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US History

US History is a year long course, studying political, social, economic, and cultural events that have led to, defined, and determined how we live in the United States today.  The course is taught in narrative style - specifically how and why the norms of today are what they are.  This page will guide students through the units and content.  Class syllabus can be found here. 

Unit 1 - Prelude to America

Our introductory unit studies the original inhabitants of North America, first contact with the Eastern Hemisphere, arising challenges of the contact, early economic benefits of connection to "The New World", and early colonial life.  The unit concludes with the colonies' break from the UK and the pioneering gamble of (two!) written Constitutions. 

Unit Readings

-The Americans - Ch. 1: "Three Worlds Meet"
-The Americans - Ch. 3: "The Colonies Come of Age"
-The Americans - Ch. 4: "The War for Independence"
-The Americans - Ch. 5: "Shaping a New Nation"

Unit Lectures

Unit Video Content

Unit 2 - The Road to the Civil War

The second unit examines the period of time from when the ink dried on the Constitution until the bombing of Fort Sumter.  The primary aim is to understand the practicality, but ultimate failings of, the compromises of the Constitution.  Covers the new nation, growing pains, movement west, and fraying alliances.

Unit Readings

-The Americans - Ch. 6: "Launching the New Nation"
-The Americans - Ch. 7: "Balancing Nationalism and Sectionalism"
-The Americans - Ch. 8: "Reforming American Society"
-The Americans - Ch. 9: "Expanding Markets and Moving West"
-The Americans - Ch. 10: "The Union in Peril"

Unit Lectures

Unit Video Content

Unit 3 - The Start of the 2nd American Era

The third unit, a mini unit, examines the American Civil War, and the great experiment that was Reconstruction.  The emphasis is on the fundamentally changed America as compared to the first 90 years.

Unit Readings

-The Americans - Ch. 11: "The Civil War"
-The Americans - Ch. 12: "Reconstruction and Its Effects"

Unit Lectures

Unit Video Content

Unit 4 - A Nation Changed

The unit explores a fundamentally changed nation post Civil War, with massive geographic expansion, an explosion of new immigrants, the end of the agrarian society, and new ideas in science, technology and governance.

Unit Readings

-The Americans - Ch. 13: "Changes on the Western Frontier"
-The Americans - Ch. 14: "A New Industrial Age"
-The Americans - Ch. 15: "Immigrants and Urbanization"
-The Americans - Ch. 16: "Life at the Turn of the 20th Century"
-The Americans - Ch. 17: "The Progressive Era"

Unit Lectures

Unit Video Content

Unit 5 - An Emerging World Power

The United States moves from being a post-colonial breakaway to a legitimate world power.   The unit covers military power, foreign conflicts, the rise of the export of American culture, America in the aftermath of WWI, and the dynamic roaring twenties.

Unit Readings

-The Americans - Ch. 18: "American Claims an Empire"
-The Americans - Ch. 19: "The First World War"
-The Americans - Ch. 20: "Politics of the Roaring Twenties"
-The Americans - Ch. 21: "The Roaring Life of the 1920s"

Unit Lectures

Unit Video Content

Unit 6 - The Collapse of the 2nd American Era

The greatest challenges to the United States, other than the Civil War, come back-to-back with the Great Depression and WWII.  Emphasis of the unit looks at individual and collective action for both the colossal problems of the depression and the national fervor and universal sacrifice of the wartime era.  Whereas World History looks at WWII mostly in Europe, USH focuses on the homefront and the War in the Pacific.

Unit Readings

-The Americans - Ch. 22: "The Great Depression Begins"
-The Americans - Ch. 23: "The New Deal"
-The Americans - Ch. 25: "The United States in World War II"

Unit Lectures

Unit Video Content

Unit 7 - The New World Order

WWII fundamentally rewrote the rules of 20th Century.  The New World Order, with global organizations and two primary ideologies duking it out, take American on a wide ride in both domestic turmoil and foreign conflicts.

Unit Readings

-The Americans - Ch. 27: "The Postwar Boom"
-The Americans - Ch. 28: "The New Frontier and the Great Society"
-The Americans - Ch. 29: "Civil Rights"
-The Americans - Ch. 31: "An Era of Social Change"

Unit Lectures

Unit Video Content

Unit 8 - America in the Cold War

The Soviet Union and the United States duke it out directly and indirectly across continents, culture, politics, and propaganda.  Areas of focus are Vietnam, Korea, South America, and ultimately a domestic swing back to Conservatism.

Unit Readings

-The Americans - Ch. 26: "Cold War Conflicts"
-The Americans - Ch. 30: "The Vietnam War Years"
-The Americans - Ch. 32: "An Age of Limits"
-The Americans - Ch. 33: "The Conservative Tide"

Unit Lectures

Unit Video Content

Unit 9 - A World Compacted

The final unit looks at more current events in the world created by 9/11.  The ongoing War on Terror, global populism, anti-immigrant and pro-nationalism movements around the globe, interconnected economies, and challenges to Democracy.

Unit Lectures

Unit Video Content

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