Advanced Placement American History Syllabus

Advanced Placement American History Syllabus


Welcome to Advanced Placement United States History! You have chosen to take a challenging and rewarding class that is intended to prepare you for college courses. This class is taught at college level and uses college level materials. It is expected that everyone who takes this class will take the AP Exam at the end of the year but it is not required. Credit in college is possible depending on how well you do on the exam. You will need to check what scores your college will accept for credit. (It differs greatly). The below information will help guide you through the course this year. Please read the following carefully.


TEXT: THE AMERICAN PAGEANT (12TH edition) by Thomas Bailey, David Kennedy, and Elizabeth Cohen.

Binder, Frederick M. and David M. Reimers, The Way We Lived, DC Heath and Co., Lexington 1996

Shi, David and Holly Mayer, For the Record, WW Norton and Company, New York, 1999

Spoehr, Luther and Alan Fraker, Doing the DBQ; College Board, 1995

Wheeler, Bruce William and Susan D. Becker, Discovering American Past, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston 1998


1. Survey text: You are responsible for reading and studying the survey text by Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen. You will receive a study guide, reading guide, and reading schedule for the entire trimester. Stick to it! The most important aid to your success in this class is to read and comprehend the text thus preparing you for discussion etc in class. While some of the text will be discussed in detail, much of it will be covered through independent learning. Approximately 65% of the multiple choice questions on the unit tests will come directly from the text assignment. Daily reading quizzes consisting of 2-15 questions based on the text and reading guide will be given to encourage students to stay abreast of the reading assignments. Since the purpose of these quizzes is to ensure that you are doing your reading, students may use their reading notes or reading guides on the quizzes. Quizzes can be given every day, every other day; whenever, it depends on whether you all are keeping up and the whim of your omnipotent teacher.

2. Supplemental readings: You will be given primary and secondary reading materials (essays, articles, documents, political cartoons, etc) within each unit that will deal with an organizing concept that will be emphasized on the unit writing assignments. The materials are to be read and eventually used to help construct and defend a thesis within a timed written essay. These supplemental readings will take the form of individual reading and response to questions, group assignments, and seminar-type or group discussions.

3. Study groups: Student study groups will be organized of four to five students. Groups will undertake considerable collaboration including preparing for tests, the writing of papers, group presentations, and analysis of assigned readings. These groups will be maintained at least through the first semester and will be an integral part of your AP experience.

4. Notes: Good notes are an asset in any class and particularly in an A.P. class. You are required to take notes on lectures and discussions, and I recommend a spiral notebook for that purpose. Periodically, I will check your notebooks and give daily quiz grades based on your notes from lectures, class discussions and presentations.

5. Research: Research is a significant part of the college level course. You will be required to conduct original research for small papers, cooperative presentations, one pagers etc. Plagiarism can be grounds for dismissal from course with a failing grade.


1. Tests: At the end of each unit an exam will be given. It may be all multiple choice, essay, or short answer, but will usually be a combination of the above. As stated above, approximately 65% of these questions will be from the text. The other 35% will be from lecture, supplemental readings, and group presentations (discussion). Tests and Papers will count 60%, Notebook grades will count 25%, and daily work and quizzes will count 15%, respectively, of your six weeks grade. The trimester exam will count 20% of your trimester grade.

2. Notebook: Your Notebook will consist of a 3 inch binder. You will be required to place (divided by class notes, reading guides, terms, assignments as explained later in the syllabus) most if not all of your work in this notebook. Notebook grades will count 25% of your grade. Notebooks will be graded at the end of each unit. For notebook requirements see attached page. Your notebook is very important as it will be a significant tool for review for both my finals and the AP Exam.

3. Daily grades: Quizzes (2x), group or individual presentations, selected handouts, participation will be 15% of your six weeks grade. There will be no makeup of quizzes, and I will drop the lowest daily grade each six weeks. If you are absent and miss a quiz that becomes your dropped grade.

