Course Description

This course explores the key events, people, and themes that have shaped American history. From the colonial period to the present day, students will study major events such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement. The course examines the development of American society, government, and culture, as well as the impact of significant historical figures and movements.

Through a combination of lectures, readings, discussions, and projects, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of American history and its relevance to contemporary issues. The course emphasizes critical thinking, historical analysis, and an appreciation for the complexities of America’s past. By the end of the course, students will have a solid foundation in American history and a deeper understanding of the country’s heritage and identity.

Course Details

American History

Eleventh Grade Twelfth Grade

Course Objectives

  • Understand major events and periods in American history from the colonial era to the present.
  • Explore the development of American society, government, and culture.
  • Analyze significant historical figures and their impact on American history.
  • Develop critical thinking and historical analysis skills.
  • Connect historical events to contemporary issues and debates.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Colonial America and the Revolutionary War

  • Colonization and Settlement
    • Overview of European colonization in North America.
    • Exploration of early settlements and their impact on indigenous peoples.
  • Road to Independence
    • Key events leading to the American Revolution.
    • Examination of the Declaration of Independence and its principles.
  • The American Revolution
    • Major battles and key figures in the Revolutionary War.
    • The impact of the revolution on American society.

Unit 2: The Formation of the United States

  • The Constitution and the Early Republic
    • The Articles of Confederation and the Constitutional Convention.
    • Understanding the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
  • The Early Republic
    • Overview of early American politics and the formation of the new government.
    • The role of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists in shaping the nation.

Unit 3: Expansion and Reform

  • Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny
    • The Louisiana Purchase and the westward movement.
    • Impact of westward expansion on indigenous peoples and the environment.
  • Reform Movements and Abolitionism
    • Overview of major reform movements in the 19th century.
    • The rise of abolitionism and the movement to end slavery.

Unit 4: The Civil War and Reconstruction

  • Causes of the Civil War
    • Key factors leading to the Civil War.
    • Examination of the role of slavery in American society.
  • The Civil War
    • Major battles and key figures in the Civil War.
    • The impact of the war on American society and politics.
  • Reconstruction
    • The Reconstruction era and its challenges.
    • The effects of Reconstruction on the South and the nation.

Unit 5: The Gilded Age and Progressive Era

  • The Gilded Age
    • Industrialization and the rise of big business.
    • The effects of urbanization and immigration.
  • The Progressive Era
    • Overview of the Progressive Movement and its goals.
    • Key reforms in government, labor, and society.

Unit 6: The 20th Century: World Wars and the Great Depression

  • World War I and the Roaring Twenties
    • The United States’ involvement in World War I.
    • The cultural changes and economic growth of the 1920s.
  • The Great Depression and the New Deal
    • Causes and impact of the Great Depression.
    • The New Deal and its role in American recovery.
  • World War II
    • The United States’ role in World War II.
    • The impact of the war on American society and the post-war world.

Unit 7: The Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War

  • The Civil Rights Movement
    • Key events and figures in the Civil Rights Movement.
    • The impact of the movement on American society.
  • The Cold War
    • The ideological conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union.
    • The impact of the Cold War on American politics and society.

Unit 8: Contemporary America and Course Reflection

  • Recent American History
    • Overview of key events and trends in late 20th and early 21st-century America.
    • Examination of significant social, political, and economic changes.

Expected Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will have a comprehensive understanding of key events and themes in American history. They will have developed critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze historical events and their relevance to contemporary issues. This course aims to foster an appreciation for American history and prepare students for further studies in history or related fields.

Coming soon.

Coming soon.

Dr. Michael Murdock

Michael Murdock holds  a PhD in Modern Chinese history from the University of Michigan. For 30 years he taught history, international relations, and political science courses at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Bowling Green State, Brigham Young University-Provo, and Brigham Young University-Hawaii. His primary expertise lies in the history and contemporary developments of Asia, but he also enjoys European and North American history and politics. Raised by educator parents, Michael saw examples of exceptional teaching from his youth. He believes that good teaching is an act of Christ-like love. He loves using models and examples from history to explain conditions today.