The Administrator - A Publication by Omninox

A blog about education, technology, and startups

AP US History Unit 8 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 curriculum. For the rest of the units in this outline, see below.

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

TOPIC 8.1 - Contextualizing Period 8

Unit 8_Learning Objective A: Explain the context for societal change from 1945 to 1980.

  • KC-8.1: The United States responded to an uncertain and unstable postwar world by asserting and working to maintain a position of global leadership, with far-reaching domestic and international consequences.
    • KC-8.1.I: United States policymakers engaged in a cold war with the authoritarian Soviet Union, seeking to limit the growth of Communist military power and ideological influence, create a free-market global economy, and build an international security system.
    • KC-8.1.II: Cold War policies led to public debates over the power of the federal government and acceptable means for pursuing international and domestic goals while protecting civil liberties.
  • KC-8.2: New movements for civil rights and liberal efforts to expand the role of government generated a range of political and cultural responses.
    • KC-8.2.I: Seeking to fulfill Reconstruction-era promises, civil rights activists and political leaders achieved some legal and political successes in ending segregation, although progress toward racial equality was slow.
    • KC-8.2.II: Responding to social conditions and the African American civil rights movement, a variety of movements emerged that focused on issues of identity, social justice, and the environment.
    • KC-8.2.III: Liberalism influenced postwar politics and court decisions, but it came under increasing attack from the left as well as from a resurgent conservative movement.
  • KC-8.3: Postwar economic and demographic changes had far-reaching consequences for American society, politics, and culture.
    • KC-8.3.I: Rapid economic and social changes in American society fostered a sense of optimism in the postwar years.
    • KC-8.3.II: New demographic and social developments, along with anxieties over the Cold War, changed U.S. culture and led to significant political and moral debates that sharply divided the nation.

TOPIC 8.2 - The Cold War from 1945 to 1980

Unit 8_Learning Objective B: Explain the continuities and changes in Cold War policies from 1945 to 1980.

  • KC-8.1.I: United States policymakers engaged in a cold war with the authoritarian Soviet Union, seeking to limit the growth of Communist military power and ideological influence, create a free-market global economy, and build an international security system.
  • KC-8.1.I.A: As postwar tensions dissolved the wartime alliance between Western democracies and the Soviet Union, the United States developed a foreign policy based on collective security, international aid, and economic institutions that bolstered non-Communist nations.
  • KC-8.1.I.B.i: Concerned by expansionist Communist ideology and Soviet repression, the United States sought to contain communism through a variety of measures, including major military engagements in Korea.
  • KC-8.1.I.C: The Cold War fluctuated between periods of direct and indirect military confrontation and periods of mutual coexistence (or détente).

TOPIC 8.3 - The Red Scare

Unit 8_Learning Objective C: Explain the causes and effects of the Red Scare after World War II.

  • KC-8.1.II.A: Americans debated policies and methods designed to expose suspected communists within the United States even as both parties supported the broader strategy of containing communism.

TOPIC 8.4 - Economy After 1945

Unit 8_Learning Objective D: Explain the causes of economic growth in the years after World War II.

  • KC-8.3.I.A: A burgeoning private sector, federal spending, the baby boom, and technological developments helped spur economic growth.

Unit 8_Learning Objective E: Explain the causes and effects of the migration of various groups of Americans after 1945.

  • KC-8.3.I.B: As higher education opportunities and new technologies rapidly expanded, increasing social mobility encouraged the migration of the middle class to the suburbs and of many Americans to the South and West. The Sun Belt region emerged as a significant political and economic force.

TOPIC 8.5 - Culture after 1945

Unit 8_Learning Objective F: Explain how mass culture has been maintained or challenged over time.

  • KC-8.3.II.A: Mass culture became increasingly homogeneous in the postwar years, inspiring challenges to conformity by artists, intellectuals, and rebellious youth.

TOPIC 8.6 - Early Steps in the Civil Rights Movement (1940s to 1950s)

Unit 8_Learning Objective G: Explain how and why the civil rights movements developed and expanded from 1945 to 1960.