4. Test Corrections: Test corrections will be the only significant source of extra credit for the exams. You need (Trust me) the extra credit. See attached page for details about Test corrections.

5. Makeup: Makeup tests are to be completed by appointment. This appointment must be made and completed within a week after your return to school. If this is not accomplished, the result will be a zero for that test. There is no makeup for quizzes. The lowest daily grade will be dropped. The responsibility for makeup is entirely the student’s.


1. Attendance: The nature and format of this course makes it imperative that you be in class every day. Some of the learning in your absence is virtually impossible to make up, but you can minimize the problem by acquiring notes, works, etc from members of your study group.

2. Materials: A spiral notebook for note-taking and loose-leaf paper plus some type of binder with pockets is suggested. You will also need several yellow legal pads for your tests and essays. Number 2 pencils and black pens are also required. A hole puncher would be helpful.

  1. Not required but highly recommended is the A.P. review book by Princeton Review: Cracking the A.P. U.S. History Exam. This can be used as review for unit tests and in preparation for the national exam.
  2. I will make other recommendations as the year progresses.

3. Movie Night: On the first week of every month we will watch a movie after school dealing with the historical time period we are studying. This is not required but recommended. Students will bring their own drinks, popcorn, pizza etc. (Don’t forget napkins, the penalty for spillage is disembowelment). Show time will be announced. The approximate time for each movie will be 2-2.5 hours.

4. National Exam: The advanced placement national exam is administered at G.H.S. in May by the counseling staff. It takes approximately 3 hours and consists of two parts: multiple choice and essay. Students receive a score from one to five. Most colleges require a three to grant any credit. It is possible to receive six credit hours of U.S. History survey course. Check with your prospective colleges for their particular requirements or with the A.P. College Board web site.

5. Review: Immediately after soccer season, every Tuesday and Thursday I will hold reviews from 4:10-6:00. My students are welcome to review in my classroom before school as well. If I am not there feel free to look at the APCDs and other review material. Students will be required to take a 3 hour practice exam prior to the test. Dates will be given later.


Notebooks are a compilation of all your work and should be viewed as a portfolio. The work should be neat, legible, and correct. You will present them to me approximately every 2 weeks (At the end of each unit) for evaluation. I will be grading them mainly on neatness and completion. Your content grade will come from regularly given notebook quizzes.

Notebook Organization- These procedures must be followed in compiling your notebook.

  1. Your first page in the notebook will be your cover page. It will include your name, the class name and the class period.
  1. The first page of each unit will be the unit cover. This may be either a right or a left hand page. It must have:
  2. the unit number.
  3. the unit name.
  4. a drawing showing what the unit was about.
  5. it must be in color.

3. The second page of each unit must be the table of contents. Each page in the unit will be numbered starting with the unit cover as page 1. Every page will be listed in the table of contents. If that page is blank then nothing needs to be written next to the page number in the table of contents. For example:

Page #sContent
1 Unit Cover

2 Table of contents

3 Ch. 1 Terms

4 Ch. 1 Reading Guide


6 English Colonization Notes

  1. Each unit will be divided into (in order):

1. Class Notes

2. Reading Guides

3. Terms

4. Assignments

5. Journals

All Terms and Reading Guides will be hand written. No copies will be accepted. No Exceptions!!

  1. Stamps will be given on a daily basis for completion of homework. If any part of an assignment is not complete, no stamp will be given.

Test Corrections

  1. Test corrections must be completed at school. No tests will be sent home. You will have some class time to finish but if you do not you will have to come in before school, after school (Fri. or by appointment), or during the school day. 5th period is my conference or you could come in during the other class periods 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th.
  2. For each wrong answer you are required to write the question, explain the right answer in a different color ink or highlight (which will be a short paragraph or several sentences), and to document where you found the correct answer in your text (page number) or date that notes were taken in class (therefore you must date your notes). This documentation will be at the end of your correction explanation. (p. 34 American Pageant) I will check!
  3. Simply completing the multiple choice answer is inadequate and will result in no additional points added onto your test.
  4. Test corrections will be worth roughly ½ of each question’s worth.


