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AP® US History Teaching Resource: Period 4: 1800–1848


The new republic struggled to define and extend democratic ideals in the face of rapid economic, territorial, and demographic changes. The 40 images in this group include documentation in the form of political cartoons, illustrations and photographs describing the conflicts and material culture of the United States as the world’s first modern mass democracy. Primary source documentation of the rapid technological innovations that changed both agriculture and commerce and precipitated profound changes in U.S. settlement patterns, regional identities, gender and family relations, and political power are included. Documentation of the bounty of the natural resources of North America and the impetus to fully engage in foreign and domestic trade, expand its national borders, and isolate itself from European conflicts are also shared in this group.

Key Concepts

Key Concept 4.1

— The United States began to develop a modern democracy and celebrated a new national culture, while Americans sought to define the nation’s democratic ideals and change their society and institutions to match them.

Key Concept 4.2

— Innovations in technology, agriculture, and commerce powerfully accelerated the American economy, precipitating profound changes to U.S. society and to national and regional identities.

Key Concept 4.3

— The U.S. interest in increasing foreign trade and expanding its national borders shaped the nation’s foreign policy and spurred government and private initiatives.

From: The College Board. "AP® United States History Course and Exam Description, Including Curriculum Framework, 2017."

AP® United States History Curriculum Framework

Key Concepts reproduced in this guide are from: The College Board. "AP® United States History Course and Exam Description, Including Curriculum Framework, 2017."

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