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ACE U.S. History (3 Semester Credits) - Course Syllabus


U.S. History is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of most introductory history courses. The text provides a balanced approach to the history of the United States, considering the people, events, and ideas that have shaped the United States from both the top down (politics, economics, diplomacy) and bottom up (eyewitness accounts, lived experience). U.S. History covers key forces that form the American experience, with particular attention to issues of race, class, and gender.

Textbook: U.S. History – Open Stax – Corbett, et al., ISBN-10: 1-947172-08-5,

(This text is provided to students as part of their enrollment.)

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Course objectives:

Throughout the course, you will meet the following goals:

  • Describe the differences and similarities between lifestyles, religious practices, and customs among the native peoples of the Americas.
  • Discuss the major events that led to the American colonies gaining their independence.
  • Understand the importance of the people and events that shaped each historical period.

Course Evaluation Criteria

A passing percentage is 70% or higher.

Grading Scale                                                                                   

A = 95-100%

B = 88-94.9%

C = 80-87.9%

D = 70-79.9%

F = below 70%

ACE Course Retake Policy

2 (two) attempts are allowed on every quiz, and 2 (two) attempts are allowed on every final exam.

Proctorio – Video Proctoring          

All Final Exams are video proctored with Proctorio. (

ADA Policy

Excel Education Systems is committed to maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment to all students, across all of its schools, in accordance with the 1990 Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

There is a total of 480 points in this course:

Grade Weighting

Chapter Quizzes          70%

Final Exam                  30%


Assessment Points Available Percentage of Final Grade
Chapter 1 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 2 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 3 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 4 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 5 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 6 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 7 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 8 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 9 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 10 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 11 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 12 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 13 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 14 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 15 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 16 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 17 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 18 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 19 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 20 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 21 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 22 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 23 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 24 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 25 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 26 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 27 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 28 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 29 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 30 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 31 Quiz 15 2.2%
Chapter 32 Quiz 15 2.2%
Final Exam 40 30.0%
Total 480 100%


Course Contents and Objectives


Chapter 1 – The Americas, Europe, and Africa Before 1492
Lessons 1.1 The Americas

1.2 Europe on the Brink of Change

1.3 West Africa and the Role of Slavery

  • Locate on a map the major American civilizations before the arrival of the Spanish
  • Discuss the cultural achievements of these civilizations
  • Discuss the differences and similarities between lifestyles, religious practices, and customs among the native peoples
  • Describe the European societies that engaged in conversion, conquest, and commerce
  • Discuss the motives for and mechanisms of early European exploration
  • Locate the major West African empires on a map
  • Discuss the roles of Islam and Europe in the slave trade



Chapter 2 – Early Globalization: The Atlantic World, 1492–1650
Lessons 2.1 Portuguese Exploration and Spanish Conquest

2.2 Religious Upheavals in the Developing Atlantic World

2.3 Challenges to Spain’s Supremacy

2.4 New Worlds in the Americas: Labor, Commerce, and the Columbian Exchange

  • Describe Portuguese exploration of the Atlantic and Spanish exploration of the Americas, and the importance of these voyages to the developing Atlantic World
  • Explain the importance of Spanish exploration of the Americas in the expansion of Spain’s empire and the development of Spanish Renaissance culture
  • Explain the changes brought by the Protestant Reformation and how it influenced the development of the Atlantic World
  • Describe Spain’s response to the Protestant Reformation
  • Identify regions where the English, French, and Dutch explored and established settlements
  • Describe the differences among the early colonies
  • Explain the role of the American colonies in European nations’ struggles for domination
  • Describe how Europeans solved their labor problems
  • Describe the theory of mercantilism and the process of commodification
  • Analyze the effects of the Columbian Exchange


Chapter 3 – Creating New Social Orders: Colonial Societies, 1500–1700
Lessons 3.1 Spanish Exploration and Colonial Society

