The following is a topic outline of the AP United States History curriculum.  The textbook and e Digital History chapters covering the individual topics are listed.  As you can see there are nearly as many topics as there are weeks in the school year so speed is of the essence.  I will also assign a significant amount of supplemental reading.  I strongly encourage you to keep up with the following reading schedule.  You are responsible for every bit of the assigned reading.  Forming study groups and sharing notes should ease your burden.  There will be at least one reading quiz each week.




1.      Pre-Columbian Societies/ Transatlantic Encounters


·         Early inhabitants of the Americas

·         American Indian empires in Mesoamerica, the Southwest, and the Mississippi Valley

·         American Indian cultures of North America at the time of European contact

·         First European contacts with Native Americans

·         Spain’s empire in North America

·         French colonization of Canada



Textbook: Chapter 1


Digital History Readings:


The First Americans


Exploration and Discovery

2.   Colonial Beginnings, 1492–1690


·         English settlement of New England, the Mid-Atlantic region, and the South

·         Religious diversity in the American colonies

·         Resistance to colonial authority: Bacon’s Rebellion, the Glorious Revolution, and the Pueblo Revolt


Textbook: Chapter 2


Digital History Reading:




3.   Colonial North America, 1690–



·         From servitude to slavery in the Chesapeake region

·         Population growth and immigration

·         Transatlantic trade and the growth of seaports

·         The eighteenth-century back country

·         Growth of plantation economies and slave societies

·         The Enlightenment and the Great Awakening

·         Colonial governments and imperial policy in British North America


 Textbook: Chapter 3


Digital History Reading:


The Origins and Nature of New World Slavery


Patterns of Change 1700-1775


4.  The American Revolutionary Era,



·         The French and Indian War

·         The Imperial Crisis and resistance to Britain

·         The War for Independence

·         State constitutions and the Articles of Confederation

·         The federal Constitution


Textbook: Chapter 4


Textbook: Chapter 5


Textbook: Chapter 6  (through the adoption of the Constitution)


Digital History Reading:


The American Revolution


The Founders


The Critical Period: America in the 1780s


The US Constitution and the Bill of Rights


5.   The Early Republic, 1789–1815


·         Washington, Hamilton, and the shaping of the national government

·         Emergence of political parties: Federalists and Republicans

·         Republican Motherhood and education for women

·         Beginnings of the Second Great Awakening

·         Significance of Jefferson’s presidency

·         Expansion into the trans-Appalachian West; American Indian resistance

·         Growth of slavery and free Black

·         communities

·         The War of 1812 and its consequences

Textbook: Chapter 6  (Washington’s presidency through the emergence of political parties)


Textbook: Chapter 7


Textbook: Chapter 8 (The War of 1812 and its consequences)


Digital History Reading:


The First New Nation


Jeffersonian Republicanism


The Era of Good Feelings



6.  The Transformation of Politics in Antebellum America

·         Emergence of the second party system

·         Federal authority and its opponents: judicial federalism

Textbook: Chapter 8



7.  The  Age of Jackson


·         The Bank War, tariff controversy, and states’ rights debates

·         Jacksonian democracy and its successes and limitations

·         Forced removal of American Indians to the trans-Mississippi West



Textbook: Chapter 9

Digital History Reading:

Jacksonian Democracy

8.  The Transformation of Economy

and Society in Antebellum



·         The transportation revolution and creation of a national market economy

·         Beginnings of industrialization and changes in social and class structures

·         Immigration and nativist reaction

·         Planters, yeoman farmers, and slaves in the cotton South

·         Pro- and antislavery arguments and conflicts


Textbook: Chapter 10


Textbook: Chapter 11


Digital History Reading:


Pre-Civil War American Culture


The Roots of American Economic Growth




9.  Religion, Reform, and Renaissance in Antebellum America


·         Evangelical Protestant revivalism

·         Social reforms

·         Ideals of domesticity

·         Transcendentalism and utopian communities

·         American Renaissance: literary and artistic expressions

Textbook: Chapter 12


Digital History Reading:


Pre-Civil War Reform


Religion and the Early Republic


The Struggle for Public Schools



10.  Territorial Expansion, Manifest Destiny, and the Crisis of the Union


·         Western migration and cultural interactions

·         Territorial acquisitions

·         Early U.S. imperialism: the Mexican War

·         Compromise of 1850 and popular sovereignty

·         The Kansas–Nebraska Act and the emergence of the Republican Party

·         Abraham Lincoln, the election of 1860, and secession

Textbook: Chapter 13


Digital History Reading:


Westward Expansion


The Pre-Civil War South


The Impending Crisis



11.  Civil War


·         Two societies at war: mobilization, resources, and internal dissent

·         Military strategies and foreign diplomacy

·         Emancipation and the role of African Americans in the war

·         Social, political, and economic effects of war in the North, South, and West

Textbook: Chapter 14


Digital History Reading:


The Civil War




12.  Reconstruction and The Origins of the New South


·         Presidential and Radical Reconstruction

·         Southern state governments: aspirations, achievements, failures

·         Role of African Americans in politics, education, and the economy

·         Compromise of 1877

·         Impact of Reconstruction

·         Reconfiguration of southern agriculture: sharecropping and crop lien system

·         Expansion of manufacturing and industrialization

·         The politics of segregation: Jim Crow and disfranchisement


Textbook: Chapter 15


Digital History Reading:




Along the Color Line




13.  Development of the West in the Late Nineteenth Century


·         Expansion and development of western railroads

·         Competitors for the West: miners, ranchers, homesteaders, and American Indians

·         Government policy toward American Indians

·         Gender, race, and ethnicity in the far West

·         Environmental impacts of western settlement


Textbook: Chapter 16


Digital History Reading:


