AP United States History


Course Schedule
Women hiking at Yosemite
Women dancing on Glacier Point at Yosemite National Park in the 19th century. The federal government set aside the park in 1894 -- and from then on the area was a site of power struggles. The picture represents many of the themes of the 19th and 20th centuries in the United States including environmental preservation, women's rights, and the struggle between the federal government and local governments. California Historical Society


The following is your schedule of readings and themes. This schedule is subject to change and probably will! I also reserve the right to ADD (or in rare occasions subtract) readings. The textbook reading is meant as a resource to which you should refer and generally acquaint yourself before class. The assignments from the Major Problems book, the PDF from Out of Many (linked below), and any on-line sources should be read in their entirety!

a PDF of important primary sources is here!


Our semester is divided into our 7 themes:

Theme 1 -- Environment and Technology

Theme 2 -- Economy and Class

Theme 3 -- Governmental Power and Rebellion

Theme 4 -- Gender

Theme 5 -- Movement

Theme 6 -- Seeking Peace?

Theme 7 -- Race


Summer Reading = William Cronon, Changes in the Land

We will discuss Cronon beginning August 14.

Here are some questions to be answering as you go:

1) What is he studying? How is he studying it?

2) What is his thesis?

3) Who are the "actors" in Cronon's book?

4) What is our national culture regarding the environment today? (do we even have a unified culture?)

5) What does he suggest about capitalism?

6) What is our relationship to "the market" today? Is it healthy?

7) Are there heroes and/or villains in this book?

8) How did the environment in colonial New England change? WHY did it change?

9) Did he make you think differently about anything (the environment, Indians, early US history, capitalism?)?

Introductions and Just What IS History?

August 8: Introductions

August 12: Read the ONE of the following you've been assigned:

Journal: Please answer these questions for your first entry in your reading journal and "Share" them with Dr. Berry for grading.


Joan Wallach Scott, "History in Crisis: The Others' Side of the Story," The American Historical Review, Vol. 94, No. 3 (June, 1989): 680-692.

Gertrude Himmelfarb, "Some Reflections on the New History," The American Historical Review, Vol. 94, No. 3 (June, 1989): 661-670.

Lawrence Levine, "The Unpredictable Past," The American Historical Review, Vol. 94, No. 3 (June, 1989): 671-679.


Theme 1 Plan of Study
Environment and Technology :

Essential Question:  Was the story of the environment and technology from 1607-1850 one of progress or decline? What is the highest, best use of the environment and when should our use of it be regulated?

Aug 14: Ecological Imperialism and New England and the Chesapeake
            Set the Scene – lecture on early environment and new arrivals

We will discuss William Cronon today!!


The following on-line documents:

William Bradford, Hideous and Desolate Wilderness 1620 (this is a little cut off -- do the best you can)
Edward Johnson and the New England Transformation 1654
Robert Beverley “Discourses on Indians and Nature in Virginia” 1705

William Wood, "Impressions of New Indians"

Jeffersonian Agrarianism, 1787 (we will just touch on this and discuss it again next class)

No JOURNAL -- inclass writing on Cronon (draw 2 questions out of hat) -- be sure to bring your book and notes!!

Aug 16 and 20: Early Industrialization, New Land, and New Technology

J Hector St. John de Crececoueur “What is an American?” 1782

First Page of J Hector (sorry it is cut off in the document above)

Jeffersonian Agrarianism, 1787
Cotton Gin source   This is super short!  Just go view Eli Whitney's original patent and drawing of the gin and read the short description.

A Traveler Describes Tobacco Cultivation 1775

Theodore Steinberg, “Water and Industry” 1991        

JOURNAL -- How and in what ways did the US technological and environmental development differ between the two regions of New England and the Chesapeake?

Aug 22 and 26: Gold, Bison, Cattle, and Conflict

 Lewis and Clark source  Choose ONE of the audio sources on the University of Nebraska webpage and read along with it -- BE SURE YOU LISTEN and READ LEWIS and CLARK and NOT the excerpt from The Salish People.  Be prepared to come to class and explain what you read and why it is of interest to environmental historians. 

