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AP US History Unit 2 Curriculum Outline

Disclaimer: This outline is sourced directly from the APUSH Course Framework released by the College Board. This is a lightweight, web-friendly format for easy reference. Omninox does not take credit for this outline and is not affiliated with the College Board. AP is a reserved trademark of the College Board.

This article is part of a complete curriculum outline of the AP US History 2020 course. Reference the rest of the Units or Periods in APUSH below.

Unit 9
Unit 8
Unit 7
Unit 6
Unit 5
Unit 4
Unit 3
Unit 2 (you are here)
Unit 1

TOPIC 2.1 - Contextualizing Period 2

Unit 2_Learning Objective A: Explain the context for the colonization of North America from 1607 to 1754.

  • KC-2.1: Europeans developed a variety of colonization and migration patterns, influenced by different imperial goals, cultures, and the varied North American environments where they settled, and they competed with each other and American Indians for resources.
    • KC-2.1.I: Spanish, French, Dutch, and British colonizers had different economic and imperial goals involving land and labor that shaped the social and political development of their colonies as well as their relationships with native populations.
    • KC-2.1.II: In the 17th century, early British colonies develped along the Atlantic coast, with regional differences that reflected various environmental, economic, cultural, and demographic factors.
    • KC.2.1.III: Competition over resources between European rivals and American Indians encouraged industry and trade and led to conflict in the Americas.
  • KC-2.2: The British colonies participated in political, social, cultural, and economic exchanges with Great Britain that encouraged both stronger bonds with Britain and resistance to Britain's control.
    • KC-2.2.I: Transatlantic commercial, religious, philosophical, and political exchanges led residents of the British colonies to evolved in their political and cultural attitudes as they became increasingly tied to Britain and one another.
    • KC-2.2.II: Like other European empires in the Americas that participated in the Atlantic slave trade, the English colonies developed a system of slavery that reflected the specific economic, demographic, and geographic characteristics of those colonies.

TOPIC 2.2 - European Colonization

Unit 2_Learning Objective B: Explain how and why various European colonies developed and expanded from 1607 to 1754.

  • KC-2.1.I.A: Spanish efforts to extract wealth from the land led them to develop institutions based on subjugating native populations, converting them to Christianity, and incorporating them, along with enslaved and free Africans, into Spanish colonial society.
  • KC-2.1.I.B: French and Dutch colonial efforts involved relatively few Europeans and relied on trade alliances and intermarriage with American Indians to build economic and diplomatic relationships and acquire furs and other products to export to Europe.
  • KC-2.1.I.C: English colonization efforts attracted a comparatively large number of male and female British migrants, as well as other European migrants, all of whom sought social mobility, economic prosperity, religious freedom, and improved living conditions. These colonists focused on agriculture and settled on land taken from Native Americans, from whom they lived separately.

TOPIC 2.3 - The Regions of British Colonies

Unit 2_Learning Objective C: Explain how and why environmental and other factors shaped the development and expansion of various British colonies that developed and expanded from 1607 to 1754.

  • KC-2.1.II.A: The Chesapeake and North Carolina colonies grew prosperous exporting tobacco--a lobor-intensive product initially cultivated by white, mostly male indentured servants and later by enslaved Africans.
  • KC-2.1.II.B: The New England colonies, intially settled by Puritans, developed around small towns with family farms and achieved a thriving mixed economy of agriculture and commerce.
  • KC-2.1.II.C: The middle colonies supported a flourising export economy based on cereal crops and attracted a broad range of European migrants, leading to societies with greater cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity and tolerance.
  • KC-2.1.II.D: The colonies of the southern Atlantic coast and the British West Indies used long growing seasons to develop plantation economies based on exporting staple crops. they depended on the labor of enslaved Africans, who often constituted the majority of the population in these areas and developed their own forms of cultural and religious autonomy.
  • KC-2.1.II.E: Distance and Britain's initially lax attention led to the colonies creating self-governing institutions that were unusually democratic for the era. The New England colonices based power in participatory town meetings, which in turn elected members to their colonial legislatures; in the southern colonies, elite planters exercised local authority and also dominated the elected assemblies.

TOPIC 2.4 - Transatlantic Trade

Unit 2_Learning Objective D: Explain causes and effects of transatlantic trade over time.

  • KC-2.1.III.A: An Atlantic economy developed in which goods, as well as enslaved Africans and American Indians, were exchanged between Europe, Africa, and the Americas through extensive trade networks. European colonial economies focused on acquiring, producing, and exporting commodoties that were valued in Europe and gaining new sources of labor.
  • KC-2.1.III.B: Continuing trade with Europeans increased the flow of goods in and out of American Indian communities, stimulating cultural and economic changes and spreading epidemic diseases that caused radical demographic shifts.
  • KC-2.2.1.C: The British government increasingly attempted to incorporate its North American colonies into a coherent, hierarchical, and imperial structure in order to pursue mercantilist economic aims, but conflicts with colonists and American Indians led to erratic enforcement of imperial policies.