Closing the Western Frontier


Tragedy of the Plains Indians




14.  Industrial America in the Late Nineteenth Century


·         Corporate consolidation of industry

·         Effects of technological development on the worker and workplace

·         Labor and unions

·         Migration and immigration: the changing face of the nation


Textbook: Chapter 17


Digital History Reading:


Industrialization and the Working Class


The Huddled Masses





15.  Urban Society in the Late Nineteenth Century


·         Urbanization and the lure of the city

·         City problems and machine politics

·         Intellectual and cultural movements and popular entertainment

·         Proponents and opponents of the new order, e.g., Social Darwinism

and Social Gospel

Textbook: Chapter 18


Digital History Reading:


The Making of Modern America


The Rise of the City



16.   National Politics, 1877-1896: The Gilded Age


·         National politics and influence of corporate power

·         Agrarian discontent and political issues of the late nineteenth century

·         The origins, purposes, and effectiveness of the Interstate Commerce Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act.

·         The rise of the silver question from the "Crime of ‘73" through the

Gold Standard Act of 1900.

·         The significance of the presidential campaign and election of 1896.

Textbook: Chapter 19


Digital History Reading:


The Gilded Age


The Political Crisis of the 1890s


The Farmers Revolt



17.  Foreign Policy, 1865 – 1914


·         American imperialism: political and economic expansion

·         The causes of the Spanish-American War.

·         The problems involved in developing a colonial administration for America’s new empire.

Textbook: Chapter 20


Digital History Reading:


United States Becomes a World Power



18.  Progressivism


·         Origins of Progressive reform: municipal, state, and national

·         Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson as Progressive presidents

·         Women’s roles: family, workplace, education, politics, and reform

·         Black America: urban migration and civil rights initiatives

Textbook: Chapter 21


Textbook: Chapter 22


Digital History Reading:


The Twentieth Century


The Progressive Era


The Struggle for Women's Suffrage



19. World War I and its effects


·         War in Europe and American neutrality

·         The First World War at home and abroad

·         Treaty of Versailles

·         Society and economy in the postwar years

Textbook: Chapter 23


Digital History Reading:


America at War: World War I



20. The New Era: 1920s


·         The business of America and the consumer economy

·         Republican politics: Harding, Coolidge, Hoover

·         The Culture of Modernism: science, the arts, and entertainment

·         Responses to Modernism: religious fundamentalism, nativism, and Prohibition

·         The ongoing struggle for equality: African Americans and women

Textbook: Chapter 24


Digital History Reading:


The Jazz Age: The American 1920s



21. The Great Depression and the  New Deal


·         Causes of the Great Depression

·         The Hoover administration’s response

·         Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal

·         Labor and union recognition

·         The New Deal coalition and its critics from the Right and the Left

·         Surviving hard times: American society during the Great Depression

Textbook: Chapter 25


Textbook: Chapter 26


Digital History Reading:




22. The Second World War


·         The rise of fascism and militarism in Japan, Italy, and Germany

·         Prelude to war: policy of neutrality

·         The attack on Pearl Harbor and United States declaration of war

·         Fighting a multifront war

·         Diplomacy, war aims, and wartime conferences

·         Wartime mobilization of the economy

·         Urban migration and demographic changes

·         Women, work, and family during the war

·         Civil liberties and civil rights during wartime

·         War and regional development

·         Expansion of government power


Textbook: Chapter 27


Textbook: Chapter 28 (Grading Cycle 4)


Digital History Reading:


America at War: World War II





23. The United States and the Early Cold War


·         Origins of the Cold War

·         The United States as a global power in the Atomic Age

·         Truman and containment

·         The Cold War in Asia: China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan

·         The Red Scare and McCarthyism

·         Impact of the Cold War on American society

Textbook: Chapter 29


Digital History Reading:


Postwar America: 1945 - 1960



24. The 1950s


·         Emergence of the modern civil rights movement

·         The affluent society and “the other America”

·         Consensus and conformity: suburbia and middle-class America

·         Social critics, nonconformists, and cultural rebels

·         Impact of changes in science, technology, and medicine

·         Diplomatic strategies and policies of the Eisenhower administration

Textbook: Chapter 30


Digital History Reading:


Postwar America: 1945 - 1960



25. The Turbulent 1960s


·         From the New Frontier to the Great Society

·         Expanding movements for civil rights

·         Cold War confrontations: Asia, Latin America, and Europe

·         Beginning of Détente

·         The antiwar movement and the counterculture

·         The election of 1968 and the “Silent Majority”

·         The Vietnam War


Textbook: Chapter 31


Digital History Reading:


America in Ferment: The Tumultuous 1960s


Vietnam War



26. Politics and Economics at the End of the Twentieth Century


·         The election of 1968 and the “Silent Majority”

·         Nixon’s challenges: Vietnam, China, Watergate

·         Changes in the American economy: the energy crisis, deindustrialization, and the service economy

·         The New Right and the Reagan revolution

·         End of the Cold War

Textbook: Chapter 32


Textbook: Chapter 33


Digital History Reading:


Vietnam War


The Past Three Decades: Years of Crisis - Years of Triumph



27. Society and Culture in the modern world


·         Demographic changes: surge of immigration after 1965, Sunbelt migration, and the graying

·         of America

·         Revolutions in biotechnology, mass communication, and computers

·         Politics in a multicultural society

·         Globalization and the American economy

·         Unilateralism vs. multilateralism in foreign policy

·         Domestic and foreign terrorism

·         Environmental issues in a global context

Textbook: Chapter 34


Digital History Reading:


The Past Three Decades: Years of Crisis - Years of Triumph