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Summit Early American History

Summit Early American History

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Quick Overview

This course takes students from the arrival of the first people in North America through the Civil War and Reconstruction.  Students investigate Native American civilizations; follow the path of European exploration and colonization; assess the causes and consequences of the American Revolution; examine the Constitution and the growth of the new nation; and analyze what led to the Civil War and its aftermath.

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Course Overview

The first half of a detailed two-year survey of the history of the United States, this course takes students from the arrival of the first people in North America through the Civil War and Reconstruction. Lessons integrate topics in geography, civics, and economics. Building on the award-winning series A History of US, the course guides students through critical episodes in the story of America. Students investigate Native American civilizations; follow the path of European exploration and colonization; assess the causes and consequences of the American Revolution; examine the Constitution and the growth of the new nation; and analyze what led to the Civil War and its aftermath.

Course Outline


The Earliest Americans

  • History and A History of US
  • Maps and Directions
  • Grids (optional)
  • North American Beginnings
  • Cliff Dwellers
  • Indians of the Northwest
  • Touring the Continent
  • The Plains Indians
  • The Mound Builders
  • The Eastern Woodland Indians


European Exploration

  • Navigating Uncharted Waters
  • Discovering New Lands
  • Columbus Journeys On
  • The Spanish Conquest
  • Ponce de León and Coronado
  • More Conquistadors
  • The French Explore America
  • From England to America


Thirteen Colonies, Part 1

  • A Beginning in Virginia
  • John Smith and Jamestown
  • Tobacco and Turning Points
  • Conflict
  • Pilgrims and Promises
  • What’s a Puritan?
  • Waterways or Waterwheels
  • Thankful for Feasting (optional)


Thirteen Colonies, Part 2

  • Breaks with Tradition: Roger Williams
  • Breaks with Tradition: Anne Hutchinson and Mary Dyer
  • Visiting Salem
  • Elsewhere in New England
  • The Middle Colonies
  • Toleration Triumphs
  • Benjamin Franklin: An American Renaissance Man
  • Colonization Heads South
  • A Visit to Williamsburg (optional)
  • Colonial Life in the South
  • Triangles of Trade


Road to Revolution

  • Peter’s Press (optional)
  • The French and Indian War
  • Looking West
  • Boone Went Over the Mountain (optional)
  • The Stamp of English Rights
  • Give Us Liberty!
  • The Boston Massacre
  • The Shot Heard Round the World
  • Map Skills
  • A Continental Congress
  • The Fighting Begins
  • Will You Sign? 
  • Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness


The American Revolution

  • John and Abigail Adams
  • Decisions
  • Best Friends
  • Challenges for the Continental Army
  • Turning Points
  • Sweet Surrender
  • What Did It All Mean?


The Constitution

  • Confederation and Constitutions
  • The Northwest Ordinance
  • Thomas Jefferson: A Man for All Time
  • James Madison and a Philadelphia Summer
  • An Important Compromise
  • We the People
  • Ratification!
  • Mason Makes His Mark (optional)
  • The Constitution: Branches and Balances
  • The Constitution: What Does It Say?
  • The Bill of Rights


A New Nation

  • The Father of His Country and Ours
  • The Well Resorted Tavern
  • Parties and Change
  • Capital Ideas
  • Adams Takes the Helm
  • Who Will Decide?
  • The Louisiana Purchase and More
  • An Expedition
  • A Powerful Orator, and the Great Tekamthi (optional)
  • Another War!
  • By the Dawn's Early Light
  • The Monroe Doctrine
  • Andrew Jackson: An Uncommon Man
  • The First Six Presidents (optional)


A New Age and New Industries

  • Revolutionary Inventions
  • Transportation and Travel
  • Steaming
  • Cities Grow All Around
  • Mills and Mines
  • Writing a Document-Based Essay


Americans Take New Land

  • Write On, Sequoyah!
  • Trails of Tears
  • Movement and Migration
  • Westward Ho!
  • Shakers and Movers
  • Don't Forget to Write (optional)
  • Manifest Destinies
  • Remember More Than the Alamo
  • More and More States
  • The Mexican War
  • Rushing for Gold


Reform and Reflection

  • Reforming a Nation
  • Achieving Their Potential
  • Writing in America
  • Write Every Time (optional)
  • Art in America
  • Made in America (optional)


Slavery and Sectionalism

  • Slavery in a Free Country
  • Can a Compromise Work?
  • Frederick Douglass: A Voice Against Slavery
  • Clay, Calhoun, and Webster Speak Out
  • Another Compromise
  • Where is Justice?
  • Not Really a Railroad Underground
  • More on the Underground Railroad (optional)
  • Is It Ever Okay? (optional)
  • Against Slavery: Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Against Slavery: John Brown
  • Abraham Lincoln: Larger Than Life


The Civil War

  • An Uncivil War
  • It Begins
  • North Versus South
  • Generals North and South
  • The War Moves Out to Sea
  • Through the Eyes of Mathew Brady (optional)
  • Proclaiming Emancipation
  • Fighting More Than a War
  • Gettysburg and Vicksburg
  • Important Words
  • Almost Over
  • Hope and Sorrow



  • Tragedy
  • Now What?
  • High Hopes
  • Guarantees
  • Write About It
  • New Era, New President
  • Executive Efforts
  • Legislative Labors
  • Single-Minded Stevens
  • A President on Trial
  • Turning Back


Additional Information

Course Length 12 Months
Prerequisites N/A
Course Materials

Many K12 courses utilize physical materials in addition to the online content.  These materials may include the following.

Standard Kits

STANDARD kits contain K12 course materials that are required for completion of the course.  These kits include K12 authored materials and/or difficult to procure materials that a student needs to complete a course. Printed reference guides are not included in Standard kits.


CONSUMABLE kits contain only those materials from the standard kit that are intended for one time use. Families who purchase a Standard kit for Child A could later purchase a Consumable kit for Child B to complete the same course.


Offered for added convenience, ADDITIONAL kits contain easily obtained materials needed for the course which a family may already have in their home. 

Coach and/or Student Reference Guides are available for purchase with some courses.  Electronic versions of these reference guides are also available within digital courses.

Course Start Date

Independent Study Courses

Courses start daily for courses without a teacher.

Teacher Assisted No, this course is only available as independent study.
  1. review by pennie on 8/12/2016

    My daughter and I are really enjoying this history class. The book reads like a story book. Sure wish I had this when I learned history many years ago. Very informative and lots of questions to make sure student is retaining information presented.

To use this course, you'll need a computer with an Internet connection.  Some courses require additional free software programs, which you can download from the Internet.

Hardware and Browsers (Minimum Recommendations)

Windows OS

  • CPU: 1.8 GHz or faster processor (or equivalent)

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher

  • At this time our users are encouraged not to upgrade to Windows 10 or Edge (the new browser)


Mac OS

  • CPU: PowerPC G4 1 GHz or faster processor; Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz or faster processor

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher (Safari is not supported!)

Using  Mobile Devices with the Online School

Unfortunately, many portable devices do not support the software products required to run the Online School. These devices may include (but not limited to): Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, iPods, Kindles, eReaders, and Andriod phones.

Internet Connections

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