3.2 Colonial Rivalries: Dutch and French Colonial Ambitions

3.3 English Settlements in America

3.4 The Impact of Colonization

  • Identify the main Spanish American colonial settlements of the 1500s and 1600s
  • Discuss economic, political, and demographic similarities and differences between the Spanish colonies
  • Compare and contrast the development and character of the French and Dutch colonies in North America
  • Discuss the economies of the French and Dutch colonies in North America
  • Identify the first English settlements in America
  • Describe the differences between the Chesapeake Bay colonies and the New England colonies
  • Compare and contrast the wars between native inhabitants and English colonists in both the Chesapeake Bay and New England colonies
  • Explain the role of Bacon’s Rebellion in the rise of chattel slavery in Virginia
  • Explain the reasons for the rise of slavery in the American colonies
  • Describe changes to Indian life, including warfare and hunting
  • Contrast European and Indian views on property
  • Assess the impact of European settlement on the environment


Chapter 4 – Rule Britannia! The English Empire, 1660–1763
Lessons 4.1 Charles II and the Restoration Colonies

4.2 The Glorious Revolution and the English Empire

4.3 An Empire of Slavery and the Consumer Revolution

4.4 Great Awakening and Enlightenment

4.5 Wars for Empire

  • Analyze the causes and consequences of the Restoration
  • Identify the Restoration colonies and their role in the expansion of the Empire
  • Identify the causes of the Glorious Revolution
  • Explain the outcomes of the Glorious Revolution
  • Analyze the role slavery played in the history and economy of the British Empire
  • Explain the effects of the 1739 Stono Rebellion and the 1741 New York Conspiracy Trials
  • Describe the consumer revolution and its effect on the life of the colonial gentry and other settlers
  • Explain the significance of the Great Awakening
  • Describe the genesis, central ideas, and effects of the Enlightenment in British North America
  • Describe the wars for empire
  • Analyze the significance of these conflicts


Chapter 5 – Imperial Reforms and Colonial Protests, 1763-1774
Lessons 5.1 Confronting the National Debt: The Aftermath of the French and Indian War

5.2 The Stamp Act and the Sons and Daughters of Liberty

5.3 The Townshend Acts and Colonial Protest

5.4 The Destruction of the Tea and the Coercive Acts

5.5 Disaffection: The First Continental Congress and American Identity

  • Discuss the status of Great Britain’s North American colonies in the years directly following the French and Indian War
  • Describe the size and scope of the British debt at the end of the French and Indian War
  • Explain how the British Parliament responded to the debt crisis
  • Outline the purpose of the Proclamation Line, the Sugar Act, and the Currency Act
  • Explain the purpose of the 1765 Stamp Act
  • Describe the colonial responses to the Stamp Act
  • Describe the purpose of the 1767 Townshend Acts
  • Explain why many colonists protested the 1767 Townshend Acts and the consequences of their actions
  • Describe the socio-political environment in the colonies in the early 1770s
  • Explain the purpose of the Tea Act of 1773 and discuss colonial reactions to it
  • Identify and describe the Coercive Acts
  • Describe the state of affairs between the colonies and the home government in 1774
  • Explain the purpose and results of the First Continental Congress


Chapter 6 – America's War for Independence, 1775-1783
Lessons 6.1 Britain’s Law-and-Order Strategy and Its Consequences

6.2 The Early Years of the Revolution

6.3 War in the South

6.4 Identity during the American Revolution

  • Explain how Great Britain’s response to the destruction of a British shipment of tea in Boston Harbor in 1773 set the stage for the Revolution
  • Describe the beginnings of the American Revolution
  • Explain the British and American strategies of 1776 through 1778
  • Identify the key battles of the early years of the Revolution
  • Outline the British southern strategy and its results
  • Describe key American victories and the end of the war
  • Identify the main terms of the Treaty of Paris (1783)
  • Explain Loyalist and Patriot sentiments
  • Identify different groups that participated in the Revolutionary War


Chapter 7 – Creating Republican Governments, 1776–1790
Lessons 7.1 Common Sense: From Monarchy to an American Republic

7.2 How Much Revolutionary Change?

7.3 Debating Democracy

7.4 The Constitutional Convention and Federal Constitution

  • Compare and contrast monarchy and republican government
  • Describe the tenets of republicanism
  • Describe the status of women in the new republic
  • Describe the status of nonwhites in the new republic
  • Explain the development of state constitutions
  • Describe the features of the Articles of Confederation
  • Analyze the causes and consequences of Shays’ Rebellion
  • Identify the central issues of the 1787 Constitutional Convention and their solutions
  • Describe the conflicts over the ratification of the federal constitution


