Unit #3 Review

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AP US HISTORY
ELMORE
FALL 2007

UNIT THREE: THE BIRTH OF A NEW COUNTRY

The US Constitution is one of the most influential documents in the history of modern governance. The system of government established by the writers of this document not only reflected and helped to ensure the hopes and desires of many citizens of the newly independent American state, but, perhaps more importantly, this system has served as a dramatic symbol for those people throughout the world who have struggled against tyranny and oppression ever since. This document has also served as a model for the creation of new governments over the past two hundred years. Nevertheless, some scholars, including Howard Zinn and Charles Beard, who wrote An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution, contend that this document is not the democratic mantra that its supporters proclaim it to be. These critics argue that the Constitution was designed primarily to protect the economic interests of the aristocracy, not only from the tyranny of the government, but also from the political pressures of the lower classes. They point to the ideas of the separation of powers, federalism, and checks and balances as being primarily ways in which the elites of American society could insulate themselves from the will of the common people rather than efforts to protect against tyrannical government. These scholars also look to the writings of James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist Papers to support their contentions. Finally, they look to the actions of some of the founding fathers, like Washington, Hamilton, Adams, and even Jefferson to find support for this theory. During this unit, we will examine this evidence in order to assess the validity of this theory as compared to the more traditional views of most Americans. As always, finding the truth requires a delicate balance of inquisitiveness, interpretation, speculation, and appreciation for subtlety. There are seldom absolute or simple answers to these complex problems. In this unit, we will continue to examine both political documents and political events with an eye toward addressing, albeit not definitively, this complex issue. In addition, we will trace the important formative events in the early history of this newly-founded country leading up to the most important political transformation in our early history: the election of Andrew Jackson.

EXAM DATE: Monday, October 22nd (100 points)

QUIZZES:

1) Thursday, October 4th (25 points): Brinkley, Chapter 6
2) Tuesday, October 9th (15 points): “Shay’s Rebellion:
The First American Civil War”
3) Wednesday, October 10th (25 points): Brinkley, Chapter 7 4) Tuesday, October 16th (25 points): Brinkley, Chapter 8

UNIT SKILLS

1) Conflict and Compromise
2) Using and Constructing Maps
3) Library and Internet Research
4) Understanding Domestic and Foreign Policy
5) Constitutional Analysis and Interpretation
READING ASSIGNMENTS:

1) Brinkley, Ch. 6, 7 & 8
2) “Shay’s Rebellion: The First American Civil
War” by Stephen Gillon in Unit Planner
3) The Constitution and the first twelve
amendments, pgs. A-12- A-19

KEY TOPICS

1.Opportunities and Obstacles in Post-War America
2.The Constitutional Convention and the US Constitution
3. Federalists, Anti-federalists, and the Fight
for Ratification
4. Washington, Hamilton, Adams and the Federalist
Government: Domestic Policy
5. Washington, Hamilton, Adams and the Federalist
Government: Foreign Policy
6. Jefferson, Madison, and the Republican Opposition
7. The Revolution of 1800
8. Cultural Nationalism & Industrialism
9. Jefferson’s Domestic Policy and Foreign Policy
10. The War of 1812
11. American Nationalism, Economic Growth and Expansion
12. The Era of Good Feelings
13. John Marshall and the Supreme Court
14. Western Expansion and the Missouri Compromise
15. The “Corrupt Bargain”...
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