U.S. History II

U.S. History II (11th Grade)

Unit 1 – Reconstruction – World War I: Students begin by examining the Reconstruction Era. Students compare Reconstruction plans and analyze whether Reconstruction was a success or failure.  Next, students study the age of Big Business and the Progressive Era. The economic progress and social reforms that occurred at the turn of the century ultimately shaped modern American life and from 1890-1920, The U.S. rose as a world power. Shortly after the turn of the century, the world was consumed by World War I. Despite efforts to stay neutral, the U.S. ultimately entered the war.

Unit 2 – Prosperity and Depression: The 1920’s and 1930’s were a time of cultural and economic changes in the U.S. African-Americans continued to live in a country of injustice while advances were beginning to rise. During the Great Migration, millions of African Americans relocated from the rural South to the cities of the North, Midwest and West. Students analyze the contributions African Americans made during the Harlem Renaissance while The Jazz Age influenced literature and music. However, America soon faced the Great Depression.

Unit 3 – World War II: As the U.S. suffered from the Great Depression, The rise of dictatorships in the 1930s led to World War II. Less then 20 years after World War I ended, the world was back at war. Like World War I, America tried to stay neutral but entered the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. During World War II, millions of Americans enlisted in the armed forces, risking their lives in the struggle. On the home front, Americans also helped the war effort by giving up goods needed by the military and buying war bonds to help fund the war. The world also learned about the atrocities committed by Hitler during the Holocaust and Stalin. After winning, the United States emerged as a global superpower, abandoned isolationism, and began building alliances around the world.

Unit 4 – Postwar America: The Cold War shaped America as a global leader. The years following World War II brought about new enemies as tension rose between the USA & USSR. The 1950s was another decade of war. The Korean War lasted from 1950-1953; by the end of the 1950s, the Vietnam War had begun. The 1960s began with the election of J. F. Kennedy, but his time as president was cut short when he was assassinated. All this while the Civil Rights movement redefined and shaped modern American society, the Vietnam War intensified, and feminism rose. America was different by 1975.

Unit 5 – Towards a New Century: The United States change socially and culturally during the 1970s but conservative ideas appealed to more Americans in the 1980s. Communism in East Germany and the Soviet Union ended. The development of new technology, like computers, mobile phones, and the internet revolutionized the way people live. In the late 20th century, immigrants from Latin America and Asia outnumbered European immigrants. In the early 21st century, combating terrorism became the nation’s top priority in the wake of 9/11. Shortly after in 2008, Barack Obama was elected becoming the nation’s first African American president.

Other topics include geography and current events.

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