United States History Since 1877

U.S. History traces the nation's history from 1877 to the present. Based on the founding documents of the U.S. government, this course describes the emergence of the United States as an industrial nation, highlighting political, economic, social, and cultural changes, as well as the nation's evolving role in world affairs.

The course begins with a review of major turning points in U.S. history and an analysis of the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Students then examine the attempts to unify the nation following Reconstruction while also exploring the growth of an industrial economy. Moving into the 20th and 21st centuries, the course invites students to probe the economic and diplomatic interactions between the United States and other world players while investigating how the world wars, the Cold War, and the "information revolution" affected the lives of ordinary Americans. Woven through this chronological sequence is a strong focus on the changing conditions for women, African Americans, and other minority groups.

The course emphasizes the development of historical thinking skills such as comparing and contrasting, differentiating between facts and interpretations, considering multiple perspectives, analyzing cause-and-effect relationships, and drawing conclusions. These skills are applied to the analysis of primary and secondary sources through direct instruction and written assignments that guide learners step by step through problem-solving activities.

This course is built to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards and benchmarks for United States History Studies Since 1877. Unit- and semester-level exams are designed to mirror the types of questions students will see on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam for U.S. History.