Broad Course Overview

 Chapter 1: Converging Cultures (Prehistory to 1620)

Essential Questions: What were the early civilizations of Mesoamerica? What was the impact of the renaissance on European exploration? What were the effects of the Columbian Exchange? How were French and Spanish colonies in North America founded?

Chapter 2: The English Arrive in America (1607-1763)

Essential Questions: What were the religious and economic reasons that England became interested in America? Why did Plymouth Colony succeed? Why did the English colonies succeed? How did geography impact the economy of the colonies? What was immigration in colonial America like?

Chapter 3: The American Revolution (1754-1789)

Essential Questions: What were reasons for colonial discontent? What were the circumstances under which the colonies declared their independence? What were the advantages and disadvantages of each side at the beginning of the war? What political ideas prevailed following the war? What was the framework for the new federal government?

Chapter 4: The Federalists & Republicans

Essential Questions: What were the divisions that emerged between the nation’s first political parties? What changes did Thomas Jefferson bring to the federal government? What were the causes and outcomes of the War of 1812? How was the supreme court strengthened by John Marshall? What foreign policy developments occurred during this time?

Chapter 5: The Young Republic (1816-1848)

Essential Questions: How did the Industrial Revolution impact America? What was the origin and terms of the Missouri Compromise? What reform movements were presented during this time? What were the causes and implications of westward expansion?

Chapter 6: Sectional Conflict Intensifies (1848-1860)

Essential Questions: How did the Fugitive Slave Act and the transcontinental railroad impact America? What were the origins of the Republican Party? What was the significance of the presidential election of 1860? How and why did the Civil War begin?