American History Before 1865

This list is representative of the materials provided or used in this course. Keep in mind that the actual materials used may vary, depending on the school in which you are enrolled, and whether you are taking the course as Independent Study.

For a complete list of the materials to be used in this course by your enrolled student, please visit MyInfo. All lists are subject to change at any time.

Scope & Sequence : Scope & Sequence documents describe what is covered in a course (the scope) and also the order in which topics are covered (the sequence). These documents list instructional objectives and skills to be mastered. K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

Course Overview

In this program, students undertake the first course in a two-year detailed survey of the history of the United States. Building on the award-winning series from Oxford University Press, A History of US , K12's online lessons and assessments guide students through critical episodes in the story of America. Students will:

  • Study the development of various Native American civilizations
  • Learn about European exploration and the growth of the thirteen colonies
  • Investigate in detail the causes and consequence of the American Revolution
  • Examine the Constitution and the growth of the new nation
  • Become familiar with Jacksonian democracy, westward expansion, and Manifest Destiny
  • Study the causes and consequences of the Civil War
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Course Outline

The Earliest Americans

  • Describe current theories of migration from Asia to the Americas
  • Identify characteristics of major societies in North America before 1492
  • Compare and contrast types of shelter and acquisition of food
  • Compare and contrast customs and beliefs
  • Describe the roles and duties of men and women
  • Describe major accomplishments of Native Americans in North America before 1600
  • Review and practice use of maps, globes, latitude, and longitude
  • Identify and locate on a map the major physical features of North America
  • Locate on a map the Bering Sea and land bridge
  • Trace the migration routes of early Native Americans
  • Identify and describe major climate regions of the United States
  • Describe the impact of climate and geography on the way Native Americans lived
  • Give examples of the ways in which Native Americans traded with each other
  • Analyze the change in economics and ways of life that occurred as a result of the Spanish introduction of the horse to North America

European Exploration

  • Describe the reasons for European exploration in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries
  • Identify the technological advances that allowed exploration
  • Identify Spain, France, Holland, and England as the major countries involved in exploration
  • Identify major explorers and their accomplishments
  • Analyze the effect of exploration on Native American and European societies
  • Describe the beginning of African slavery in the Americas
  • Use a variety of maps and explain their purposes
  • Identify on a map the routes and land claims of European explorers
  • Describe motives for exploration
  • Identify cultural clues to the history of a place
  • Explain the different ways Native Americans and Europeans viewed the concept of land ownership
  • Describe the economic goals of European explorers
  • Analyze the reasons for the use of slave labor in the Americas

Thirteen Colonies, Part 1

  • Compare and contrast the early English colonies of Jamestown, Plymouth, and Massachusetts Bay
  • Identify the House of Burgesses and the Mayflower Compact as the beginnings of representative government in the colonies
  • Give examples of cooperation between Native Americans and colonists
  • Describe the beginnings of African slavery in the colonies
  • Recognize the characteristics and accomplishments of the West African kingdoms before 1600
  • Use a variety of maps to locate places and make comparisons
  • Determine the significance of relative location
  • Identify physical characteristics of the eastern seaboard
  • Describe and apply the concept of region in terms of the Chesapeake and New England
  • Describe the migration of Puritans and of Africans to the colonies
  • Explain the influence of geography and climate on the ways of life of the people who settled in the Chesapeake and New England regions
  • Describe the reasons for the development of small farms and plantations
  • Explain the reasons for indentured servitude and slavery
  • Describe the significance of the House of Burgesses and the Mayflower Compact as they relate to self-government

Thirteen Colonies, Part 2

  • Identify the major groups and individuals responsible for the founding of the thirteen colonies, and describe the reasons for the founding of the colonies
  • Compare and contrast the southern, middle, and New England regions
  • Describe life in the colonies for members of various social groups
  • Give examples of conflict between colonists and Native Americans before 1775
  • Give examples of religious toleration and intolerance in the colonies before 1775
  • Locate on a map the major physical features of the North American eastern seaboard
  • Locate major cities of colonial times on a map
  • Define region, and explain the division of southern, middle, and New England colonies
  • Describe the characteristics of the major culture groups that populated the thirteen colonies
  • Explain the effect of geography and climate on the development of the thirteen colonies
  • Describe the magnitude of African migration to the colonies before 1775
  • Describe the economic systems that developed in the thirteen colonies
  • Explain the routes, products, and motives for triangular trade
  • Give examples of representative government in the colonies
  • Give examples of separation of church and state in the colonies

