A.P. United States History: Course Readings

General Course Resources

Course Syllabus 2020-2021

How to Survive Mr. Cecil's Class: Tips From Former Students

Active Reading Guide and Rubric

How to take Good Notes

How to Read Primary Sources

Socratic Seminar: User's Guide and Rubric

Document-Based Essay (DBQ) Rubric

Long Essay (LEQ) Rubric

Click below to jump directly to the unit readings:

Unit 1: American Origins, 1491-1820

Unit 2: American Paradoxes, 1619-1877

Unit 3: American Dreams, 1865-1945

Unit 4: An American Century, 1776-2016

Unit 5: Fighting for America, 1945-present

Unit 1: American Origins, 1491-1820

Howard Zinn, "Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress" (1980)

Textbook  Accounts of Native-European Encounters

  • David Muzzey,  excerpt from History of the American People

  • Thomas Bailey, excerpt from The American Pageant

  • Mary Beth Norton, et. al., excerpt from A People & A Nation

Daniel Richter, "Living With Europeans" (2001)

Encounters Between American Indians and Europeans

  • 1.1. Excerpt of Diary of Christopher Columbus, 1492.

  • 1.2. Excerpt of Letter from Amerigo Vespucci, 1502.

  • 1.3. Excerpt of Letter from Hernan Cortes to Emperor Charles V, 1520.

  • 1.4. John White's Watercolor Drawings of American Indians, ca. 1590.

  • 1.5. Jan van der Straet, "Discovery of America," ca. 1657-89.

  • 1.6. Thomas Morton Describes the Indians of New England, 1637.

  • 1.7. Johannes Megapolensis Describes the Mohawk Indians, 1644.

  • 1.8. Jaques Marquette Reports on Live and the Illinois Indians, 1675.

Peter Mancall, "Imperial Rivalries" (2016)

Spanish Colonization in North America

  • 1.9. Excerpts from the Law of the Indies, 1573.

  • 1.10. Map of Tenochtitlan [Present Day Mexico City], 1524.

  • 1.11. Two Letters from Father Junipero Serra, 1775.

  • 1.12. Captain F.W. Beechey Describes Spanish Missions, 1831.

  • 1.13. Selections from a Series of Casta Paintings, ca. 18th century

Timothy Foran, "The French Fur Trade in North America" (2017)

English Colonization (Part 1): Regional Diversity in British North America

  • 1.14. Passengers on Ship America from London to Virginia, 1635.

  • 1.15. William Bradford, Mayflower Passenger List, 1620.

  • 1.16. Richard Frethorne Writes About Virginia, 1623.

  • 1.17. John Winthrop's Sermon Aboard the Arbella, 1630.

  • 1.18. William Penn Describes His Colony, 1683.

Statistics: Life in the Chesapeake and New England Colonies

Maps: Colonial North America

Gary Nash, "The Transformation of European Society" (1992)

English Colonization (Part 2): Anglicization and Americanization

  • 1.19. Henry Care, excerpt from English Liberies, 1685.

  • 1.20. John Locke, excerpt from Second Treatise of Government, 1689.

  • 1.21. Nathaniel Bacon's Declaration of Rebellion, 1676.

  • 1.22. Boston Declaration of Grievances, 1689.

  • 1.23. Excerpts from the Secret Diary of William Byrd II, ca. 1709-1712.

  • 1.24. The Albany Plan of Union, 1754.

  • 1.25. Benjamin Franklin, "Join, or Die," 1754.

Eric Foner, "Creating Anglo-America and the Struggle for Empire" (2014)

T.H. Breen, "'Baubles of Britain' and the American Revolution" (1988)

Pauline Maier, "The Road Towards Revolution" (2018)

English Colonization (Part 3): The Imperial Crisis, 1763-1776

  • 1.26. Stamp Act Teapots, ca. 1760s.

  • 1.27. "To the Ladies," ca. 1767-69.

  • 1.28. Political Cartoons of the Imperial Crisis, ca. 1774-76.

  • 1.29. Thomas Paine, excerpt from Common Sense, 1776.

  • 1.30. John Dickinson, Speech to the Continental Congress, 1776.

Timeline: The American Revolution and Early Republic

U.S. Founding Documents

  • 1.31. Declaration of Independence, 1776.

  • 1.32. Articles of Confederation, 1777.

  • 1.33. Constitution of United States of America, 1787.

  • 1.34. Bill of Rights, 1789.

Howard Zinn, "A Kind of Revolution" (1980)

Gordon Wood, "Radical Possibilities of the American Revolution" (1992)

Creating a Nation: Sources from the Early Republic

  • 1.35. James Peale, General George Washington at Yorktown, ca. 1782.

  • 1.36. The U.S. Capitol Building and the Roman Pantheon.

