Common Core Basics


History is the study of people, places, and events in the past. Certain people, events, places, and decisions probably stand out when you think of your own past. These are all important parts of who you are today. Similarly, the United States has been shaped by people, events, and decisions throughout its history.

In this chapter, you will learn what shaped the United States from its earliest days through the Great Depression. As you read, think about events today that are similar to events of the past. How does the past help us make decisions in the present?

In this chapter you will study these topics:

  • arrow_drop_downEarly Democratic Traditions

    Two documents written long ago in England-the Magna Carta (1215) and the English Bill of Rights (1689)- protected the people from the abuse of the king. These documents and others, such as the Mayflower Compact, provided models for the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.

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  • arrow_drop_downRevolution and a New Nation

    Increased taxation without representation in government led colonists to rebel against English rule. Once the colonists won their independence, they developed a new form of government. As the country grew, settlers moved west. This expansion led to conflict in territories that belonged to other nations.

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  • arrow_drop_downThe Civil War and Reconstruction

    Tension between slave states and free states led seven states to break away from the Union and form the Confederate States of America. The Civil War was fought to keep the United States whole. Eventually the war resulted in the end of slavery. After the war, the Reconstruction effort tried to rebuild what had been destroyed.

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  • arrow_drop_downThe Progressive Era, World War I, and the Depression

    Progressive politics challenged the influence of large monopolies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The United States became a major world power after it joined the Allies in World War I and helped them to victory. The Great Depression in the 1930s began with the stock market crash of 1929. Many workers lost their jobs. As a result, people lost their homes, farms, and other property.

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