  • KC-8.2.I: Seeking to fulfill Reconstruction-era promises, civil rights activists and political leaders achieved some legal and political successes in ending segregation, although progress toward racial equality was slow.
  • KC-8.2.I.B.i: The three branches of the federal government used measures including desegregation of the armed services and Brown v. Board of Education (1954) to promote greater racial equality.

TOPIC 8.7 - America as a World Power

Unit 8_Learning Objective H: Explain the various military and diplomatic responses to international developments over time.

  • KC-8.1.I.E: Cold War competition extended to Latin America, where the United States supported non-Communist regimes that had varying levels of commitment to democracy.
  • KC-8.1.II.C.i: Americans debated the merits of a large nuclear arsenal and the military–industrial complex.
  • KC-8.1.I.D.i: Postwar decolonization and the emergence of powerful nationalist movements in Africa and the Middle East led both sides in the Cold War to seek allies among new nations, many of which remained nonaligned.

TOPIC 8.8 - The Vietnam War

Unit 8_Learning Objective I: Explain the causes and effects of the Vietnam War.

  • KC-8.1.I.B.ii: Concerned by expansionist Communist ideology and Soviet repression, the United States sought to contain communism through a variety of measures, including major military engagements in Vietnam.
  • KC-8.1.I.D.ii: Postwar decolonization and the emergence of powerful nationalist movements in Asia led both sides in the Cold War to seek allies among new nations, many of which remained nonaligned.
  • KC-8.1.II.C.ii: Americans debated the appropriate power of the executive branch in conducting foreign and military policy.

TOPIC 8.9 - The Great Society

Unit 8_Learning Objective J: Explain the causes and effects of continuing policy debates about the role of the federal government over time.

  • KC-8.2.II.C: Despite an overall affluence in postwar America, advocates raised concerns about the prevalence and persistence of poverty as a national problem.
  • KC-8.2.III.A: Liberalism, based on anti-communism abroad and a firm belief in the efficacy of government power to achieve social goals at home, reached a high point of political influence by the mid-1960s.
  • KC-8.2.III.B.i: Liberal ideas found expression in Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, which attempted to use federal legislation and programs to end racial discrimination, eliminate poverty, and address other social issues.

Unit 8_Learning Objective K: Explain the continuities and changes in immigration patterns over time.

  • KC-8.3.I.C: Immigrants from around the world sought access to the political, social, and economic opportunities in the United States, especially after the passage of new immigration laws in 1965.

TOPIC 8.10 - The African American Civil Rights Movement (1960s)

Unit 8_Learning Objective L: Explain how and why various groups responded to calls for the expansion of civil rights from 1960 to 1980.

  • KC-8.2.I.A: During and after World War II, civil rights activists and leaders, most notably Martin Luther King Jr., combated racial discrimination utilizing a variety of strategies, including legal challenges, direct action, and nonviolent protest tactics.
  • KC-8.2.I.C: Continuing resistance slowed efforts at desegregation, sparking social and political unrest across the nation. Debates among civil rights activists over the efficacy of nonviolence increased after 1965.

Unit 8_Learning Objective M: Explain the various ways in which the federal government responded to the calls for the expansion of civil rights.

  • KC-8.2.I.B.ii: The three branches of the federal government used measures including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to promote greater racial equality.
  • KC-8.2.III.B.ii: A series of Supreme Court decisions expanded civil rights and individual liberties.

TOPIC 8.11 - The Civil Rights Movement Expands

Unit 8_Learning Objective L: Explain how and why various groups responded to calls for the expansion of civil rights from 1960 to 1980.

  • KC-8.2.II.B: Latino, American Indian, and Asian American movements continued to demand social and economic equality and a redress of past injustices.
  • KC-8.2.II.A: Feminist and gay and lesbian activists mobilized behind claims for legal, economic, and social equality.
  • KC-8.2.II.B.i: Feminists who participated in the counterculture of the 1960s rejected many of the social, economic, and political values of their parents’ generation and advocated changes in sexual norms.

