AP United States History



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%



Students will:

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

Required Books/Resources

Ø  Textbook: Divine, Robert A., et al. America: Past and Present, AP Edition, 8th Ed. New York: Longman, 2007.

Ø  Colbert, David, Ed. Eyewitness to America: 500 Years of American History in the Words of Those Who Saw it Happen, New York: Vintage Books, 1997.

Ø  Study Guide: The Princeton Review: Cracking the AP United States History Exam

Ø  Study Guide: Divine, et al. AP* Test Prep Series: AP* United States History, New York: Longman, 2007.


Supplemental Resources

Ø  Unger, Irwin and Robert R. Tomes. American Issues: A Primary Source Reader in United States History, 4th ed. 2 vols. New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005.


Course Materials

Ø  One notebook with college-ruled paper and folders devoted exclusively to U. S. History

Ø  Black pens (all free response questions must be completed in black or dark blue pen)

Ø  Pencils (all multiple choice questions must be completed in pencil)

Ø  Highlighters

  I have tutoring for my high school classes, every Wednesday, starting August 17th, from 3:25 to 4:15 in room 134.
  For additional course information, please review the course syllabus and curriculum map attached below.
Mrs. Hanson
Aug 4, 2013, 8:36 PM