129 Honors United States History to 1865

2 semesters, 1 credit (With SLU 1818 option)

Required for juniors not taking 128 United States History to 1865

Prerequisite: Student must have a 95% or higher in World History II or completion of AP® World History with teacher approval. To qualify for the 1818 option through Saint Louis University, a student must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.33.

Honors United States History to 1865 is a reading/writing intensive survey course of American history from the 15th century through the Civil War. In addition to familiarizing students with the basic chronology, significant documents, events, and characters that make up early American history, the course emphasizes the development of historical thinking skills, awareness of historiographical trends, critical thinking in general, and a particular emphasis on civic education, media literacy, and the institutions of government. In other words, in addition to the study of history, this course focuses on preparing students for active, informed participation in our democratic society, familiarizing them with knowledge of the state and U.S. Constitutions. By the end of the year students will have honed their abilities to engage in civil discourse, making use of evidence-based arguments, how to read textbooks, scholarly articles and monographs, and primary sources.

The federal constitution and the Missouri constitution exams must be passed to meet graduation requirements. Students will be required to purchase two monographs.

This course may be taken for college credit. If student elects to take this course for college credit (St. Louis University course HS 2600, 3 credits), an additional fee will apply.


The following skills have been taken from The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards found at:http://www.socialstudies.org/system/files/c3/C3-Framework-for-Social-Studies.pdf

1A. Analyze the role of citizens in the U.S. political system, with attention to various theories of democracy, changes in Americans’ participation over time, and alternative models from other countries, past and present.

1B. Explain how the U.S. Constitution establishes a system of government that has powers, responsibilities, and limits that have changed over time and that are still contested.

1C. Evaluate citizens’ and institutions’ effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.

1D. Critique relationships among governments, civil societies, and economic markets.

1E. Analyze the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.

1F. Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.

2A. Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.

2B. Analyze change and continuity in historical eras.

2C. Analyze how historical contexts shaped and continue to shape people’s perspectives.

2D. Analyze multiple and complex causes and effects of events in the past.

3A. Explain how the perspectives of people in the present shape interpretations of the past.

3B. Analyze the relationship between historical sources and the secondary interpretations made from them.

3C. Detect possible limitations in various kinds of historical evidence and differing secondary interpretations.

4A. Distinguish between long-term causes and triggering events in developing a historical argument.

4B. Refine claims and counterclaims attending to precision, significance, and knowledge conveyed through the claim while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.

4C. Construct arguments using precise and knowledgeable claims, with evidence from multiple sources, while acknowledging counterclaims and evidentiary weaknesses.

5D. Critique the use of claims and evidence in arguments for credibility.


The following have been taken from the Advanced Placement U.S. History Curriculum Framework. https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-us-history-course-and-exam-description.pdf

PERIOD 1: 1491–1607

1.1: As native populations migrated and settled across the vast expanse of North America over time, they developed distinct and increasingly complex societies by adapting to and transforming their diverse environments

1.2: Contact among Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans resulted in the Columbian Exchange and significant social, cultural, and political changes on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean

PERIOD 2: 1607–1754

2.1: Europeans developed a variety of colonization and migration patterns, influenced by different imperial goals, cultures, and the varied North American environments where they settled, and they competed with each other and American Indians for resources

2.2: The British colonies participated in political, social, cultural, and economic exchanges with Great Britain that encouraged both stronger bonds with Britain and resistance to Britain’s control

PERIOD 3: 1754 –1800

3.1: British attempts to assert tighter control over its North American colonies and the colonial resolve to pursue self-government led to a colonial independence movement and the Revolutionary War.

3.2: The American Revolution’s democratic and republican ideals inspired new experiments with different forms of government

3.3 Migration within North America and competition over resources, boundaries, and trade intensified among peoples and nations

PERIOD 4: 1800 –1848

4.1: The United States began to develop a modern democracy and celebrated a new national culture, while American sought to define the nation’s democratic ideals and change their society and institutions to match them

4.2: Innovations in technology, agriculture, and commerce powerfully accelerated the American economy, precipitating profound changes to U.S. society and to national and regional identities

4.3: The U.S. interest in increasing foreign trade and expanding its national borders shaped the nation’s foreign policy and spurred government and private initiatives

PERIOD 5: 1844 –1877

5.1: The United States became more connected with the world, pursued an expansionist foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere, and emerged as the destination for many migrants from other countries

5.2: Intensified by expansion and deepening regional divisions, debates over slavery and other economic, cultural, and political issues led the nation into civil war.

5.3: The Union victory in the Civil War and the contested reconstruction of the South settled the issues of slavery and secession, but left unresolved many questions about the power of the federal government and citizenship rights


This curriculum was last updated on January 4, 2019, by the Social Studies Department.