Chapter 8 – Growing Pains: The New Republic, 1790–1820
Lessons 8.1 Competing Visions: Federalists and Democratic-Republicans

8.2 The New American Republic

8.3 Partisan Politics

8.4 The United States Goes Back to War

  • Describe the competing visions of the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans
  • Identify the protections granted to citizens under the Bill of Rights
  • Explain Alexander Hamilton’s financial programs as secretary of the treasury
  • Identify the major foreign and domestic uprisings of the early 1790s
  • Explain the effect of these uprisings on the political system of the United States
  • Identify key examples of partisan wrangling between the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans
  • Describe how foreign relations affected American politics
  • Assess the importance of the Louisiana Purchase
  • Describe the causes and consequences of the War of 1812
  • Identify the important events of the War of 1812 and explain their significance


Chapter 9 – Industrial Transformation in the North, 1800–1850
Lessons 9.1 Early Industrialization in the Northeast

9.2 A Vibrant Capitalist Republic

9.3 On the Move: The Transportation Revolution

9.4 A New Social Order: Class Divisions

  • Explain the role of the putting-out system in the rise of industrialization
  • Understand industrialization’s impact on the nature of production and work
  • Describe the effect of industrialization on consumption
  • Identify the goals of workers’ organizations like the Working Men’s Party
  • Explain the process of selling western land
  • Discuss the causes of the Panic of 1819
  • Identify key American innovators and inventors
  • Describe the development of improved methods of nineteenth-century domestic transportation
  • Identify the ways in which roads, canals, and railroads impacted Americans’ lives in the nineteenth century
  • Identify the shared perceptions and ideals of each social class
  • Assess different social classes’ views of slavery


Chapter 10 – Jacksonian Democracy, 1820–1840
Lessons 10.1 A New Political Style: From John Quincy Adams to Andrew Jackson

10.2 The Rise of American Democracy

10.3 The Nullification Crisis and the Bank War

10.4 Indian Removal

10.5 The Tyranny and Triumph of the Majority

  • Explain and illustrate the new style of American politics in the 1820s
  • Describe the policies of John Quincy Adams’s presidency and explain the political divisions that resulted
  • Describe the key points of the election of 1828
  • Explain the scandals of Andrew Jackson’s first term in office
  • Explain the factors that contributed to the Nullification Crisis
  • Discuss the origins and creation of the Whig Party
  • Explain the legal wrangling that surrounded the Indian Removal Act
  • Describe how depictions of Indians in popular culture helped lead to Indian removal
  • Explain Alexis de Tocqueville’s analysis of American democracy
  • Describe the election of 1840 and its outcome


Chapter 11 – A Nation on the Move: Westward Expansion, 1800–1860
Lessons 11.1 Lewis and Clark

11.2 The Missouri Crisis

11.3 Independence for Texas

11.4 The Mexican-American War, 1846–1848

11.5 Free Soil or Slave? The Dilemma of the West

  • Explain the significance of the Louisiana Purchase
  • Describe the terms of the Adams-Onís Treaty
  • Describe the role played by the filibuster in American expansion
  • Explain why the North and South differed over the admission of Missouri as a state
  • Explain how the admission of new states to the Union threatened to upset the balance between free and slave states in Congress
  • Explain why American settlers in Texas sought independence from Mexico
  • Discuss early attempts to make Texas independent of Mexico
  • Describe the relationship between Anglo-Americans and Tejanos in Texas before and after independence
  • Identify the causes of the Mexican-American War
  • Describe the outcomes of the war in 1848, especially the Mexican Cession
  • Describe the effect of the California Gold Rush on westward expansion
  • Describe the terms of the Wilmot Proviso
  • Discuss why the Free-Soil Party objected to the westward expansion of slavery
  • Explain why sectional and political divisions in the United States grew
  • Describe the terms of the Compromise of 1850