  • 1.37. Benjamin Rush, "Thoughts Upon Female Education," 1787.

  • 1.38. Noah Webster, Dissertation of the English Language, 1789.

  • 1.39. Dr. Charles Mitchell, "A New Name for the United States?" 1803.

Woody Holton, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (2007)

Federalists and Republicans Shape a New Nation

  • Background Essay: Alan Taylor, "Federalists and Republicans"

  • 1.40. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on State of Virginia, 1781.

  • 1.41. Alexander Hamilton, select writings, ca. 1790-91.

  • 1.42. Thomas Jefferson, "Constitutionality of National Bank," 1790.

Unit 2: American Paradoxes, 1619-1877

Unpacking the Origins of American Slavery

  • 2.1. Virginia Court Records about Runaway Servants, 1640.

  • 2.2. Virginia Slave Laws, 1660-1705.

  • 2.3. Runaway Advertisements in Colonial Newspapers, 1747-1770.

  • 2.4. Servants and Slaves in Virginia, 1637-1705 [graph]

  • 2.5. Slave Ship Brookes Diagram, ca. late-18th century.

Ira Berlin, "Historicizing the Slave Experience" (1996)

Edmund S. Morgan, "Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox" (1972)

Seth Rockman, "Liberty is Land and Slaves: The Great Contradiction" (2005)

The Paradox of Democracy in Antebellum America

  • 2.6. Changes in Voting Rights, 1776-1844.

  • 2.7. National Voting Turnout in Presidential Elections, 1800-1840 [table]

  • 2.8. James Kent, "Suffrage Should be Limited to Property Holders," 1821.

  • 2.9. Rhode Islanders Protest Property Restrictions on Voting, 1834.

  • 2.10. Black Philadelphians Defend their Voting Rights, 1838.

  • 2.11. Margaret Smith Comments on Jackson's Inauguration, 1829.

  • 2.12. Andrew Jackson, Veto Message Regarding the Bank of the US, 1832.

  • 2.13. Henry Clay, On the American System, 1832.

  • 2.14. A Political Cartoon Lampoons "King Andrew the First," 1833.

Robert V. Remini, "The Jacksonian Revolution" (1988)

Nancy F. Cott, "Domesticity, Feminism, and the Paradox of Women's History"  (1997)

Antebellum Culture Part 1: The Ideology of "Separate Spheres"

  • 2.15. Angelina Grimké, Appeal to the Christian Women of the South, 1836.

  • 2.16. Maria Weston Chapman, "The Times That Try Men's Souls," 1837.

  • 2.17. Catherine Beecher, "Peculiar Responsibilities of American Women," 1841.

  • 2.18. Cover of Lowell Offering, 1845.

  • 2.19. Juliana, "Factory Life as It is, By an Operative," 1845.

  • 2.20. Sojourner Truth Speaks at a Women's Rights Convention, 1851.

  • 2.21. Harriet Beecher Stowe, excerpt from Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852.

  • 2.22. Louisa Cheves McCord, "Women's Progress," 1853.

  • 2.23. William Harper, "Memoir on Slavery," 1853.

Ronald G. Walters, "The First Age of Reform: 1815-1860"

Antebellum Culture Part 2: Religion and Reform

  • 2.24. Charles Grandison Finney, Lectures on Revivals of Religion, 1835.

  • 2.25. Henry David Thoreau, excerpt from Walden, 1854.

  • 2.26. First Annual Report of Oneida Association, 1849.

  • 2.27. Temperance Manual of the American  Temperance Society, 1836.

  • 2.28. John Warner Barber, "The Drunkard's Progress," 1826.

  • 2.29. Dorothea Dix, "Memorial to the Massachusetts Legislature," 1843.

  • 2.30. Horace Mann, 12th Report to the Massachusetts Board of Ed., 1848.

  • 2.31. Henry Highland Garnet, "Address to the Slaves of the U.S." 1843.

  • 2.32. Hammatt Billings's Masthead for The Liberator, ca. 1850.

Jonathan Earle, "The Political Origins of the Civil War" (2011)

Marc Engal, "The Economic Origins of the Civil War" (2011)

Paul Finkelman, "Slavery, the Constitution, and the Origins of the Civil War" (2011)

South Carolina Secession Declaration, December 24, 1860.

Eric Foner, excerpt from Forever Free (2005)

James MacGregor Burns, "Reconstruction: A Revolutionary Experiment" (1986)

Reconstruction: A Second American Revolution?

  • 2.33. Abraham Lincoln, The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863.

  • 2.34. Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, 1863.

  • 2.35. Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, 1865.

  • 2.36. Reconstruction Amendments to U.S. Constitution, 1865-1870.

  • 2.37. Mississippi "Black Codes," 1865.

  • 2.38. A Sharecropper's Contract, 1882.

  • 2.39. Opposing Views of the Freedman's Bureau, ca. 1860s.

