The standards for Virginia and United States History include the historical development of American ideas and institutions from the Age of Exploration to the present. While focusing on political and economic history, the standards provide students with a basic knowledge of American culture through a chronological survey of major issues, movements, people, and events in
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 the standards for history and social science.
VUS.1The student will demonstrate skills for historical and geographical analysis and responsible citizenship, including the ability to
a)identify, analyze, and interpret primary and secondary source documents, records, and data, including artifacts, diaries, letters, photographs, journals, newspapers, historical accounts, and art, to increase understanding of events and life in the United States;
b)evaluate the authenticity, authority, and credibility of sources;
c)formulate historical questions and defend findings, based on inquiry and interpretation;
d)develop perspectives of time and place, including the construction of maps and various timelines of events, periods, and personalities in American history;
e)communicate findings orally and in analytical essays or comprehensive papers;
f)develop skills in discussion, debate, and persuasive writing with respect to enduring issues and determine how divergent viewpoints have been addressed and reconciled;
g)apply geographic skills and reference sources to understand how relationships between humans and their environment have changed over time;
h)interpret the significance of excerpts from famous speeches and other documents;
i)identify the costs and benefits of specific choices made, including the consequences, both intended and unintended, of the decisions and how people and nations responded to positive and negative incentives.
VUS.2The student will describe how early European exploration and colonization resulted in cultural interactions among Europeans, Africans, and American Indians.
VUS.3The student will describe how the values and institutions of European economic and political life took root in the colonies and how slavery reshaped European and African life in the
VUS.4The student will demonstrate knowledge of events and issues of the Revolutionary Period by
a)analyzing how the political ideas of John Locke and those expressed in Common Sense helped shape the Declaration of Independence;
b)evaluating how key principles in the Declaration of Independence grew in importance to become unifying ideas of American democracy;
c)describing the political differences among the colonists concerning separation from
d)analyzing reasons for colonial victory in the Revolutionary War.
VUS.5The student will demonstrate knowledge of the issues involved in the creation and ratification of the Constitution of the
a)explaining the origins of the Constitution, including the Articles of Confederation;
b)identifying the major compromises necessary to produce the Constitution, and the roles of James Madison and George Washington;
c)examining the significance of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in the framing of the Bill of Rights;
d)assessing the arguments of Federalists and Anti-Federalists during the ratification debates and their relevance to political debate today;
e)appraising how John Marshall’s precedent-setting decisions established the Supreme Court as an independent and equal branch of the national government.
VUS.6The student will demonstrate knowledge of the major events from the last decade of the eighteenth century through the first half of the nineteenth century by
a)explaining the principles and issues that prompted Thomas Jefferson to organize the first opposition political party;
b)identifying the economic, political, and geographic factors that led to territorial expansion and its impact on the American Indians;
c)examining the reasons why James Madison asked Congress to declare war on
d)relating the changing character of American political life in “the age of the common man” (Jacksonian Era) to increasing popular participation in state and national politics;
e)describing the cultural, economic, and political issues that divided the nation, including tariffs, slavery, the abolitionist and women’s suffrage movements, and the role of the states in the
VUS.7The student will demonstrate knowledge of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era and their importance as major turning points in American history by
a)evaluating the multiple causes of the Civil War, including the role of the institution of slavery as a principal cause of the conflict;
b)identifying the major events and the roles of key leaders of the Civil War Era, with emphasis on Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and Frederick Douglass;
c)analyzing the significance of the Emancipation Proclamation and the principles outlined in
d)examining the political and economic impact of the war and Reconstruction, including the adoption of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the
e)examining the social impact of the war on African Americans, the common soldier, and the home front, with emphasis on
f)explaining postwar contributions of key leaders of the Civil War.
VUS.8The student will demonstrate knowledge of how the nation grew and changed from the end of Reconstruction through the early twentieth century by
a)explaining the relationship among territorial expansion, westward movement of the population, new immigration, growth of cities, the role of the railroads, and the admission of new states to the
b)describing the transformation of the American economy from a primarily agrarian to a modern industrial economy and identifying major inventions that improved life in the
c)analyzing prejudice and discrimination during this time period, with emphasis on “Jim Crow” and the responses of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois;
d)identifying the causes and impact of the Progressive Movement, including the excesses of the Gilded Age, child labor and antitrust laws, the rise of labor unions, and the success of the women’s suffrage movement.
VUS.9The student will demonstrate knowledge of the emerging role of the
a)explaining the changing policies of the
VUS.10The student will demonstrate knowledge of key domestic events of the 1920s and 1930s by
a)analyzing how radio, movies, newspapers, and magazines created popular culture and challenged traditional values;
b)assessing the causes and consequences of the stock market crash of 1929;
c)explaining the causes of the Great Depression and its impact on the American people;
d)describing how Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal relief, recovery, and reform measures addressed the Great Depression and expanded the government’s role in the economy.
VUS.11The student will demonstrate knowledge of World War II by
a)analyzing the causes and events that led to American involvement in the war, including military assistance to the
b)describing and locating the major battles and turning points of the war in North Africa, Europe, and the Pacific, including Midway, Stalingrad, the Normandy landing (D-Day), and Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb to force the surrender of Japan;
c)describing the role of all-minority military units, including the Tuskegee Airmen and Nisei regiments;
d)examining the Geneva Convention and the treatment of prisoners of war during World War II;
e)analyzing the Holocaust (Hitler’s “final solution”), its impact on Jews and other groups, and the postwar trials of war criminals.
VUS.12The student will demonstrate knowledge of the effects of World War II on the home front by
a)explaining how the
b)describing the contributions of women and minorities to the war effort;
c)explaining the internment of Japanese Americans during the war;
d)describing the role of media and communications in the war effort.
VUS.13The student will demonstrate knowledge of
a)describing outcomes of World War II, including political boundary changes, the formation of the United Nations, and the Marshall Plan;
b)explaining the origins of the Cold War, and describing the Truman Doctrine and the policy of containment of communism, the American role in wars in
c)explaining the role of
d)explaining the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War, including the role of Ronald Reagan in making foreign policy;
e)explaining the impact of presidents of the
VUS.14The student will demonstrate knowledge of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s by
a)identifying the importance of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, the roles of Thurgood Marshall and Oliver Hill, and how
b)describing the importance of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the 1963 March on Washington, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
VUS.15The student will demonstrate knowledge of economic, social, cultural, and political developments in recent decades and today by
a)examining the role the United States Supreme Court has played in defining a constitutional right to privacy, affirming equal rights, and upholding the rule of law;
b)analyzing the changing patterns of immigration, the reasons new immigrants choose to come to this country, their contributions to contemporary America, and the debates over immigration policy;
c)explaining the media influence on contemporary American culture and how scientific and technological advances affect the workplace, health care, and education;
d)examining the impact of the “Reagan Revolution” on federalism, the role of government, and state and national elections since 1988;
e)assessing the role of government actions that impact the economy;
f)assessing the role of the