Grade 8 History of the United States and New York State II

Grade 8 Social Studies is arranged chronologically, beginning with Reconstruction and ending at the present, and incorporates geography as well as economic, social and political trends. The course content is divided into nine Key Ideas; the first seven trace the human experience in the United States from Reconstruction to the end of World War II. The last three Key Ideas examine different themes in United States and New York State history from the post-War period up to the present day, which provides the opportunity to explore contemporary issues.

8.1 RECONSTRUCTION: Regional tensions following the Civil War complicated efforts to heal the nation and to redefine the status of African Americans.

8.2 A CHANGING SOCIETY: Industrialization and immigration contributed to the urbanization of America. Problems resulting from these changes sparked the Progressive movement and increased calls for reform.

8.3 EXPANSION AND IMPERIALISM: Beginning in the second half of the 19th century, economic, political, and cultural factors contributed to a push for westward expansion and more aggressive United States foreign policy.

8.4 WORLD WAR I AND THE ROARING TWENTIES: Various diplomatic, economic, and ideological factors contributed to the United States decision to enter World War I. Involvement in the war significantly altered the lives of Americans. Postwar America was characterized by economic prosperity, technological innovations, and changes in the workplace.

8.5 GREAT DEPRESSION: Economic and environmental disasters in the 1930s created hardships for many Americans. Amidst much debate about the appropriate role of government, President Franklin D. Roosevelt helped to create intensive government interventions in the United States economy and society.

8.6 WORLD WAR II: The aggression of the Axis powers threatened United States security and led to its entry into World War II. The nature and consequences of warfare during World War II transformed the United States and the global community. The damage from total warfare and atrocities such as the Holocaust led to a call for international efforts to protect human rights and prevent future wars.

8.7 FOREIGN POLICY: The period after World War II has been characterized by an ideological and political struggle, first between the United States and communism during the Cold War, then between the United States and forces of instability in the Middle East. Increased economic interdependence and competition, as well as environmental concerns, are challenges faced by the United States.

8.8 DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE: After World War II, the population of the United States rose sharply as a result of both natural increases and immigration. Population movements have resulted in changes to the American landscape and shifting political power. An aging population is affecting the economy and straining public resources.

8.9 DOMESTIC POLITICS AND REFORM: The civil rights movement and the Great Society were attempts by people and the government to address major social, legal, economic, and environmental problems. Subsequent economic recession called for a new economic program.