United States Studies – Comprehensive examines the evolution of the U.S. Constitution as a living document and the role of participatory democracy in the development of a rapidly changing technological society. This study of the United States is an examination of the formative years from the colonization of what would be the United States to present day. Teachers will engage students in critical thinking and problem-solving skills as students learn and work with factual historical content, geography, civics, economics and other social studies concepts.


Identify the issues regarding the evolution of United States citizenship and evaluate responsibilities and rights of United States citizens (e.g., landownership, race, gender and age).


Evaluate, then defend the importance of the fundamental democratic values and principles of U.S. constitutional democracy in a global context including conflicts between individuals, communities and nations:

  • liberty and equality
  • individual rights and the common good
  • majority rule and minority rights
  • The rule of law and ethics (e.g., civil disobedience)
  • patriotism


Compare various citizens’ responses to controversial government policies and actions by monitoring and debating government decisions, and create a cooperative and peaceful solution to controversial government policies and actions.


Analyze multiple media sources and their influence on public opinion and policy issues.


Evaluate court cases essential to fundamental democratic principles and values (e.g., Brown v. BOE Topeka, Miranda v. Arizona, Roe v. Wade, Mapp v. Ohio, Schenck v. U.S., and Doe v. Holder (P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act).


Select and participate in a volunteer service or project with a community or Veteran’s organization (e.g., American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Women Veterans of America, Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics, 4-H, etc.).


Trace economic development throughout U.S. History (e.g., Colonial period, Revolutionary War, Westward Expansion, Civil War and late 19th /early 20th Centuries) and identify the role of market factors in the settlement of the United States and the development of the free enterprise system.


Critique the cause and effect relationship between the labor movement, industrialization and urbanization in the United States.


Apply the concept of supply and demand in various historic events as a cause of economic turmoil.


Analyze the causes and consequences of the United States’ national debt and its effect upon world economic systems.


Assess how various executive initiatives and legislative acts have influenced the United States’ economy (e.g., Fourteen Points, New Deal, Domino Theory, Great Society, Space Race and Strategic Defense Initiative).


Assess how various executive initiatives and legislative acts have influenced the United States’ economy (e.g., Fourteen Points, New Deal, Domino Theory, Great Society, Space Race and Strategic Defense Initiative).


Identify various developed countries (MDC) and developing countries (LDC) and evaluate their GDP to determine the standard of living of their citizens (e.g., health care, education, military, industrial and agricultural capabilities).


Apply correct vocabulary and geographic tools to determine and illustrate geographic concepts (e.g., major meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude, physical features, landforms, bodies of water, climatic regions, states and their capitals, and relative and exact location).


Determine the most appropriate maps and graphics in an atlas for analyzing geographic issues regarding the growth and development of the United States (e.g., topography, movement of people, transportation routes, settlement patterns, growth of population and cities, etc.).


Evaluate the impact of health and cultural considerations on the quality of life over different historical time periods.


Analyze the characteristics of cultural contributions of Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics and all immigrants (e.g., Germans, Italians, Irish, etc.).


Analyze the ways in which physical and cultural geography have influenced significant historic events and movements.


Evaluate the changing boundaries of world maps as a result of wars.


Demonstrate an understanding of the European settlement of North America.

  • Compare and contrast the distinct characteristics of each colonial region in the settlement and development of America, including religious, social, political, and economic differences (i.e. Proclamation of 1763, French and Indian War).
  • Identify and examine European colonial rivalries and the centralization British control.


Demonstrate an understanding of the establishment of the new Republic.

  • Trace the major events leading to the American Revolution including the writing of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Examine the contributions of key individuals in the development of the Republic.
  • Determine the strengths and weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation and how their failure led to the development of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Compare and contrast political ideologies and sectional differences in the development of the U.S. Constitution (e.g. economic development, slavery, and social reforms).


Demonstrate an understanding of westward movement and land acquisition.

