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Social Studies 8 Part 1
Course Length: 1 Semester
Has Textbook: Yes
Social Studies 8 Part 1 teaches students about American history and society, the first human migrations to the Americas, the European colonization of the Americas, the founding of the United States, and the end of the Reconstruction period after the Civil War. Students will explore the causes and the effects of the French and Indian War, and will study the First Continental Congress, the Declaration of Independence, and the challenges of governing a new nation. The course will move through the growth of the United States, including its political landscape in the early 1800s, slavery, and territorial expansion. These discussions will lead to lessons that cover Manifest Destiny, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction of post-Civil War America.
It is recommended that students complete Social Studies 7 or equivalent course work before enrolling in this course.

Course Objectives

Unit 1: Essential Content and Skills

  • Chart the prehistoric migrations to the Americas.
  • Identify the ways in which religion and trade have shaped the history of Europe.
  • Summarize the religious conflict in England and explain the relationship between that conflict and the colonization of North America.
  • Identify the geography and climate of the New England, middle, and southern colonies.
  • Identify English political traditions and the influence of those traditions on the 13 colonies.
  • Summarize the roles of men, women, and children in colonial America.
  • Define the institution of slavery and summarize its history as it developed in the colonies.

Unit 2: Essential Content and Skills

  • Summarize the results of the French and Indian War.
  • Explore the cycle of taxation and protest in the colonies.
  • Summarize the meaning, structure, and impact of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Discuss the reasons why the American Revolution succeeded and the effects of that victory.
  • Outline the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.
  • Summarize the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention and the drafting of the new constitution.
  • Outline the Bill of Rights and its protection of individual rights.

Unit 3: Essential Content and Skills

  • Identify the importance of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • Summarize the War of 1812.
  • Identify the Era of Good Feelings and its impact on American politics.
  • Outline American foreign relations in the years after the War of 1812.
  • Outline the developments in the American political system in the Age of Jackson.
  • Examine the growth of industry and important developments in factories in the United States after 1812.
  • Outline the growth of American cities in the early 1800s.

Unit 4: Essential Content and Skills

  • Define the term Manifest Destiny.
  • Identify the relationship between the Mexican-American War and the idea of Manifest Destiny.
  • Outline the conflict over the issue of slavery in the territories after 1848.
  • Summarize the main points of the Compromise of 1850.
  • Identify the Kansas-Nebraska Act and Bleeding Kansas.
  • Summarize the events that led to the outbreak of the Civil War.
  • Compare and contrast the strengths, weaknesses, and strategies of the Union and the Confederacy.

Course Materials

  • Prentice Hall America: History Of Our Nation (textbook)

*Available as an iText course