United States History Standards
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Social Studies: Grade 11
United States History: Continuity and Change in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries
Following a review of the nation’s beginnings and the impact of the Enlightenment on U.S.
democratic ideals, students in grade eleven study the major events in American history in the
twentieth century. Building on prior knowledge of industrialization, students analyze the
emergence and impact of accelerated technological development, a corporate economy, and
related social and cultural effects on society. Students trace the change in the ethnic composition
of American society; the movement toward equal rights for racial minorities and women; and the
role of the United States as a major world power. Emphasis is placed on the expanding role of the
federal government and federal courts as well as the continuing tension between the individual
and the state. Students consider the major social problems of our time and trace their causes in
historical events. Students analyze how the United States has served as a model for other
nations and that the rights and freedoms we afforded are not accidental, but the results of a
defined set of political principles that are not always basic to citizens of other countries. Students
understand that our rights under the U.S. Constitution are a precious inheritance that depends on
an educated citizenry for their preservation and protection.
Social Studies Content Standards (SS):
Standard: 11SS1: Students review the significant events in the founding of the
United States and its attempts to realize the philosophy of
government described in the Declaration of Independence.
Components: 11SS1.a: Describe the Enlightenment and the rise of democratic ideas as the
context in which the nation was founded.
11SS1.b: Analyze the ideological origins of the American Revolution, the
Founding Fathers’ philosophy of unalienable natural rights, the
debates on the drafting and ratification of the Constitution, and the
addition of the Bill of Rights.
11SS1.c: Describe the history of the Constitution after 1787 with emphasis on
federal versus state authority and growing democratization.
11SS1.d: Examine the effects of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and of the
industrial revolution, including, demographic shifts, western
movement, and the emergence in the late nineteenth century of the
United States as a world power.
11SS1.e: Analyze the impact of the western movement on American Indians,
farmers, transportation, and the economy.
Standard: 11SS2: Students analyze the role religion played in the founding of
America, its lasting moral, social, and political impacts, and
issues regarding religious liberty.
Social Studies: Grade 11
Components: 11SS2.a: Analyze the influence of religious movements and groups on the
development of American civic principles and social reform
Examples: The Social Gospel Movement, the rise of Christian
liberal theology in the nineteenth century, the Temperance
Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and the rise of Christian
fundamentalism in current times
11SS2.b: Explain the contribution of various religious groups to American civic
principles and social reform movements.
Examples: civil and human rights, individual responsibility and the
work ethic, antimonarchy and self-rule, worker protections, and
family centered communities
11SS2.c: Describe the principles of religious liberty found in the Establishment
and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment, including the
debate on the issue of separation of church and state.
11SS2.d: Examine incidences of religious intolerance in the United States.
Examples: persecution of Mormons, anti-Catholic sentiment,
Ghost Dances, and anti-Semitism
11SS2.e: Discuss the expanding religious pluralism in the United States that
resulted from immigration in the twentieth century.
Standard: 11SS3: Students analyze the relationship among the rise of
industrialization, large-scale rural to urban migration, and
massive immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe and
Components: 11SS3.a: Evaluate the effects of industrialization on living and working conditions
embraced in the portrayal of working conditions and food safety in
Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.
11SS3.b: Analyze the growth of cities linked by industry and trade, and the
development of cities divided by race, ethnicity, and class.
11SS3.c: Trace the effect of the Americanization movement.
11SS3.d: Analyze the effect of urban political machines and responses to them
by immigrants and middle-class reformers.
11SS3.e: Discuss the corporate mergers that produced trusts and cartels and the
economic and political policies of industrial leaders.
Examples: Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and Leland
11SS3.f: Trace the economic development of the United States and its
emergence as a major industrial power; its gains from trade,
advantages of its physical geography, and specialization in jobs and
Social Studies: Grade 11
11SS3.g: Examine the effect of political programs and activities of the Populists.
11SS3.h: Examine the effect of political programs and activities of the
Examples: federal regulation, the Sixteenth Amendment, initiative,
referendum and recall, environmental protection, Theodore
Roosevelt, and Robert La Follette
11SS3.i: Discuss the reasons for the nation’s changing immigration patterns and
Standard: 11SS4: Students trace the rise of the United States to its role as a
world power in the twentieth century.
