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US History Series 2: Reconstruction to the Progressive Era

US History 2

This is the 2nd of 4 courses in this full year US History course series. 
It is not required to take them in order, but it is HIGHLY recommended.

The other courses in this series include:
Series 1: The Colonies to the Civil War
US History Series 3: The World Wars
US History Series 4: The Cold War to the Present

The Civil War was a turning point for the United States in many ways. A nation that had been torn apart had to piece itself back together into a union that was more cohesive than ever, and that was not an easy process. This class picks up where US History Series 1 leaves off at the end of the Civil War in the era known as Reconstruction. This period of American history set the stage for the next 150 years of United States culture and politics. The following years were also important to the nation’s history. Depressions, robber barons, rich bankers, Indian massacres and movements, worker’s strikes, and westward expansion define this tumultuous era in American history; and we will be studying it all! Join us, as we bridge the gap in US history between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the First World War.

No live classesview lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for boththe depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2.

Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format.

Week 1: Reconstruction
The first week of the class is focused on the period directly following the Civil War known as Reconstruction. During this era, the United States is forced to rebuild the infrastructure and the relations that were damaged by the bloodiest war in American history. We will be examining Lincoln’s assassination and its fallout, the attempts of the new president to repair the country, Congress’s rebuttal to those attempts, and the fallout from it all.

Week 2: Westward Expansion and Native American Removal
With Reconstruction’s ultimate failure to effectively repair the country, it was left by the wayside for other issues. In the second week of the course, we will examine the last bit of expansion into the West and the ultimate closing of the frontier in 1890. However, that land was not freely available. Many Native Americans still inhabited the western regions of the country, and this period of time sees multiple massacres and movements involving them. They fought for their lands, but the force of the US government ended up being too powerful of a force for them to handle.

Week 3: The Gilded Age
The late nineteenth century in America was a period of excess for the rich. Named after a book written by a leading figure of the time, Mark Twain, the Gilded Age saw the rise of wealthy bankers, rich tycoons, and robber barons. In this week, we will be studying various business figures from this time period and their effects on American history, both positive and negative.

Week 4: Urbanization and the Rise of American Cities
For those not at the top rungs of American society, the turn of the century could be a difficult time. Increased urbanization led more people to live and work in cities, and this period saw a major influx in immigration, especially from Europe. This week is a look at the factors that led cities to a boom, the horrible conditions within those cities, and what was being done to alleviate growing problems in urban environments.

Week 5: Depression and Workers’ Strikes
While the rich got richer, the poor were forced into a depression around the turn of the century. This depression caused massive unrest in America’s workers, and it led to strikes that were often put down with violence. Meanwhile, more women were starting to take a stand for their own rights. This week follows both workers and women as they attempt to navigate the rough seas set forth by the illustrious Gilded Age.

Week 6: Progressivism
The final week of the course extends directly from the week before it. With frustrations mounting to an all time high, new reforms in workers and women’s rights exploded onto the scene in the early 1900s. A variety of new ideas, reforms, and politics arose; and it took the largest war the world had ever seen up until that point to halt some of these reforms and launch others into the forefront of American life.

Next Level Homeschool is a firm believer that not all learning should happen from behind a screen! That's why we give students the freedom to submit their assignments in the way THEY want to! We don't want regurgitation learning here. By allowing students to use their own talents, skills, and passions to complete assignments, they become even more engaged and retain the information. Why? Because now it's literally in their hands! We receive thousands of projects every year from our students: written reports, videos, models, posters, Scratch, Minecraft, Roblox, songs, poems, skits, drawings, sculptures, craftswe've seen it ALL! And WE LOVE IT!!

Click here to view just a few projects we've received from students who have taken this class and see what YOUR kid could be learning with Next Level Homeschool!

Course Features

  • Schedule Spring 2024
  • Activities History
  • Lessons 6
  • Suggested Ages 12-17 Two Levels