George Perkins Marsh

 Ralph Waldo Emerson on Nature and Wealth, 1844

Eugene Genovese “Soils Abused” 1989

James Marshall Tells How He discovered Gold, 1857 and

Joaquin Miller Reveals the Environmental Deterioration in the Gold Fields, 1890

Plenty-Coups Mourns the Vanishing Buffalo

An Editor Bids Good Riddance to the Buffalo, 1979

Journal Prompt: Tell the story about Anglo-Americans use of the environment through the mid-19th century as well as the American Indians experiences' of that use. You may exclude the 1979 source.


Aug 28: Great Plains “Settled"
The following on-line document:

The Homestead Act. 1862

Journal: Terms for Environmental Theme

Journal Prompt: Is the environmental history of the US that we have discussed so far, "a lament" in terms of the country's use of the natural world? If so, how so? If not, why not? This is IMPORTANT pre-writing for your TWP! Be sure to do this!


Aug 30: The first Conservation/Preservation movements

DB gone -- Film on the National Parks

Everyone! Required Rough draft of Theme Wrap-Up Paper DUE on Sept 4! Final draft due Sept 13! !

A question to help guide your paper (you may go your own direction, if you want to, but be sure to follow requirements!):

Is the story of the environment and technology from 1607-1850 one of progress or declension(decline)? Remember to be NUANCED in your analysis of this theme and USE primary sources!!

TWP Expectations




Abigail Adams James Madison
Abigail Adams: Advocate for colonial women's rights James Madison: Father of the Consitution

Theme 2 Plan of Study
Economics and Class

(Unit Begins Sept 4ish)

Essential Question: What is the meaning of economic progress?  Did America “progress” economically in these years?


Sept 4: New England and the Chesapeake – European class motivations for immigrating vs. American Indian economy  and early mercantilism

The Important Stuff:
cookie simulation
salutary neglect
Virginia Trading Company
Puritan Work Ethic
Triangular Trade
Navigation Acts
The National Bank
Protective Tariff
The National Debt
Agrarian democracy


Maj Probs Chpt 1 pp. 13 William Wood Describes Indian Responses to the English, 1634      
Maj Probs Chpt 2 pp 37 Indentured Servant
Maj Probs Chpt 3, pp 74 Proprietor William Penn Promotes his colony, 1681
Maj Probs Chpt 3, pp 79 Alexander Hamilton

READ: Maj Probs Chpt 6, pp 166 and 168 TJ and AH documents

Rough Draft of Environmental TWP due!


Sept 9 and 11: The Market and Transportation Revolution (1800-1830) Lowell (textiles), Slater (steam), Whitney (cotton)

The Important Stuff:
Deere’s Plow (yes, a plow is important)
McCormick Reaper
Slater’s Mill
Erie Canal
The American System
Rise of the middle class and consumerism

For 9/9:

Maj Probs Chpt 3, TH Breen "World of Goods in the Northern Colonies"

JOURNAL: In a paragraph, compare and contrast the ideas of TJ and AH.

For 9/11:

Review Cotton Gin source   Review Eli Whitney's original patent and drawing of the gin and read the short description.

Maj Probs Chpt 11: de Toqueville (pp 328), Lowell Factory Girl (pp 335)

"Factory Girl" article in the Lowell Offering.

Maj Probs, Chpt 8: Docs 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9

If your last name is A-L read Howe and M-Z read Cott

Journal: What was the experience of early industrialization like for different groups of people in the early 1800s? Choose 3 of the following to compare. Compare both how industrialization changed their lives as well as how it changed their relationships with those around them.


young, unmarried rural women/factory operatives

middle class white mothers

skill artisans

wealthy merchants

midwestern middling farmers


Sept 13 and 17: Cotton Slavery as an Economic System vs “Free Labor”
Maj Probs Chpt 8: Review "Slave Charles Ball" (pp 233) and "South Carolina Governor James Henry Hammond",( pp 244)

Maj Probs Chpt 11: Orestes Brownson ( pp. 332), Templeton Strong, (pp 336)

Maj Probs Chpt 11: David Roediger, “White Slaves, Wage Slaves, and Free Labor” (pp 341-349)

Journal: Summarize Roediger's essay

Sept 19: Wrap-up Econonmic theme

Journal: Terms for Economic Theme due

DUE!  Optional Theme Wrap-Up Paper (optional) Due -- Sept 23) Final due Sept 27




Theme 3 Plan of Study
Governmental Power and Rebellion (Unit begins Sept 23ish)

Essential Questions: What is the preferrable relationship of the central government to the people and to the states/localities?  When is it acceptable to rebel against the government?


