Course Description

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United States History I Honors Mr. Farrand
Course Description

This course is a broad survey of the history of the United States of America from the “discovery” of the continent in 1492 to the 1930s Great Depression. With more than 400 years of history to cover the pace will be quick. The workload and depth will be slightly less than the AP classes (and the grade weight a +8 instead of a +10), but it will still be considerably more challenging than the "College Prep" courses. Honors will truly prepare students for the rigors of advanced college work. Homework or reading should be expected almost every night. Taking good notes, participating in class discussions, and keeping up with the readings and homework are absolutely essential for success in this course.

Course Bibliography:

  • The Americans text

  • Various handouts and primary source documents throughout the academic year.


A notebook is a requirement for this course.  A three ring spiral notebook (1.5 in. or greater) is necessary for both note-taking and containing the frequent excerpts of primary documents and historical works provided throughout the year.


Students will be responsible for a variety of different assignments throughout the course. There will be weekly readings from the textbook or from handouts for which students will be responsible. There will be homework assignments of varying length and difficulty. Assignments will be due the next class unless otherwise noted. There will also be occasional reading quizzes. There will be several essays which should follow the MLA format as well as group presentations and projects.

As this is a preparatory course for college, tests will be long and heavily weighted (as they will be). There will only be two or three tests per quarter. Studying is essential- and study guides will always be provided. The midterm and final examination will follow the guidelines of Hackettstown High School for date and weight.

Tests and Quizzes 45% ~2 tests, several quizzes per quarter

Essays and Papers and Presentations 40% A few per quarter

Homework and 21st Century Skills 15% almost every day

Extra Help:

Though this will be a difficult course, I want all of my students to succeed and will always be available for extra help. In my free time I can usually be found in Room A17 and am usually at the school till ~3:30, but the easiest way to get help is to contact me via email and/or set up an appointment. My classrooms this year are C11 in the morning and A17 in the afternoons – try these first.

Academic Honesty:
It is expected that students will use genuine, sincere, and fair means for the accomplishment of the tests, tasks, or projects from which evaluations of progress shall be determined. Students found plagiarizing, copying or cheating in any way will receive automatic zeros and have phone calls made to their parents.
Late Work:
Homework assignments may not be turned in late. Papers and projects may be turned in late with an appropriate penalty for each day late.
Class Policies
I will lead a respectful and disciplined classroom. This requires a few simple rules. It is your responsibility to follow these policies, or face the logical consequences. I do however, promise fairness in implementing them.
A. Class Rules

  • Be Seated- Be in your assigned seat and working on the assigned bell work when the tardy bell rings. Do not walk around during class unless directed to do so.

  • Be Respectful- Students will exhibit courtesy and respect toward all other students at all times. Hateful comments concerning race, gender, sexuality, political views, appearance, or of any other type will not be tolerated; this applies to serious as well as "joking" comments.

  • Be Prepared- Bring ALL books and materials to class and take them with you when you leave.

  • Raise your Hand- Freedom of speech is very important in the classroom, and everyone will have a chance to speak. However for the sake of order, hand raising is required if you have a question or comment. The exception is during “Free Response” times, which will be noted by me on the board, where raised hands are unnecessary.

  • Nothing Goes Airborne- Nothing will go airborne in class at any time. This includes pens, paper, and other students.

  • In addition: Follow all the procedures and policies listed in the Hackettstown High School handbooks.

B. Tardies and Late Arrivals
A Student who is not in the classroom, seated, and prepared for class when the bell sounds, is considered late or tardy. Three tardies are equivalent to one absence. In addition, lateness exceeding 11 minutes is considered a full absence. So be on time!

C. Attendance
If a student has an excused absence from class he or she is responsible for the assignments/ homework that were missed. The student has as many days as he or she was absent to make up the assignments. It is up to the student to inquire about missed work and tests as soon as possible. Make up tests must be scheduled by signing up for a test appointment the next day. Zeroes will be given if a student fails to make up work within an acceptable time frame. Unexcused absences void all make-up privileges.

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I have read, understand, and agree to follow the rules and policies of Mr. Farrand’s course:

Student name: ___________________________ Student signature: _____________________________

I have read, understand, and will encourage my child to follow the rules and policies of Mr. Farrand’s course:

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AP US History I – Course Syllabus and Learning Objectives

Unit 1: Colonization and Revolution

Topics covered

  • Revisionism and Howard Zinn on Columbus

  • Columbian Exchange and Spanish Conquest

  • Jamestown and Plymouth (Indian relations and beginning of econ)

  • Economics of the colonies and beginnings of slavery

  • Colonial slavery discussion

  • 13 Colony presentations

  • Politics, and Bacon’s Rebellion – were the American colonies “democratic?”

  • Origins of some American Freedoms (Constitution Day) (Zenger)

Objectives: Students will

  1. Analyze the interactions of Europeans and Native Americans after 1492.

  2. Describe the success of the Jamestown colony and its influence on future colonization.

  3. Compare and contrast the religious, social, and political composition of the New England, Mid Atlantic, and Southern colonies.

  4. Understand the uneasy relations between Native Americans and Europeans.

  5. Identify the key differences between European and Native American religions, and their subsequent clashes.

  6. Discuss the different philosophies of colonization between France, Great Britain, and Spain.

  7. Explain how English colonists utilized the idea of a representation government to conduct their affairs.

  8. Understand the importance of indentured servants, slavery, and women in the economy of the Thirteen Colonies.

  9. Identify the achievements in the arts and sciences, education, and other professions.

  10. Describe the political developments during the early 18th century.

Unit 2: Revolution

Topics covered

  • Salutary Neglect / French and Indian War / Proclamation Line

  • Acts to the Boston Massacre

  • What is justifiable in the name of liberty? (Gaspee, Tea Party)

  • Continental Congresses (and colonial correspondence – integration???)

