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AP US History Unit 6 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 completed curriculum outline of the AP US History 2020 course framework. Refer the other units in this curriculum outline below.

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

TOPIC 6.1 - Contextualizing Period 6

Unit 6_Learning Objective A: Explain the historical context for the rise of industrial capitalism in the United States.

  • KC-6.1: Technological advances, large-scale production methods, and the opening of new markets encouraged the rise of industrial capitalism in the United States.
    • KC-6.1.I: Large-scale industrial production—accompanied by massive technological change, expanding international communication networks, and pro-growth government policies—generated rapid economic development and business consolidation.
    • KC-6.1.II: A variety of perspectives on the economy and labor developed during a time of financial panics and downturns.
    • KC-6.1.III: New systems of production and transportation enabled consolidation within agriculture, which, along with periods of instability, spurred a variety of responses from farmers.
  • KC-6.2: The migrations that accompanied industrialization transformed both urban and rural areas of the United States and caused dramatic social and cultural change.
    • KC-6.2.I: International and internal migration increased urban populations and fostered the growth of a new urban culture.
    • KC-6.2.II: Larger numbers of migrants moved to the West in search of land and economic opportunity, frequently provoking competition and violent conflict.
  • KC-6.3: The Gilded Age produced new cultural and intellectual movements, public reform efforts, and political debates over economic and social policies.
    • KC-6.3.I: New cultural and intellectual movements both buttressed and challenged the social order of the Gilded Age.
    • KC-6.3.II: Dramatic social changes in the period inspired political debates over citizenship, corruption, and the proper relationship between business and government.

TOPIC 6.2 - Westward Expansion: Economic Development

Unit 6_Learning Objective B: Explain the causes and effects of the settlement of the West from 1877 to 1898.

  • KC-6.1.III.A: Improvements in mechanization helped agricultural production increase substantially and contributed to declines in food prices.
  • KC-6.1.III.B: Many farmers responded to the increasing consolidation in agricultural markets and their dependence on the evolving railroad system by creating local and regional cooperative organizations.
  • KC-6.1.I.A: Following the Civil War, government subsidies for transportation and communication systems helped open new markets in North America.
  • KC-6.2.II.A: The building of transcontinental railroads, the discovery of mineral resources, and government policies promoted economic growth and created new communities and centers of commercial activity.

TOPIC 6.3 - Westward Expansion: Social and Cultural Development

Unit 6_Learning Objective B: Explain the causes and effects of the settlement of the West from 1877 to 1898.

  • KC-6.2.II.B: In hopes of achieving ideals of self-sufficiency and independence, migrants moved to both rural and boomtown areas of the West for opportunities, such as building the railroads, mining, farming, and ranching.
  • KC-6.2.II.C: As migrant populations increased in number and the American bison population was decimated, competition for land and resources in the West among white settlers, American Indians, and Mexican Americans led to an increase in violent conflict.
  • KC-6.2.II.D: The U.S. government violated treaties with American Indians and responded to resistance with military force, eventually confining American Indians to reservations and denying tribal sovereignty.
  • KC-6.2.II.E: Many American Indians preserved their cultures and tribal identities despite government policies promoting assimilation, and they attempted to develop self-sustaining economic practices.

TOPIC 6.4 - The "New South"

Unit 6_Learning Objective C: Explain how various factors contributed to continuity and change in the “New South” from 1877 to 1898.

  • KC-6.1.II.D: Despite the industrialization of some segments of the Southern economy—a change promoted by Southern leaders who called for a “New South”—agriculture based on sharecropping and tenant farming continued to be the primary economic activity in the South.
  • KC-6.3.II.C: The Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson that upheld racial segregation helped to mark the end of most of the political gains African Americans made during Reconstruction. Facing increased violence, discrimination, and scientific theories of race, African American reformers continued to fight for political and social equality.

TOPIC 6.5 - Technological Innovation

Unit 6_Learning Objective D: Explain the effects of technological advances in the development of the United States over time.

  • KC-6.1.I.B.i: Businesses made use of technological innovations and greater access to natural resources to dramatically increase the production of goods.

TOPIC 6.6 - The Rise of Industrial Capitalism

Unit 6_Learning Objective E: Explain the socioeconomic continuities and changes associated with the growth of industrial capitalism from 1865 to 1898.

  • KC-6.1.I: Large-scale industrial production— accompanied by massive technological change, expanding international communication networks, pro-growth government policies—generated rapid economic development and business consolidation.
  • KC-6.1.I.B.ii: Businesses made use of redesigned financial and management structures, advances in marketing, and a growing labor force to dramatically increase the production of goods.
  • KC-6.1.I.D: Many business leaders sought increased profits by consolidating corporations into large trusts and holding companies, which further concentrated wealth.
  • KC-6.1.I.E: Businesses increasingly looked outside U.S. borders in an effort to gain greater influence and control over markets and natural resources in the Pacific Rim, Asia, and Latin America.

TOPIC 6.7 - Labor in the Gilded Age

Unit 6_Learning Objective E: Explain the socioeconomic continuities and changes associated with the growth of industrial capitalism from 1865 to 1898.

