US History II – 1877-21st Century

US History II - 1877-21st Century

Course Features

Course Details


Course Overview

Acellus U.S. History II is the second semester of a two-part series that explores the history of the United States of America. This part of the course covers the evolution of country from the end of the Civil War through issues facing the country today. Course topics include:
  • The End of the Western Frontier
  • A New Industrial Age and the Immigration Boom
  • The Progressive Era
  • America Turns Imperialistic (Spanish American War)
  • The First World War
  • The Roaring Life of the 1920s
  • The Great Depression and the New Deal
  • World War II
  • Post-War America and the Start of the Cold War
  • Civil Rights
  • The New Frontier and the Great Society
  • The Vietnam War Years
  • An Era of Social Change
  • The Nixon Era
  • Turmoil of the 1970s
  • The Reagan and Bush Eras
  • Entering the 21st Century & the issues of today
Acellus U.S. History II is taught by Acellus Instructor Todd Edmond. Acellus U.S. History II is A-G Approved through the University of California.

Course Objectives & Student Learning Outcomes

Students learn about the time Europeans first discovered North America until the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. They examine the reasons the Europeans desired to leave their homelands in search of a new land. The settlers’ encounters with the Native Americans are discussed along with the conflicts that arise with the arrival of the colonists in the New World. Students explore the events that brought the African Americans to the New World, and the tensions that evolve because of slavery. The course covers the political developments in the colonies as they fought to become an independent nation. The courage and sacrifice of the men who created the Constitution of the United States is reviewed. The “growing pains” of a young nation, such as westward expansion and abolition of slavery, are examined. The development of historical analysis skills are encouraged, such as comparing and contrasting the cause-and-effect relationship between life in the North and life in the South. The course concludes by studying the Civil War. Video presentations help all students, including struggling readers, acquire the knowledge of the events that shaped the United States during this time period. The student is presented with a series of questions designed to test their grasp of the concept presented in each video.
This course was developed by the International Academy of Science. Learn More

