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AP US History Unit 3 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 post is part of a complete curriculum outline of the AP US History 2020 course. Reference the rest of the course Periods / Units below.

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

TOPIC 3.1 - Contextualizing Period 3

Unit 3_Learning Objective A: Explain the context in which America gained independence and developed a sense of national identity.

  • KC-3.1: British attempts to assert tighter control over its North American colonies and the colonial resolve to pursue self-government led to a colonial independence movement and the Revolutionary War.
  • KC-3.1.I: The competition among the British, French, and American Indians for economic and political advantage in North America culminated in the Seven Years' War (the French and Indian War), in which Britain defeated France and allied American Indians.
  • KC-3.1.II: The desire of many colonists to assert ideals of self-government in the face of renewed British imperial efforts led to a colonial independence movement and war with Britain.
  • KC-3.2: The American Revolution's democratic and republican ideals inspired new experiments with different forms of government.
  • KC-3.2.I: The ideals that inspired the revolutionary cause relfected new beliefs about politics, religion, and society that had been developing over the course of the 18th century.
  • KC-3.2.II: After declaring independence, American political leaders created new constitutions and declarations of rights that articulated the role of the state and federal governments while protecting individual liberties and limting both centralized power and excessive popular influence.
  • KC-3.2.III: New forms of national culture and political institutions developed in the United States alongside continued regional variations and differences over economic, political, social, and foreign policy issues.
  • KC-3.3: Migration with North America and competiion over resources, boundaries, and trade intensified conflicts among peoples and nations.
  • KC-3.3.I: In the decades after American independence, interactions among different groups resulted in competition for resources, shifting alliances, and cultural blending.
  • KC-3.3.II: The continued presence of European powers in North America challenged the United States to find ways to safeguard its borders, maintain neutral trading rights, and promote its economic interests.

TOPIC 3.2 - The Seven Years' War (The French and Indian War)

Unit 3_Learning Objective B: Explain causes and effects of the Seven Years' War (the French and Indian War).

  • KC-3.1.I.A: Colonial rivalry intensified between Britain and France in the mid-18th century, as the growing population of the British colonies expanded into the interior of North America, threatening French-Indian trade networks and American Indian autonomy.
  • KC-3.1.I.B: Britain achieved a major expansion of its territorial holdings by defeating the French, but at tremendous expense, setting the stage for imperial efforts to raise revenue and consolidate control over the colonies.
  • KC-3.1.I.C: After the British victory, imperial officials' attempts to prevent colonists from moving westward generated colonial opposition, while native groups sought to both continue trading with Europeans and resist the encroachments of the colonists on tribal lands.

TOPIC 3.3 - Taxation Without Representation

Unit 3_Learning Objective C: Explain how British colonial policies regarding North America led to the Revolutionary War.

  • KC-3.1.II.A: The imperial struggles of the mid-18th century, as well as new British efforts to collect taxes without direct colonial representation or consent and to assert imperial authority in the colonies, began to unite the colonists against perceived and real constraints on their economic activities and political rights.
  • KC-3.1.II.B: Colonial leaders based their calls for resistance to Britain on arguments about the rights of British subjects, the rights of the individual, local traditions of self-rule, and the ideas of the Enlightenment.
  • KC-3.1.II.C: The effort for American independence was energized by colonial leaders such as Benjamin Franklin, as well as by popular movements that included the political activism of laborers, artisans, and women.
  • KC-3.1.II.D: In the face of economic shortages and the British military occupation of some regions, men and women mobilized in large numbers to provide financial and material support to the Patriot movement.

TOPIC 3.4 - Philosophical Foundations of the American Revolution

Unit 3_Learning Objective D: Explain how and why colonial attitudes about government and the individual changed in the years leading up to the American Revolution.

  • KC-3.2.1.A: Enlightenment ideas and philosophy inspired many American political thinkers to emphasize individual talent over hereditary privilege, while religion strengthened Americans' view of themselves as a people blessed with liberty
  • KC-3.2.1.B: The colonists' belief in the superiority of republican forms of government based on the natural rights of the people found expression in Thomas Paine's Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence. The ideas in these documents resonated throughout American history, shaping Americans' understanding of the ideals on which the nation was based.

