AP U.S. History (Sem 2)

Enrollment Message:

Schools/students are required to provide their own books for this course. Please see the course description under Additional Costs for the list of required books. This course does not include the AP exam; students can contact their school’s AP coordinator or guidance counselor to sign up for the exam. This course includes REQUIRED due dates. All due dates in AP courses offered in Semester 2 occur prior to the national AP exam date published by the College Board.

Advanced Placement U.S. History II is a college-level introductory course which examines the nation’s political, diplomatic, intellectual, cultural, social, and economic history from 1865 to Present. This course will continue the study of American history that was begun in Advanced Placement US History I. Students are challenged to see American history through a variety of historical themes while developing thinking skills that will help them to contextualize specific periods of American history. A college level textbook is supplemented by primary and secondary sources throughout this course. This course does not include the AP exam; students can contact their school’s AP coordinator or guidance counselor to sign up for the exam. In order to maintain the integrity of AP standards, all AP course midterm and final exams must be proctored. Prerequisites: Successful completion of AP U.S. History (Sem 1).

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to...

  • Explain how various identities, cultures, and values have been preserved or changed in different contexts of U.S. history, with special attention given to the formation of gender, class, racial, and ethnic identities. Explain how these sub-identities have interacted with each other and with larger conceptions of American national identity.
  • Examine ways that different economic and labor systems, technological innovations, and government policies have shaped American society.
  • Explore the lives of working people and the relationships among social classes, racial and ethnic groups, and men and women, including the availability of land and labor, national and international economic developments, and the role of government support and regulation.
  • Examine migration across borders and long distances, including the slave trade and internal migration, and how both newcomers and indigenous inhabitants transformed North America.
  • Explore the ideas, beliefs, traditions, technologies, religions, and gender roles that migrants/immigrants and annexed peoples brought with them, and the impact these factors had on both these peoples and on U.S. society.
  • Examine ongoing debates over the role of the state in society and its potential as an active agent for change. This includes mechanisms for creating, implementing, or limiting participation in the political process and the resulting social effects, as well as the changing relationships among the branches of the federal government and among national, state, and local governments.
  • Trace efforts to define or gain access to individual rights and citizenship and survey the evolution of tensions between liberty and authority in different periods of U.S. history.
  • Examine how various world actors (such as people, states, organizations, and companies) have competed for the territory and resources of the North American continent, influencing the development of both American and world societies and economies.
  • Investigate how American foreign policies and military actions have affected the rest of the world as well as social issues within the U.S. itself.
  • Examine the role of environment, geography, and climate in both constraining and shaping human actions. Analyze the interaction between the environment and Americans in their efforts to survive and thrive.
  • Explore efforts to interpret, preserve, manage, or exploit natural and man-made environments, as well as the historical contexts within which interactions with the environment have taken place.
  • Explore the roles that ideas, beliefs, social mores, and creative expression have played in shaping the United States.
  • Examine the development of aesthetic, moral, religious, scientific, and philosophical principles, and consider how these principles have affected individual and group actions.
  • Analyze the interactions between beliefs and communities, economic values, and political movements, including attempts to change American society to align it with specific ideals.

Course Outline:

Unit 6 1865 - 1898 The rights of freedmen and women; Reconstruction; freedmen’s bureau, and the 1877 Railroad strike; rise of labor unions and the Populist Party; general themes of industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and imperialism; and Indian wars, the Spanish American War, and conquests in the Pacific.

Unit 7 1890 - 1945 The formation of the Industrial Workers of the World and the AFL; industrialization and technology, mass production and mass consumerism, and radio and movies; Harlem Renaissance; Native American culture and boarding schools; political parties and the transition from classical liberalism to New Deal liberalism with the capitalist crisis of the 1930s; and WW II, demographic shifts, the role of women and nonwhites, and battles for economic rights.

Unit 8 1945 - 1980 The atomic age; the affluent society and suburbs; discrimination, the Other America, and the African American Civil Rights movement; Vietnam and U.S. imperial policies in Latin America and Africa; the Beats and the student, counterculture, antiwar, women’s, chicano, American Indian, and gay and lesbian movements; summer riots and the occupation of Alcatraz; LBJ’s Great Society and the rise of the New Right; Ronald Reagan and the rise of poverty; and the Cold War and U.S. role in the world.

Unit 9 1980 - Present Summary of Reagan’s domestic and foreign policies; Bush Sr. and the end of the Cold War; Clinton as a New Democrat; technology and economic bubbles and recessions, race relations, and the role of women; changing demographics and the return of poverty; rise of the prison industrial complex and the war on drugs; 9/11 and the domestic and foreign policies that followed; and Obama: change or continuity?