TOPIC 2.5 - Interactions Between American Indians and Europeans

Unit 2_Learning Objective: Explain how and why interactions between various European nations and American Indians changed over time.

  • KC-2.1.III.C: Interactions between European rivals and American Indian populations fostered both accommmodation and conflict. French, Dutch, British, and Spanish colonies allied with and armed American Indian groups, who frequently sought alliances with Europeans against other American Indian groups.
  • KC-2.1.III.E: British conflicts with American Indians over land, resources, and political boundaries led to military confrontations, such as Metacom's War (King Philip's War) in New England.
  • KC-2.1.III.F: American Indian resistance to Spanish colonizing efforts in North America, particularly after the Pueblo Revolt, led to Spanish accommodation of some aspects of American Indian culture in the Southwest.

TOPIC 2.6 - Slavery in the British Colonies

Unit 2_Learning Objective F:  Explain causes and effects of slavery in the various British colonial regions.

  • KC-2.2.II.A: All the British colonies participated to varying degrees in the Atlantic slave trade due to the abundance of land and a growing European demand for colonial goods, as well as a shortage of indentured sevants. Small New England farms used relatively few enslaved laborers, all port cities held significant minorities of enslaved people, and the emerging plantation systems of the Chesapeake and the southern Atlantic coast had large numbers of enslaved workers, while the great majority of enslaved Africans were sent to the West Indies.
  • KC-2.2.II.B: As chattel slavery became the dominant labor system in many southern colonies, new laws created a strict racial system that prohibited interracial relationships and defined the descendants of African American mothers as black and enslaved in perpetuity.

Unit 2_Learning Objective G: Explain how enslaved people responded to slavery.

  • KC-2.2.II.C: Africans developed both overt and covert means to resist the dehumanizing nature of slavery and maintain their family and gender systems, culture, and religion.

TOPIC 2.7 - Colonial Society and Culture

Unit 2_Learning Objective H: Explain how and why the movement of a variety of people and ideas across the Atlantic contributed to the development of American culture over time.

  • KC-2.2.I.A: The presence of different European religious and ethnic groups contributed to a significant degree of pluralism and intellectual exchange, which were later enhanced by the first Great Awakening and the spread of European Enlightenment ideas.
  • KC-2.2.I.B: The British colonies experienced a gradual Anglicization over time, developing autonomous political communities based on English models with influence from intercolonial commercial ties, the emergence of a transatlantic print culture, and the spread of Protestant evangelicalism.

Unit 2_Learning Objective I: Explain how and why the different goals and interests of European leaders and colonists affected how they viewed themselves and their relationship with Britain.

  • KC-2.1.III.D: The goals and interests of European leaders and colonists at times diverged, leading to growing mistrust on both sides of the Atlantic. Colonists, especially in British North American, expressed dissatisfaction over issues including territorial settlements, frontier defense, self-rule, and trade.
  • KC-2.2.I.D: Colonists' resistance to imperial control drew on local experiences of self-government, evolving ideas of liberty, the political thought of the Enlightenment, greater religious independence and diversity, and an ideology critical of perceived corruption in the imperial system.

TOPIC 2.8 - Comparison in Period 2

Unit 2_Learning Objective J: Compare the effects of the development of colonial society in the various regions of North America.

  • KC-2.1: Europeans developed a variety of colonization and migration patterns, influenced by different imperial goals, cultures, and the varied North American environments where they settled, and they competed with each other and American Indians for resources.
    • KC-2.1.I: Spanish, French, Dutch, and British colonizers had different economic and imperial goals involving land and labor that shaped the social and political development of their colonies as well as their relationships with native populations.
    • KC-2.1.II: In the 17th century, early British colonies developed along the Atlantic coast, with regional differences that reflected various environmental, economic, cultural, and demographic factors.
    • KC-2.1.III: Competition over resources between European rivals and American Indians encouraged industry and trade and led to conflict in the Americas.
  • KC-2.2: The British colonies participated in political, social, cultural, and economic exchanges with Great Britain that encouraged both stronger bonds with Britain and resistance to Britain's control.
    • KC-2.2.I: Transatlantic commercial, religious, philosophical, and political exchanges led residents of the British colonies to evolve in their political and cultural attitudes as they became increasingly tied to Britain and one another.
    • KC-2.2.II: Like other European empires in the Americas that participated in the Atlantic slave trade, the English colonies developed a system of slavery that reflected the specific economic, demographic, and geographic characteristics of those colonies.