  • 2.40. Elias Hill, Testimony to Congressional Committee on KKK, 1871.

  • 2.41. Thomas Nast, Selection of Political Cartoons, 1865-1876.

Leon F. Litwack, "Jim Crow Blues" (2004)

Unit 3: American Dreams, 1865-1945

Rebecca Edwards, "Reach," from New Spirits (2010)

Industrialization and the Conditions of Labor

  • 3.1. Testimony of Workingmen, 1879.

  • 3.2. "Earnings, Expenses and Conditions of Workingmen," 1884.

  • 3.3. Crystal Eastman, "Human Power...Is What We Are Losing," 1910.

  • 3.4. Why We Struck at Pullman, 1895.

  • 3.5. Colored Workmen and a Strike, 1887.

  • 3.6. "I Struck Because I Had To," 1902.

  • 3.7. Women Make Demands, 1869.

  • 3.8. Conditions Among Women Workers Found by MA Bureau of Labor, 1887.

  • 3.9. A Union Official Discusses the Impact of Women Workers, 1897.

  • 3.10. Work in a Garment Factory, 1902.

  • 3.11. Gainful Workers by Age, 1870-1920 [graph]

  • 3.12. John Spargo, "Breaker Boys," 1906.

  • 3.13. Night Shift in a Glass Factory, 1906.

Hasia Diner, "immigration in the 'Gilded Age'"

Debating Immigration at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

  • 3.14. Immigration to the United States, 1861-1920 [graph]

  • 3.15. Distribution of Foreign-Born Population of the U.S., 1890 [graph]

  • 3.16. Denis Kearny Attacks Chinese Immigration, 1878.

  • 3.17. Wong Ar Chong Rejects Immigration Restriction, 1879.

  • 3.18. "The Only One Barred Out," 1882.

  • 3.19. Colonel R.G. Ingersoll, "Should the Chinese Be Excluded?" 1893.

  • 3.20. Joseph Keppler, "Looking Backward," 1893.

  • 3.21. J.S. Pughe, "The Hyphenated American," 1899.

  • 3.22. Horace Kallen, "Democracy Versus the Melting Pot," 1915.

  • 3.23. Bernhard Gillam, "The Immigrant," 1920.

Data Visualizations: Immigration and Migration in the Gilded Age

Rebecca Edwards, "Money," from New Spirits (2010)

Advertisements from the "Gilded Age" to the "Roaring Twenties"

Modern Men and Women: Gender at the Turn of the 20th Century

  • 3.24. Theodore Roosevelt, Professionalism in Sports, 1890.

  • 3.25. Charles Dana Gibson, Bicycle Illustration for Scribners, 1895.

  • 3.26. Caroline Ticknor, The Steel Engraving Lady and the Gibson Girl, 1901.

  • 3.27. Charles Dana Gibson, "The Weaker Sex," 1903.

Kirsten Swinth, "Themes of Progressive Reform" (2008)

Reform Movements in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era

  • 3.28. William Graham Sumner, What Social Classes Owe Each Other, 1883.

  • 3.29. Andrew Carnegie, "The Gospel of Wealth," 1889.

  • 3.30. Walter Rauschenbusch, Christianity and the Social Crisis, 1907.

  • 3.31. Upton Sinclair, excerpt from The Jungle, 1906.

  • 3.32. Jacob Riis, excerpt from How the Other Half Lives, 1906.

  • 3.33. Ida B. Wells-Barnett, excerpt from Southern Horrors, 1892.

  • 3.34. Booker T. Washington, "Atlanta Exposition Speech," 1895.

  • 3.35. W.E.B. DuBois, "The Talented Tenth," 1903.

  • 3.36. Reverend Lyman Abbott, "A Proposal for Indian Education," 1888.

  • 3.37. Carlos Montezuma, excerpt from What Indians Must Do, 1914.

  • 3.38. Frances E. Willard, excerpt from Women and Temperance, 1883

  • 3.39. Margaret Sanger, excerpt from Women and the New Race, 1920.

  • 3.40. Jane Addams, selected writings, 1898-1910.

  • 3.41. Frederic Howe, excerpt from The City: The Hope of Democracy, 1909.

  • 3.42. "Progressive Era" Constitutional Amendments, 1909-1919.

Michael Kazin, "Populism and Agrarian Discontent"

American Politics from Populists to Progressives

  • 3.43. Major Party Platforms During the Election of 1892.

  • 3.44. Bernhard Gillam, "A Party of Patches," Judge magazine, 1891.

  • 3.45. William Jennings Bryan, "Cross of Gold" Speech, 1896.

  • 3.46. Woodrow Wilson, "What is Liberty?" from The New Freedom, 1912

  • 3.47. Josephine Conger-Kaneko, What a Socialist Alderman Would Do, 1914.

