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American Studies Syllabus

The Course:

The focus of American Studies is to introduce students to variety of topics within United States history to get them prepared for the core course of United States history. The course will introduce students to a variety of topics including the Constitution, the Civil War and Reconstructions and the role of the United States on a global stage during the 20th century.


Required Materials:


  • Text Book: Classroom sets of The American Vision and The History of Us
  • A notebook that has a three-ring binder that allows papers to be added or taken out.
  • Abundant Supply of Loose Leaf paper.
  • All handouts and completed assignments.
  • A pencil and a blue or black pen.


Contact Information:

  • Email: aflowers@wiliston.k12.sc.us  
  • Phone: 803-266-3110 (Office) 803-266-8035 (Classroom)
  • Website: http://www.williston.k12.sc.us/olc/teacher.aspx?s=86
  • Room Number and Planning Periods: Room 133, 4th Block Planning




World Wide Web Resources are located at:





  • Daily Grades                           40% of quarter average

                                                   (Includes homework, class work, and class participation)


  • Major Grades                          60% of quarter average

       (Includes tests and projects)


  • Exams                                   20% of semester average.



Students should follow the procedures for attendance that are outlined in their handbooks. American Studies is a semester long course, therefore; students are not allowed to miss more than six days. Make-up work is the responsibility of the student. All work, including tests, will expire at the end of the quarter. If the work is not made up by the expiration date, then a zero will be given as a grade.  Test corrections will be allowed at the discretion of the teacher. Tardiness will not be accepted. Students should show up to class on time or they will be marked tardy unless they have a pass. Tutoring will be available to students on Thursday afternoons from 3:00-4:00 pm.


Classroom Rules:

  1. Follow all instructions given by the teacher.
  2. Students are to be seated in their desks when the bell rings and to begin on work given by the teacher.
  3. Bring all required materials to class everyday.
  4. Remain respectful at all times.
  5. Make-up work is the responsibility of the student and will not be discussed during class.
  6. At the end of the class, students are to remain seated until they are dismissed by the teacher.
  7. Students are expected to follow all rules outlined in the student handbook. Offenses will be handled according to school policy.



Course Timeline-Approximate timeline of covered topics. Teacher reserves the right to deviate from the timeline if necessary.






Declaration of Independence, Weakness of the Articles of Confederation, Constitutional Convention and Ratification

USHC 1.3, 1.4; USG 2.4


Civil War, Reconstruction, Post-Civil War African American life

USHC 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5


Industrialization: Expansion of Industry, Age of Railroads, Big Business and Labor, Immigration, Urbanization, Politics in the   Gilded Age

Progressive Reform Era: Social Reform, Political Reform

USHC 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6


America on the World Stage: Isolationism to Intervention, Imperialism, Diplomacy, World War I

USHC 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5


The Roaring Twenties: Politics, Culture

USHC 6.1, 6.2


The Great Depression and The New Deal: Causes of the Crash, Causes of the Great Depression, Government responses, Changing governmental roles, Culture, Impact of the New Deal(s)

USHC 6.3, 6.4


World War II: Rise of single-party states, American response to

fascist aggression, Turning point battles in the war, Home Front, The role of atomic power, War time conferences, Responding to war crimes

USHC 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4


The Cold War Era: Origins, Containment and brinkmanship, The Red Scare, Popular Culture, Secularization of Society

USHC 7.4, 7.5


New Frontier/Great Society: Changing role of government, Space race, Nuclear arms race

USHC 7.5, 7.6


The Vietnam War: Background, Involvement and Escalation, War at home, Legacy

USHC 8.3


Civil Rights and Social Change: Background (review Reconstruction forward), Court cases and legislation, Social movements to create change – racial, ethnic and gender.

USHC 8.1, 8.2


An Age of Limits: Nixon administration and its downfall, Ford and Carter Years, Environmental Activism

USHC 8.2, 8.4


Forging a New America: Social and cultural change, Ending the Cold War, Foreign policy since the fall of the Soviet Union, A new economy

USHC 8.5, 8.6




Overall Process and Learning Goals:


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the development of democracy in the United States and be able to analyze the historical documents that led to the founding of our modern government.


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of how regional and ideological differences led to the Civil War and an understanding of the impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on democracy in the United States.



  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the industrial development of the U.S. economy and the consequences of that development on society and politics during the second half of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century.


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of domestic and foreign developments that contributed to the emergence of the United States as a world power in the twentieth century.



  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the conflict between traditionalism and progressivism in the 1920s and the economic collapse and the political response to the economic crisis in the 1930s.


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of World War II on the United States and the nation’s subsequent role in the world.



  1. Demonstrate an understanding of social, economic, and political issues in contemporary America.