Road To Revolution

  • Describe the factors leading to the French and Indian War and the territorial changes that resulted from it
  • Recognize the problems Britain faced at the end of the French and Indian War
  • Define salutary neglect, and describe its consequences before 1763
  • Identify chronologically major examples of conflict and misunderstanding between colonists and the British government between 1763 and 1775
  • Identify individuals who led the revolutionary movement
  • Describe the significance of political organization and cooperation between 1763 and 1776
  • Define patriot and loyalist
  • Identify on a map the major sites of the French and Indian War
  • Compare historical and contemporary maps
  • Practice using map scales
  • Define and give examples of free market and private property issues between 1763 and 1776
  • Trace the steps the colonies took toward self-government and independence before 1776
  • Explain the origins of no taxation without representation
  • Recognize the main arguments and influence of Common Sense
  • Identify the Declaration of Independence as a key document in American history and political thought, and explain its main arguments
  • Recognize the origins of the theories presented in the Declaration of Independence

The American Revolution

  • Describe the roles of major military and political leaders during the American Revolution
  • Recognize the contributions of France and other nations and foreign individuals to the American Revolution
  • Describe the roles of women and African Americans in the American Revolution
  • Describe the impact of the war on families and the economy of the new nation
  • Explain the problems the new government faced in financing the war and maintaining a military
  • Give examples of the social, political, and economic impacts of the American Revolution
  • Locate major battles of the American Revolution on a map
  • Explain the importance of relative location in developing strategies
  • Describe the economic problems and solutions the nation faced during the American Revolution
  • Identify ways in which the ideals of democracy were expanded or restricted during the American Revolution

The Constitution

  • Describe the development and significance of state constitutions written during the American Revolution
  • Explain the importance of the land policies under the Articles of Confederation
  • Recognize the Articles of Confederation as the government of the United States before 1789 and describe its weaknesses
  • Identify the major individuals involved in the writing and ratification of the US Constitution
  • Locate the Northwest Territory on a map, and describe its major features
  • Analyze the importance of the Northwest Territory
  • Explain why people wanted to migrate to the Northwest Territory American History Before 1865
  • Describe the economic factors in the migration to the Northwest Territory
  • Describe the economic factors involved in the decision to write a new constitution in 1787
  • Describe earlier concepts of government that influenced the writing of the US Constitution
  • Explain the role of compromise in establishing the United States government
  • Describe the role and powers of the three branches of government
  • Define and describe the system of checks and balances and the concept of separation of powers
  • Define federalism
  • Describe the principles of the Bill of Rights
  • Give examples of the ways in which democracy has expanded or been restricted over time
  • Define First Amendment rights
  • Summarize the duties and responsibilities of citizens

A New Nation

  • Identify George Washington as the first president and describe his contributions
  • Identify the first six presidents and give examples of their accomplishments and problems
  • Summarize the problems faced by Native Americans as the United States expanded
  • Explain the causes and results of the War of 1812
  • Locate the Louisiana Territory on a map and list the states that were formed from it
  • Identify the physical characteristics of the Louisiana Territory
  • Trace the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition
  • Identify the states added to the Union between 1790 and 1815
  • Explain the role of trade in foreign policy decisions between 1789 and 1815
  • Describe the economic results of the War of 1812
  • Describe the role of compromise in establishing the new nation
  • Identify the precedents set by George Washington in defining the role of the president
  • Explain major constitutional issues that faced the first three presidents
  • Analyze "The Star-Spangled Banner"

