History of the U.S. (OpenStax)

History of the U.S. (OpenStax)

MindEdge has enhanced OpenStax’s History of the United States, which presents college and university students with a comprehensive, introductory survey of the major events and historical trends that have shaped America. Topics include Reconstruction, the Great Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, 9/11 and through the Obama Era. This course provides a wide-ranging look at the social and political forces that have defined American society.

MindEdge has enhanced OpenStax courses with interactive games, video commentary, adaptive learning segments, additional practice questions, and a robust question database.

 

Module 1: The Americas, Europe and Africa before 1492

  • 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

 

Module 2: Early Globalization: The Atlantic World, 1492-1650

  • 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

 

Module 3: Creating New Social Orders: Colonial Societies, 1500-1700

  • 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

 

Module 4: Rule Britannia! The English Empire, 1660-1763

  • Describe the wars for empire
  • Analyze the significance of these conflicts
  • 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

 

Module 5: Imperial Reforms and Colonial Protests, 1763-1774

  • Describe the state of affairs between the colonies and the home government in 1774
  • Explain the purpose and results of the First Continental Congress
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

 

Module 6: America’s War for Independence, 1775-1783

  • 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

 

Module 7: Creating Republican Governments, 1776-1790

  • 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

 

Module 8: Growing Pains: The New Republic, 1790-1820

  • 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

 

Module 9: The Industrial, Market, and Transportation Revolutions, 1800-1850

  • 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

 

Module 10: Jacksonian Democracy, 1820-1840

  • 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

 

Module 11: A Nation on the Move: Westward Expansion, 1800-1860

  • 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

 

Module 12: Cotton is King: The Antebellum South, 1800-1860

  • 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

 

Module 13: Antebellum Idealism and Reform Impulses, 1820-1860

  • 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

 

Module 14: Troubled Times: The Tumultuous 1850s

  • 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

 

Module 15: The Civil War: 1860-1865

  • 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

 

Module 16: The Era of Reconstruction, 1865-1877

  • 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

 

Module 17: Go West Young Man! Westward Expansion 1840-1900

  • 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 treatment of Chinese immigrants and Hispanic citizens during the westward expansion of the nineteenth century

 

Module 18: Industrialization and the Rise of Big Business 1870-1900

  • 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

 

Module 19: The Growing Pains of Urbanization 1870-1900

  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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

 

Module 20: Politics in the Gilded Age, 1870-1900

  • 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

 

Module 21: Leading the Way: The Progressive Movement 1890-1920

  • 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

 

Module 22: Age of Empire: American Foreign Policy, 1890-1914

  • 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

 

Module 23: Americans and the Great War 1914-1919

  • 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

 

Module 24: The Jazz Age: Redefining the Nation 1919-1929

  • 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”

 

Module 25: Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? The Great Depression, 1929-1932

  • 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

 

Module 26: Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal 1932-1941

  • 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

 

Module 27: Fighting the Good Fight in World War II 1941-1945

  • 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

 

Module 28: Post-War Prosperity and Cold War Fears 1945-1960

  • 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

 

Module 29: Contesting Futures: America in the 1960’s

  • Assess Kennedy’s Cold War strategy
  • Describe Kennedy’s contribution to the civil rights movement
  • 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
  • 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

 

Module 30: Political Storms at Home and Abroad 1968-1980

  • 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

 

Module 31: From Cold War to Culture Wars 1980-2000

  • 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

 

Module 32: The Challenges of the Twenty-First Century

  • 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