U.S. History

Syllabus 2016-17

Mr. Colby Cormack

Social Studies – Hanover, KS:

United States History: International Expansion to the Present

Contact Information:

                          Email: ccormack@usd223.org

Course Description:

This high school course of study begins with a review of the major ideas, issues, and events of the late 19th century including imperialism, industrialization, and immigration. Students will then concentrate on the critical events, people, groups, ideas, and issues of the period from 1900 to the present, including Progressivism, World War I, the 1920s, the Great Depression and New Deal, World War II and its aftermath, the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, and the Modern World including the presidencies from Nixon to Obama, and the United States’ response to globalization and international crises. The course will be rigorous and relevant, with instruction that integrates thinking skills, historical processes, and content so that students are able to apply the learning to their own lives. Instruction will include the integration of concepts and principles from history, economics, geography, civics, and the humanities.


  1. Immigration, Industrialization, Progressives
  2. Expansion and Imperialism
  3. World War I and the Roaring 20s
  4. Great Depression, New Deal
  5. World War II and the Aftermat­­­­­h
  6. Cold War Conflicts
  7. Civil Rights and Social Change
  8. Moving into the 21st Century


1. Choices have consequences.

2. Individuals have rights and responsibilities.

3. Societies are shaped by beliefs, idea, and diversity.

4. Societies experience continuity and change over time.

5. Relationships between people, place, idea, and environments are dynamic.

Connect with Past Learning:

Students should possess a general understanding of the exploration and colonization of North America and the establishment of the United States prior to 1800, and should be familiar with nation-building and major historic events through the end of the 19th century. Students should possess a general understanding of the economic, social, political, and international changes experienced by the United States that creates a nation strong enough to take on the challenges of the 20th century. They should be familiar with critical events in World History including the importance of the Renaissance period and how it leads to global changes that resonate into the 20th century.

Students should also be proficient with Best Practices and Literacy Expectations and be able to integrate those into their own learning. This course should build on prior student learning with a brief review of the major events and ideas leading to the American War for Independence. This review should also include the Declaration of Independence and the decisions made during the Constitutional Convention with a focus on their impact on the nation and its people.

Class Expectations/Rules:

          All students are expected to be

  1. Polite (respectful of others and the learning process);
  2. Prompt;
  3. Prepared;
  4. Proud (always do your best and don’t cheat!); and

Students are encouraged to conference with the instructor at an appropriate time to discuss any problems or concerns they may be experiencing in class. 

Warning:  Cheating on a test or most of an assignment will result in:  (1) 1st offense – A “0” on the assignment; (2) 2nd offense – A referral, and a 10% reduction in your academic grade; and (3) 3rd offense – An “F” in this class.

Grading Policy:

Academic grades will be determined by a number of factors including: tests, classwork, homework, projects, written essays, oral presentations, participation in advisory period, etc.  Points will be earned by the students for each assignment, and grades will be as follows:  A = 89% - 100%; B = 79% - 88%; C = 69% - 78%; D = 55% - 68%; F = 54% or below.  No notes or books can be used during a test.  Your Final Exam grade affects your overall grade as follows: an “A” on the Final Exam raises your grade by 5%; a “B” raises it by 3%; a “C” keeps your grade the same; a “D” lowers your grade by 3%; and an “F” lowers your grade by 5%. 

The teacher never gives students extra or “bail out” assignments to help them pass this class or improve their grade!

  • Any late work will be automatically docked 10%. You must clearly write “Late” at the top of the assignment or in the email if you are sending it electronically. If you do not and I have to find out you will lose 20%
  • If you were absent, you must clearly write “Absent” at the top of the assignment. If you do not, and I have to find out you, will lose 10%
  • Notes will be taken through docs.google.com. Students will share their notes with their teacher so he can check their progress as they write and offer suggestions, critiques, guidelines, etc.
  • Bell Ringers will be done through google.docs as well. Days where we do not have a bell ringer should be marked as such on the document. If you are absent you need to get the bell ringer from a classmate. If this proves impossible please see me before or after school.



HW/Late Assignments:

*****If you are absent, make sure your absence is excused within 72 hours, get lecture notes (if any) from another student (NOT the teacher!) and any missing assignments from another student (ahead of time if possible) or make arrangements with the teacher.  If your absence is not officially excused within 72 hours of the date of your absence, no credit will be given for assignments given during your absence!  Excused late work will be accepted if you write “Absent” on your paper and turn it in no later than the number of days for which your absence was excused.  Excused late work may be graded or simply “excused” at the teacher’s discretion.****

Course Outline:

         Text: The Americans: Reconstruction to the 21st Century, by Danzer, Klor de Alva, Krieger, Wilson, and Woloch

  1. Early America to Reconstruction
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
  2. Immigration, Industrialization, Progressives
    1. Chapter 5
    2. Chapter 6
    3. Chapter 7
    4. Chapter 9
  3. Expansion and Imperialism
    1. Chapter 10
  4. World War I and the Roaring 20s
    1. Chapter 11
    2. Chapter 12
    3. Chapter 13
  5. Great Depression, New Deal
    1. Chapter 14
    2. Chapter 15
  6. World War II and the Aftermat­­­­­h
    1. Chapter 16
    2. Chapter 17
  7. Cold War Conflicts
    1. Chapter 18
  8. The New Frontier and the Great Society
    1. Chapter 20
  9. Civil Rights and Social Change
    1. Chapter 21
    2. Chapter 22
    3. Chapter 23
  10. Conspiracy and Paranoia in American Culture
    1. Special Readings
  11. Moving into the 21st Century
    1. Chapter 24
    2. Chapter 25
    3. Chapter 26


            Students will develop a routine throughout the semester and the year that will help them to organize their work and how they approach it. I like to keep a routine that gives students an opportunity to catch up and feel comfortable with the pace the class is going. I will, however, occasional change the routine for structural and aesthetic purposes. The real world constantly balances the consistency and change and this class will reflect the same way.


**************Syllabus Subject to Change at Instructors Discretion************