COURSE OUTLINE: 2007-2008 12th edition



A. Discovery and Settlement.

B. America and The British Empire.

C. Colonial Society.


A. France v. Britain: Wars for Empire.

B. The Road to Revolution.

C. The American Revolution and its Impact.

UNIT 3: THE NEW NATION 1776-1800 CH. 9-10

A. Failure of the Articles of Confederation.

B. The Constitution and the New Republic

C. Washington and Adams’ Presidencies.

UNIT 4: THE AGE OF JEFFERSON 1800-1824CH. 11-12

A. Revolution of 1800

B. Marshall’s Judicial Nationalism

C. Enlarging the Nation State- Louisiana Purchase

D. Protecting Neutrality and American Rights

E. The War of 1812

UNIT 5: THE AGE OF JACKSON 1824-1860 CH. 13-14

A. Jacksonian Democracy.

B. Forging the National Economy 1790-1860.

C. Lowell Mill System

D. Clay’s American System


A. 2nd Great Awakening

B. Roots of Reform

C. Reform: Temperance, Education, Women’s Rights

D. South and Slave System

E. Abolition

UNIT 7: EMERGING DISUNION 1800-1861CH. 17-19

A. Manifest Destiny.

B. Renewing Sectional Struggles.

C. Decade of Crisis 1850-1860.


A. The War for Southern Independence.

B. The Impact of War on Society.

C. Reconstruction.


A. Industrialization.

B. Urbanization.

C. New Immigrants


UNIT 10: THE GILDED AGE 1865-1900CH. 23 & 26

A. Politics in the Gilded Age.

B. End of Reconstruction

C. The Great West

D. Conquest of the Indians.

E. Challenge of the Farmers: Rise of the Populists.

UNIT 11: AMERICA’S PATH TO EMPIRE 1890-1909 CH. 27-28

A. New Manifest Destiny.

B. Latin American Affairs.

C. America on the World Stage.


A. Roosevelt and the Progressives.

B. Taft and the Progressive Insurgency

C. Election of 1912

D. Wilsonian Progressivism and Neutrality.


A. World War I

B. America Enters WWI Why?

C. 14 Points

D. Propaganda and Repression

E. Rejection of the League of Nations

F. The First Red Scare

G. 20s Decade of Conflict

H. 20s Decade of Prosperity?

UNIT 14: AMERICA BOOM AND BUST 1920-1932 CH. 33-34

A. Politics of the 20’s.

B. The Great Depression.

C. The New Deal.


A. F.D.R. and Foriegn Policy.

B. America in WWII.

C. Truman and the Cold War.


A. The 50s.

B. Civil Rights Movement.

C. Eisenhower and the Cold War

D. Kennedy and the Cold War

E. Great Society’s War on Poverty

F. Vietnam Escalation

G. 1968

UNIT 17: THE U.S. AT HOME AND ABROAD 1968-2001CH.40-42

A. Nixon.

B. Vietnam and Counterculture.

C. Civil Rights: Women, Blacks, Latino.

D. Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush II.

Course Outline 2007-2008First Semester

Unit One: Colonial Beginnings 1588-1763

August 27-September 11


American Pageant, Chapters 2-5

Discovering American Past, Chapter 3


City Upon a Hill

Great Awakening

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Rhythms of Colonial Life


-Characteristics of English Colonization and the American Experience.

-Push/ Pull factors of Immigration.

-Comparison/ Contrast of the three regions: New England, Middle, and Southern

Colonies by Social, Political, Economic, Religious, and Military

categories as well as an analysis of why regional differences occurred.

-Decline in the Puritan mission: ie. Halfway Covenant, Jeremiads, and Salem

Witch Trials.

