Honors American History I Syllabus


HONORS AMERICAN HISTORY I

 

 UNIT ONE:  EUROPE CLAIMS THE NEW WORLD 1492- 1783

Major Concepts:

  • Spanish exploration and claims in North and South America
  • The Columbian Exchange
  • Colonial life in Spanish America
  • French exploration and claims in North America
  • English exploration and early colonial settlement
  • The differentiation and growth of the English colonies
  • English colonial life
  • The French and Indian War
  • American disillusionment with English rule
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Revolutionary War

Readings:

  • Textbook:  Handouts
  • Primary Sources

Major Assignments:

  • Vocabulary
  • Informational chart of the English colonies
  • Unit test

 

   UNIT TWO:  THE NEW NATION 1783-1820

Major Concepts:

  • Problems with Confederation
  • The “living” Constitution
  • Establishment of federal power and supremacy over the states
  • Strict and loose Construction
  • Development of the two-party system
  • Conflict with Indians
  • Place of women
  • Status of slavery
  • Disparities between classes
  • Early foreign policy
  • Importance of the Election of 1800
  • The Louisiana Purchase
  • The War of 1812

Readings:

  • Textbook:  The Americans  Chapters 5 and 6
  • Primary Sources

Major Assignments:

  • Vocabulary
  • Research Hamilton’s and Jefferson’s differing viewpoints
  • Unit Test

 

UNIT THREE:  NATIONALISM, GROWTH, AND REFORM  1801-1850 

Major concepts:

  • The political and economic importance of the West
  • Cultural expressions of nationalism
  • Celebrating the common man and the American way of life
  • Influence of the Transcendentalist Movement
  • Transformation of life in the early industrial revolution
  • Impact of the transportation revolution and market revolution
  • Cultural polarization of Antebellum America
  • Political agendas of antebellum leaders
  • Concepts of “Jacksonian Democracy
  • Federal Indian policy before the Civil War
  • Slave revolts
  • States’ Rights
  • Era of Good Feelings
  • Moral dilemma of slavery
  • Second Great Awakening
  • Early reform movements (Abolition, Temperance, Women’s Rights, Utopian communities, improvement in social institutions)

Readings:

  • Textbook:  The Americans Chapters 7, 8, and 9 (Section 1 only)
  • Primary Sources

Major Assignments:

  • Vocabulary
  • Paper:  “Jacksonian Democracy”
  • Chart:  “Early Reform Movements”
  • Map:  Building a National Economy
  • Unit Test

 

UNIT FOUR:   MANIFEST DESTINY AND GROWING SECTIONALISM  1835-1860

Major Concepts:

  • Economics and the expansion of the geographic regions
  • Texas Revolution
  • Connection of James Polk and Manifest Destiny
  • The Mexican War
  • Impact of the California Gold Rush
  • The debate on the expansion of slavery
  • Compromise of 1850
  • Weak Presidential leadership
  • Rise of the Republican Party
  • The role of slavery
  • Impact of Dred Scott
  • Interpretations of the 10th Amendment

Readings:

  • Textbook:  The Americans Chapters 9 and 10
  • Primary Sources

Major Assignments:

  • Vocabulary
  • Paper:  Describe the various compromises on the slave issue between 1820 and 1860 and analyze why they failed.
  • Map:  Growth of the U.S. to 1853
  • Unit Test

 

UNIT FIVE:  CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION 1860-1877

Major Concepts:

  • Immediate causes of the war
  • Key turning points of the war
  • New military technology
  • Strategies of both sides
  • Major political and military leaders
  • European support
  • Executive Powers
  • Resistance to the war effort
  • Effects of military occupation
  • Limits on Presidential and congressional power
  • Development of a new labor system
  • Reconstruction:  resistance and decline
  • Enfranchisement and Civil Rights
  • Reorganization of southern social, economic, and political systems

Readings:

  • Textbook:  The Americans Chapters 11 and 12
  • Primary Sources

Major Assignments:

  • Vocabulary
  • Civil War “Business Cards”
  • Civil War Timeline
  • Unit Test

 

             UNIT SIX:  THE GREAT WEST AND THE RISE OF THE DEBTOR  1860-1896 

Major Concepts:

  • Challenges of Westward Movement
  • Motivation for Westward Movement
  • Impact of the Transcontinental Railroad
  • Development of cattle, ranching, and mining industries
  • Mexican influence on the West
  • Western Movement Impact on Indians:  Destruction of buffalo, reservation system, cattle drives, Indian wars
  • Rise and Fall of Populism
  • Impact of laws and court cases on the farmer
  • Growing discontent of the farmer
  • Gold Standard vs. Bimetalism
  • Technological improvements on farming
  • Changing nature of farming as a business
  • Increased dependence on the railroads

Readings:

  • Textbook:  The Americans  Chapter 13
  • Primary Sources

Major Assignments:

  • Vocabulary
  • Map:  Westward Expansion (Cattle Trails, Railroads, Mining Towns, Indian Battles)
  • Unit Test

 

UNIT SEVEN:  BECOMING AN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY  1877-1900 

Major Concepts:

  • Urban Issues:  Housing, Sanitation, Transportation
  • The rise of ethnic neighborhoods
  • New forms of leisure
  • Emergence of new industries:  Railroads, steel, oil
  • Changes in the way businesses formed and consolidated power
  • Influence of business leaders as “captains of industry” or “robber barons”
  • Relationship of big business to the government
  • Influence of Darwinism, Social Darwinism, and the Gospel of Wealth
  • Formation of labor unions
  • Types of unions
  • Tactics used by labor unions
  • Opposition to labor unions
  • Impact of law and court decisions
  • “Laissez-Faire” government policies
  • Operation of political machines
  • Patronage vs. the civil service system
  • Impact of corruption and scandal in the government
  • The Election of 1896

Readings:

  • Textbook:  The Americans  Chapters 14 and 15
  • Primary Sources

Major Assignments:

  • Vocabulary
  • Research Rockefeller and Carnegie as “Captains of Industry” or “Robber Barons”
  • Chart:  Labor Unions
  • Chart:  the Great Strikes
  • Unit Test

 

 

 

 

 

 

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