US History

US History

This Week in Class: First Reforms

The First Reforms unit covers three days of class time (suggested) and begins with a look at the growth of the women's rights movement in America, following the Industrial Revolution. Then we examine the other major reform events of the antebellum era, especially abolition but including prison, school and mental health eforms. A third optional day deals with labor unions and immigration. Time period: 1815 to 1860.  

The First Reforms unit contains three sections:
the Women's Rights looks at the movement and the Seneca Falls Convention
the The Abolitionists section explains the growth of the anti-slavery movement.
the Worker's Rights is optional (time permitting)

Go to each section's home page to see a further breakdown into daily lesson plans. 


PDF Textbook

This is a free textbook from OpenStax designed to be used with a college-level United States History class. OpenStax textbooks are professionally written,  peer-reviewed and the project is based at Rice University in Houston, Texas. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for the launch of the project. With almost one thousand pages of text, this textbook provides coverage for all major topics covered in both American History 1 and American History 2.

American History 1 is fully covered in Chapter One through Chapter Sixteen. 

American History 2 is fully covered in Chapter 17 through 32. With a copyright of 2017, this textbook contains up-to-date information on U.S. history in the first decades of the 21st Century, including 9/11 and the Presidency of Barack Obama.

Unit Lesson Plans

The structure of this site begins with top-level units, each unit containing about three weeks worth of class material. Go to each unit's home page to see a further breakdown into week-long sections and then daily lesson plans, along with primary source material and other resources.

  • From prehistory until the 1750's, the discovery of North America by Native peoples and their tragic contact with European colonists. 
  • From 1750 until the 1780's, the story of how the Founding Fathers rejected British rule and turned 13 individual colonies into the United States. 
  • From the 1790's until 1820, a young nation survives challenges at home and abroad, expands its population and develops unique regional economies.
  • From the 1820's through the 1840's, we see the Rise of the Common Man in politics, continued westward expansion and the first calls for reform. 
  • Beginning in the 1850's, we examine the causes, the outcome and the aftermath of the Civil War, along with the impact of Reconstruction on the former slaves.
  • Analysis of the economic, political and technological forces that allowed for westward growth after the Civil War - and the impact on the Native population.