Components: 11SS4.a: Evaluate the purpose and the effects of the Open Door policy.
11SS4.b: Analyze the Spanish-American War and U.S. expansion in the South
11SS4.c: Evaluate America’s role in Latin America; including, the Roosevelt
Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, the Panama Revolution and the
building of the Panama Canal.
11SS4.d: Analyze and compare the presidential policies of Theodore
Roosevelt’s Big Stick diplomacy, William Taft’s Dollar Diplomacy, and
Woodrow Wilson’s Moral Diplomacy.
11SS4.e: Analyze the political, economic, and social ramifications of World War I
on the home front.
11SS4.f: Evaluate arguments for and against free trade.
Standard: 11SS5: Students analyze the major political, social, economic,
technological, and cultural developments of the 1920’s.
Components: 11SS5.a: Compare and contrast the policies of Presidents Warren Harding,
Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover.
11SS5.b: Analyze the international and domestic events, interests, and
philosophies that prompted attacks on civil liberties; the Palmer Raids,
Marcus Garvey’s ‘back-to-Africa” movement, the Ku Klux Klan,
immigration quotas, and the responses of organizations such as the
American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People, and the Anti-
Defamation League to those attacks.
11SS5.c: Examine the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the
Constitution and the Volstead Act (Prohibition).
Social Studies: Grade 11
11SS5.d Analyze the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment and the changing
of the role of women in society.
11SS5.e: Describe the Harlem Renaissance and new trends in literature, music,
and art, with special attention to the work of writers.
Examples: Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes
11SS5.f: Evaluate the growth and effects of radio and movies and their role in
the worldwide diffusion of popular culture.
11SS5.g: Discuss the rise of mass production techniques, the growth of cities,
the impact of new technologies and the resulting prosperity and effect
on the American landscape.
Examples: the automobile and electricity
11SS5.h: Explain how types of business organizations, labor unions, nonprofit
organizations, technological change, and international competition
affect a market economy.
Standard: 11SS6: Students analyze the different explanations for the Great
Depression and how the New Deal fundamentally changed
the role of the federal government.
Components: 11SS6.a: Describe the monetary issues of the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries that gave rise to the establishment of the Federal
Reserve and the weaknesses in key sectors of the economy in the
11SS6.b: Explain the principal causes of the Great Depression and the steps
taken by the Federal Reserve, Congress, and Presidents Herbert
Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt to combat the economic crisis.
11SS6.c: Discuss the human toll of the Depression, natural disasters, and
unwise agricultural practices and their effects on the depopulation of
rural regions and on political movements of the left and right.
11SS6.d: Analyze the consequences of New Deal economic policies and the
expanded role of the federal government in society and the economy
since the 1930’s.
Examples: Works Progress Administration (WPA), Social Security,
National Labor Relations Board, farm programs, regional
development policies, and energy development projects such as
the Tennessee Valley Authority
Standard: 11SS7: Students analyze U.S. participation in World War II.
Components: 11SS7.a: Identify shifting American policies of isolation, intervention, and
Social Studies: Grade 11
11SS7.b Examine the origins of American involvement in the war, with an
emphasis on the events that precipitated the attack on Pearl Harbor.
11SS7.c: Identify the roles and sacrifices of individual American soldiers, as well
as the unique contribution of the special fighting forces.
Examples: Tuskegee Airmen, the 442nd Regimental combat team,
and the Navajo Code Talkers
11SS7.d: Analyze Roosevelt’s foreign policy during World War II.
Example: Four Freedoms Speech
11SS7.e: Discuss the constitutional issues and impact of events on the U.S.
home front; the internment of Japanese Americans (Fred Korematsu
v. United States of America) and the restrictions on German and
Italian resident aliens, the response of the administration to Hitler’s
atrocities against Jews and other groups, the roles of women in
military production, and the roles and growing political demands of
11SS7f: Describe major developments in aviation, weaponry, communication,
medicine, and the war’s impact on the location of American industry
and use of resources.
11SS7g: Critique the decision to drop atomic bombs (Hiroshima and Nagasaki)
and the consequences of that decision.