  • Examine the consequences of the expansion of the republic on the native population.
  • Summarize the United States’ relations with foreign powers (e.g. Louisiana Purchase, War of 1812, Monroe Doctrine, Manifest Destiny and the Mexican-American War.)
  • Compare and contrast the social, economic, and political development in different regions of the country during the antebellum period.


Demonstrate an understanding of the course of the American Civil War and Reconstruction in America.

  • Identify and analyze the events which led to the secession of the south from the Union and the formation of the Confederate States of America.
  • Trace the major events of the Civil War and evaluate the impact of political and military leadership during the war.
  • Evaluate short-term and long-term effects of Reconstruction on the nation (e.g. Civil War Amendments, radical republicans, Jim Crow).


Demonstrate an understanding of the industrialization and reform movements.

  • Analyze the contributions of business, industry, and entrepreneurs in the late 19th/early 20th century.
  • Compare and contrast the societal, economic and population shifts in the United States in the late 19th century (i.e. Agrarian to Industrial, rural to urban, labor vs. industry, immigration, migration).
  • Identify the goals and accomplishments of reformers and reform movements (e.g. women’s rights, minorities, labor, temperance, Progressivism etc.)


Demonstrate an understanding of the United States’ emergence as a world power.

  • Evaluate the impact of United States foreign policy on global affairs (e.g., Open Door Policy, Good Neighbor Policy, Big Stick Diplomacy, Dollar Diplomacy, and Moral Diplomacy).
  • Trace the shift from isolationism to intervention and imperialism (e.g. Spanish-American War, annexation of Hawaii, development of the Panama Canal).
  • Analyze and explain how political, social, and economic factors influenced American involvement in World War I (e.g., treaties, alliances, and nationalism).
  • List and explain underlying causes, major players, and the effects of World War I.


Demonstrate an understanding of the Great Depression and the New Deal.

  • Examine causes of the stock market crash and draw conclusions about the immediate and lasting economic, social, and political effects on the United States and the World.
  • Research the changing social values that led to the expansion of government in the 1920’s & 1930’s (e.g. constitutional amendments, New Deal legislation, etc.).
  • Investigate the different cultural movements during the late 1920’s & 1930’s


Demonstrate an understanding of the events surrounding World War II.

  • Explain how the world economic crisis initiated worldwide political change.
  • Explore the causes and effects of World War II and describe the impact the war had on the world (e.g. failure of the Treaty of Versailles/League of Nations, militarism, nationalism, failure of appeasement).
  • Investigate the abuse of human rights during World War II (e.g. Japanese Internment, Holocaust, stereotypes, propaganda).
  • Identify contributions from the American-Homefront during the war (e.g. Rosie the Riveters, victory gardens, liberty bonds).
  • Analyze the long-term consequences of the use of atomic weaponry to end the war.


Demonstrate an understanding of Post – World War II America.

  • Compare and contrast the United States and the Soviet Union following WWII and their emergence as superpowers.
  • Identify social, technological, and political changes that occurred in the United States as a result of the tensions caused by the Cold War.
  • Trace the events of the Cold War and confrontations between the United States and other world powers.


Demonstrate an understanding of the social and political conflicts that brought forth an era of change in America.

  • Investigate key people, places, and events of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
  • Research the various paradigm shifts during the 1950’s, 1960’s, & 1970’s (e.g. counterculture, rock n’ roll, women’s rights, Roe v. Wade, shifts in technology).
  • Connect events to continued questions of trust in federal government (e.g., Watergate, Iran Contra and Pentagon Papers).


Demonstrate an understanding of America’s continued role in the complex global community.

  • Evaluate the causes and effects of acts of foreign and domestic terrorism before and after 9/11. (e.g. Iran hostage crisis, 1993 World Trade Center, Oklahoma City, USS Cole, 2001 attacks on World Trade Center & Pentagon, PATRIOT Act, death of Osama bin Laden)
  • Identify the positive and negative consequences of the advancement of technology.
  • Evaluate and explain modern American policies (i.e., foreign and domestic), immigration, the global environment, and other current emerging issues.