About This Curriculum
This curriculum was designed, created, and/or composed by Mike Meechin. This United States History curriculum begins with the United States Civil War and continues on through the Cold War Era. The curriculum was designed for high school aged students. The United States has had a short, but intense history, and this curriculum reflects that history – some material may be inappropriate for students not of high school age. The concept of the “open curriculum” for this blog was inspired by the curriculum of Dan Meyer, a former high school math teacher in California.
This curriculum is comprised of a wealth of material. There is quite a bit of multimedia content, in other words, some of which I did not author and do not have explicit permission to republish. Sorry about that. Every respect has been paid to Fair Use. Every effort has been made at attribution. If you are a copyright holder (or know one) and I missed your attribution, please let me know via mike.meechin[at]gmail[dot]com and we will make it right.
The rest is yours to use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license.
The textbook used for the course is a hypertext, available for free from Digital History, maintained by the University of Houston. You will find the curriculum divided into historical topics. Some topics may overlap or run concurrently.
[Disclaimer Attribution: Dan Meyer]
Topic.00 Lies is the first in the series. I addressed this topic with students prior to getting into course content. We discussed bias and historical myths and is heavily driven by James Loewen’s book, Lies My Teacher Told Me.
Topic.01 Civil War and Reconstruction
Growing Tensions from Mexican-American War; Details of the Slave Trade Process; Myths About Southern Slave Owners; Abolitionism and Secession; Lincoln’s Plan for Reconstruction; 13-15 Amendments; Black Codes; Johnson’s Downfall; Sharecropping; The First Klan; Civil Rights Act of 1875; The End of Reconstruction
Note: The course that this curriculum was used for began with Reconstruction. Therefore, details of the actual Civil War (battles, etc…) would need to be supplemented.
Topic.02 How the West Was Won
Western Expansion; Results of Mining and Natural Resources; Oil Usage Comparison to Today; American Indian Policies; Indian Wars of the West; Sand Creek Massacre; Homestead Act; Land Grant Colleges; Dry Farming
Topic.03 Industrialization Nation
Second Industrial Revolution; Transcontinental Railroad; Rise of Big Business; Laissez-Faire Economics; Gospel of Wealth; Carnegie and Rockefeller; Child Labor; Labor Tensions; Workers Rights; Immigration and Ellis Island; Jacob Riis and Life in the City; Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
Topic.04 Discontent and Reform
Rise of the City; Social Gospel Movement; Social Movements; The Changing Role of Women in Society; Unionization; 19th Amendment; Political Machines and Boss Tweed; Jim Crow South and Lynchings Begin
Topic.05 The Boss of the World
Intro to Marxist Communism; United States Intervention and Foreign Involvement; Spanish-American War; Yellow Journalism; Platt Amendment; Isolationism; Imperialism; United States Foreign Policy; Open Door Policy; Overthrow of Hawaii; Panama Canal; Taking Over Countries 101
Topic.06 The Great War
Shift to Internationalism; MAIN Ideas for World War I; The Players; The Components of War; Shift to Modern Warfare; British Blockade; Lusitania; Unrestricted Sub Warfare; Stalled War; Trench Warfare; Causes for US Entry into War; Sussex Pledge; 14 Points; Zimmerman Telegram; Treaty of Versailles; Results of the War
Topic.07 The Ups: 1920s in the United States
Slang; New vs. Old Americans; Demobilization; Red Scare; Bolshevik Revolution; Palmer Raids; Immigration Restrictions and Quotas; Sacco and Venzetti; Consumer Credit; Supply and Demand; Intro of the Automobile; Discretionary Income; Stock Market Speculation; Prohibition; Flappers; Speakeasies; Capone and Organized Crime; Dust Bowl; Power of the Written Word; Racial Tension and Second Rise of the Klan; Harlem Renaissance; Scopes Trial
Note: This topic marks a switch from study guides to concept guides, with much less structure to them – putting more responsibility on the student for preparation.
Topic.08 The Downs: A Great Depression in the United States
Market Crash; Reasons Leading Up to the Crash; Bank Runs; Supply vs. Demand; Unemployment; FDR; Social Security Act
Topic.09 World War II and the Holocaust
Rising Global Tensions; Washington Conference; Neutrality Laws; Introduction to Hitler; Genocide; Rape of Nanking; Ukrainian Famine; Hitler’s Rise to Power; Anti-Semitism; Nuremburg Laws; World War II Casualties; Mussolini’s Italy; Roosevelt Preparing US for War; Draft Laws; Germany Takes on the World; Battle for Britain; The Holocaust; Excerpts from Mein Kampf; Berlin Olympics; Evian Conference; Einsatzgruppen; Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution; Madagascar Plan; Voluntary Euthanasia Programs; The Camps; Nazi Tactics and Psychology; World War II Photography; Pearl Harbor; United States Escalation; Operation Overlord; Collision Course with the Japanese; Affect of War on the United States; War at Home; Dropping the Atomic Bomb; Japanese-American Internment
Note: This topic goes in depth to world events that would eventually lead to the United States’ involvement in the War. I also chose to spend a great deal of time building up Adolf Hitler, so that my students could get inside of his head and truly understand what the world was up against. This topic includes graphic content taken from Nazi concentration and labor camps. I chose to discuss the Holocaust as part of this topic; it could however, be taught as a standalone.
Topic.10 The Burbs
Advertising; Baby Boom; Social and Economic Changes; Building Suburbia; Urban-Suburban Patterns; Levittown; The American Dream; Television Transforms Society; Consumer Credit; The Credit Card; Automobile Availability; Interstate Highway Act; The Teenage Sub-Culture; Space Race; House Un-American Activities Committee; J. Edgar Hoover and Government Reviews
Topic.11 The Civil Rights Movement
Brown v. the Board of Education; Thurgood Marshall; Forced Bussing; Segregation; Jim Crow Laws; De Facto Segregation; NAACP; Rosa Parks; Montgomery Bus Boycott; Crisis in Little Rock; Eisenhower Response; Little Rock 9; Lunch Counter Sit-Ins; Civil Disobedience; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Freedom Rides; Violence vs. Non-Violence; Malcolm X; Civil Rights Act of 1964; Fair Housing Act; Americans with Disabilities Act; Title IX; 4 Assassinations; La Raza Movement; Brown Berets; Cesar Chavez; United Farm Workers; Affirmative Action; Rights of the Accused
Prezi | PDF
Topic.12 The Cold War Era
USSR Friend to Enemy; Attention on Nuclear Weapons; Division of Germany; Berlin Wall; United Nations; US General Assembly; The Truman Doctrine; Marshall Plan; North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Containment Policy; Berlin Blockade; Espionage; Rosenbergs; People’s Republic of China; Chairman Mao; Korean Policing Action (War); 38th Parallel; Limited War; Fidel Castro; Bay of Pigs Invasion; Cuban Missile Crisis; Nikita Kruschev; Nuclear Weapon Test Ban; Vietnam Conflict; Television War; Hawks vs. Doves; Ho Chi Minh; Geneva Agreements; Ngo Diem and the National Liberation Front; Lyndon Johnson’s War; Guerilla War; War Powers Act; Richard Nixon; MacArthur’s Resignation; Peace Corps