Scope and Sequence

  Unit 1 - The End of the Western Frontier In this unit students discuss The Homestead Act, the massacres, and cowboys.  They also study how the railroads began to expand to the West, and the response of anger from the farmers. Unit 2 - A New Industrial Age In this unit students focus on the Industrial Revolution, the inventors, industrial tycoons, and jobs for immigrants and women.  They also explore how the railroads began to take over, why unions were first established, and the first unions. Unit 3 - The Immigration Boom In this unit, students will learn about Debs and the Socialist Party, strikes, why people immigrated to America, Ellis and Angel Islands and the immigration process.  They also study the culture shock that took place, city life, and political machines. Unit 4 - The Progressive Era In this unit students investigate progressive Americans and legislation, improvements in living, Darwinism versus gospel, and the increase in leisure time and entertainment.  They learn about Teddy Roosevelt and his big stick, muckrakers and Upton Sinclair,  Taft’s Dollar Diplomacy, the election of 1912 when Teddy Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson all ran as serious candidates, and Wilson’s Moral Diplomacy. Unit 5 - America turns Imperialistic (Spanish American War) In this unit students explore why America wanted to expand, Alaska, how America acquired Hawaii, the start of the Spanish American War, the defeat of Spain, the Treaty of Paris, anger in Cuba and the Philippines, the Open Door Policy, the Boxer Rebellion, the Panama Canal, and how the U.S. “backed off” temporarily from its expansion, and the impact of imperialism. Unit 6 - The First World War In this unit students discuss the alliances that set up the First World War, the Shot Heard Round the World, and the chain-reaction that started this war.  They learn about U.S. isolationism, the Lusitania/Zimmerman Note, how the United States got involved in the war, the home front during during World War I, the end of the war, the treaty of Versailles, and Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Unit 7 - The Roaring Life of the 1920s In this unit students focus on nativism and “red scare,” the Boston Police strike of 1919, the boom in industry, Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul, new fashion trends for women, education, popular culture, prohibition, Al Capone and crime, and fundamentalism. Unit 8 - The Great Depression In this unit students study the factors that led to the Depression, the impact of the Depression on Main Street, the economic ideas of the 1930s, and the Herbert Hoover Era.  They learn about Hoover and the government, Hoovervilles, the Bonus Army, and the Dust Bowl Unit 9 - The New Deal This unit focuses on Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) and the Brain Trust, congressional action, the first New Deal, the New Deal Coalition, and the opposition to the New Deal.  They study the second New Deal, the Financial New Deal, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the importance of World War II. Unit 10 - World War II - Part I In this unit students explore the rise of dictators in Europe, Hitler and the Nazis, Mussolini and the Fascists, appeasement, the takeover of Europe, the beginning of the Holocaust, and Pearl Harbor.  Additionally, a they focus on how the American Home Front prepared for war, the impact of the war on US Industry, discrimination in World War II, how Europe was taken back, and V-E Day. Unit 11 - World War II - Part II In this unit students continue their study of World War II after V-E day, focusing on island hopping and the Battle of the Pacific, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Potsdam, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri.  They also explore World War II advancements, the aftermath of World War II, and the Four Freedoms speech. Unit 12 - Post-War America & the Cold War - Part I In this unit explore how the USSR became America’s new enemy, containment, the Marshall Plan, and the Red Scare II.  They learn about Whitaker Chambers, the Taft-Hartley Bill, and Joe McCarthy. Unit 13 - Post-War America & the Cold War - Part II Building on the foundation laid in the previous unit, in this unit students focus on Truman’s domestic policy, the Chinese and Korean Civil Wars, and Eisenhower’s domestic policy and civil rights.  They explore Sputnik, Flopnik and the U-2, the GI Bill, the suburbs, the “Other America,” advancements of the 1950s, and Post WWII technology advancements. Unit 14 - Civil Rights In this unit students explore Plessy versus Ferguson, Brown versus the Board of Education, and the impact of Thurgood Marshall.  They learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Birmingham and Selma, Little Rock and Birmingham, and the March on Washington.  They study Civil Rights expansion, Malcolm X, the laws of the movement, and the death of the leaders. Unit 15 - The New Frontier and the Great Society In this unit students discuss the impact of the 1960 election, how John F. Kennedy (JFK) challenged America, and JFK’s domestic policy.  They study the Bay of Pigs and the Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the impact of JFK’s assassination, the conspiracies fof JFK’s assassination, Lyndon B. Johnson's (LBJ) vision of a Great Society, and LBJ’s domestic policy. Unit 16 - The Vietnam War Years In this unit students investigate the Cold War, the beginning of the Vietnam War, NATO and SEATO, and the exit of France and the Tonkin Gulf.  They gain understanding of the “Living Room War,” what happened at the Home Front, the protests, the events of 1968, Vietnamization, and “Peace with Honor.” Unit 17 - An Era of Social Change In this unit students discover  Chavez and the Latino movement, and the American Indian Movement (AIM).  They also explore the women’s rights movement, the National Organization for Women (NOW) movement, the counterculture, and the environment. Unit 18 - The Nixon Era and Watergate’s Lasting Impact In this unit students focus on Nixon and Detente, and Nixon’s domestic agenda and domestic policy.  They also study the Watergate break-in, its coverup, and the Nixon's resignation. Unit 19 - Turmoil of the 1970s In this unit students learn about Gerald Ford, his relationship with congress, and the vetoes.  They also study the energy crises, the economy, the 1976 election, human rights, the Iranian hostage crisis, nuclear disarmament policies, the nuclear freeze, and nuclear power. Unit 20 - The Reagan & Bush Era Focusing on the Reagan and Bush Eras, in this unit students delve into the 1980 election, the attempted assassination of Reagan, Reagan’s domestic policy, and Reaganomics.  They explore the Iran/Contra affair, relations with the USSR, and social concerns.  Additionally, they focus on the 1988 election, the economy and the debt, Desert Storm, and the 1992 election. Unit 21 - Building the Bridge to the 21st Century In this unit students begin with a focus on the demographic changes in the 20th century, health care and welfare reform, and technological advances in the 1990s.  They learn about the end of the nuclear family, the economical boom, Clinton’s domestic policy, and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Unit 22 - The United States in Today’s World In this unit students delve into the US in today’s world, with a focus on the 2000 election, the War on Terror, and the Economic Crisis.  They further explore the 2008 election, international conflicts, and issues of today.

More Courses by this Instructor