Advanced Placement United States History Period Sections Page
First thing first: this
On a North American continent controlled by American Indians, contact among peoples of Europe, the Americas, and West Africa created a new world.
- Before the arrival of Europeans, native populations in North America developed a wide variety of social, political, and economic structures based in part on interactions with the environment and each other.
- European overseas expansion resulted in the Columbian Exchange, a series of interactions and adaptations among societies across the Atlantic.
- Contacts among American Indians, Africans, and Europeans challenged the worldviews of each group.
Europeans and American Indians maneuvered and fought for dominance, control, and security in North America, and distinctive colonial and native societies emerged.
- Differences in imperial goals, cultures, and the North American environments that different empires confronted led Europeans to develop diverse patterns of colonization.
- European colonization efforts in North America stimulated intercultural contact and intensified conflict between the various groups of colonizers and native peoples.
- The increasing political, economic, and cultural exchanges within the “Atlantic World” had a profound impact on the development of colonial societies in North America.
British imperial attempts to reassert control over its colonies and the colonial reaction to these attempts produced a new American republic, along with struggles over the nation's social, political and economic identity.
- Britain’s victory over France in the imperial struggle for North America led to new conflicts among the British government, the North American colonists, and American Indians, culminating in the creation of a new nation, the United States.
- In the late 18th century, new experiments with democratic ideas and republican forms of government, as well as other new religious, economic, and cultural ideas challenged traditional imperial systems across the Atlantic World.
- Migration within North America, cooperative interaction, and competition for resources raised questions about boundaries and policies, intensified conflicts among peoples and nations, and led to contests over the creation of a multiethnic multiracial national identity.
The new republic struggled to define and extend democratic ideals in the face of rapid economic, territorial, and demographic changes.
- The United States developed the world’s first modern mass democracy and celebrated a new national culture, while Americans sought to define the nation’s democratic ideals and to reform its institutions to match them.
- Developments in technology, agriculture, and commerce precipitated profound changes in U.S. settlement patterns, regional identities, gender and family relations, political power, and distribution of consumer goods.
- U.S. interest in increasing foreign trade, expanding its national borders, and isolating itself from European conflicts shaped the nation’s foreign policy and spurred government and private initiatives.
As the nation expanded and its population grew, regional tensions, especially over slavery, led to a civil war--the course and aftermath of which transformed American society.
- The United States became more connected with the world as it pursued an expansionist foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere and emerged as the destination for many migrants from other countries.
- Intensified by expansion and deepening regional divisions, debates over slavery and other economic, cultural, and political issues led the nation into Civil War.
- The Union victory in the Civil War and the contested Reconstruction of the South settled the issues of slavery and secession, but left unresolved many questions about the power of the federal government and citizenship rights.
The transformation of the United States from an agricultural to an increasingly industrialized and urbanized society brought about significant economic, political, diplomatic, social, environmental, and cultural changes.
- The rise of big business in the United States encouraged massive migrations and urbanization, sparked government and popular efforts to reshape the U.S. economy and environment, and renewed debates over U.S. national identity.
- The emergence of an industrial culture in the United States led to both greater opportunities for, and restrictions on, immigrants, minorities, and women.
- The “Gilded Age” witnessed new cultural and intellectual movements in tandem with political debates over economic and social policies.
An increasingly pluralistic United States faced profound domestic and global challenges, debated the proper degree of government activism, and sought to define its international role.
- Governmental, political, and social organizations struggled to address the effects of large-scale industrialization, economic uncertainty, and related social changes such as urbanization and mass migration.
- A revolution in communications and transportation technology helped to create a new mass culture and spread “modern” values and ideas, even as cultural conflicts between groups increased under the pressure of migration, world wars, and economic distress.
- Global conflicts over resources, territories, and ideologies renewed debates over the nation’s values and its role in the world while simultaneously propelling the United States into a dominant international military, political, cultural, and economic position.
After World War II, the United States grappled with prosperity and unfamiliar international responsibilities while struggling to live up to its ideals.
- The United States responded to an uncertain and unstable postwar world by asserting and attempting to defend a position of global leadership, with far-reaching domestic and international consequences.
- Liberalism, based on anticommunism abroad and a firm belief in the efficacy of governmental and especially federal power to achieve social goals at home, reached its apex in the mid-1960s and generated a variety of political and cultural responses.
- Postwar economic, demographic, and technological changes had a far-reaching impact on American society, politics, and the environment.
As the United States transitioned to a new century filled with challenges and possibilities, it experienced renewed ideological and cultural debates, sought to define its foreign policy, and adapted to economic globalization and revolutionary changes in science and technology.
- A new conservatism grew to prominence in U.S. culture and politics, defending traditional social values and rejecting liberal views about the role of government.
- The end of the Cold War and new challenges to U.S. leadership in the world forced the nation to redefine its foreign policy and global role.
- Standard 9.3: Moving into the 21st century, the nation continued to experience challenges stemming from social, economic, and demographic changes.