AP United States History course is a college-level class requiring that students develop historical thinking skills by using appropriate analytical skills and a variety of written and visual primary and secondary sources to evaluate selective factual knowledge and make conclusions. The major difference between a regular high school history course and a college-level history course is the greater amount of reading and the depth of focus that is found in the college-level course. Moreover, the AP curriculum demands higher-order thinking skills within a rigorous academic context. Students will learn to craft plausible, persuasive historical arguments with clear, comprehensive and analytical theses and support them with relevant historical evidence. They will describe, analyze, and evaluate the arguments of others using the available evidence within their respective contexts/circumstances taking into account their respective bias or point-of-view. An emphasis is placed on interpreting documents, mastering a significant body of factual information, and writing critical essays. Topics include life and thought in colonial America, revolutionary ideology, constitutional development, Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy, nineteenth-century reform movements, and Manifest Destiny. Other topics include the Civil War and Reconstruction, immigration, industrialism, Populism, Progressivism, World War I, the Jazz Age, the Great Depression, the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the post-Cold War era, and the United States at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This course will fulfill the United States history graduation requirement.
In addition to the topics listed above, the course will emphasize a series of key themes throughout the year. These themes have been determined by the College Board as essential to a comprehensive study of United States history. The themes will include discussions of American diversity, the development of a unique American identity, the evolution of American culture, demographic changes over the course of America’s history, economic trends and transformations, environmental issues, the development of political institutions and the components of citizenship, social reform movements, the role of religion in the making of the United States and its impact in a multicultural society, the history of slavery and its legacies in this hemisphere, war and diplomacy, and finally, the place of the United States in an increasingly global arena. The course will trace these themes throughout the year, emphasizing the ways in which they are interconnected and examining the ways in which each helps to shape the changes over time that are so important to understanding United States history.
Period Covered Approximate Percentage of Test
Pre-Columbian to 1789 20%
1790 to 1914 45%
1915 to the present 35%
Material Covered Approximate Percentage of Test
Political institutions, behavior, and public policy 35%
Social change, and cultural and intellectual developments 40%
Diplomacy and international relations 15%
Economic developments 10%
1. Demonstrate a mastery of a broad body of historical knowledge
2. Use historical evidence to defend and support basic arguments and positions
3. Differentiate between various schools of historical thought and interpretation
4. Interpret and draw conclusions from various pieces of historical data including original documents, cartoons, graphs, etc.
5. Demonstrate an effective use of analytical skills, evaluation, cause-and-effect relationships, and the ability to compare and contrast related information
6. Work effectively in groups to produce projects, make presentations, and solve problems
Prepare to receive a passing score on the AP U.S. History Exam