Standard: 11SS8: Students analyze U.S. foreign policy in the emerging Cold
War and its aftermath.
Components: 11SS8.a: Analyze the effect of the massive aid given to Western Europe under
the Marshall Plan after the war and the importance of a rebuilt Europe
to the U.S.
11SS8.b: Trace the declining role of empires and the expanding role of the
Superpowers in world affairs after WWII.
11SS8.c: Discuss the establishment of the United Nations and International
Declaration of Human Rights and their importance in shaping modern
Europe and efforts to maintain peace and international order.
11SS8.d: Analyze the role of military alliances; including, NATO and SEATO,
deterring communist aggression, and maintaining security during the
11SS8.e: Trace the origins and geopolitical consequences (foreign and
domestic) of the Cold War and Containment policy; the era of
McCarthyism, instances of domestic Communism (Alger Hiss) and
Black Listing, The Truman Doctrine; The Berlin blockade, The Korean
War, The Berlin Wall, The Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile
Crisis, atomic testing in the American West, the “mutual assured
Social Studies: Grade 11
destruction” doctrine, and disarmament policies, and the Vietnam
11SS8.f: Compare and contrast the effects of foreign policy on domestic
Examples: protests during the war in Vietnam and the “nuclear
11SS8.g: Analyze the role of the Reagan administration and other factors in the
victory of the West in the Cold War.
Standard: 11SS9: Students analyze the economic boom and social
transformation of post-World War II America.
Components: 11SS9.a: Trace the impact of the GI Bill on the American economy, society and
11SS9.b: Trace the growth of the service sector, white collar, and professional
sector jobs in government and business.
11SS9.c: Trace the advances and retreats of organized labor, from the creation
of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of
Industrial Organizations (CIO) to current issues of post-industrial,
11SS9.d: Examine Truman’s labor policy and the congressional reaction to the
11SS9.e: Describe the significance of immigration and its relationship to the
Examples: agriculture, business, fishing, and service industry
11SS9.f: Analyze new federal government spending on defense, welfare,
interest on national debt, and federal and state spending on
11SS9.g: Analyze the increased powers of the presidency in response to the
Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War.
11SS9.h: Discuss the diverse environmental regions of North America, their
relationship to local economics, and the origins and prospects of
environmental problems in those regions.
11SS9.i: Evaluate the effects of technological developments on society and the
economy since 1945.
Examples: computer revolution, changes in communication,
advances in medicine, and improvements in agricultural technology
11SS9.j: Discuss forms of popular culture, with an emphasis on their origins
and geographic diffusion.
Social Studies: Grade 11
Examples: forms of popular music including jazz, rock-n-roll and
the British invasion; the use of the internet and the creation of the a
global community; the growth of sports through television and the
broader impact on society; and cultural values reflected in the
design and architecture of suburbs such as convenience and
11SS9.k: Understand the role of interdependence of buyers (consumers) and
sellers (producers) in the areas of public and private goods and
Standard: 11SS10: Students analyze the development of “The New Frontier”,
“The Great Society” and federal civil rights and voting
Components: 11SS10.a: Evaluate how minority groups organized to confront segregation and
discrimination; African American Movement, Woman’s Rights
Movement, Native American Movement, the Asian Movement,
Hispanic American Movement, Youth Activism.
11SS10.b: Examine and analyze the key events, policies, and court cases in the
evolution of civil rights; Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson,
Brown v Board of Education, and Regents of the University of
California v. Bakke.
11SS10.c: Analyze the passage and effects of civil rights and voting rights
legislation (1964 Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act of 1965) and the
Twenty-Fourth Amendment, with an emphasis on equality of access
to education and to the political process.
11SS10.d: Analyze the persistence of poverty and how different analyses of this
issue influence welfare reform, health insurance reform, and other
Standard: 11SS11: Students analyze the major social problems, domestic and
economic policy issues and foreign policy in contemporary
Components: 11SS11.a: Discuss the reasons for the nation’s changing immigration policy, with
an emphasis on how the Immigration Act of 1965 and successor acts
have transformed American society.
