AP US History


Homework assignments

Monday, Nov. 26 – Finish Chap. 31 in textbook.  Quiz tomorrow on it (except the Jimmy Carter part).

Tuesday, Nov. 27 – AMPU one-pager p. 249 “On Homosexuality” and “On Women in Combat”: How are the arguments of the SBC against gays and women in combat similar, yet also different?

Wednesday, Nov. 28 – Read half of Chap. 32

Thursday, Nov. 29 – Finish Chap. 32

Friday, Nov. 30 – In Economic Episodes book, read Chapters 28, 30, and 31


Monday, Dec. 3 – Read handout packet on terrorism

Tuesday, Dec. 4 – AMPU one-pager p. 255 “Bush Strategic Doctrine”: How does the diction (word choice) here reward those who agree with US policy and isolate those who do not agree?

Wednesday, Dec. 5 – By Monday, read Chapters 1-3 in American Colonies

Thursday, Dec. 6 – By Monday, read Chapters 1-3 in American Colonies

Friday, Dec. 7 -- By Monday, read Chapters 1-3 in American Colonies




AP United States History      2018-2019


America: A Narrative History, George B. Tindall and David E. Shi, W.W. Norton

& Company, 2016, 10th edition

A More Perfect Union, vols. 1-2, Story & Boller (primary source readings)

Economic Episodes in American History, Schug & Wood


Supplementary texts


Unit 1 – The Emerging Giant, 1880-1908

The Souls of Black Folk, DuBois; Devil in the White City, Larson (summer)

Unit 2 – Reform, War, and Depression, 1900-1932

How the Other Half Lives, Riis                                                                                                         

Unit 3 – The American Age, 1932-1952

The New Deal: Hope for the Nation, Edwards; World War II: On the Homefront,

Emert;  The Manhattan Project, Deitch                          

Unit 4 – Prosperity and Tumult, 1952-1980

The Vietnam Reader, O’Nan;  The Cuban Missile Crisis, Valois;  Civil Rights Movement. Yamasaki

Unit 5 – The Modern Era, 1980-present



Unit 1 – Our Colonial Background, Prehistory-1763

American Colonies, Taylor;   The Jesuit Relations: Natives and Missionaries..., Greer

Unit 2 – Forming a New Nation, 1763-1800

Common Sense, Paine                                 

Unit 3 – Growing Pains, 1800-1840

The Lowell Mill Girls, Deitch 

Unit 4 – A New Birth of Freedom, 1840-1865

When I Was a Slave, Yetman; This Mighty Scourge, McPherson

Unit 5 – Reshaping a Nation, 1865-1880


Assignments, projects, and links are on the Web site at www.tcamb1.com


Grading Policy

Short-answer tests and quizzes = 50%

Papers/Essays/Projects (at home and in class) = 35%

Class discussion/class work/group work = 15%

                  Tests, brief papers and essay assignments will be announced ahead of time; quizzes may be announced or unannounced.  Major papers that are late and unexcused will be graded down a letter grade for each day late.   One-page writing assignments that are late will be given a zero.  Plagiarism will result in academic consequences.


Goals and Purpose

                  The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with the ideas, events, values, conflicts, and achievements of the United States from its earliest beginnings to the modern period.  This course is to be viewed not as an end -- not as the last course in American history you will ever take -- but rather as a beginning -- your first detailed look at the people and ideas that have shaped this nation.  As a result of our readings, discussions, and writing, I hope you will develop a lifelong interest in history.

                  Facts, names, and events are important, but they are not the sum total of history.  This course is designed to move beyond that to look at other issues, including these:


q  How does historiography (the writing of history) affect our understanding of the United States?  What difference does it make who writes history?  How do primary sources enrich the information found in textbooks? 


q  How and why do certain issues and themes recur in our history?  How have issues of race played out at various times in our history?  What has been the role of faith and religion for Americans?  Have differences in class, national origin, and gender affected our perceptions of what it is to be an American? How have we changed our definition or view of freedom over the centuries?


q  How have issues in other related social science fields shaped the development of our national history?  How has economic policy reflected the national character?  How has the geography of this expanse influenced people and events?  Have art, literature, and popular culture reflected or effected change?