Sept 23: The Early Rebellions

The Important Stuff:
Bacon’s (1676 in the S.)
 King Philip’s (1676 in the N.
 Pueblo (1680 in the W.)
The Stono (1749)
 Pontiac’s (1763)

Maj Probs Chpt 2, pp 40 Nathaniel Bacon
CDROM, pp 83 Edward Randolph Describes King Philip’s War
CDROM, pp. 71 James Oglethorpe: The Stono Rebellion

a PDF copy of the CD ROM is here. You can search by document name or just scroll to the pg. number!

HANDOUT! Edmund Morgan, excerpt from American Slavery, American Freedom

Journal Prompt: In a paragraph please summarize the handout AND write about what the political fall out may have been for the author...what would his interpretation of Bacon's Rebellion have done for the understanding of the history of slavery in general? The handout is a secondary source written by Edmund Morgan in 1975 when he was a professor at Yale University. He is the preeminent scholar on slavery in the colonial world.


Sept 25: Revolution

The Important Stuff:
Worksheet on Agitators
Declare your Independence worksheet?
Boston Massacre
Sons of Liberty
Boycott and Homespun
Committees of Correspondence

Maj Probs Chpt 4, pp. 104 The Stamp Act Congress
Maj Probs Chpt 4, pp. 106 Pamphleteer Thomas Paine
Maj Probs Chpt 4, pp. 109 Abigail Adams
Find and read The Declaration of Independence on-line!

JOURNAL: Analyze Thomas Paine's document...what would have been appealing about it? What literary devices is he employing? If you were a middling merchant in Boston, would you have been inspired by this enough to rebel against the British?

Sept 27: The New Government

The Important Stuff:
Jay’s Treaty
Washington Farewell Address
Federalists and Republicans
Weaknesses of Articles of Confederation
Shay’s Rebellion
General Debate about Central Government power

Maj Probs Chpt 5, pp. 136 The Articles of Confederation
Maj Probs Chpt 5, 140 Daniel Shays on Shay’s Rebellion and pp 141 Generals William Shepard and Benjamin Lincoln
Maj Probs Chpt 5, 142 The Federalist Papers

Maj Probs Chpt 5: pp. 145 Patrick Henry
Maj Probs Chpt 6, pp. 170 Federalists Represent Dem-Reps.
Maj Probs Chpt 6, pp. 172 Thomas Jefferson Advances the Power of the States


NOT IN 2013 Maj Probs Chpt 6, pp 176 ½ class read Linda Kerber, “The Fears of the Federalists”
Maj Probs Chpt 6, pp. 186 ½ class read Drew McCoy, “The Fears of the Jeffersonian Republicans”

Oct 1: DBQ practice and FUN activity...

Watch the video from Khan Academy on Early American History. In a google doc, analyze this video based on what you know so far about early American History. What does Mr. Khan leave out that may be essential? Is leaving out the information acceptable or does it skew the story in unacceptable ways? After analyzing, spend a bit of time journaling about the use of Khan Academy as a tool for your education. Should Dr. Berry assign these lectures instead of giving her own and then spend class time doing other things? Would you ever watch this sort of thing? Did you find it compelling? Can you learn through this method?

ALSO -- just FYI -- we will be writing a DBQ on the Revolutionary period IN CLASS (no notes)!