A New Age and New Industries

  • Identify Andrew Jackson, and describe the significance of his election in terms of the expansion of democracy
  • Become familiar with the eight presidents who served between Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln
  • Describe new forms of transportation between 1800 and 1860 and their influence on the nation and on people's lives
  • Recognize the innovations in industry, agriculture, and communications between 1790 and 1860 and their influence on the nation and on people's lives
  • Describe the potential benefits and problems of growing cities of the early nineteenth century
  • Recognize the importance of natural resources in patterns of settlement and conflict
  • Use a variety of maps to assess changes over time
  • Make connections between geographic factors and economic decisions
  • Explain the role of labor in the development of economic systems
  • Identify individuals who helped expand the ideals of democracy
  • Recognize limitations on democracy in the early nineteenth century

Americans Take New Land

  • Explain Manifest Destiny
  • Identify the major immigrant groups of the early nineteenth century and describe their experience
  • Identify individual and group motives for going West, and describe the experience of the pioneers
  • Assess the impact of westward expansion on Native Americans and on slavery
  • Describe the ways in which new territories were acquired between 1783 and 1860
  • On a map, locate and identify the states added to the United States between 1815 and 1860
  • Describe the physical features of the territories gained between 1815 and 1860
  • Explain the shifting regions of the United States as the nation grew
  • Identify push and pull factors in the migrations of the early nineteenth century
  • Trace migration routes of the time
  • Relate physical geography and climate to the ways in which people can make a living
  • Explain the role of profit motive in U.S. expansion
  • Give examples of economic interdependence
  • Describe the law of supply and demand as it relates to resources and opportunity
  • Give examples of the ways in which democracy was expanded or restricted between 1800 and 1850

Reform and Reflection

  • Describe the goals, achievements, and difficulties of major reform movements before 1860
  • Give examples of nationalism in American literature and art of the early nineteenth century
  • Identify individuals who helped expand the ideals of democracy American History Before 1865

Slavery and Sectionalism

  • Explain the growing divisions between North and South between 1820 and 1860
  • Describe the goals, achievements, and problems of the abolition movement
  • Describe the shifting regions of the United States as cotton and slavery moved West
  • Explain the role and nature of slavery in the economic system of the South
  • Identify individuals who played a role in expanding or restricting the ideals of democracy

The Road to Civil War

  • Trace the sequence of events between 1850 and 1861 that increased sectional tension and led to the Civil War
  • Identify the changing regions of the United States in the years before the Civil War
  • Use maps to identify the provisions of major legislation between 1820 and 1860
  • Describe the arguments over the nature of federalism in the years before the Civil War
  • Identify individuals who worked to expand democracy between 1850 and 1861

The Civil War

  • Identify major political and military leaders on both sides of the Civil War
  • Recognize the major strategies, battles, and outcomes of the Civil War
  • Summarize the reasons for and results of the Emancipation Proclamation
  • Describe the roles of women and African Americans in the war effort
  • Describe the human and economic cost of the war and its effect on families, slaves, and soldiers
  • Use maps to locate major battles and strategies of the Civil War
  • Recognize the significance of relative location in battle plans
  • Identify the Emancipation Proclamation and the thirteenth Amendment in expanding democracy
  • Recognize key passages of the Gettysburg Address and Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
  • Analyze the words of selected Civil War songs
  • Become familiar with selected monuments

Reconstruction

  • Describe the impact of Abraham Lincoln's assassination on the effort to rebuild the nation
  • Discuss the successes and failures of Reconstruction in terms of the economic, political, and social problems facing the nation between 1865 and 1877
  • Describe the ways in which human actions during the Civil War affected the South's agriculture and economy long after the war
  • Analyze graphs of economic output before, during, and after the war
  • Explain the origins and purpose of the sharecropping system
  • Summarize the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments
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Number of Lessons and Scheduling

60 minutes

You might choose to split the lessons into smaller segments and take a break between investigations. The K12 online lesson tracking system allows you to pick up wherever you left off in any given lesson.

Total Lessons: 180

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K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

  • Course Overview (as seen above)
  • Course Outline
  • Lesson Time and Scheduling