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Social Studies Course Descriptions

AP History 300

Advanced Placement United States History

The AP U.S. History course is an annual course designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in U.S. history. Students should learn to assess historical materials—their relevance to a given interpretive problem, reliability, and importance—and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. An AP U.S. History course should thus develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format.  This course integrates both a thematic and topic approach when examining the history of the United States.  

Sample Themes*

  • American Diversity 
  • American Identity 
  • Culture
  • Demographic Changes 
  • Economic Transformations
  • Environment War and Diplomacy 
  • Globalization
  • Politics and Citizenship
  • Reform
  • Religion
  • Slavery and Its Legacies in North America 

 Sample Topics*

  • Pre-Columbian Societies • Industrial America in the Late Nineteenth Century
  • Transatlantic Encounters and Colonial Beginnings, 1492–1690 • Urban Society in the Late Nineteenth Century
  • Colonial North America, 1690–1754 • Populism and Progressivism
  • The American Revolutionary Era, 1754–1789 • The Emergence of America as a World Power
  • The Early Republic, 1789–1815 • The New Era: 1920s
  • Transformation of the Economy and Society in Antebellum America • The Great Depression and the New Deal
  • The Transformation of Politics in   Antebellum America 
  • The Home Front During the War
  • Religion, Reform, and Renaissance in Antebellum America
  • The United States and the Early Cold War
  • Territorial Expansion and Manifest Destiny
  • The 1950s
  • The Crisis of the Union
  • The Turbulent 1960s
  • Civil War 
  • Politics and Economics at the End of the Twentieth Century
  • Reconstruction • Society and Culture at the End of the Twentieth Century
  • The Origins of the New South
  • The United States in the Post–Cold War World
  • Development of the West in the Late Nineteenth Century

*Please note that the themes and topics may vary with each teacher’s instructional focus.

The above information was adapted from College Board.  For the complete course description, please visit:

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