                  Our goal is to examine these and other ideas in the context of readings and discussions.  You must be committed to reading with diligence and openness, thinking with a critical mind, and speaking with insight and a willingness to listen to others.  This is a college-level course, and I will expect your work and efforts to reflect that. 


(one exam at the end of each unit)


Unit 1 – The Emerging Giant, 1880-1908

Chap 17 – Business and Labor in the Industrial Era (748-795)


Chap 19 – Political Stalemate and Rural Revolt (846-891)

Chap 20 – Seizing an American Empire (898-933)


Unit 2 – Reform, War, and Depression, 1900-1932

Chap 21 - The Progressive Era (936-983)

Chap 22 - America and The Great War (986-1025)

Chap 23 – A Clash of Cultures (1028-1059)

Chap 24 – The Reactionary Twenties (1062-1101)


Unit 3 – The American Age, 1932-1952

Chap 25 – The Great Depression (1104-1147)

Chap 26 - The Second World War (1150-1207)

Chap 27 – The Cold War and The Fair Deal (1214-1250 ONLYNOT 1251-1255)


Unit 4 – Prosperity and Tumult, 1952-1980

Chap 27 – The Cold War and The Fair Deal (1251-1255 ONLY)

Chap 28 – Cold War America (1258-1305)

Chap 29 – A New Frontier and a Great Society (1308-1359)

Chap 30 - Rebellion and Reaction (1362-1411)

Chap 31 - A Conservative Revival (1414-1423 ONLYNOT 1423-1455)


Unit 5 – The Modern Era, 1980-present

Chap 31 - A Conservative Revival (1423-1455 ONLY)

Chap 32 – Twenty-first Century America (1458-1513)



(one exam at the end of each unit)


Unit 1 – Our Colonial Background, Prehistory-1763

Chap 1 - The Collision of Cultures (4-51)

Chap 2 – England’s Colonies (54-105)

Chap 3 - Colonial Ways of Life (108-143)

Chap 4 – From Colonies to States (146-166 ONLY, NOT 166-193)


Unit 2 – Forming a New Nation, 1763-1800

Chap 4 – From Colonies to States (166-193 ONLY)

Chap 5 - The American Revolution (200-241)

Chap 6 – Strengthening a New Nation (244-299)


Unit 3 – Growing Pains, 1800-1840

Chap 7 - The Early Republic (302-343)

Chap 8 – The Emergence of a Market Economy (350-389)

Chap 9 – Nationalism and Sectionalism (392-419)

Chap 10 - The Jacksonian Era (422-461)


Chap 12 – Religion, Romanticism, and Reform (504-547)


Unit 4 – A New Birth of Freedom, 1840-1865

Chap 11 - The South, Slavery, and King Cotton (464-501)

Chap 13 – Western Expansion   (554-595)

Chap 14 – The Gathering Storm (598-635)

Chap 15 - The War of the Union (638-697)


Unit 5 – Reshaping a Nation, 1865-1880

Chap 16 – The Era of Reconstruction (700-741)


Chap 18 – The New South and the New West (798-843)


Paper Assignments

Advanced Placement US History

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

This unusual but gripping book tells the stories of two events and two men in Chicago in 1893.  One man is Daniel Burnham, the architect responsible for the construction of the Chicago World’s Fair, an event that was meant to celebrate all that was magnificent about Chicago, America, and, indeed, the world.  The other man is H. H. Holmes, a serial killer who charms ladies of Chicago into his crematorium near the fairgrounds. It is a novelistic book based on facts, and the alternating chapters complement each other. The joys and frenetic pace of urban life are underscored as Burnham works himself to exhaustion arranging the thousands of projects necessary to complete the Fair on time – with the Fair solidifying America’s reputation as it steps onto the world stage.  At the same time, near the fairgrounds lurks the sinister Mr. Holmes, taking advantage of the visitors to Chicago and representing the dark underside of urban life, especially for women.

