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U.S. History: Complete

Junction U.S. History (two semester) is designed to provide students with an overview of United States history from pre-Colonial times to modern day America. The goals of the course are to create an understanding of the major forces that have shaped the history of the United States, examine how Americans from different background have experienced that history, and understand how that history continues to influence our current understanding of the nation. The course is configurable to be taught as either a single semester overview or two-semester deeper exploration of US History.

Engaging Content

Topics are introduced with short, engaging videos. Text readings and practice activities provide detail and enable applied learning.

Meaningful Analytics

You’ll know how much time your students are spending learning, what material they’re working with, and when they lose engagement, so you can keep them on-track.

Easy to Use

All material is loaded and ready-to-go, including video, textbook, discussion boards, in-class presentation, quizzes and practice activities.


Junction courses are 80+% less expensive than alternatives. No extras needed. Honest.

Meet the Subject Matter Expert

Paul Ringel, Ph.D. is a Professor of History with 15 years experience teaching and developing U.S. history courses at Harvard University, Brandeis University, Emmanuel College, and High Point University. He has helped develop the history curriculum at High Point University, with much emphasis on shifting toward a more diverse approach to instruction that includes a focus on film, fiction, material artifacts and other non-traditional forms of historical texts in order to engage a wide variety of types of learners. Paul has a Ph.D. from Brandeis University, a J.D. from Boston College and an A.B. from Princeton University.

Paul Ringel, Ph.D.

Professor of History, High Point University

Course Details

Suitable for: U.S. History or American History courses.  We will customize to fit your class.

Great for: In-person, online or blended learning.

  • Developed by a Professor of History and an expert in the field
  • Includes primary source documents
  • Lessons are built around the way students learn today – video first, reinforced by content and assessment
  • 15 lessons with curated and sequenced activities
  • Each lesson contains introductory video, textbook readings from OpenStax, one discussion-board, one in-class presentation and one quiz
  • Students can take notes and message classmates right in the application
  • Web-based and accessible through our iPad app
  • Professor grade book and student engagement reports
  • Student notifications about upcoming quizzes
  • All-in-one design means no pop-ups, plug-ins, installing components or extra windows
  • Instructor resources are incorporated into the instructors course- no need for CD’s, DVD’s or downloads
Junction knows that the way you teach is unique. That’s why we allow you to take what we’ve built and use it as-is, or modified to fit your syllabus. Our simple editing process allows you to rearrange, add or remove content, embed videos, links or change quiz questions to better match your course. Need to collaborate with other instructors? With Junction you can share your content with colleagues. Life just got a lot easier.

Accessible: Available on the web, iPad app or as a direct link from your LMS. No downloads, plug-ins or pop-ups necessary.

Onboarding Support: Training videos and access to actual humans to get your course launched smoothly.

Easy to Purchase: Students simply register and buy, and we can work with your bookstore as needed.


Lesson 1 — First Contacts: The Meetings of European and American Cultures

Learning Objectives

  • Understand that a diverse group of societies existed in the Americas before the arrival of the first substantial numbers of Europeans during the late 1400s, 1500s and 1600s
  • Explain the reasons that drew Europeans to the American continents during this period.
  • Recognize the cultural, economic, and especially biological consequences of the early interactions between these two environmentally distinct populations.
Lesson 2 — Building Colonial Societies in 17th and 18th Century North America

Learning Objectives

  • Consider why Spanish and French models of settlement differed from that of the English.
  • Examine the similarities and differences among the ways these three European cultures treated Indian societies.
  • Explore the differences between the English settlement practices in their northern and southern colonies and explain why these differences occurred.
Lesson 3 — The Road to Independence

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the economic, religious, and political circumstances that led to the colonial rebellion that began in 1765
  • Consider how that movement to protect the colonists’ rights as members of the British Empire transformed into an independence movement.
  • Determine how the Americans managed to defeat the British in the American Revolution.
Lesson 4 — Creating a New Nation

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the Articles of Confederation and the first state governments as the initial attempt to govern the new nation, and assess how these first efforts succeeded and failed.
  • Consider why some Americans sought to change the national system of government by 1787, and examine what conflicts emerged and what compromises they made in creating the U.S. Constitution.
  • Explore the primary issues that divided the leaders of the national government during the presidencies of George Washington and John Adams, and how these leaders attempted to resolve these differences.
  • Understand Thomas Jefferson’s approach to governing, and how the challenges that emerged during his presidency forced him to alter his approach.
Lesson 5 — Domestic Revolutions

