Zisk's United States AP


Whether one moves away from oneself in cultural space or in historical time, one does not go far before one is in a world where the taken-for-granted must cease to be so.  Translation then becomes necessary.  Ways must be found of attaining an understanding of the meanings that the inhabitants of other worlds have given to their own everyday customs.  Rhys Isaac in The Transformation of Virginia: 1740-1790

Semester I        Semester II       

PURPOSE:  This course is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in United States History.  The level of work within the class is comparable to a full-year introductory college course.  Students will be expected to read the class text, as well as primary sources, then be able to apply that knowledge to answering analytical essays, document essays, and multiple choice questions.  Every student is expected to take the Advance Placement exam in May.  The exam is three hours and five minutes long and is taken in two timed sections:  a 55 minute 80 question multiple choice section and 130 minute essay writing section in which three essays will be written.  The 2010 test is on Friday, May 6th at 8am.

TEXTS: Tindall, George B., and David E. Shi. America A Narrative History.v.1,2. 8th ed. 

Review Texts:  Good overall review book (do not buy until January or February), but not the only one out there ...REA's United States AP Review book.     

SUMMER READING:  First three chapters of America and the selected chapter from 1491.  Feel free to read any historical biography of of one our Founding Fathers...


SEMESTER I UNITS: ANH chapters 1-19

  • Exploration through Wars for Empire
  • Conflict and Rebellion
  • Establishing a New Nation
  • The Virginia Presidents and the Era of Good Feelings
  • Jacksonian Democracy and Manifest Destiny
  • Pre-Civil War American Society, 1820-1850                    
  • The Growth of Sectionalism
  • Civil War and Reconstruction


  • Post-Reconstruction Era (Gilded Age)
  • The New Manifest Destiny
  • The Progressive Era
  • The Great War
  • The Great Depression
  • World War II
  • Post-War ... Cold War
  • JFK, LBJ, and Nixon
  • Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton

EXPECTATIONS: Much of the study of any History is reading. The student is expected to read the assigned texts and primary sources. Reading the text is the nightly homework assignment.  Discussions in class will be on the readings in America A Narrative History (ANH) and tests will be on reading assignments for the unit being studied.

This class is not designed to be a "total lecture" class. Once again it is optimistically assumed by the teacher that every student will have read the previous evening’s assignments for class discussion the next day. Being prepared and participation in discussions will be part of the overall grade for the class.

GRADING: Includes unit tests (multiple choice and free response essay), unit document essays, class discussions, and a variety of individual and group projects.  Keeping up with the chapter readings is the homework assignment every night.  For the first trimester, most of the essays may be rewritten for an averaged grade.  Multiple choice tests through this time period will be reworked for an averaged grade usually the day after the test.

EXTRA HELP:  Monday 7:00 am and 3:45 pm in I203