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Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 9 years, 3 months ago

Topic #1  American Begingings (to 1783)

1. What are the different interpretations of Jefferson’s words, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”

2. What were the factors that shaped and influenced the formation of democratic governments in the 13 colonies?

3. What were the factors that shaped and influenced the different economies in the 13 colonies?

4. What were the philosophical and economic arguments that fueled the desire for independence?

Topic #2 The Critical Period and US Constition (1783-1789)

1. What were the achievements & failures of the Articles of Confederation? 
2. How did the framers of the Constitution address the weaknesses of the Articles while trying to avoid a tyrannical government?

3. How was the conflict over ratification shaped by political, economic and social differences?


Topic #3 The New Nation (1789-1824) 

1. How did Washington, Adams, and Jefferson shape the office of the President, which had been vaguely defined in the Constitution?

2. How did presidents from Washington to Monroe attempt to meet foreign policy challenges?

3. How did the rulings of the Marshall court strengthen the power of the Supreme Court?


Topic #4a Sectionalism (1824 to 1861)

1. How did the major political, social, economic, and territorial issues increase sectional tensions during ante-bellum period? 
2. How did reform movements attempt to address the political and social problems of a growing nation?

3. What were the causes of the Civil War?


Topic #4b


Topic #46


Topic #5 Reconstruction  (1861 – 1877)

1. What was the political, social and economic impact of the Civil War on the North & South?

2. To what extent were the powers of the President expanded as Lincoln attempted to deal with national crisis?

3. How does war challenge the balance between security and civil liberties?

4. What was the political, social and economic impact of Reconstruction on the South?

5. How did Reconstruction fail to address the inequalities faced by African Americans?


Topic #6 – The West  (1862 – 1890)

1. How did government policies, technology & other factors encourage settlement of the West?

2. How did the Native Americans’ concept of land ownership & respect for the environment compare with that of the white settlers?

3. Were the Indian wars a case study in genocide?

4. How has the federal government attempted to address Native American rights from 1890 to the present


Topic #7 – The Age of Industry

1. What factors enabled the U.S. to become an industrial giant? 



Topic #8 Immigration Patterns 

1. How was immigration in the late 19th century and early 20th century influenced by events abroad and in the U.S
2. What were the political, social & economic effects of industrialization & immigration?



Topic #9a The Rise of Populism and #9b The Progressive Movement

1. How did the political, social & economic conditions during the late 19th century contribute to the rise of Populism & Progressivism?

2. What was the role of the media in influencing public opinion & policy?

3. To what extent were the Populists & Progressives successful in bringing about political, social & economic change



Topic #10 – Imperialism(1890 – 1914)

1. How did political, social & economic conditions in the late 19th century encourage the United States to become an imperialist power?

2. To what degree was the era a turning point in American foreign policy?

3. What was the political, social & economic impact of American imperialism at home & abroad?


Topic #11  World War I  (1914 – 1919)

1. Why did the United States shift from neutrality to intervention in World War I?

2. What was the impact of war on American economic, political and social life?

3. How did World War I challenge traditional American values?

4. How does war challenge the balance between security and civil liberties?

5. What factors contributed to the Senate’s failure to ratify the Treaty of Versailles? How did this reflect checks and balances?


Topic #12 The Roaring twenties (1920 – 1929)

1. How did the 1920’s represent a shift in cultural values?

2. How did this shift lead to conflict?

3. How did the economic policies, behaviors and circumstances of the 1920’s contribute to the Great Depression?


Topic #13 The great depression (1929 – 1941)

1. How did basic weaknesses in the economy contribute to both the stock market crash and the economic collapse that became known as the great depression?

2. How did the responses of presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt differ? How were they similar?

3. How did the Great depression and subsequent responses impact various individuals and social groups?

4. How did the role of the Federal government change as a result of the new Deal? What constitutional challenges arose as a result of this change?

5. To what extent was the New Deal successful?


Topic #14  World War II (1941 – 1945)

1. To what extent did the isolationist policies of the 1930’s reflect a desire to avoid a repeat of the conditions that drew us into World War I?

2. In what sense was the United States “involved” in World War II before Pearl Harbor?

3. What was the impact of war on American economic, political and social life? How did this compare to World War I?

4. How does war challenge the balance between security and civil liberties?

5. How did the United States’ role in world affairs change as a result of World War II?


Topic #14 – The Cold War (1945 – 1963)

1. How did the shift in Global power and the subsequent superpower rivalry dictate U.S. foreign policy in the Cold War era?

2. How did conflicting political and economic ideologies and foreign agendas contribute to the emergence of the Cold War?

3. How did the United States respond to the expansion of communism in Europeand Asia?

4. How did the United States respond to the threat of communism at home?

5. How did the fear of communism and the fear of nuclear war affect American society and culture? To what extent did these fears lead to the sacrifice constitutional freedoms?

6. How did each post-World War II Presidents apply and augment the policy of containment?


Topioc #15 The Fabulous Fifties (1950 – 1959)

1. What significant demographic changes became evident in the 1950’s?

2. How did American society, culture and values change in the 1950’s?

3. Were the 50’s truly fabulous?


Topic #16 – The Civil Rights Movement (1945 – 1975)

1. How did conditions in American society lead to the Civil Rights movement?

2. How did different groups and individuals attempt to achieve social, political, and economic equality in this era?

3. To what degree were efforts to attain equality successful?

4. How did all three branches of the Federal government bring about change during this era?

5. In what ways was the Great Society a response to the social, economic, and political equalities in the United States?

6. To what extent were the goals of the Great Society achieved


Topic #17 – Vietnam War (1945 – 1975)

1. How did United States involvement in the Vietnam conflict evolve from 1945-1975?

2. How did Vietnam War transform the political, social, and cultural climate in the United States?

3. What is the impact of the media on public opinion?

4. How does the Vietnam War reflect the issue of presidential vs. congressional authority during wartime?


Topic #18 – The 1970’s (1970-1979)

1. What was the significance of Nixon’s foreign policy initiatives?

2.  What was the political and psychological effect of Watergate on the nation?

3. How did the Ford and Carter presidencies address the economic and foreign policy challenges of the 1970’s?


Topic #19 – Approaching the Next century (1980-1999)

1. To what extent and in what ways did the “Reagan Revolution” constituent a challenge to the New Deal and the Great Society?

2. To what extent did Reagan’s foreign policy represent a return to traditional themes of Cold War and power politics?

3. How do the politics of this era reflect a change in American cultural and political values?

4. How did the foreign policy of President’s Bush and Clinton respond post-Cold War realities?


Topic #20- The New Century (2000- the present)

1. How did the events of September 11, 2001 impact domestic and foreign policies?

2. How does war challenge the balance between security and civil liberties?

3. What are the social, political and economic challenges facing the nation as we approach the second decade of the 21st century?

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