Resources Included:  All lesson content, with the exception of the textbook. Online lesson instruction and activities, opportunities to engage with a certified, online instructor and classmates, when appropriate, and online assessments to measure student performance of course objectives and readiness for subsequent academic pursuits.

Additional Costs: Students are responsible for acquiring the required textbook: Brinkley, Alan. American History Connecting with the Past, 15th Edition. Mcgraw Hill, 2017. Hardcover: ISBN-13: 9780076738304 Online Student Edition: ISBN-13 : 9780079032737. Note: In addition to purchasing a textbook, students can sign up for a free online account for the following supplemental resource: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Sign up at: https://www.gilderlehrman.org/community/user/register.

Scoring System: Michigan Virtual does not assign letter grades, grant credit for courses, nor issue transcripts or diplomas. A final score reported as a percentage of total points earned will be sent to students upon completion of a course. Your school mentor is also able to access this score within the Student Learning Portal. Schools may use this score for conversion to their own letter grading system.

Time Commitment: Semester sessions are 18-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1 or more hours per day in the course to be successful. Summer sessions are 10 weeks long: Students must be able to spend a minimum of 2 or more hours per day, or about 90 hours during the summer, for the student to be successful in any course. Trimester sessions are 12-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1.5 or more hours per day in the course to be successful.

Technology Requirements: Students will require a computer device with headphones, a microphone, webcam, up-to-date Chrome Web Browser, and access to YouTube.

Please review the Michigan Virtual Technology Requirements: https://michiganvirtual.org/about/support/knowledge-base/technical-requirements/ 

Instructor Support System: For technical issues within your course, contact the Customer Care Center by email at [email protected] or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Instructor Contact Expectations: Students can use email or the private message system within the Student Learning Portal to access highly qualified teachers when they need instructor assistance. Students will also receive feedback on their work inside the learning management system. The Instructor Info area of their course may describe additional communication options.

Academic Support Available: In addition to access to a highly qualified, Michigan certified teacher, students have access to academic videos and outside resources verified by Michigan Virtual. For technical issues within the course, students can contact the Michigan Virtual Customer Care by email at [email protected] or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Required Assessment: Online assessments consist of formative and summative assessments represented by computer-graded multiple choice, instructor-graded writing assignments including hands-on projects, model building and other forms of authentic assessments.

Technical Skills Needed: Basic technology skills necessary to locate and share information and files as well as interact with others in a Learning Management System (LMS), include the ability to:

  • Download, edit, save, convert, and upload files
  • Download and install software
  • Use a messaging service similar to email
  • Communicate with others in online discussion or message boards, following basic rules of netiquette
  • Open attachments shared in messages
  • Create, save, and submit files in commonly used word processing program formats and as a PDF
  • Edit file share settings in cloud-based applications, such as Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides
  • Save a file as a .pdf
  • Copy and paste and format text using your mouse, keyboard, or an html editor’s toolbar menu
  • Insert images or links into a file or html editor
  • Search for information within a document using Ctrl+F or Command+F keyboard shortcuts
  • Work in multiple browser windows and tabs simultaneously
  • Activate a microphone or webcam on your device, and record and upload or link audio and/or video files
  • Use presentation and graphics programs
  • Follow an online pacing guide or calendar of due dates
  • Use spell-check, citation editors, and tools commonly provided in word processing tool menus
  • Create and maintain usernames and passwords

Additional Information: The official course descriptions for Advanced Placement courses and information about their exams are located on the College Board site at a http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/descriptions/index.html

Michigan Virtual prepares students in AP courses for the AP exam, but does not offer the exam test itself.  It is the responsibility of the school or parent to register for a local administration of the AP exam.  

There are required due dates in AP courses. The pacing of due dates in AP courses aligns to the completion of all lessons and required assignments and assessments prior to the national AP exam date related to this course title. The calendar of AP exam dates is published by the College Board (Exam Calendar).


School Level: High School
Standards: College Board: AP Course Topics and Objectives
NCAA Approved: Yes
Alignment Document: Document
Course Location:
NCES Code: 04104
MDE Endorsement Code: CC - History
MMC Minimum Requirements: Soc Stud - US Hist/Geog

When Offered: _Internal Use Only

Content Provider: Michigan Virtual
Instructor Provider: Michigan Virtual

Course Type: Advanced Placement