High AP United States History
Number of Credits
Estimated Completion Time
Advanced reading and writing skills required; recommended for 11th grade or above.
Within AP U.S. History, students will develop and use historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparison and contextualization, crafting historical arguments from historical evidence, and historical interpretation and synthesis) to examine the history of the United States from 1491 to the present. Students will learn through active participation as they analyze sources and collaborate to gain a conceptual understanding of U.S. history.
The AP U.S. History course is structured around nine time periods outlined within the College Board Advanced Placement United States History Framework. Each time period is divided into key concepts meant to contextualize history and show continuity and well as change over time. The intention is for students to explore history, establishing economic, political, and social patterns.
Follow the link below for the Department of Education description of this course:
Follow the link below for the College Board description of this course:
Major Topics and Concepts: List of topics broken down by segment and module.
Module 1: Quest for the Americas
- Explore the different and complex societies of native North American peoples.
- Examine how European exploration led to the Columbian Exchange and empire building.
- Analyze how contact between American Indians and Europeans led to debate over each side’s worldview and concept of “civilized.”
- Compare the colonization practices of the Spanish, French, Dutch, and English.
- Explore the causes and effects of the British-American system of slavery.
- Examine the regional differences between the British colonies.
- Analyze how the competition of colonization led to rivalries between European nations and with American Indians.
- Examine the political, religious, and economic exchanges within the “Atlantic World.”
Module 2: Colonies at War
- Explore the causes and effects of the Seven Years’ War.
- Discuss how Protestant evangelical fervor and the Enlightenment influenced the British colonies.
- Examine the perceived and real political and economic restraints that sparked the colonial independence movement.
- Explore the creation of a republican form of government in the United States.
- Examine how migration within North America resulted in competition for resources and boundary conflicts.
- Discuss the development of an American national identity
Module 3: A New Republic
- Examine how the United States developed the world’s first modern mass democracy.
- Explore debates over the power of the federal government and states’ rights.
- Analyze how the Second Great Awakening influenced reform movements such as those for abolition and women’s rights.
- Examine the causes and effects of the Market Revolution.
- Analyze how the Louisiana Purchase sparked U.S. expansion, debates over new territories, and bitter conflicts with American Indians.
Module 4: American Civil War
- Examine the causes and effects of Manifest Destiny and the Mexican-American War.
- Explore the successes and failures of political compromises over slavery and new territory.
- Identify the various causes that led to the American Civil War.
- Compare and contrast the various approaches to Reconstruction.
- Examine the effects of Reconstruction on African Americans.
Module 5: A Growing Nation
- Explore how large-scale production, business consolidation, and consumption propelled America into the “Gilded Age.”
- Identify the ways in which government policy aided corporate expansion.
- Examine the causes for and the successes of the Populist movement.
- Explore the rise of labor movements.
- Analyze how the increase in migration led political and social reforms.
- Examine how westward expansion and industrialization impacted American Indians.
- Explore the cultural and intellectual movements that justified and challenged the social order of the Gilded Age.
Module 6: Imperialism and Progressivism
- Explore the transition of the United States from a rural and agricultural society to an urban and industrial society.
- Analyze how modernization led to political and cultural conflicts.
- Examine the Progressive reformers and how they attempted to combat economic instability, social inequality, and government corruption.
- Examine the causes and effects of World War II
- Examine the changes to immigration policy resulting from post-WWI xenophobia and increased international migration
?Module 7: The World at War
- Analyze how government responses to the Great Depression increased federal power and led to the creation of a limited welfare state.
- Examine the causes and effects of World War II.
- Examine how United States involvement in World War II altered its relationship with the rest of the world.
Module 8: Cold War
- Examine the cause and effects of the Cold War.
- Compare and contrast the involvement of the United States in the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.
- Explore how Cold War foreign policy extended to Latin America and the Middle East.
- Explore the reaction of United States citizens to Cold War foreign policy and actions.
- Examine the programs and policies of the Great Society.
- Explore the movements for civil rights by African Americans and other minority groups.
Module 9: A Brave New World
- Examine the ideological shift from liberalism to conservatism.
- Examine Reagan’s foreign policy and the end of the Cold War.
- Explore the creation and effects of worldwide free trade agreements.
- Explore the shifts to foreign policy as a result of the war on terrorism.
- Explore how the war on terrorism generated debates over domestic security and civil rights.
- Examine the demographic shifts of the modern era and how those changes intensified debates about immigration, gender roles, family structures, and national identity.
FLVS provided material: Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! An American History. Brief 4th ed. New York: Norton and Company, 2014.
To further engage students in the study of history as well as help prepare them for the AP Exam, the following materials are suggested accompaniments to the course.
Kreiger, Larry, Feldmeth, Gregory. AP U.S. History Crash Course. Revised 3rd ed. New Jersey: Research & Education Association, 2015.
Princeton Review. Cracking the AP U.S. History Exam. 2015 Edition. New York: Penguin Random House, 2014.
Courses subject to availability.
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