TOPIC 3.5 - The American Revolution

Unit 3_Learning Objective E: Explain how various factors contributed to the American victory in the Revolution.

  • KC-3.1.II.E: Despite considerable loyalist opposition, as well as Great Britain's apparently overwhelming military and financial advantages, the Patriot cause succeeded because of the actions of colonial militas and the Continental Army, George Washington's military leadership, the colonists' ideological commitment and resilience, and assistance sent by European allies.

TOPIC 3.6 - The Influence of Revolutionary Ideals

Unit 3_Learning Objective F: Explain the various ways the American Revolution affected society.

  • KC-3.2.1.C: During and after the American Revolution, an increased awareness of inequalities in society motivated some individuals and groups to call for the abolition of slavery and greater political democracy in the new state and national governments.
  • KC-3.2.I.D: In response to women's participation in the American Revolution, Enlightenment ideas, and women's appeals for expanded roles, an ideal of "republican motherhood" gained popularity. It called on women to teach republican values within the family and granted women a new importance in American political culture.

Unit 3_Learning Objective G: Describe the global impact of the American Revolution.

  • KC-3.2.I.E: The American Revolution and the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence reverberated in France, Haiti, and Latin America, inspiring future independence movements.

TOPIC 3.7 - The Articles of Confederation

Unit 3_Learning Objective H: Explain how different forms of government developed and changed as a result of the Revolutionary Period.

  • KC-3.2.II.A: Many new state constitutions placed power in the hands of the legislative branch and maintained property qualifications for voting and citizenship.
  • KC-3.2.II.B: The Articles of Confederation unified the newly independent states, creating a central government with limited power. After t he Revolution, difficulties over international trade, finances, interstate commerce, foreign relations, and internal unrest led to calls for a stronger central government.
  • KC-3.3.I.C: As settlers moved westward during the 1780s, Congress enacted the Northwest Ordinance for admitting new states; the ordinance promoted public education, the protection of private property, and a ban on slavery in the Northwest Territory.

TOPIC 3.8 - The Constitutional Convention and Debates over Ratification

Unit 3_Learning Objective I: Explain the differing ideological positions on the structure and function of the federal government.

  • KC-3.2.II.C.i: Delegates from the states participated in the Constitutional Convention and through negotiation, collaboration, and compromise proposed a constitution.
  • KC-3.2.II.D: The Constitutional Convention compromised over the representation of slave states in Congress and the role of the federal government in regulating both slavery and the slave trade, allowing the prohibition of the international slave trade after 1808.
  • KC-3.2.II.E: In the debate over ratifying the Constitution, Anti-Federalists opposing ratification battled with Federalists, whose principles were articulated in the Federalist Papers (primarily written by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison). Federalists ensured the ratification of the Constitution by promising the addition of a Bill of Rights that enumerated individual rights and explicitly restricted the powers of the federal government.

TOPIC 3.9 - The Constitution

Unit 3_Learning Objective J: Explain the continuities and changes in the structure and functions of the government with the ratification of the Constitution.

  • KC-3.2.II.C.ii: Delegates from the states participated in the Constitutional Convention that created a limited but dynamic central government embodying federalism and providing for a separation of powers between its three branches.

TOPIC 3.10 - Shaping a New Republic

Unit 3_Learning Objective K: Explain how and why competition intensified conflicts among peoples and nations from 1754 to 1800.

  • KC-3.3.II.A: The U.S. government forged diplomatic initiatives aimed at dealing with the continued British and Spanish presence in North‌‌America, as U.S. settlers migrated beyond the Appalachians and sought free navigation of the Mississippi River.
  • KC-3.3.II.B: War between France and Britain resulting from the French Revolution presented challenges to the United States over issues of free trade and foreign policy and fostered political disagreement.
  • KC-3.3.I.E: The Spanish, supported by the bonded labor of the local American Indians, expanded their mission settlements into California; these provided opportunities for social mobility among soldiers and led to new cultural blending.
  • KC-3.3.I.D: An ambiguous relationship between the federal government and American Indian tribes contributed to problems regarding treaties and American Indian legal claims relating to the seizure of their lands.

