Mr. Bill Tapp

858 755 0125 ext. 2160 e- mail.  

The best time to meet with me first semester is at lunch.

Textbook: The American Pageant, Thirteenth Edition

                 A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn



AP U.S. History is a demanding introduction to American History and culture that assumes a high level of interest and competence. Because this course is similar to a first-year college course, students should expect that the workload will be heavier than most regular high school history courses. The analytical thinking, writing, and reading skills that students develop in AP U.S. History will equip them for college and lifelong learning.

In order to succeed, students need both to be motivated to study and to be able to keep up with the demands of a college-level course. By taking the AP Exam at the end of the course, which all students are encouraged to do, students have the opportunity to demonstrate that they have, indeed, learned college-level material and are prepared to enter advanced college courses.

AP U.S. History integrates political, social, economic, cultural, diplomatic, and intellectual history in order to convey the experiences of particular groups within the broader perspective of the American past. At the same time, it connects events and issues from the past to the concerns of the present. History shows Americans continuously adapting to new developments as they shape the world in which they live. Often, ordinary Americans from a diverse range of backgrounds are thrust into extraordinary circumstances and the result is an exciting study in the "American experiment." As students study this long-term process, they will also encounter the unexpected -- unique events, unintended outcomes, and singular individuals. A strong course that prepares students to become "students of history" should include the following points for emphasis:

In addition to reading the college level textbook, students will be introduced to primary documents, which they will be trained to analyze and interpret. Students will also be taught to assess the validity of historical propositions and to build an effective argument. Students will frequently be given assignments that require them to practice writing skills in order to prepare for the free response and DBQ sections of the AP Exam.

The course work has to be completed by the first part of May to allow time for a review for the AP U.S. History Exam on the second Friday in May.


1. Arrive to class before the tardy bell sounds. The school tardy policy will be enforced. See your student handbook for details.

2. Please do not miss class unless absolutely necessary.

3. Please obtain the instructor’s permission before leaving the classroom.

4.  With the exception of extraordinary circumstances, late work is not accepted for credit.

5. You may make-up assignments missed due to excused absences. It is due upon your return to class unless it is a handout that you did not have access to. Place make-up work in the appropriate tray for your period.

6. If you miss an exam due to an excused absence, it is your responsibility to meet with me upon your return to class to arrange a timely make-up date.

7. Cheating in any form will not be tolerated.  Please refer to the Academic Honesty definition in your student handbook. The school cheating policy will be enforced. Please refer to your student handbook for details.

8. Any technology that you may bring to school must be turned off while in class unless given permission to do otherwise.

9. It is expected that you will be tolerant of the opinions and ideas of others and always respond to differences of opinion in a civil manner.  

10 Sexual harassment or harassment of any kind will NOT be tolerated.

11. Beverages and food are permitted as long as it is NOT a distraction and that you do not litter. Please use the trash or recycle cannisters.


You will be evaluated on the by the following criteria:

Exams                                                                          40%

Quizzes                                                                        20%

Semester Project                                                          15%                                     

Class Activities/Classwork/Homework                          15%

  Primary Document Portfolio                                        10%


An exam will be administered at the completion of each unit of study. Exams consist of multiple choice, short answer and essay questions. A final exam will be administered at the end of each semester covering all chapters studied.


Quizzes can be expected after each reading assignment, lecture, etc. Quizzes may be announced or of the "pop" variety.


Homework usually takes the form of reading assigned pages in the text, answering questions to check for understanding, and research for upcoming class activities or lectures. It is very important that students keep up with the assignments as to be able to participate in the following class.

Semester Projects:

A major project will be assigned each semester.

The first semester project will be to research and present to the class an oral biography of a prominent person.

Class Activities:

Class activities usually require the students, either individually or in groups, to research and present information to the class in the form of presentations, simulations, or debates.

            Primary Document Portfolio

Students will be required to find two-three (2-3) primary documents for each Unit studied. You will copy, read, analyze and write a short summary of the document selected. Your finished product will be stored in your portfolio. The portfolios will periodically be collected for evaluation purposes.

The grading scale on all work in this class is as follows:                        

100-90%            A

89-80%              B

79-70%              C

69-60%              D

59-0%                F  

You may access your grades on-line and I will also post them on the rear bulletin board at the beginning of each week.


New World Beginnings 33,000 B.C.-A.D. 1769

The Planting of English America 1500-1733

Settling the Northern Colonies 1619-1700

American Life in the Seventeenth Century 1607-1692

Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution 1700-1775

The Duel for North America 1608-1763

The Road to Revolution 1763-1775

America Secedes from the Empire 1775-1783

The Confederation and the Constitution 1776-1790

Launching the New Ship of State 1789-1800

The Triumphs and Travails of the Jeffersonian Republic 1800-1812

The Second War for Independence and the Upsurge of Nationalism 1812-1824

The Rise of Mass Democracy 1824-1840

Forging the National Economy 1790-1860

The Ferment of Reform and Culture 1790 1860

The South and the Slavery Controversy 1793-1860

Manifest Destiny and its Legacy 1841-1848

Renewing the Sectional Struggle 1848-1854

Drifting Toward Disunion 1854-1861

Girding for War: The North and South 1861-1865

The Furnace of Civil War 1861-1865

The Ordeal of Reconstruction 1865-1877

Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age 1869-1896

Industry Comes of Age 1865-1900

America Moves to the City 1865-1900

The Great West and the Agricultural Revolution 1865-1896

Empire and Expansion 1890-1909

Progressivism and the Republican Roosevelt 1901-1912

Wilsonian Progressivism at Home and Abroad 1912-1916

The War to End War 1917-1918

American Life in the Roaring Twenties 1919-1929

The Politics of Boom and Bust 1920-1932

The Great Depression and the New Deal 1933-1939

FDR and the Shadow of War 1933-1941

America in WW II 1941-1945

The Cold War Begins 1945-1952

The Eisenhower Era 1952-1960

The Stormy Sixties 1960-1968

The Stalemated Seventies 1968-1980

The Resurgence of Conservatism 1980-1992

America Confronts the Post-War Era 1992-2004

The American People Face a New Century