Chapter 12 – Cotton is King: The Antebellum South, 1800–1860
Lessons 12.1 The Economics of Cotton

12.2 African Americans in the Antebellum United States

12.3 Wealth and Culture in the South

12.4 The Filibuster and the Quest for New Slave States

  • Explain the labor-intensive processes of cotton production
  • Describe the importance of cotton to the Atlantic and American antebellum economy
  • Discuss the similarities and differences in the lives of slaves and free blacks
  • Describe the independent culture and customs that slaves developed
  • Assess the distribution of wealth in the antebellum South
  • Describe the southern culture of honor
  • Identify the main proslavery arguments in the years prior to the Civil War
  • Explain the expansionist goals of advocates of slavery
  • Describe the filibuster expeditions undertaken during the antebellum era


Chapter 13 – Antebellum Idealism and Reform Impulses, 1820–1860
Lessons 13.1 An Awakening of Religion and Individualism

13.2 Antebellum Communal Experiments

13.3 Reforms to Human Health

13.4 Addressing Slavery

13.5 Women’s Rights

  • Explain the connection between evangelical Protestantism and the Second Great Awakening
  • Describe the message of the transcendentalists
  • Identify similarities and differences among utopian groups of the antebellum era
  • Explain how religious utopian communities differed from nonreligious ones
  • Explain the different reforms aimed at improving the health of the human body
  • Describe the various factions and concerns within the temperance movement
  • Identify the different approaches to reforming the institution of slavery
  • Describe the abolitionist movement in the early to mid-nineteenth century
  • Explain the connections between abolition, reform, and antebellum feminism
  • Describe the ways antebellum women’s movements were both traditional and revolutionary


Chapter 14 – Troubled Times: the Tumultuous 1850s
Lessons 14.1 The Compromise of 1850

14.2 The Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Republican Party

14.3 The Dred Scott Decision and Sectional Strife

14.4 John Brown and the Election of 1860

  • Explain the contested issues that led to the Compromise of 1850
  • Describe and analyze the reactions to the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act
  • Explain the political ramifications of the Kansas-Nebraska Act
  • Describe the founding of the Republican Party
  • Explain the importance of the Supreme Court's Dred Scott ruling
  • Discuss the principles of the Republican Party as expressed by Abraham Lincoln in 1858
  • Describe John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry and its results
  • Analyze the results of the election of 1860


Chapter 15 – The Civil War, 1860–1865
Lessons 15.1 The Origins and Outbreak of the Civil War

15.2 Early Mobilization and War

15.3 1863: The Changing Nature of the War

15.4 The Union Triumphant

  • Explain the major events that occurred during the Secession Crisis
  • Describe the creation and founding principles of the Confederate States of America
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Confederacy and the Union
  • Explain the strategic importance of the Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Shiloh
  • Explain what is meant by the term “total war” and provide examples
  • Describe mobilization efforts in the North and the South
  • Explain why 1863 was a pivotal year in the war
  • Describe the reasons why many Americans doubted that Abraham Lincoln would be reelected
  • Explain how the Union forces overpowered the Confederacy


Chapter 16 – The Era of Reconstruction, 1865–1877
Lessons 16.1 Restoring the Union

16.2 Congress and the Remaking of the South, 1865–1866

16.3 Radical Reconstruction, 1867–1872

16.4 The Collapse of Reconstruction

  • Describe Lincoln’s plan to restore the Union at the end of the Civil War
  • Discuss the tenets of Radical Republicanism
  • Analyze the success or failure of the Thirteenth Amendment
  • Describe the efforts made by Congress in 1865 and 1866 to bring to life its vision of Reconstruction
  • Explain how the Fourteenth Amendment transformed the Constitution
  • Explain the purpose of the second phase of Reconstruction and some of the key legislation put forward by Congress
  • Describe the impeachment of President Johnson
  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the Fifteenth Amendment
  • Explain the reasons for the collapse of Reconstruction
  • Describe the efforts of white southern “redeemers” to roll back the gains of Reconstruction


Chapter 17 – Go West Young Man! Westward Expansion, 1840-1900
Lessons 17.1 The Westward Spirit