William Manchester, "Depression" (1974)

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal

  • 3.48. Statistics: Measuring the Great Depression, 1929-1940.

  • 3.49. Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, 1933.

  • 3.50. Senator Huey Long, "Our Growing Calamity," 1935.

  • 3.51. NAACP Rep. Charles Houston Critiques Social Security, 1935.

  • 3.52. Former President Hoover Responds to the New Deal, 1936.

  • 3.53. A Letter to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, 1937.

  • 3.54. Lester Hunter, "I'd Rather Not Be on Relief," 1938.

New Deal Programs and Legislation, 1933-1935.

William Leuchtenburg, "The Achievement of the New Deal" (1985)

Unit 4: America in the World, 1776-2016

America's Role in the World Part 1: Foundations of U.S. Foreign Policy

  • 4.1. George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796.

  • 4.2. James Monroe, Seventh Annual Message to Congress, 1823.

America's Role in the World Part 2: The Mexican American War

  • Historical Context from The American Yawp

  • 4.3. President James K. Polk Asks Congress to Declare War, 1846.

  • 4.4. John O'Sullivan Encourages Annexation of Texas, 1845.

  • 4.5. "Uncle Sam's Song to Miss Texas," 1845.

  • 4.6. Sam Houston Speaks in Favor of Annexing All of Mexico, 1848.

  • 4.7. A Mexican Perspective on War with the United States, 1848.

  • 4.8. John Gast, American Progress, 1872.

America's Role in the World Part 3: The Spanish American War and its Aftermath

  • Historical Context from The American Yawp

  • 4.9. Newspaper Headline on Sinking of USS Maine, 1898.

  • 4.10. Redfield Proctor Addresses Cuba's Humanitarian Crisis, 1898.

  • 4.11. William McKinley's War Message to Congress, 1898.

  • 4.12. Charles Flint on the Necessity of Overseas Markets, 1897.

  • 4.13. Henry Childs Merwin, "On Being Civilized Too Much," 1897.

  • 4.14. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner's "Frontier Thesis," 1893.

Kristin L. Hoganson, "Male Degeneracy and the Allure of the Philippines"

America's Role in the World Part 4: Woodrow Wilson and the First World War

  • Historical Context from The American Yawp

  • 4.15. Woodrow Wilson, Message to Congress, 1914.

  • 4.16. Woodrow Wilson, Speech in New York City, April 1915.

  • 4.17. Woodrow Wilson, Address to the Senate, January 1917.

  • 4.18. Woodrow Wilson, War Message to Congress, April 1917.

America's Role in the World Part 5: The Curious Case of U.S. Isolationism

  • Historical Context from The American Yawp

  • 4.19. Henry Cabot Lodge, "The League of Nations Must Be Revised," 1919.

  • 4.20. Political Cartoons from Literary Digest, 1919.

  • 4.21. H.C. Engelbrecht and F.C. Hanighen, Merchants of Death, 1934.

  • 4.22. Senator Clark Defends US Neutrality, December 1935.

  • 4.23. Harry Elmer Barnes, "Balance Sheet of the First World War," 1939.

  • 4.24. Carey Orr, "The Only Way We Can Save Her," Chicago Tribune, 1939.

  • 4.25. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat After Invasion of Poland, 1939.

  • 4.26. Franklin D. Roosevelt, The "Arsenal of Democracy" Speech, 1940.

  • 4.27. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Annual Message to Congress, January 1941.

Historiographical Debate: Who's To Blame for Starting the Cold War?

  • Thomas A. Bailey, excerpt from America Faces Russia, 1950.

  • John Lewis Gaddis, excerpt from The Long Peace, 1987.

  • Melvyn P. Leffler, excerpt from The Specter of Communism, 1994.

  • George C. Herring, excerpt from From Colony to Superpower, 2008.

  • Timeline: End of World War II and the Start of the Cold War

America's Role in the World Part 6: The Start of the Cold War

  • 4.28. US Ambassador W. Averell Harriman's View of the USSR, 1944.

  • 4.29. "Long Telegram" from George Kennan, US Diplomat to Moscow, 1946.

  • 4.30. President Harry Truman, Address to Congress, 1947.

  • 4.31. Report to Moscow From Ambassador Nikolai V. Novikov, 1947.

  • 4.32. David Low, Cartoon in London Evening Standard, 1948.

  • 4.33. U.S. National Security Council Report on Chinese Revolution, 1949.

  • 4.34. Letter From Stewart Symington, Chairman of NSC Board, 1960.

Priscilla Roberts, "The Diplomacy of the Korean Conflict"

George G. Herring, "The Cold War and Vietnam"

T. Christopher Jespersen, "Analogies at War: Iraq and Vietnam"

Unit 5: Fighting for America, 1945-present

 
 
 
 
 

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