Unit 3_Learning Objective L: Explain how and why political ideas, institutions, and party systems developed and changed in the new republic.

  • KC-3.2.III.A: During the presidential administrations of George Washington and John Adams, political leaders created institutions and precedents that put the principles of the Constitution into practice.
  • KC-3.2.III.B: Political leaders in the 1790s took a variety of positions on issues such as the relationship between the national government and the states, economic policy, foreign policy, and the balance between liberty and order. This led to the formation of political parties—most significantly the Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, and the Democratic- Republican Party, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
  • KC-3.3.II.C: George Washington’s Farewell Address encouraged national unity, as he cautioned against political factions and warned about the danger of permanent foreign alliances.

TOPIC 3.11 - Developing an American Identity

Unit 3_Learning Objective M: Explain the continuities and changes in American culture from 1754 to 1800.

  • KC-3.2.III.B: New forms of national culture developed in the United States alongside continued regional variations.
  • KC-3.2.III.D: Ideas about national identity increasingly found expression in works of art, literature, and architecture.

TOPIC 3.12 - Movement in the Early Republic

Unit 3_Learning Objective N: Explain how and why migration and immigration to and within North America caused competition and conflict over time.

  • KC-3.3.I.A: Various American Indian groups repeatedly evaluated and adjusted their alliances with Europeans, other tribes, and the United States, seeking to limit migration of white settlers and maintain control of tribal lands and natural resources. British alliances with American Indians contributed to tensions between the United States and Britain.
  • KC-3.3.I.B: As increasing numbers of migrants from North America and other parts of the world continued to move westward, frontier cultures that had emerged in the colonial period continued to grow, fueling social, political, and ethnic tensions.

Unit 3_Learning Objective O: Explain the continuities and changes in regional attitudes about slavery as it expanded from 1754 to 1800.

  • KC-3.2.III.C: The expansion of slavery in the deep South and adjacent western lands and rising antislavery sentiment began to create distinctive regional attitudes toward slavery.

TOPIC 3.13 - Continuity and Change in Period 3

Unit 3_Learning Objective P: Explain how the American independence movement affected society from 1754 to 1800.

  • KC-3.1: British attempts to assert tighter control over its North American colonies and the colonial resolve to pursue self-government led to a colonial independence movement and the Revolutionary War.
  • KC-3.1.I: The competition among the British, French, and America Indians for economic and political advantage in North America culminated in the  Seven Years’ War (the French and Indian War), in which Britain defeated France and allied American Indians.
  • KC-3.1.II: The desire of many colonists to assert ideals of self-government in the face of renewed British imperial efforts led to a colonial independence movement and war with Britain.
  • KC-3.2: The American Revolution’s democratic and republican ideals inspired new experiments with different forms of government.
  • KC-3.2.I: The ideals that inspired the revolutionary cause reflected new beliefs about politics, religion, and society that had been developing over the course of the 18th century.
  • KC-3.2.II: After declaring independence, American political leaders created new constitutions and declarations of rights that articulated the role of the state and federal governments while protecting individual liberties and limiting both centralized power and excessive popular influence.
  • KC-3.2.III.i: New forms of national culture and political institutions developed in the United States alongside continued regional variations and differences over economic, political, social, and foreign policy issues.
  • KC-3.3: Migration within North America and competition over resources, boundaries, and trade intensified conflicts among peoples and nations.
  • KC-3.3.I: In the decades after American independence, interactions among different groups resulted in competition for resources, shifting alliances, and cultural blending.
  • KC-3.3.II: The continued presence of European powers in North America challenged the United States to find ways to safeguard its borders, maintain neutral trading rights, and promote its economic interests.