  • KC-6.1.I.C: As the price of many goods decreased, workers’ real wages increased, providing new access to a variety of goods and services; many Americans’ standards of living improved, while the gap between rich and poor grew.
  • KC-6.1.II.C: Labor and management battled over wages and working conditions, with workers organizing local and national unions and/or directly confronting business leaders.
  • KC-6.1.II.B.i: The industrial workforce expanded and child labor increased.

TOPIC 6.8 - Immigration and Migration in the Gilded Age

Unit 6_Learning Objective F: Explain how cultural and economic factors affected migration patterns over time.

  • KC-6.1.II.B.ii: The industrial workforce expanded and became more diverse through internal and international migration.
  • KC-6.2.I.A: As cities became areas of economic growth featuring new factories and businesses, they attracted immigrants from Asia and southern and eastern Europe, as well as African American migrants within and out of the South. Many migrants moved to escape poverty, religious persecution, and limited opportunities for social mobility in their home countries or regions.
  • KC-6.2.I.B: Urban neighborhoods based on particular ethnicities, races, and classes provided new cultural opportunities for city dwellers.

TOPIC 6.9 - Responses to Immigration in the Gilded Age

Unit 6_Learning Objective G: Explain the various responses to immigration in the period over time.

  • KC-6.2.I.C: Increasing public debates over assimilation and Americanization accompanied the growth of international migration. Many immigrants negotiated compromises between the cultures they brought and the culture they found in the United States.
  • KC-6.3.I.A: Social commentators advocated theories later described as Social Darwinism to justify the success of those at the top of the socioeconomic structure as both appropriate and inevitable.
  • KC-6.3.II.B.i: Many women, like Jane Addams, worked in settlement houses to help immigrants adapt to U.S. language and customs.

TOPIC 6.10 - Development of the Middle Class

Unit 6_Learning Objective H: Explain the causes of increased economic opportunity and its effects on society.

  • KC-6.2.I.E: Corporations’ need for managers and for male and female clerical workers, as well as increased access to educational institutions, fostered the growth of a distinctive middle class. A growing amount of leisure time also helped expand consumer culture.
  • KC-6.3.I.B: Some business leaders argued that the wealthy had a moral obligation to help the less fortunate and improve society, as articulated in the idea known as the Gospel of Wealth, and they made philanthropic contributions that enhanced educational opportunities and urban environments.

TOPIC 6.11 - Reform in the Gilded Age

Unit 6_Learning Objective I: Explain how different reform movements responded to the rise of industrial capitalism in the Gilded Age.

  • KC-6.3.I.C: A number of artists and critics, including agrarians, utopians, socialists, and advocates of the Social Gospel, championed alternative visions for the economy and U.S. society.
  • KC-6.3.II.B.ii: Many women sought greater equality with men, often joining voluntary organizations, going to college, and promoting social and political reform.

TOPIC 6.12 - Controversies over the Role of Government in the Gilded Age

Unit 6_Learning Objective J: Explain continuities and changes in the role of the government in the U.S. economy.

  • KC-6.1.II.A: Some argued that laissez-faire policies and competition promoted economic growth in the long run, and they opposed government intervention during economic downturns.
  • KC-6.1.I.E.ii: Foreign policymakers increasingly looked outside U.S. borders in an effort to gain greater influence and control over markets and natural resources in the Pacific Rim, Asia, and Latin America.

TOPIC 6.13 - Politics in the Gilded Age

Unit 6_Learning Objective K: Explain the similarities and differences between the political parties during the Gilded Age.

  • KC-6.1.III.C: Economic instability inspired agrarian activists to create the People’s (Populist) Party, which called for a stronger governmental role in regulating the American economic system.
  • KC-6.3.II.A: The major political parties appealed to lingering divisions from the Civil War and contended over tariffs and currency issues, even as reformers argued that economic greed and self-interest had corrupted all levels of government.
  • KC-6.2.I.D: In an urban atmosphere where the access
    to power was unequally distributed, political machines thrived, in part by providing immigrants and the poor with social services.

TOPIC 6.14 - Continuity and Change Period 6

Unit 6_Learning Objective L: Explain the extent to which industrialization brought change from 1865 to 1898.

  • KC-6.1: Technological advances, large-scale production methods, and the opening of new markets encouraged the rise of industrial capitalism in the United States.
    • KC-6.1.I: Large-scale industrial production— accompanied by massive technological change, expanding international communication networks, and pro-growth government policies—generated
      rapid economic development and business consolidation.
    • KC-6.1.II: A variety of perspectives on the economy and labor developed during a time of financial panics and downturns.
    • KC-6.1.III: New systems of production and transportation enabled consolidation within agriculture, which, along with periods of instability, spurred a variety of responses from farmers.
  • KC-6.2: The migrations that accompanied industrialization transformed both urban and rural areas of the United States and caused dramatic social and cultural change.
    • KC-6.2.I: International and internal migration increased urban populations and fostered the growth of a new urban culture.
    • KC-6.2.II: Larger numbers of migrants moved to the West in search of land and economic opportunity, frequently provoking competition and violent conflict.
  • KC-6.3: The Gilded Age produced new cultural and intellectual movements, public reform efforts, and political debates over economic and social policies.
    • KC-6.3.I: New cultural and intellectual movements both buttressed and challenged the social order of the Gilded Age.
    • KC-6.3.II: Dramatic social changes in the period inspired political debates over citizenship, corruption, and the proper relationship between business and government.