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U.S. History: Through Reconstruction

Junction U.S. History: Through Reconstruction is designed to provide students with an overview of United States history from pre-Colonial times to Reconstruction-era America. The course creates an understanding of the major forces and events that have shaped the history of the United States, and examines how Americans from different backgrounds have experienced that history, with particular attention paid to issues concerning race, class, and gender.

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: Through Reconstruction, single semester. We will customize to fit your class.


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

  • Developed by Professor of History and expert in the field
  • Includes primary source documents
  • Lessons are built around the way students today learn- video first, reinforced by content and assessment
  • 16 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 or extra windows required
  • 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 human beings 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 — The Americas, Europe, and Africa Before 1492

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.
  • Describe West African culture before 1492 and the impact of the slave trade.
Lesson 2 — Early Globalization: The Atlantic World, 1492 - 1650

Learning Objectives

  • Describe Spanish exploration of the Americas, and the importance of these voyages to the developing Atlantic World.
  • Explain the role of the American colonies in European nations’ struggles for domination.
  • Analyze the effects of the Columbian Exchange.
Lesson 3 — Creating New Social Orders 1500 - 1700

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the main Spanish American colonial settlements of the 1500s and 1600s and discuss economic, political, and demographic similarities and differences between them.
  • Compare and contrast the development, character, and economies of the French and Dutch colonies in North America.
  • Identify the first English settlements in America and describe the differences between the Chesapeake Bay colonies and the New England colonies.
  • Explain the reasons for the rise of slavery in the American colonies.
Lesson 4 — Rule Britannia! The English Empire, 1660 - 1763

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the causes and explain the outcomes of the Glorious Revolution.
  • Analyze the role slavery played in the history and economy of the British Empire; Explain the effects of the Stono Rebellion.
  • Explain the significance of the Great Awakening and the ideas and effects of the Enlightenment.
  • Analyze the significance of the wars for Empire.
Lesson 5 — Imperial Reforms and Colonial Protests, 1763 - 1774

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the size and scope of the British debt at the end of the French and Indian War and explain how the British Parliament responded to the crisis.
  • Describe the policies Parliament implemented in the colonies and how colonists responded.
  • Explain the purpose and results of the First Continental Congress.
Lesson 6 — America's War for Independence, 1775 - 1783

Learning Objectives

  • Explain how Great Britain’s response to the destruction of a British shipment of tea in Boston Harbor in 1773 increased tensions and set the stage for revolution.
  • Describe the nature of the fighting in the early years of the Revolution.
  • Outline the British southern strategy and the British surrender at Yorktown.
  • Identify different groups that participated in the Revolution and explain their motivations.
  • List the main terms of the Treaty of Paris.
Lesson 7 — Creating Republican Governments, 1776 - 1790

Learning Objectives

  • Compare and contrast monarchy and republican government and describe the tenets of republicanism.
  • Describe the status of women and non-whites in the new republic.
  • Explain the development of state governments and describe the features of the Articles of Confederation
  • Explain the significance of Shay’s rebellion.
  • Identify the central issues of the 1787 Constitutional Convention and their solutions
  • Describe the conflicts over ratification of the Federal constitution.
Lesson 8 — Growing Pains: The New Republic, 1790 - 1820

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the competing visions of the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans and describe the Bill of Rights.
  • Identify the major foreign and domestic uprisings of the early 1790s and describe their effect on the political system.
  • Identify key examples of partisan wrangling between the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans
  • Assess the importance of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • Describe the causes consequences and key events of the War of 1812.
Lesson 9 — Industrial Transformation in the North, 1800 - 1850

Learning Objectives

  • Understand industrialization’s impact on the nature of production and work and the effect of industrialization on consumption.
  • Describe the development of improved methods of domestic transportation and identify the ways in which roads, canals, and railroads impacted Americans’ lives.
Lesson 10 — Jacksonian Democracy, 1820 - 1840

Learning Objectives

  • Describe John Quincy Adams’s presidency and emerging political divisions.
  • Describe the key points of Andrew Jackson’s election and first term in office.
  • Explain the Indian Removal Act and describe how depictions of Indians in popular culture helped lead to Indian removal.
  • Explain Alexis de Tocqueville’s analysis of American democracy
  • Describe the election of 1840 and its outcome.
Lesson 11 — Westward Expansion, 1800 - 1860

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the significance of the Louisiana Purchase and the expedition of Lewis and Clark.
  • Explain why the North and South differed over the admission of Missouri as a state and how the admission of new states to the Union threatened to upset the balance between free and slave states in Congress.
  • Explain why American settlers in Texas sought independence from Mexico and early attempts for independence.
  • Identify the causes and the outcomes of the Mexican-American War.
  • Describe the terms of the Wilmot Proviso and the Compromise of 1850.
Lesson 12 — Cotton is King: The Antebellum South, 1800 - 1860

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the labor-intensive processes of cotton production and the importance of cotton to the Antebellum economy.
  • Discuss the similarities and differences in the lives of slaves and free blacks
  • Describe the independent culture and customs that slaves developed.
  • Understand the distribution of wealth in the antebellum South
  • Identify the main proslavery arguments in the years prior to the Civil War.
Lesson 13 — Antebellum Idealism and Reform Impulses, 1820–1860

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the connection between evangelical Protestantism and the Second Great Awakening.
  • Explain the different reform movements in antebellum America and identify the religious underpinnings.
  • Identify the different approaches to reforming the institution of slavery; Describe the abolitionist movement in the early to mid-nineteenth century.
  • Describe the ways antebellum women’s movements were both traditional and revolutionary.
Lesson 14 — Troubled Times: The Tumultuous 1850's

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the contested issues that led to the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska act.
  • Explain the political ramifications of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, including the founding of the Republican Party.
  • Explain the importance of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Dred Scott and the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
  • Describe John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry and its effect on the election of 1860.
Lesson 15 — The Civil War, 1860 - 1865

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the major events that occurred during the Secession Crisis.
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Confederacy and the Union
  • Explain the strategic importance of the Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Shiloh.
  • Describe mobilization efforts in the North and the South and why 1863 was a pivotal year in the war.
  • Describe the reasons why many Americans doubted that Abraham Lincoln would be reelected
  • Explain how the Union forces overpowered the Confederacy.
Lesson 16 — The Era of Reconstruction, 1865-1877

Learning Objectives

  • Describe Lincoln’s plan to restore the Union at the end of the Civil War and the tenets of Radical Republicanism.
  • Analyze the success or failure of the Thirteenth Amendment.
  • Describe the efforts made by Congress in 1865 and 1866 to bring to life its vision of Reconstruction.
  • Explain the second phase of Reconstruction and the key legislation put forward by Congress
  • Describe the impeachment of President Johnson.
  • Explain the reasons for the collapse of Reconstruction.