  • Enlightenment and the Declaration of Independence

  • The Revolutionary War

Objectives: Students will

  1. Examine the changes in British policy toward the American colonies in the 1760s and 1770s.

  2. Explain the importance of various legislative acts by Parliament and its impact on the American colonists.

  3. Discuss the significance of convening the First Continental Congress and its accomplishments.

  4. Discuss the significance of convening the Second Continental Congress and its accomplishments.

  5. Describe the aim of the Declaration of Independence.

  6. Understand the role of George Washington during the American Revolution.

  7. Examine the impact of the American Revolution on slaves, women, Native Americans, and other individuals.

  8. Explain the American war aims, and problems experienced by state governments during the Revolution.

Unit 3: the Critical Period and Constitution

Topics covered

  • Republican Motherhood and “republican” ideals

  • What were the Articles of Confederation? What was wrong with them?

  • Research on the Constitutional Convention

  • Bill of Rights/ Ratification

Objectives: Students will

  1. Identify the features of the Articles of Confederation and the problems faced by the government under its regulations.

  2. Analyze the issues involved with the establishment of the new government.

  3. Differentiate between the branches and powers of the Constitution

  4. Outline the differences between Hamilton and Jefferson.

Unit 4: the New Republic

Topics covered

  • Washington and intro Political parties

  • Washington’s Address and Adams Presidency: Alien and Sedition

  • Jefferson: Two Important Precedents: the Louisiana Purchase and Judicial Review

  • Foreign Policy: Embargo and rising tensions

  • (Reading/discussion of Hartford Convention) - intro “Era of Good Feelings”

  • Foreign affairs (PP) (read/ analyze the Monroe Doctrine) – emphasize nationalism!!!

  • Court Cases of the Early Republic

Objectives: Students will

  1. Compare the beliefs and actions of the first political parties

  2. Apply the concept of “strict constructionism” to the First Political Party System

  3. Examine the Jefferson “Revolution of 1800”.

  4. Understand the role of John Marshall as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

  5. Describe Jefferson’s sponsorship of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

  6. Identify the numerous causes of the War of 1812.

  7. Discuss the effects of the Revolution on religion, and its impact on the Second Great Awakening.

  8. Understand the development of American cultural nationalism during the early part of the 19th century.

Unit 5: Nationalism and Jacksonian Democracy

Topics covered

  • Andrew Jackson

  • Jacksonian Democratic Party and Populism

  • Native American relations and policy

  • Jackson, the Bank, and the emergence of the Whig opposition

  • Presentations on Reform movements of 1820-1860

Objectives: Students will

  1. Explain the impact Andrew Jackson had on the American presidency, society, and democracy.

  2. Examine the development of the Democratic Party.

  3. Assess the impact of the Cherokee Removal on Native Americans.

Unit 6: National Economy and Culture Before the Civil War

Topics covered

  • Erie Canal - Economic Development and Western Settlement

  • Missouri Compromise, rising sectionalism

  • Abolitionism and increasing radicalism

  • Sectionalism: ~1820-1850 (The North)

  • Sectionalism: ~1820-1850 (The South)

  • Preparing for and analyzing a DBQ (Slavery to 1830)

Objectives: Students will

  1. Understand the political impact of the Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850, and the Nullification Crisis on the United States.

  2. Identify the developing social, political, economic, and ideological differences between different regions of the United States.

  3. Analyze the characteristics of cultural, religious, and social reform movements in the antebellum period, including the abolition movement and the women’s rights movement.

Unit 7: Manifest Destiny and Sectional Struggle

Topics covered

  • Expansion to the North and South (54’ 40 or fight!!! – US expansionism before the Civil War)

  • Compromise of 1850 (Filibustering)

  • Radicals in the South and North; Violence in Kansas

  • Election of 1860/ Secession/ Fort Sumter/start of war

Objectives: Students will

  1. Explain the growing tensions between North and South

  2. Analyze whether the Civil War was inevitable or a result of a few radicals.

Unit 8: Civil War and Reconstruction

Topics covered

  • Kentucky Secession Convention (Fort Sumter/start of war)

  • 1861/62 : The War for the Union: The Emancipation Proclamation

  • The War Turns: Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and the End

  • Lincoln and Presidential Power

  • Reconstruction under Lincoln, Johnson (black codes) and Radical Republicans

  • Society in the South; End of Reconstruction

Objectives: Students will

  1. Examine the strengths and weaknesses of the North and South.

  2. Describe the military course of the war.

  3. Assess the various aspects of the war in terms of society, finance, diplomacy, and technological advances.

  4. Discuss the end of the war and its meaning.

  5. Evaluate the various strategies for reconstructing the South.

  6. Assess the successes and failure of the Reconstruction.

Unit 9: Industrial America

Topics covered

  • the West and Indian Policy

  • The “New South” and Segregation

  • Railroads and the Grange

  • Industrialization and trusts

  • Strikes and Labor

  • The Gilded Age

  • Tariffs, Money Supply, and Populists and 1896

  • Populism vs. Conservatism Debate

  • Reform movements of the late 19th century

Objectives: Students will

  1. Trace the westward expansion of the U.S. following the Civil War.

  2. Identify the reasons behind the U.S. policies on Native Americans.

  3. Identify the factors that lead to the rise of Populism.

  4. Evaluate the various levels of corruption on local, state, and federal governments.

  5. Assess the impact of inventions and technology on society.

  6. Explain labor struggles and successes.

  7. Identify important business tycoons and their methods, accomplishments, and philosophies.

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