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United States History-Prehistory to the Present
Instructor: Ms. Van Pilsum
Textbook: United States History and Geography, Appleby, Brinkley,
Broussard, McPherson and Richie
Excerpts from: Black Elk Speaks, Empire of the Summer Moon, Uncle
Tom’s Cabin and primary source documents provided by the instructor.
Course Overview: United States History focuses on developing
students’ abilities to think conceptually about the the history of the
United States from the arrival of the first Americans circa 25,000 B.C.E.
to the present. The interactions with Native Americans throughout will
be an important part of the course, as well as analyzing the various
European attempts at settlement, the building of a democratic nation
and the growth of American power and influence world wide.
Major themes will include; peopling; politics and power; work,
exchange and technology, America in the world; environment and
geography; ideas, beliefs and culture of the many diverse people who
have settled here.
Major Time Periods:
Pre-Columbian contact-25,000 to 1492
Historical Thinking Skills:
Chronological Reasoning
II. Comparison and Contextualization
III. Crafting Historical Arguments from Historical Evidence
IV. Historical Interpretation and Synthesis
Chapter 1-North America before Columbus, European attempts at
settlement, Founding the 13 colonies, Governance and New Ideas.
(Prehistory to 1754)
Chapter 2-The American Revolution 1754-1783; Colonists Rebel, The
Revolutions Begins, The War for Independence, The Changing American
Chapter 3- Creating a Constitution, 1781-1789; The Confederation, A
New Constitution and Ratifying the Constitution
Chapter 4- Federalists vs Republicans 1789-1816; Washington and
Congress, Partisan Politics, Jefferson in Office and the War of 1812
Chapter 5-Growth and Division 1816-1832; American Nationalism, Early
Industry, King Cotton, Growing Sectionalism
Chapter 6-The Spirit of Reform 1828-1845; Jacksonian America, A
Changing Culture, Reforming Society, the Abolitionist Movement
Chapter 7-Manifest Destiny 1820-1848; The Western Pioneers, The
Hispanic Southwest, Independence for Texas, The Mexican American
Chapter 8-Sectional Conflict Intensifies 1848-1861; The Question of
Slavery and Western Expansion, The Crisis Deepens, Succession and
Chapter 9-The Civil War 1861-1865; Opposing Sides, The Early Stages,
Life During the War, The Turning Point, End and Impact of the War
Chapter 10- The Failure of Reconstruction 1865-1877; The Debate Over
Reconstruction, Republican Rule, Reconstruction Collapses
Chapter 11- Settling the West and the Removal of the Native Americans
1865-1890; Miners and Ranchers, Farming the Plains, The Massacre at
Wounded Knee-The End of the Indian Wars
Chapter 12-Age of Industrialization 1865-1901; The Rise of Industry,
Invention and Innovations, The Railroads, Big Business and the Rise of
Chapter 13-Urban America 1865-1896; Immigration, Problems with
Urbanization, Social Darwinism and Reform, the Gilded Age and
Chapter 14- Becoming a World Power 1872-1917; American
Imperialism, The Spanish American War, New American Diplomacy
Chapter 15-The Progressive Era 1890-1920; The Roots of Progressivism
Roosevelt and Taft, The Wilson Years
Chapter 16-World War War and Its Aftermath 1914-1920; Isolationism,
The United States Enters the War, Life on the Home Front, Impact of
Chapter 17-The Roaring Twenties-The Age of Jazz, 1921-1929; The
Politics of the 1920’s, A Clash of Values, African American Culture and
Chapter 18-The Great Depression 1929-1932; Causes of the Great
Depression, Life During the Depression, Hoover’s Response to the
Chapter 19-Roosevelt and the New Deal 1933-1941; The First New Deal,
The Second New Deal, Impending War
Chapter 20- Origins of the Second World War 1931-1941; Origins of the
Second World War, From Neutrality to War, The Holocaust
Chapter 21-America and World War II 1941-1945; Wartime America,
The War in the Pacific, The War in Europe, The War Ends
Chapter 22- The Cold War Begins 1945-1960; Origins of the Cold War,
The Cold War and American Society, Eisenhower and the Domino
Chapter 23-Postwar America 1945-1960; Truman, The Affluent Society
and the Other America
Chapter 24-The New Frontier and the Great Society 1960-1968; JFK and
the Cold War, The Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis
Chapter 25-The Civil Rights Movement 1954-1968; Challenging
Segregation, Civil Rights Act and Martin Luther King
Chapter 26- The Vietnam War 1954-1975; A Divided Nation, Protests
and the End of War
Chapter 27-The Politics of Protest 1960-1980; Students and the
Counterculture, The Feminist Movement and Latino Americans
Chapter 28-Politics and Economics 1968-1980; The Nixon
Administration, Watergate, Ford and Carter and New Approaches to
Civil Rights
Chapter 29-The Resurgence of Conservatism 1980-1992; The Reagan
Years and Reaganomics, The End of the Cold War
Chapter 30- A Time of Change 1980-2000; The Clinton Years, A New
Wave of Immigration, Globalization
Chapter 31-America’s Challenges For A New Century 2001-Present; The
War on Terror, Domestic Challenges and the Obama Presidency
Grading and Assignments:
Assignments will be on a point system with the following types of
assignments graded:
Daily or weekly homework
Individual or group presentations
Harkness discussions
Fishbowl discussions
Quizzes and Exams
Projects-group or individual
Due dates to be announced