US History—Semester A
Shmoop's got the scoop on the birth and adolescence of the US of A.
Half a score and some odd years ago, our Shmoopfathers brought forth on these interwebs, a new website, conceived in hilarity, and dedicated to the proposition that learning and laughing go better together. And then, they made history—a US History course, that is. Now you can get a good belly laugh as you learn everything from how Columbus’s voyage brought us pizza as we know it today to how a Gecko defined the eighties (nope, it has nothing to do with insurance). Join Shmoop’s US History course and:
- watch the sparks fly in a culture clash between Spanish sailors and Powhatan natives—by reading a comic book.
- claim your title as America’s Next Top Trader by bartering furs for food as a British mercantilist.
- create a Superbowl-worthy advertisement for the inventions of Thomas Edison, a.k.a. the Steve Jobs of yesteryear.
- scrapbook your way through a journey as a Dust Bowl migrant. Grime-fighting wet towelettes highly recommended.
See, unless you’re getting really in depth about how they made the White House white, studying US History doesn’t have to be like watching paint dry. So take a journey back in time with Shmoop and find out what makes our country unique, how it got that way, and what all of this has to do with you.
This semester covers the period of Spanish Colonization through the Civil War. That's about 400 years and 5 major Shmooped-up wars.
P.S. US History is a two-semester course. You're looking at Semester A, but you can check out Semester B here.
- Microsoft Office, Google Docs, or another word processing program
- A scanner (or access to one)
- A camera (a camera phone is sufficient)
- All other work can be done via the Shmoop website.
The ability to read and understand primary sources
Unit 1. Spainful Beginnings
In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue...and set off a huge wave of brutal Spanish colonization in the "New World." This unit examines the arrival of the Spanish in North America and the Columbian Exchange.
Unit 2. Stealing Land and Taking Names: The English Story
The English and French were hot on the heels of the Spanish in coming to North America. This unit examines the English story, from tobacco to the slave trade to the Puritans and witches.
Unit 3. Growing Pains: Early American Society and the French and Indian War
Ever wondered how George Washington went from chill plantation owner buying votes with booze to hero of the French and Indian war? You'll find out here.
Unit 4. Keep Calm and Get Out
In the late 1700s, America donned its mohawk and leather jacket and started listening to punk music. In other words, it won its freedom from mother England.
Unit 5. Partisan Bickering: The American Story
Like grammar, poker, and mini golf, young innocent countries need rules too. In this unit, you'll learn how a little document called the Constitution came to be.
Unit 6. America's Adolescence: Hurtin' and Oppressin'
This unit continues one we've already begun—the struggle for freedom—and looks at it from the point of view of those left behind: Native Americans, women, and slaves.
Unit 7. Debates and Dissension: Uncivil Reasons for War
Spoiler alert: the Civil War was...not so civil. But it does make for some epic war movies. Find out what made the South secede in this unit.
- Course Length: 18 weeks
- Course Number: 310
- Grade Levels: 10, 11
- Course Type: Basic
- Category: Social Sciences
Just what the heck is a ShMOOC?
Common Core Standards
The following standards are covered in this course:CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1