Oct 3: Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Nullification

The Important Stuff:
Jay’s Treaty
XYZ Affair
Alien and Sedition Acts
Federalists and Republicans
Revolution of 1800
Corrupt Bargain
Jacksonian Democracy
Nullification Crisis
CDROM The Alien and Sedition Acts (pp. 202-204)
CDROM The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions (205-207)
Maj Probs, Chpt 9, pp. 267-272(John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster, AJ on nullification and AJ on the Bank)


Oct 7: Compromises and Reaction [Missouri Compromise (1820), Compromise of 1850, KA/NB Act, John Brown’s Raid]

The Important Stuff:
image analysis of Brown
Kansas/Nebraska Act
Stephen Douglas
Lincoln/Douglas Debates
Henry Clay vs. John C. Calhoun
Compromise of 1820 (Missouri Compromise)
Compromise of 1850
John Brown and his raid on Harper’s Ferry
Lecompton Constitution and Bleeding Kansas

            Maj Probs Chpt 13, pp. 363 John Calhoun Proposes…
            Maj Probs Chpt 13, pp. 368 Sumner and the “Crime Against Kansas”
Maj Probs Chpt 13, pp. 371-375 Lincoln, Seward, and Brown documents
Maj Probs Chpt 14, pp. 393 Senator Robert Toombs

Oct 14: Rebellion Wrap Up. Optional Rough Draft Due Oct 14th. REQUIRED TWP due 21.



Theme 4 Plan of Study
Gender (Unit to begin October 16th)

Essential Question: Can studying the gendered aspects of history give us a fuller picture of our collective past? 

Oct 16: Colonial Gender Relations

The Important Stuff:
European vs. American Gendered systems of labor
Gender differences in NE and Chesapeake societies/immigration
Salem Witch Trials (witch trial simulation)
the gendered aspects of the early slave system

Witchcraft Activity – read the introduction to the Salem Witch Hunt here

Find your name on this list and be sure to read the biography of your character and then come READY to play your part!

AND! Maj Probs, William Byrd's diary pp 44 AND

Chpt 2: JUST essay by Kathleen Brown starts on pp. 49


Oct 23: Revolutionary Women and Cult of Domesticity vs. Republican Motherhood

The Important Stuff:
Daughters of the American Revolution
Boycotts and Homespun
Women’s loyalty and disloyalty
Women’s role in the new republic

Cult of Domesticity
Mercy Otis Williams
Judith Sargeant Murray
Republican Motherhood


Maj Probs Chpt 4, pp. 109 Abigail Adams

CDROM Molly Wallace pp. 188 of 687 document 6-12
CDROM Clark on Sacagawea pp.238 of 287 document 8-8

Handout: Read Jeanne Boydston excerpt from Home and Work

Journal: Summaraize Boydston's essay -- especially be sure to discuss her thesis and her source base. What, do you suppose, is controversial/provocative about her conclusions regarding women's housework?

Oct 25: In class essay

Oct 29: Reforming the New Society

The Important Stuff:
Second Great Awakening
Burned Over District
Women’s Rights and Seneca Falls Convention
Utopian Movements (including Mormonism (Joseph Smith), Oneida (John Humphrey Noyes), Shakers (Mother Ann Lee))

EVERYONE SHOULD READ ALL of the following:

Maj Probs pp 301 A Description of the Prophet Matthias

CDROM -- CDROM doc 11-1

CDROM doc Charles Finney -- doc 11-4

CD ROM Joseph Smith -- doc 10-1

CD ROM John Humphrey Noyes -- doc 11-12

CD ROM Lyman Beecher -- doc 11-2

CD ROM -- Horace Mann 11-11

CD ROM - "The Seneca Falls Convention" 11-10

CD ROM -- Sojourner Truth 11-13

Maj Probs Chpt 10 Docs 3, 5, 9

In addition to reading all of the primary sources, you are assigned a particular "cause" to be an expert on for class.

The following groups are responsible for helping the class to analyze the specific primary sources from the CD ROM as listed AND to do a quick 5 minute presentation on the corresponding Social Reform Movement -- you should listen and/or read about the section you have been assigned on the Hippo Campus website and give a quick overview for your classmates on that area and then lead us through a document analysis. You must create a google doc with the highlights of your particular Social Movement and share it with the entire class (due by classtime...obviously!).