AP US History students should read this book and then write a paper on it (around 4 pages, double-spaced), based on the prompt below.   You must email your paper to me by Tuesday, August 7, at noon (tcambisios@mvcds.org).  I will send you a return email acknowledging receipt of your paper.  If I don’t confirm, I haven’t received it, and it’s your responsibility to find out why.  You can write this paper in June or July and get it over with early, or you can wait till just before the deadline.  (Your paper will be submitted to my electronic plagiarism service.) There will be no reading quiz on the book.

Prompt for paper on The Devil in the White City

The purpose of this writing assignment is to introduce students to issues associated with the late 1800’s, the time period in which our course begins.  The learning goals are to understand main ideas in the time period, to see how historiography affects our understanding of history, and to see how using historical evidence supports historical contentions.  Obviously there are two parallel plots in this book. Discuss THREE themes or larger ideas that connect these seemingly different plots. These themes or larger ideas (broad issues concerning the time period or human behavior in the time period) can be based on similarities or on contrasts between the two plots.  Include a thesis statement early in your paper. (Suggested paper length is about four pages.) Suggested paper structure:

Paragraph 1 – Introduction + thesis

Paragraphs 2 and 3 – A discussion of one theme that connects the two plots

Paragraphs 4 and 5 – A discussion of a second theme

Paragraphs 6 and 7 – A discussion of a third theme

Paragraph 8 – Conclusion

Be sure to use lots of examples, details and evidence from the book for support (and not just from one section of the book; I need to know that you read the whole book).

In terms of citations, all you need to use are parenthetical citations. Normally they appear at the end of the sentence with the author’s name and the page number and no comma between them: (Larson 261)   Since you are only using the book you read (no outside resources), you do not need to include the author’s name for this paper, just the page number (261). While a rubric is not provided, superior papers are those that excel in such areas as identifying important themes, using evidence from the text to support one’s ideas, drawing connections between the two plots, organizing one’s ideas in a coherent structure, and writing with attention to conventions of grammar and syntax.

Mr. Cambisios at tcambisios@mvcds.org

New Deal Paper

Suggested length: 4-5 pages        Due date: Tuesday, October 9

            This is the only other long paper I have planned for the year. I would like you to EVALUATE the effectiveness of one agency or organization or piece of legislation associated with FDR’s New Deal. 

Here are some questions to consider:


  • How and why did this agency or legislation originate?  Was there much opposition as it was being proposed (why or why not)?
  • What were the goals or purposes of this agency or legislation?
  • What projects or actions was this agency or legislation known for during its lifetime?
  • Was it more noteworthy for its successes or failures?  Did it do what it set out to do?  Was its success more in substance or style?
  • Does this agency or legislation leave any legacy, even if it no longer exists?  What was its long-term impact on the nation?  Has it (or its equivalent) been in the news lately?


So offer some evaluation or assessment of the agency (with, of course, evidence to support your point of view). Don’t tack on the assessment at the very end.  Your thesis should be an argument that this agency was or was not effective, and for what reasons.


            You need to have at least five sources cited in your paper: at least two on-line sources (Web sites), at least one magazine or newspaper article (either from a periodical Website or through INFOhio), and at least one book or print source. We have lots of New Deal books in our school library.  You MUST use proper citation and bibliography form; use the “MLA/Plagiarism” page on my Web site www.tcamb1.com (under English 9)



Possible agencies or acts to choose from:

Go to a Web site that summarizes New Deal agencies so you can see what interests you.


Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)                              The Securities and Exchange

Commission (SEC)

Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)       Social Security Act

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)                              Soil Conservation Act

Public Works Administration (PWA)                           National Housing Act (FHA)

Civil Works Administration (CWA)                             Glass-Steagall Banking Reform Act


Works Progress Administration (WPA)                                   National Industrial Recovery Act


Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA)                             Federal Theater Project (part of the


Home Owner’s Refinancing Act (HOLC)                     National Youth Administration (NYA)

Wagner Act (NLRB – National Labor Relations Board)

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)                                  Rural Electrification Administration


National Recovery Administration (NRA)                   Federal Writers’ Project (part of the