Social Studies Academic Standards Committees

Virginia standards for History & Geography

United States History: 1877 to the Present

Students will continue to use skills of historical and geographical analysis as they examine American history since 1877. The standards for this course relate to the history of the United States from the end of the Reconstruction era to the present. Students should continue to learn fundamental concepts in civics, economics, and geography within the context of United States history. Political, economic, and social challenges facing the nation reunited after civil war will be examined chronologically as students develop an understanding of how the American experience shaped the world political and economic landscape.

The study of history must emphasize the intellectual skills required for responsible citizenship. Students practice these skills as they extend their understanding of the essential knowledge defined by all of the standards for history and social science.

USII.1 The student will demonstrate skills for historical and geographical analysis, including the ability to

    a) analyze and interpret primary and secondary source documents to increase understanding of events and life in United States history from 1877 to the present;
    b) make connections between past and present;
    c) sequence events in United States history from 1877 to the present;
    d) interpret ideas and events from different historical perspectives;
    e) evaluate and debate issues orally and in writing;
    f) analyze and interpret maps that include major physical features;
    g) use parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude to describe hemispheric location;
    h) interpret patriotic slogans and excerpts from notable speeches and documents.

USII.2 The student will use maps, globes, photographs, pictures, and tables for

    a) explaining how physical features and climate influenced the movement of people westward;
    b) explaining relationships among natural resources, transportation, and industrial development after 1877;
    c) locating the 50 states and the cities most significant to the historical development of the United States.

Reshaping the Nation and the Emergence of Modern America: 1877 to the Early 1900s
USII.3 The student will demonstrate knowledge of how life changed after the Civil War by

    a) identifying the reasons for westward expansion;
    b) explaining the reasons for the increase in immigration, growth of cities, new inventions, and challenges arising from this expansion;
    c) describing racial segregation, the rise of "Jim Crow," and other constraints faced by African Americans in the post-Reconstruction South;
    d) explaining the rise of big business, the growth of industry, and life on American farms;
    e) describing the impact of the Progressive Movement on child labor, working conditions, the rise of organized labor, women's suffrage, and the temperance movement.

Turmoil and Change: 1890s to 1945
USII.4 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the changing role of the United States from the late nineteenth century through World War I by

    a) explaining the reasons for and results of the Spanish American War;
    b) explaining the reasons for the United States' involvement in World War I and its leadership role at the conclusion of the war.

USII.5 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the social, economic, and technological changes of the early twentieth century by

    a) explaining how developments in transportation (including the use of the automobile), communication, and rural electrification changed American life;
    b) describing the social changes that took place, including prohibition, and the Great Migration north;
    c) examining art, literature, and music from the 1920s and 1930s, emphasizing Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, and Georgia O'Keeffe and including the Harlem Renaissance;
    d) identifying the causes of the Great Depression, its impact on Americans, and the major features of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.

USII.6 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the major causes and effects of American involvement in World War II by

    a) identifying the causes and events that led to American involvement in the war, including the attack on Pearl Harbor;
    b) describing the major events and turning points of the war in Europe and the Pacific;
    c) describing the impact of World War II on the homefront.

The United States since World War II

USII.7 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the economic, social, and political transformation of the United States and the world between the end of World War II and the present by

    a) describing the rebuilding of Europe and Japan after World War II, the emergence of the United States as a superpower, and the establishment of the United Nations;
    b) describing the conversion from a wartime to a peacetime economy;
    c) identifying the role of America's military and veterans in defending freedom during the Cold War, including the wars in Korea and Vietnam, the Cuban missile crisis, the collapse of communism in Europe, and the rise of new challenges;
    d) describing the changing patterns of society, including expanded educational and economic opportunities for military veterans, women, and minorities.

USII.8 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the key domestic issues during the second half of the twentieth century by

    a) examining the Civil Rights Movement and the changing role of women;
    b) describing the development of new technologies and their impact on American life.

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