TOPIC 8.12 - Youth Culture of the 1960s

Unit 8_Learning Objective N: Explain how and why opposition to existing policies and values developed and changed over the course of the 20th century.

  • KC-8.1.II.B: Although anti-communist foreign policy faced little domestic opposition in previous years, the Vietnam War inspired sizable and passionate anti-war protests that became more numerous as the war escalated and sometimes led to violence.
  • KC-8.2.III.D: Some groups on the left also rejected liberal policies, arguing that political leaders did too little to transform the racial and economic status quo at home and pursued immoral policies abroad.
  • KC-8.3.II.B.ii: Young people who participated in the counterculture of the 1960s rejected many of the social, economic, and political values of their parents’ generation, introduced greater informality into U.S. culture, and advocated changes in sexual norms.

TOPIC 8.13 - The Environment and Natural Resources from 1968 to 1980

Unit 8_Learning Objective O: Explain how and why policies related to the environment developed and changed from 1968 to 1980.

  • KC-8.1.II.D: Ideological, military, and economic concerns shaped U.S. involvement in the Middle East, with several oil crises in the region eventually sparking attempts at creating a national energy policy.
  • KC-8.2.II.D: Environmental problems and accidents led to a growing environmental movement that aimed to use legislative and public efforts to combat pollution and protect natural resources. The federal government established new environmental programs and regulations.

TOPIC 8.14 - Society in Transition

Unit 8_Learning Objective J: Explain the causes and effects of continuing policy debates about the role of the federal government over time.

  • KC-8.2.III.C: In the 1960s, conservatives challenged liberal laws and court decisions and perceived moral and cultural decline, seeking to limit the role of the federal government and enact more assertive foreign policies.
  • KC-8.2.III.E: Public confidence and trust in government’s ability to solve social and economic problems declined in the 1970s in the wake of economic challenges, political scandals, and foreign policy crises.
  • KC-8.2.III.F: The 1970s saw growing clashes between conservatives and liberals over social and cultural issues, the power of the federal government, race, and movements for greater individual rights.

Unit 8_Learning Objective P: Explain the effects of the growth of religious movements over the course of the 20th century.

  • KC-8.3.II.C: The rapid and substantial growth of evangelical Christian churches and organizations was accompanied by greater political and social activism on the part of religious conservatives.

TOPIC 8.15 - Continuity and Change in Period 8

Unit 8_Learning Objective Q: Explain the extent to which the events of the period from 1945 to 1980 reshaped national identity.

  • KC-8.1: The United States responded to an uncertain and unstable postwar world by asserting and working to maintain a position of global leadership, with far-reaching domestic and international consequences.
    • KC-8.1.I: United States policymakers engaged in a cold war with the authoritarian Soviet Union, seeking to limit the growth of Communist military power and ideological influence, create a free-market global economy, and build an international security system.
    • KC-8.1.II: Cold War policies led to public debates over the power of the federal government and acceptable means for pursuing international and domestic goals while protecting civil liberties.
  • KC-8.2: New movements for civil rights and liberal efforts to expand the role of government generated a range of political and cultural responses.
    • KC-8.2.I: Seeking to fulfill Reconstruction-era promises, civil rights activists and political leaders achieved some legal and political successes in ending segregation, although progress toward racial equality was slow.
    • KC-8.2.II: Responding to social conditions and the African American civil rights movement, a variety of movements emerged that focused on issues of identity, social justice, and the environment.
    • KC-8.2.III: Liberalism influenced postwar politics and court decisions, but it came under increasing attack from the left as well as from a resurgent conservative movement.
  • KC-8.3: Postwar economic and demographic changes had far-reaching consequences for American society, politics, and culture.
    • KC-8.3.I: Rapid economic and social changes in American society fostered a sense of optimism in the postwar years.
    • KC-8.3.II: New demographic and social developments, along with anxieties over the Cold War, changed U.S. culture and led to significant political and moral debates that sharply divided the nation.