Advanced Placement United States History
The AP U.S. History course is designed for highly motivated students who wish to be introduced to
U.S. History coursework.
It has several purposes.
First, and most importantly, students will learn U.S.
This course is also intended to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge
necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in U.S. history.
Finally, it is designed to prepare
students to pass the AP U.S. History exam.
This course examines the evolution of America from initial European exploration and settlement of North
America to the present.
However, since students enrolled this semester have already covered early American
history, the focus of this class will be on modern U.S. history since the U.S. Civil War.
Content will be
derived from the study of selected historical themes as described in the
AP Course Description
will be traced throughout the year and will be evaluated to determine how they are linked and how each
facilitated change over time.
These themes will include the following:
Growth of an American identity, demographics, and culture
Economic trends in the U.S., changes in trade, commerce and technology
Environmental issues, specifically, the impact of a growing society on the environment
Globalization, including our relationship to the rest of the world from the age of exploration
to the present
Development of political institutions and traditions and the components of citizenship
Social reform movements such as anti-slavery, education, labor, temperance, women’s rights,
civil rights, gay rights, war, public health and government
In the AP U.S. History course, students will learn to master factual knowledge, understand historical
chronology, assess/analyze historical materials, differentiate among historical schools of thought, interpret
primary sources, and effectively use higher order thinking skills (evaluation, cause and effect, and
comparison/contrast, etc.) in relation to historical scholarship.
Additionally, the course will provide students
with frequent practice in writing analytical and interpretive essays, such as document-based questions, and
Class will include lecture and discussion, group projects, presentations, and preparation of discussion
Homework assignments will involve
independent reading, as well as periodic writing of
essays, critiques, and reports.
The course will be divided into units, and each unit will include discussion of
and/or writing about related historiography, specifically, how interpretations of events have changed over
time, how issues of one time period impacted experiences and decisions of subsequent generations, and how
reevaluations of the past continue to shape the way historians view the world today.
Each unit will also
include selected primary source readings from various collections and map activities to familiarize students