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AP US History

Advanced Placement United States History Summer Assignment
Issaquah High School

  • The purpose of this assignment is to introduce you to the textbook we will be using, as well as to complete the 1st of 9 historical periods, or units, over the summer, thereby saving us time during the school year.
  • These assignments are due at the beginning of class on the first day of school.
  • All portions must be handwritten.
  • You will be tested on the information at the beginning of the second week of school.

ALL students taking APUSH in the 2022-23 school year are required to complete this assignment. Incomplete or late assignments will NOT be accepted and will receive a ZERO.

  1. Read Chapter 1, “The Collision of Cultures” (pages 5-49) of our textbook, “America: A Narrative History”.
    This chapter corresponds to Period 1 (1491-1607) in the AP US History curriculum.
    1. Take complete notes in whatever format works best for you.
    2. Write complete definitions for each vocabulary term at the end of the chapter. There are 17 terms. These can be embedded in your notes, but please highlight them. (See examples below).

AP standard – must include definition AND significance

Gospel of Wealth: an essay written by champion of the steel industry, Andrew Carnegie, in 1901; Carnegie advocated philanthropy from the wealthy over charity and espoused that the wealthy were the trustees of society and that they alone knew how to improve the social conditions of the time.

Significance: the book put the responsibility of “giving back to the community” on the shoulders of the wealthy; some saw it as an effort to justify the great wealth ruthlessly accumulated by the “robber barons” of the Gilded Age.

NOT AP standard

Gospel of Wealth: book by Carnegie; rich shouldn’t give charity but should teach people how to act. Significance: more public facilities/”gifts” (i.e. Carnegie Library)

  1. Answer the seven questions below. These questions correspond to the seven Learning Objectives for Period 1 (1491-1607) of APUSH, as determined by the College Board.

Avoid doing everything at the last minute, aka the week before school starts. Spread the work out over the course of the summer and then review the week before school. By doing so, you will retain the material more effectively and set yourself up for success during the coming school year.

Thank you for committing yourself to taking APUSH. I hope that you will find the class to be both challenging and rewarding. If you have any questions regarding this work or the course, please do not hesitate to contact me at


Learning Objectives define what you should be able to do with content knowledge in order to move toward a lasting understanding of the material.

This assignment must be handwritten. Please respond using complete sentences, and write in short paragraph format, with a minimum of 5 sentences per response.

  1. Explain the context for the European encounters in the Americas from 1491-1607.
    (Context is the political, social, cultural, and economic environment related to historical moments, events, and trends. Context is the back-story that helps us understand what an individual, a group, or documents are trying to say, or what happens next.)
  2. Explain how and why various native populations in the period before European contact interacted with the natural environment in North America. Provide two specific examples from two different regions.
  3. Explain the causes of exploration and conquest of the New World by various European nations. (Think the “Three Gs”, but expand on this idea).
  4. Define the Columbian Exchange and explain its effects on Europe and the Americas during the period after 1492. Include at least two specific examples of effects on both the Old World (Europe) and the New World (the Americas).
  5. Explain how the growth of the Spanish Empire in North America shaped the development of social and economic structures over time. Provide at least two specific examples of systems.
  6. Explain how and why European and Native American perspectives of others developed and changed in the period. Consider religion, culture, as well as racial classifications and justifications.
  7. Explain the effects of the development of transatlantic voyages from 1491-1607. Provide two specific examples.