Middle School American History

Course Overview

Middle School American History is a thorough course covering early people in the Americas through the period of reconstruction following the civil war. Course topics include:

  • Early People of the Americas

  • Age of Exploration

  • Colonization

  • French and Indian War

  • Causes of the American Revolution

  • The American Revolutionary War

  • The Constitutional Convention

  • The United States Constitution

  • The Federal Period

  • Age of Jackson and Reform Movements

  • Westward Expansion

  • Industrial Revolution

  • The Civil War

  • Reconstruction


Scope and Sequence

Unit 1 – Early People of the Americas This unit includes a review of geography and archaeology and discusses the land bridge, the Olmec, the Maya, the Aztec, and the Inca, as well as early North Americans of the North, West, Plains, East, Southeast, and Southwest.

Unit 2 – Age of Exploration This unit discusses a political world map; why men explore; the growth of ideas; advanced technology; the West African Empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai; Portuguese, Spanish and other European explorers; mercantilism; capitalism; and disease and commerce as effects of exploration.

Unit 3 – Colonization This unit discusses the Spanish conquest and colonization of the Americas, Spain in the Americas, the Columbian Exchange, Roanoke, Jamestown, the quest for religious freedom, the Mayflower Compact, the New England Colonies, the Middle Passage – the slave trade, the Southern Colonies, slavery in Colonial America, the thirteen colonies, and the French and Spanish Colonies.

Unit 4 – French and Indian War This unit discusses Colonial Life in New England, the Middle Colonies, and the Southern Colonies, colonial government, the clash between Britain and France, the Seven Years' War, the fall of New France, the Treaty of Paris, and the effects of the French and Indian War.

Unit 5 – Causes of the American Revolution This unit discusses Britain's interests in the Colonies, the Sugar, Stamp, and Townshend Acts, the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, the Intolerable Acts, and the Continental Congress.

Unit 6 – The American Revolutionary War This unit covers the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill, the second Continental Congress, the Continental Army, Thomas Paine, Common Sense, American Values, the debate over independence, The Declaration of Independence, loyalists versus patriots, the Patriot Army, defeat on Long Island, a low point for the Patriots, the Battles of Trenton and Saratoga, America's European allies, war in the West and South, victory at Yorktown and post-war details.

Unit 7 – The Constitutional Convention This unit discusses America's movement toward a republic, the Articles of Confederation, land policies, independence and economics, Shay's rebellion, slavery, the Constitutional Convention, the Virginia and New Jersey Plans, principles of compromise, and the approval of the Constitution.

Unit 8 – The United States Constitution This unit discusses influences on The United States Constitution; federalists and antifederalists; branches of Federal Government; the adoption of The Constitution; popular sovereignty; republicanism; limited government; federalism; separation of power; checks and balances; and individual rights. Also covered are The Preamble, Article 1: The Legislative Branch, Article II: The Executive Branch, Article III: The Judicial Branch, as well as Constitutional Articles IV-VII, the Bill of Rights, the Constitutional Amendments, and citizenship.

Unit 9 – The Federal Period This unit discusses America's first President – George Washington – as well as the first Congress, the economics of new government, the Whiskey Rebellion, the first political parties – Federalist and Republican – President John Adams, the Alien and Sedition Acts, how Republicans took power when Thomas Jefferson was elected, the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, foreign conflicts, the War of 1812, and the Monroe Doctrine.

Unit 10 – Age of Jackson and Reform Movements This unit discusses James Monroe and the Era of Good Feelings, John Quincy Adams' Presidency, the Spoils system, the tariff debate, the removal of the Indians and the Trail of Tears, Jackson and the National Bank, how the Whigs took power with William Henry Harrison, American immigrants, religious and educational reform, the Abolitionists, and the Women's Movement.

Unit 11 – Westward Expansion This unit covers manifest destiny, Oregon Country, mountain men, the difficult life of and tools used by pioneers, Texan independence, the Mexican War, and the California Gold Rush.

Unit 12 – Industrial Revolution This unit discusses Northern geography and manufacturing, the economics of manufacturing, the Industrial Revolution and the factory, the cotton plantation, the realities of slavery, the increasing importance of cotton farming and the effect this importance had, and a political map of the United States as of 1860.

Unit 13 – The Civil War This unit discusses slavery and the conflicts between the North and the South, the Fugitive Slave Act, President Abraham Lincoln, the Confederate attack at Fort Sumter, advantages and disadvantages of the North and the South, what it was like to be a soldier, the major battles of the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, the effect of the war on civilians, the Gettysburg Address, the strategy of Total War, the end of the American Civil War, and the effects of this war.

Unit 14 – Reconstruction This unit discusses plans for reconstruction, the freed African Americans, radical reconstruction, scalawags and carpetbaggers, Rutherford B. Hayes and the end of reconstruction, and the Southern Shift to political change and industrial growth.