17.2 Homesteading: Dreams and Realities

17.3 Making a Living in Gold and Cattle

17.4 The Loss of American Indian Life and Culture

17.5 The Impact of Expansion on Chinese Immigrants and Hispanic Citizens

  • Explain the evolution of American views about westward migration in the mid-nineteenth century
  • Analyze the ways in which the federal government facilitated Americans’ westward migration in the mid-nineteenth century
  • Identify the challenges that farmers faced as they settled west of the Mississippi River
  • Describe the unique experiences of women who participated in westward migration
  • Identify the major discoveries and developments in western gold, silver, and copper mining in the mid-nineteenth century
  • Explain why the cattle industry was paramount to the development of the West and how it became the catalyst for violent range wars
  • Describe the methods that the U.S. government used to address the “Indian threat” during the settlement of the West
  • Explain the process of “Americanization” as it applied to Indians in the nineteenth century
  • Describe the treatment of Chinese immigrants and Hispanic citizens during the westward expansion of the nineteenth century


Chapter 18 – Industrialization and the Rise of Big Business, 1870-1900
Lessons 18.1 Inventors of the Age

18.2 From Invention to Industrial Growth

18.3 Building Industrial America on the Backs of Labor

18.4 A New American Consumer Culture

  • Explain how the ideas and products of late nineteenth-century inventors contributed to the rise of big business
  • Explain how the inventions of the late nineteenth century changed everyday American life
  • Explain how the inventions of the late nineteenth century contributed directly to industrial growth in America
  • Identify the contributions of Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, and J. P. Morgan to the new industrial order emerging in the late nineteenth century
  • Describe the visions, philosophies, and business methods of the leaders of the new industrial order
  • Explain the qualities of industrial working-class life in the late nineteenth century
  • Analyze both workers’ desire for labor unions and the reasons for unions’ inability to achieve their goals
  • Describe the characteristics of the new consumer culture that emerged at the end of the nineteenth century


Chapter 19 – The Growing Pains of Urbanization, 1870-1900
Lessons 19.1 Urbanization and Its Challenges

19.2 The African American “Great Migration” and New European Immigration

19.3 Relief from the Chaos of Urban Life

19.4 Change Reflected in Thought and Writing

  • Explain the growth of American cities in the late nineteenth century
  • Identify the key challenges that Americans faced due to urbanization, as well as some of the possible solutions to those challenges
  • Identify the factors that prompted African American and European immigration to American cities in the late nineteenth century
  • Explain the discrimination and anti-immigration legislation that immigrants faced in the late nineteenth century
  • Identify how each class of Americans—working class, middle class, and upper class—responded to the challenges associated with urban life
  • Explain the process of machine politics and how it brought relief to working-class Americans
  • Explain how American writers, both fiction and nonfiction, helped Americans to better understand the changes they faced in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
  • Identify some of the influential women and African American writers of the era


Chapter 20 – Politics in the Gilded Age, 1870-1900
Lessons 20.1 Political Corruption in Postbellum America

20.2 The Key Political Issues: Patronage, Tariffs, and Gold

20.3 Farmers Revolt in the Populist Era

20.4 Social and Labor Unrest in the 1890s

  • Discuss the national political scene during the Gilded Age
  • Analyze why many critics considered the Gilded Age a period of ineffective national leadership
  • Explain the difference between the spoils system and civil service, and discuss the importance of this issue in the period from 1872 to 1896
  • Recognize the ways in which the issue of tariffs impacted different sectors of the economy in late nineteenth-century America
  • Explain why Americans were split on the issue of a national gold standard versus free coinage of silver
  • Explain why political patronage was a key issue for political parties in the late nineteenth century
  • Understand how the economic and political climate of the day promoted the formation of the farmers’ protest movement in the latter half of the nineteenth century
  • Explain how the farmers’ revolt moved from protest to politics
  • Explain how the Depression of 1893 helped the Populist Party to grow in popularity in the 1890s
  • Understand the forces that contributed to the Populist Party’s decline following the 1896 presidential election


Chapter 21 – Leading the Way: The Progressive Movement, 1890-1920
Lessons 21.1 The Origins of the Progressive Spirit in America

