Ms. Macoritto: Honors US History

Course Syllabus:

Unit 1: Political Culture

The purpose of this unit was for you to learn the meanings of political terminology as it is commonly used, and to think about how these words apply to modern American politics.
Your culminating assignment will be to have a Socratic seminar to discuss the following questions.
  • Do you think that the diverse demographics of the US are a benefit or a drawback? Why?
  • Why is political ideology more complex than simply liberal vs. conservative?
  • Which political and economic systems and ideologies are most beneficial? Which are most harmful?
  • What are some specific similarities and differences between modern American political culture and that of the pre revolutionary era?

In addition to your first text book assignment (pages 118-127) The following things may be useful in your preparation:

Video clips:


Web Sites:
Historical election maps
Political spectrum Quiz



What specific similarities and differences are there between modern political culture and that of pre revolutionary America?

Consider the following in your answer:
  • economic positions
  • political positions
  • social positions

Unit 2: Forming A More Perfect Union

What caused the colonists to rebel against the king?
What were the values and political ideologies used to form the new country?

Assignment 1: Pages 118-127
Assignment 2: 131-136
Assignment 3: 136-141

Preambles to other constitutions:

Study Guide:


Unit 3: Building a constitution:
  • What issues made it necessary for the 13 states to form a united government?
  • What political issues made it difficult for the 13 newly independent states to form a government capable of performing its responsibilities?
  • What compromises did the founding fathers employ when creating the constitution?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the document that eventually prevailed?


Assignment 1: Due 10/4 Read pages 179-185 and fill in chart
Assignment 2: Due 10/5 Read pages 187-194
Assignment 3: Due 10/12 Electoral College reading

Final Assessment:
A. Paragraph on constitution--Monday 10/17
Open the link for the assignment question. It is on the second page:

B. Quiz---Wed 10/19
Articles of confederation through the constitution

Unit IV: Bill of Rights
In the unit you will learn:
  • Why the bill of rights was added to the constitution
  • What the amendments actually say
  • How the amendments have been interpreted over time
  • How the amendments affect you now

Assignment 1: Freedom of religion packet--Due 10/20

Research Assignment: Due November 2

Links to articles from 1st amendment stations:
Snyder v. Phelps

Occupy Boston:
occupy boston

Helpful links:

has links to court opinions
oyez: has summaries and court opinions

good brief summaries of cases arranged by subject
bill of rights institute

Unit V: Early Presidents
The purpose of this unit is for you to to trace the shaping of the executive branch of government throught the terms of 4 influential presidents:
  • How did Washington deal with the questions concerning the power of the president?
  • What was the nature of the banking system set up by Hamilton? What problems did Jefferson have with that system?
  • What actoins did Adams and Jackson take which further defined the role of the president and the federal government?

Assignment 1: Washington reading and questions--Due 11/7
Assignment 2: Answer questions from socratic seminar on Washington. (answer questions you did not discuss)--due 11/10
Assignment 3: Read pages 196-205 and fill in the chart/questions--Due 11/14

Assignment 4: Prepare for Andrew Jackson Discussion 11/19
Discussion Questions:

Dialogue: Due 12/5

Unit VI: Road to Civil War
The purpose of this unit is for you to be able to explain the changes in America in the early 19th century and explain their connection to the start of the civil war
  • What were the social political and economic conditions in America in the 1st half of the 19th century?
  • What were the differences in culture in each section of the country?
  • How were the issues of states rights vs. Federal rights brought to the foreground?
  • What was the role of slavery in the start of hte war? Was the war about slavery?
  • What were lincolns views about slavery?

Assignment 1. Due 11/29 read pages 300-306
Assignment 2. Due 11/30 Read pages 306-312
Assignment 3. Due 12/6 368-374
Assignment 4 due 12/8 packet on causes of civil war
Assignment 5 Due 12/14 pages 385-394 answer the questions in the document below

Assignment 6: Read your assigned pages. The questions are bellow:
Group 1: 400-406
Group 2: 406-412
Group 3: 419-427

Final assessment: Quiz 12/22

Unit VII: Guilded age and Progressivism
The guilded age was a time in American history during which the country was experiencing rapid industrial grown and wealth was being consolidated in the hands of a few corporations. The government at the time was being run by presidents who did not see the role of government as one that included providing a safety net for the common people. The social and economic conditions of the growing numbers of immigrants, workers and farmers which were influenced negatively by industrialism led to populist and progressive movements in America aimed at regulating industry and raising the standard of living for the country as a whole.

Assignment 1: part one of guilded age reading with questions
Assignment: 2: Part two of guilded age reading with questions
Assignment 3: Text book pages 612-620 do italicized questions and vocab words in bold
Assignment 4: Text book pages 620-630 italicized questions and bold vocab words

Final Assessment: Socratic seminar.

The socratic seminar questions are on the study guide below.