Second Great Awakening: --Brian and Rachel

CDROM doc Charles Finney -- doc 11-4

Chpt on Second Great Awakening in Hippo Campus


Utopian Movements -- esp. New Harmony, Oneida, Shakers, Mormons -- Spencer, Gian, and Carly

CD ROM Joseph Smith -- doc 10-1

CD ROM John Humphrey Noyes -- doc 11-12

Chpt on Utopian Movements on Hippo Campus


Temperance --Ben and Emma

CD ROM Lyman Beecher -- doc 11-2

Chapter on Humanitarian Reforms on Hippo Campus

also check out chapter on Social Reforms


Women's Rights and Education -- Natalie and Gabi

CD ROM -- Horace Mann 11-11

CD ROM - "The Seneca Falls Convention" 11-10

CD ROM -- Sojourner Truth 11-13

Chapter on Social Reforms on Hippo CampusAND

Chapter on Women's Rights on Hippo Campus

Abolition: Lourdes and Mason

Maj Probs Chpt 10 Docs 3, 5, 9

Chapter on Abolitionism on Hippo Campus


Oct 31: Wrap up theme




Plan of Study
Theme 5: Movement (Unit begins Nov 4)


Essential Question: What effect has the idea of a frontier (America as somewhere to go) had on American identity?  Should America welcome all who wish to come?


Nov 4: Colonization as Movement (1492-1750s)

The Important Stuff:
Early arrivals (Spanish, French, English and the differences)
Lewis and Clark and Plains Indians
Early Naturalization laws
Small Pox and cultural genocide

Maj Probs, Chpt 1, pp. 6-10

Nov 6: Creating New Nationalist Identity (1770s-1840s)

The Important Stuff:
Northwest Ordinances
Alien Act, 1798
Lewis and Clark moving West
The Far West (including Rocky Mountains and Traders)
Mormon Movement
The Oregon Trail
Irish and German Immigration
Transportation Revolution
The Trail of Tears (Indian Removal)


Presidential Quiz from GW to Lincoln (you may SKIP the following-- Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan) -- here are two helpful websites:


White House President Archive

If we have dicsussed the President at all -- please use the things from CLASS that you know...you should only have to research a few of these! The quiz will be multi-modal (multiple choice, fill in the blank, short answer, matching). You should know presidential terms, dates for the terms, parties of the presidents, and 3 things that each president distinguished each president).

Be able, also, to write down ALL of the things (specific events, people) we have covered for the following times:





Nov 8: Westward Ho! (1849-1869)

The Important Stuff:
Lincoln’s Nation-Building (Homestead Act, Morrill Land Grant, Pacific Railway Act)
Transcontinental Railroad
Chinese Immigration
Metal Mining Cultures
Mexican America
The Navajo Long Walk, 1864
Manifest Destiny and John O’Sullivan

Maj Probs chpt 7 pp.202 (Red Jacket), 210-211 (docs 8 and 9 Cherokee and AJ)           

Maj Probs, Chpt 9, pp. 276 John L. O’Sullivan Defines Manifest Destiny, 1845

CDROM:  Part Seventeen – documents 17-1 through 17-8

Hand-Outs: In class! You will be assigned a group letter (either A or B) read the correct document for each



Nov 8: Reservations and Homesteads (1870-1890)

The Important Stuff:
The affects of the Homestead Act and the Mexican Cession
Ranching (open range cattle movement)
Closing off Indian movement (reservation farming, the end of the Plains Indians Wars – Custer’s Last Stand, Wounded Knee, Ghost Dance)

CDROM:  Part Seventeen – documents 17-1 through 17-8

    Hand-Outs Dan Flores “Bison Diplomacy” (not in 2013)




Plan of Study
Theme 6: Seeking Peace? (Unit begins Nov 8ish)
All readings, unless otherwise noted, will be found in the handout on American Foreign Policy

Essential Question: Under what circumstances should the U.S. use military force
against other people/countries? What should be the goal(s) of foreign policy? Is peace possible?


Nov 13: Early Diplomacy and War (1754-1800)

The Important Stuff:

French and Indian War
Treaty of Paris and the Proclamation of 1763
Boston Massacre
The American Revolution (including Lexington and Concord, Saratoga, Yorktown battles)
Peace -- Treaty of Paris 1783
George Washington as military man
French Revolution and British Relations
Jay’s Treaty
XYZ Affair
Louisana Purchase (1803) and the Corps of Discovery as Diplomats

Embargo Act, 1807
War of 1812 including Andrew Jackson, Battle of New Orleans
Monroe Doctrine
Jefferson’s Concern upon his death 1826

Major Problems, Chpt 7, pp. 198 “George Washington Warns against Entangling Alliances, 1796

and Day 1 documents from hand-out

AND (The following are all in your packet!)