21.2 Progressivism at the Grassroots Level

21.3 New Voices for Women and African Americans

21.4 Progressivism in the White House

  • Describe the role that muckrakers played in catalyzing the Progressive Era
  • Explain the main features of Progressivism
  • Identify specific examples of grassroots Progressivism relating to the spread of democracy, efficiency in government, and social justice
  • Describe the more radical movements associated with the Progressive Era
  • Understand the origins and growth of the women’s rights movement
  • Identify the different strands of the early African American civil rights movement
  • Explain the key features of Theodore Roosevelt’s “Square Deal”
  • Explain the key features of William Howard Taft’s Progressive agenda
  • Identify the main pieces of legislation that Woodrow Wilson’s “New Freedom” agenda comprised


Chapter 22 – Age of Empire: American Foreign Policy, 1890-1914
Lessons 22.2 Turner, Mahan, and the Roots of Empire

22.2 The Spanish-American War and Overseas Empire

22.3 Economic Imperialism in East Asia

22.4 Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” Foreign Policy

22.5 Taft’s “Dollar Diplomacy”

  • Explain the evolution of American interest in foreign affairs from the end of the Civil War through the early 1890s
  • Identify the contributions of Frederick Jackson Turner and Alfred Thayer Mahan to the conscious creation of an American empire
  • Explain the origins and events of the Spanish-American War
  • Analyze the different American opinions on empire at the conclusion of the Spanish-American War
  • Describe how the Spanish-American War intersected with other American expansions to solidify the nation’s new position as an empire
  • Explain how economic power helped to expand America’s empire in China
  • Describe how the foreign partitioning of China in the last decade of the nineteenth century influenced American policy
  • Explain the meaning of “big stick” foreign policy
  • Describe Theodore Roosevelt’s use of the “big stick” to construct the Panama Canal
  • Explain the role of the United States in ending the Russo-Japanese War
  • Explain how William Howard Taft used American economic power to protect the nation’s interests in its new empire


Chapter 23 – Americans and the Great War, 1914-1919
Lessons 23.1 American Isolationism and the European Origins of War

23.2 The United States Prepares for War

23.3 A New Home Front

23.4 From War to Peace

23.5 Demobilization and Its Difficult Aftermath

  • Explain Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy and the difficulties of maintaining American neutrality at the outset of World War I
  • Identify the key factors that led to the U.S. declaration of war on Germany in April 1917
  • Identify the steps taken by the U.S. government to secure enough men, money, food, and supplies to prosecute World War I
  • Explain how the U.S. government attempted to sway popular opinion in favor of the war effort
  • Explain how the status of organized labor changed during the First World War
  • Describe how the lives of women and African Americans changed as a result of American participation in World War I
  • Explain how America’s participation in World War I allowed for the passage of prohibition and women’s suffrage
  • Identify the role that the United States played at the end of World War I
  • Describe Woodrow Wilson’s vision for the postwar world
  • Explain why the United States never formally approved the Treaty of Versailles nor joined the League of Nations
  • Identify the challenges that the United States faced following the conclusion of World War I
  • Explain Warren G. Harding’s landslide victory in the 1920 presidential election


Chapter 24 – The Jazz Age: Redefining the Nation, 1919-1929
Lessons 24.1 Prosperity and the Production of Popular Entertainment

24.2 Transformation and Backlash

24.3 A New Generation

24.4 Republican Ascendancy: Politics in the 1920s

  • Discuss the role of movies in the evolution of American culture
  • Explain the rise of sports as a dominant social force
  • Analyze the ways in which the automobile, especially the Model T, transformed American life
  • Define nativism and analyze the ways in which it affected the politics and society of the 1920s
  • Describe the conflict between urban Americans and rural fundamentalists
  • Explain the issues in question in the Scopes trial
  • Explain the factors that shaped the new morality and the changing role of women in the United States during the 1920s
  • Describe the “new Negro” and the influence of the Harlem Renaissance
  • Analyze the effects of prohibition on American society and culture
  • Describe the character and main authors of the Lost Generation
  • Discuss Warren G. Harding’s strengths and weaknesses as president
  • Explain how Calvin Coolidge was able to defeat the Democratic Party
  • Explain what Calvin Coolidge meant by “the business of America is business”


