Access to and freedom from power have been two of the most important elements in the history of the United States. In this course we will investigate the ways in which men and women of different classes and races have seized and denied power. We will discuss the different meanings of power and of freedom and in the course of those discussions we will uncover and analyze the critical turning points of American history. This course will also prepare students for the AP Exam in May. In order to adequately prepare students for that event, we will write intensively, read widely, and support one another in our quest for both skills and knowledge necessary to succeed on the exam, in the college classroom, and in the democracy in which we participate everyday.
You can expect to work very hard in this course and to have a lot of fun! You must come to every class prepared to analyze, memorize, and synthesize. You should also be willing come to class ready to think about new ideas and to be eager to consider the myriad perspectives that inform the lives of historical actors. We will utilize primary and secondary sources, including films and other visual sources. The course will be reading and writing intensive. Towards the end of the second semester, we will begin an intensive review period to prepare for the College Board's Advanced Placement US History Exam. All students, whether taking the exam or not, will be expected to participate in this review.