Robert Livingston, American Minister to France...

The Embargo Act

Sec. of State John Quincy Adams Warns Against the Search for Monsters to Destroy

The Monroe Doctrine


Nov 15: America’s Destiny: Manifest in the West? (1826-1850)

The Important Stuff:
Indian Removal Act, 1830
Cherokee  v. Georgia and Worcester v. Georgia
Trail of Tears
Texan Independence (including The Alamo, Davy Crockett)
Adams-Oneis Treat and OR Territory
Mexican American War (1846-1848) – including Rio Grande, Zachary Taylor and James K. Polk
Peace -- Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Wilmot Proviso


Documents in Packet:

Commander Sam Houston

Democractic Publicist John L O'Sullivan Proclaims America's Manifest Destiny

Pres. James K. Polk Lays Claim to Texas and Oregon

Polk asks Congress to Declare War on Mexico

The Wilmot Proviso


Nov 19: The National Fabric Frays (1850-1867)

The Important Stuff:
Popular Sovereignty
Bleeding Kansas
John Brown’s Raid at Harper’s Ferry
John C. Calhoun and William Seward
Battles: Fort Sumter, Bull Run, Gettysburg, Vicksburg
Differences between North and South
1863 – turning point Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Emancipation Proclamation
Lincoln, Grant, Sherman
Sherman’s March to the Sea
Peace -- Appomattox
Seward’s Folly (aka the purchase of Alaska, 1867

ROUGH Draft of TWP due Nov 22!

Nov 21: Wrap Up theme




Theme 7 Plan of Study
Race (Unit begins Nov. 25)

Essential Question: Is racial distinction necessary?  Should there be accommodations made to groups who have experienced discrimination based on race?

Nov 25: American Indians and their encounters with the Europeans through Removal -- The first Thanksgiving?

The Important Stuff:
Early encounters (Spanish, French, English and the differences)
Lewis and Clark and Plains Indians
Tecumseh and Indian Resistance
Cherokee and Accommodation
Indian Removal

            Maj Probs Chpt 1, pp. 5-11
            Maj Probs, Chpt 7, pp. 190-192 Red Jacket and Tecumseh   
            Maj Probs, Chpt 7, pp 197 The Cherokee    

CDROM Indian Hostilities document 8-10  
Maj Probs, Chpt 7, pp. 207 Perdue, “Indians Using a Strategy of Accommodation”


Cornucopia Happy Turkey Day


Dec 2: The Slave’s World and Abolitionism

The Important Stuff:
Middle Passage
Black Codes 1600s
Black Codes 1830s
Paternalism (from a society with slaves to a slave society)
Tobacco to Cotton
End of International Slave Trade and Domestic Slave Trade
David Walker’s Resistance and Nat Turner’s Rebellion

Abolitionists (William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass)

            Maj Probs, Chpt 2, pp. 39 Virginia’s Statutes
            Maj Probs, Chpt 2, pp. 41 William Byrd
Maj Probs, Chpt 2, pp. 42 African Olaudah Equiano



Dec. 4:

            Maj Probs, Chpt 10, pp. 278 David Walker
            CDROM Nat Turner Confession, Documment 13-3

            Maj Probs, Chpt 12, pp. 337 NC Law and Samuel Cartwright
            Maj Probs, Chpt 12, pp. 340-346 ALL Documents

Maj Probs, Chpt 10, pp. 279 William Lloyd Garrison
            CDROM A Black Abolitionist Speaks Out, document 13-2
            CDROM Harriet Beecher Stowe, 14-2

CDROM The Trials of a Slave Girl document 9-12

            CDROM National Convention of Colored People, document 14-3
            CDROM Frederick Douglass Independence Day Speech, document 14-5
            CDROM A White Southerner Speaks out Against Slavery, document 14-7



Dec. 6: Slavery Paper CLICK HERE!!!! DUE! No rough drafts accepted! Slavery debate on this day!

Dec. 10: 1850s and the Civil War...and review


Dec 12: Exam Prep!

Enjoy Winter Break! Snowflake