Chapter 25 – Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? The Great Depression, 1929-1932
Lessons 25.1 The Stock Market Crash of 1929

25.2 President Hoover’s Response

25.3 The Depths of the Great Depression

25.4 Assessing the Hoover Years on the Eve of the New Deal

  • Identify the causes of the stock market crash of 1929
  • Assess the underlying weaknesses in the economy that resulted in America’s spiraling from prosperity to depression so quickly
  • Explain how a stock market crash might contribute to a nationwide economic disaster
  • Explain Herbert Hoover’s responses to the Great Depression and how they reflected his political philosophy
  • Identify the local, city, and state efforts to combat the Great Depression
  • Analyze the frustration and anger that a majority of Americans directed at Herbert Hoover
  • Identify the challenges that everyday Americans faced as a result of the Great Depression and analyze the government’s initial unwillingness to provide assistance
  • Explain the particular challenges that African Americans faced during the crisis
  • Identify the unique challenges that farmers in the Great Plains faced during this period
  • Identify the successes and failures of Herbert Hoover’s presidency
  • Determine the fairness and accuracy of assessments of Hoover’s presidency


Chapter 26 – Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1941
Lessons 26.1 The Rise of Franklin Roosevelt

26.2 The First New Deal

26.3 The Second New Deal

  • Describe the events of the 1932 presidential election and identify the characteristics that made Franklin Roosevelt a desirable candidate
  • Explain why Congress amended the U.S. Constitution to reduce the period of time between presidential elections and inaugurations
  • Identify the key pieces of legislation included in Roosevelt’s “First New Deal”
  • Assess the strengths, weaknesses, and general effectiveness of the First New Deal
  • Explain Roosevelt’s overall vision for addressing the structural problems in the U.S. economy
  • Identify key pieces of legislation from the Second New Deal
  • Assess the entire New Deal, especially in terms of its impact on women, African Americans, and Native Americans


Chapter 27 – Fighting the Good Fight in World War II, 1941-1945
Lessons 27.1 The Origins of War: Europe, Asia, and the United States

27.2 The Home Front

27.3 Victory in the European Theater

27.4 The Pacific Theater and the Atomic Bomb

  • Explain the factors in Europe that gave rise to Fascism and Nazism
  • Discuss the events in Europe and Asia that led to the start of the war
  • Identify the early steps taken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to increase American aid to nations fighting totalitarianism while maintaining neutrality
  • Describe the steps taken by the United States to prepare for war
  • Describe how the war changed employment patterns in the United States
  • Discuss the contributions of civilians on the home front, especially women, to the war effort
  • Analyze how the war affected race relations in the United States
  • Identify the major battles of the European theater
  • Analyze the goals and results of the major wartime summit meetings
  • Discuss the strategy employed against the Japanese and some of the significant battles of the Pacific campaign
  • Describe the effects of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Analyze the decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan


Chapter 28 – Post-War Prosperity and Cold War Fears, 1945-1960
Lessons 28.1 The Challenges of Peacetime

28.2 The Cold War

28.3 The American Dream

28.4 Popular Culture and Mass Media

28.5 The African American Struggle for Civil Rights

  • Identify the issues that the nation faced during demobilization
  • Explain the goals and objectives of the Truman administration
  • Evaluate the actions taken by the U.S. government to address the concerns of returning veterans
  • Explain how and why the Cold War emerged in the wake of World War II
  • Describe the steps taken by the U.S. government to oppose Communist expansion in Europe and Asia
  • Discuss the government’s efforts to root out Communist influences in the United States
  • Describe President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s domestic and foreign policies
  • Discuss gender roles in the 1950s
  • Discuss the growth of the suburbs and the effect of suburbanization on American society
  • Describe Americans’ different responses to rock and roll music
  • Discuss the way contemporary movies and television reflected postwar American society
  • Explain how Presidents Truman and Eisenhower addressed civil rights issues
  • Discuss efforts by African Americans to end discrimination and segregation
  • Describe southern whites’ response to the civil rights movement