-Impact of Great Awakening on Colonial Society.

-Economic and Demographic factors contributing to economic decline in

Massachusetts on the eve of the American Revolution.



*Analyze and deconstruct a poem advertising Virginia. Ode to the Virginian Voyage

1619. Discuss in terms of propaganda.

*Create a chart identifying Colonial cultures in North America including Date Founded,

Motivation for colonization, How founded, Major Characters, Ethnic make up,

Political Structure, and Economic Base.

*Discuss and analyze Puritan Documents such as John Winthrop’s City Upon a Hill ,

Rules for Puritan Children, and Anne Bradstreet’s Poems.

*DBQ Analysis 1993 DBQ explaining why regional differences existed between New

England and the Chesapeake Bay Colonies.

*In class analysis of relevant statistics seeking an explanation for the Salem Witch


*Cooperative analysis of demographic statistics to explain why pre-revolutionary

Massachusetts was ripe for revolution. (Economic decline and stagnation)

*Discussion Question analysis of possible essays.

Exam: Short Essay and Multiple Choice.

Unit Two: American Independence 1763-1783

September 12- September 21


American Pageant, Chapters 6-8

The Way We Lived, Chapter 7


How Radical Was the American Revolution? Forrest MacDonald and Gordon S. Wood.

The Americans Who Risked Everything Rush Limbaugh. (I can’t believe I use something from old Rush, but I do.)

Common Sense, Thomas Paine

Declaration of Independence

The Path to Revolution

The Effects of the Revolution


-The place of the American Colonies within the British Empire. No intolerable


-Impact of the French and Indian War on Colonies.

Colonial security, Potential expansion, and Introduction of New Imperial


-Colonial reaction to New Imperial Policy: Constitutionally and with Violence.

-How both British and Colonial perceptions differed and led to conflict. The

British felt that they should have the right of taxation and the colonies

were cheap and selfish. The Colonials thought their precious rights were endangered by first a rapacious Parliament and then a tyrannical King.

-Elements leading to the Declaration of Independence.

-Emergence of American Unity and Identity. American Identity furthered by the

Continental Army.

-Significance of Important Battles such as Saratoga and Yorktown.

-The political, economic, and social effects of the American Revolution.



*Cooperative Analysis of Lord Grenville’s options and decision to initiate the New

Imperial Policy.

*The Path to Revolution Handout which requires a chart of both the British and

American Colonists reaction and rationale in response to the major events leading

to the American Revolution including among others Stamp Act, Townshend Act,

Boston Tea Party, Intolerable Acts, Lexington and Concord.
*Quartering techniques will be used to analyze political cartoons from this era.
*Analyze Common Sense according to APPARTS and list and discuss each of Thomas

Paines’s arguments independence.
*Discussion of the Declaration of Independence and matching justifications with actual

*Analysis of excerpt from J. Franklin Jameson’s American Revolution Considered as a

Social Movement. Discuss Social Effects of the American Revolution in Seminar.
*Cooperatives develop a Thesis, Box Chart (Essay Organization), Analysis, and evidence to be used to answer 1999 DBQ (Degree of American Unity and Identity 1750-1776)
*Grade sample essays/ Discuss requirements.
*Multiple Choice Exam and Short Essay graded on the 9 point AP standard.

Unit Three: The New Nation 1776-1800

September 24- October 3


American Pageant, Chapters 9-10

American Profiles: Apostle of Republican Liberty; Eugene R. Sheridan

A Man For the 90s: Fred Burbish

The Constitution: Was It an Economic Document? Henry Steele Commager


The Constitution-Balancing Competing Interests

The Development of Political Parties

Alien and Sedition Acts


-Evaluation of the successes and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.

-The Development of the United States Constitution and The Bill of Rights.

-The Development of Political Parties with a focus on the two leaders Thomas

Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

-The impact of Hamilton’s Financial Program.