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the reasons for the growth of the market economy in the early nineteenth-century United States.
  • Recognize how this market expansion separated home and work for the first time for many Americans.
  • Examine how these transformations in their daily lives impelled many Americans to attempt to reform their rapidly changing nation.
Lesson 6 — The Old South

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the reasons why the cotton economy began to flourish in the early nineteenth-century South.
  • Examine how and why white southern perspectives on slavery changed during the thirty years before the Civil War.
  • Explore the lives of the slaves and assess how they coped with and resisted their status as a permanently unfree class of laborers.
Lesson 7 — Westward Expansions
Learning Objectives

  • Understand why Americans sought to migrate west from the 1820s through the 1860s
  • Assess how this expansion impacted Indian peoples already living on these territories.
  • Explore how westward expansions created conflicts with Mexico that led to the Mexican–American War.
  • Recognize that the territories that were the fruits of victory from the Mexican—American War became a source of conflict that was a driving force toward the American Civil War.
Lesson 8 — The Civil War

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what motivated both northerners and southerners to fight in the Civil War.
  • Assess why the North won the war, and whether the South ever had a realistic chance of winning.
  • Evaluate how life changed for Americans on the home front during the Civil War, and what effect those changes had after the war ended.
Lesson 9 — Reconstruction

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the processes by which slaves became free, and how this process did and did not shape the effort to reintegrate the South into the Union.
  • Recognize the tensions among national government leaders that dictated the directions of Reconstruction
  • Examine the ways that life for black southerners did and did not improve after the war, and how white southerners regained control of their governments through a process they called redemption.
Lesson 10 — A Gilded Age
Learning Objectives

  • Understand how the national economy grew so dramatically during the late nineteenth century.
  • Recognize the changes happening within the nation’s rapidly expanding cities.
  • Assess the effects of economic growth on the nation’s workers—particularly those whose labor fueled the expanding industrial infrastructure.
Lesson 11 — The Progressive Era

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what we mean by the term Progressivism.
  • Examine the different methods that Progressives used to reform the nation’s business sectors.
  • Consider how Progressive ideals helped to lead to the rise of Jim Crow in the South.
  • Assess how the expansion of consumer cultures helped Americans to adapt to life in industrial society.
Lesson 12 — An American Empire
Learning Objectives

  • Examine the reasons why the United States became a global power.
  • Assess the differences between Roosevelt’s approach and Wilson’s approach to international affairs.
  • Explore the reasons why the United States became involved in World War I and the consequences of that decision for the nation’s postwar domestic and foreign policies.
Lesson 13 — The 1920s

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the shocks of 1919 that convulsed American society as it demobilized from World War I.
  • Examine the backlash to these shocks that shaped the economic and political conservatism of the 1920s.
  • Explore the reasons for the cultural divides of the decade and how they manifested in political and cultural clashes between supporters of modern and traditional values.
Lesson 14 — The Great Depression
Learning Objectives

  • Understand what caused the Great Depression, and how the stock market crash and the Depression related to each other.
  • Assess why the United States struggled to respond effectively to the Depression before 1933.
  • Evaluate how successful the New Deal was in ending the Great Depression
Lesson 15 — World War II
Learning Objectives

  • Understand the economic and political pressures which drew the United States into World War II.
  • Evaluate how the war changed the lives of Americans who remained at home.
  • Assess why the Allies won the war and what consequences that victory had for the international political system in the Cold War Era.
Lesson 16 — The Cold War and the 1950s

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the reasons why the Cold War began.
  • Assess the causes and consequences of the anticommunist crusade.
  • Examine the beliefs behind the culture of consensus during the 1950s, and explore how different groups of Americans sought to undercut this culture.
Lesson 17 — The Crisis of Authority

Learning Objectives

  • Examine the reasons for the success of the civil rights movement during the early 1960s, and particularly the reasons for white Americans’ shifting views on this subject.
  • Assess the growing politicization of American youth during the early 1960s, and the cultural changes that derived from that politicization.
  • Evaluate the reasons for Americans’ growing distrust of the manner in which the U.S. government handled the Vietnam War.
  • Explain the reasons for the Watergate scandal and how it related to the broader cultural shift toward mistrust of authority, particularly among young Americans.
Lesson 18 — The U.S. in a Global Society

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the reasons for the resurgence of conservative political beliefs during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Assess the reasons for the end of the Cold War.
  • Examine the causes of globalization and considering the benefits and threats it creates.