11SS11.b: Analyze the significant domestic policies of contemporary presidents;
education, civil rights, economic policy, and environmental policy.
11SS11.c: Describe the changing roles of women in society as reflected in the
entry of more women into the labor force and the changing family
Social Studies: Grade 11
11SS11.d: Explain the constitutional crisis originating from the Watergate
11SS11.e Trace the impact of, need for, and controversies associated with
environmental conservation, expansion of the national park system,
and the development of environmental protections laws, with
particular attention to the interaction between environmental
protection advocates and property rights advocates.
11SS11.f: Examine how the federal, state, and local governments have
responded to demographic and social changes such as population
shifts to the suburbs, racial concentrations in the cities, Frostbelt-to-
Sunbelt migration, international migration, decline of family farms,
increases in out-of-wedlock births, and drug abuse.
11SS11.g: Explain the role of profit as the incentive to entrepreneurs in a market
economy and identify the key elements of a market economy, such
as property rights, competition, and profit.
11SS11.h: Describe how wages are related to supply, demand, productivity, and
11SS11.i: Illustrate the measurements and calculations that compute U.S.
national economic performance.
11SS11.j: Identify the different causes of inflation and explain who gains and
loses because of inflation.
11SS11.k: Explain how changes in exchange rates can have an impact on the
purchasing power of individuals in the United States and in other
11SS11.l: Describe the ways in which the United States uses foreign policy with
nations to interact with one another to try to resolve problems in such
areas as trade, cultural contact, treaties, diplomacy and military force.
11SS11.m: Evaluate U.S./Middle East policy and it’s strategic, political, and
economic interests, including those related to the Gulf War.
Examples: OPEC oil embargo of 1973 as a response to U.S.
policies concerning Israel; hijackings during the 1970’s as a
reaction to U.S. policies; major acts of terrorism including the 1979
Iranian hostage situation; tensions between Iran and Israel and the
balancing act played by the U.S.; U.S. involvement in the 1967
peace agreement between Israel and Egypt and the long-term
consequences; and support for expanded Jewish settlements
11SS11.n: Examine relations between the United States and Mexico; including,
key economic, political, immigration, and environmental issues.
11SS11.o: Examine the different forces that influence U.S. foreign policy;
business and labor organizations, interest groups, public opinion, and
ethnic and religious organizations.
Social Studies Skills (SSK):
Chronological and Spatial Thinking
Skills: 11SSK1: Students compare the present with the past, evaluating the
consequences of past events and decisions and determining the
lessons that were learned.
11SSK2: Students analyze how change happens at different rates at different
times; understand that some aspects can change while others remain
the same; and understand that change is complicated and affects not
only technology and political but also values and beliefs.
11SSK3: Students use a variety of maps and documents to interpret human
movement, including major patterns of domestic and international
migration, changing environmental preferences and settlement
patterns, the frictions that develop between population groups, and
the diffusion of ideas, technological innovations, and goods.
11SSK4: Students relate current events to the physical and human
characteristics of places and regions.
Historical Research, Evidence, and Point of View
Skills: 11SSK5: Students distinguish valid arguments from fallacious arguments in
11SSK6: Students identify bias and prejudice in historical interpretations.
11SSK7: Students evaluate major debates among historians concerning
alternative interpretations of the past, including an analysis of authors’
use of evidence and the distinctions between sound generalizations
and misleading oversimplifications.
11SSK8: Students construct and test hypotheses; collect, evaluate, and employ
information from multiple primary and secondary sources; and apply it
in oral and written presentations.
Skills: 11SSK9: Students show the connections, causal and otherwise, between
particular historical events and larger social, economic, and political
trends and developments.
11SSK10: Students recognize the complexity of historical causes and effects,
including the limitations on determining cause and effect.
11SSK11: Students interpret past events and issues within the context in which
an event unfolded rather than solely in terms of present-day norms
11SSK12: Students understand the meaning, implication, and impact of historical
events and recognize that events could have taken other directions.
11SSK13: Students analyze human modifications of landscapes and examine
the resulting environmental policy issues.
11SSK14: Students conduct cost-benefit analyses and apply basic economic
indicator to analyze the aggregate economic behavior of the U.S.