20. The Rise of Big Business

21. The Emergence of Modern America

22. Gilded Age Politics and Agrarian Revolt

23. The Course of Empire

24. Progressivism: Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson

25. Wilson and the Great War

26. The Modern Temper

27. Republican Resurgence and Decline

28. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal

29. From Isolation to Global War

30. The World at War

31. The Fair Deal and Containment

32. Through the Picture Window: Society and Culture, 1945-1960

33. Conflict and Deadlock: The Eisenhower Years

34. New Frontiers: Kennedy and Johnson

35. Rebellion and Reaction in the 1960s and 1970s

36. A New Gilded Age

37. Cultural Politics

Required Texts:

George Brown Tindall and David E. Shi. America: A Narrative History Fifth Edition (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1999). (one-volume edition)

David E. Shi and Holly A. Mayer. For the Record: A Documentary History of America (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1999) (volumes I and II)


1. Teacher made tests on Units

2. 7-10 page term paper

3. Weekly 2-page essays on readings

4. Daily entries in a reading journal

5. Class discussions