Chapter 29 – Contesting Futures: America in the 1960s
Lessons 29.1 The Kennedy Promise

29.2 Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society

29.3 The Civil Rights Movement Marches On

29.4 Challenging the Status Quo

  • Assess Kennedy’s Cold War strategy
  • Describe Kennedy’s contribution to the civil rights movement
  • Describe the major accomplishments of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society
  • Identify the legal advances made in the area of civil rights
  • Explain how Lyndon Johnson deepened the American commitment in Vietnam
  • Explain the strategies of the African American civil rights movement in the 1960s
  • Discuss the rise and philosophy of Black Power
  • Identify achievements of the Mexican American civil rights movement in the 1960s
  • Describe the goals and activities of SDS, the Free Speech Movement, and the antiwar movement
  • Explain the rise, goals, and activities of the women’s movement


Chapter 30 – Political Storms at Home and Abroad, 1968-1980
Lessons 30.1 Identity Politics in a Fractured Society

30.2 Coming Apart, Coming Together

30.3 Vietnam: The Downward Spiral

30.4 Watergate: Nixon’s Domestic Nightmare

30.5 Jimmy Carter in the Aftermath of the Storm

  • Describe the counterculture of the 1960s
  • Explain the origins of the American Indian Movement and its major activities
  • Assess the significance of the gay rights and women’s liberation movements
  • Explain the factors responsible for Richard Nixon’s election in 1968
  • Describe the splintering of the Democratic Party in 1968
  • Discuss Richard Nixon’s economic policies
  • Discuss the major successes of Richard Nixon’s foreign policy
  • Describe the events that fueled antiwar sentiment in the Vietnam era
  • Explain Nixon’s steps to withdraw the United States from the conflict in South Vietnam
  • Describe the actions that Nixon and his confederates took to ensure his reelection in 1972
  • Explain the significance of the Watergate crisis
  • Describe Gerald Ford’s domestic policies and achievements in foreign affairs
  • Explain why Gerald Ford lost the election of 1976
  • Describe Jimmy Carter’s domestic and foreign policy achievements
  • Discuss how the Iranian hostage crisis affected the Carter presidency


Chapter 31 – From Cold War to Culture Wars, 1980-2000
Lessons 31.1 The Reagan Revolution

31.2 Political and Cultural Fusions

31.3 A New World Order

31.4 Bill Clinton and the New Economy

  • Explain Ronald Reagan’s attitude towards government
  • Discuss the Reagan administration’s economic policies and their effects on the nation
  • Discuss the culture wars and political conflicts of the Reagan era
  • Describe the Religious Right’s response to the issues of the Reagan era
  • Describe the successes and failures of Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy
  • Compare the policies of Ronald Reagan with those of George H. W. Bush
  • Explain the causes and results of the Persian Gulf War
  • Discuss the events that constituted the end of the Cold War
  • Explain political partisanship, antigovernment movements, and economic developments during the Clinton administration
  • Discuss President Clinton’s foreign policy
  • Explain how George W. Bush won the election of 2000


Chapter 32 – The Challenges of the Twenty-First Century
Lessons 32.1 The War on Terror

32.2 The Domestic Mission

32.3 New Century, Old Disputes

32.4 Hope and Change

  • Discuss how the United States responded to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
  • Explain why the United States went to war against Afghanistan and Iraq
  • Describe the treatment of suspected terrorists by U.S. law enforcement agencies and the U.S. military
  • Discuss the Bush administration’s economic theories and tax policies, and their effects on the American economy
  • Explain how the federal government attempted to improve the American public education system
  • Describe the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina
  • Identify the causes of the Great Recession of 2008 and its effect on the average citizen
  • Describe the efforts to reduce the influence of immigrants on American culture
  • Describe the evolution of twenty-first-century American attitudes towards same-sex marriage
  • Explain the clash over climate change
  • Describe how Barack Obama’s domestic policies differed from those of George W. Bush
  • Discuss the important events of the war on terror during Obama’s two administrations
  • Discuss some of the specific challenges facing the United States as Obama’s second term draws to a close

ACE U.S. History (3 Semester Credits)