Grade 8 Social Studies – US History

Unit 1: Roaring Twenties

  • 8.4 Roaring Twenties: Postwar America was characterized by economic prosperity, technological innovations, and changes in the workplace. (Standards: 1, 2, 4; Themes: SOC, GOV, ECO, TECH)
  • 8.4e After World War I, the United States entered a period of economic prosperity and cultural change. This period is known as the Roaring Twenties. During this time, new opportunities for women were gained, and African Americans engaged in various efforts to distinguish themselves and celebrate their culture.

Unit 2: New Nation: Great Depression

  • 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. (Standards: 1, 3, 5; Themes: TCC, SOC, GOV, ECO)
  • 8.5a Risky investing, protectionism, and overproduction led to the collapse of the stock market, a wave of bank failures, and a long and severe downturn in the economy called the Great Depression.
  • 8.5b The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl affected American businesses and families.
  • 8.5c President Roosevelt issued the New Deal in an attempt to revive the economy and help Americans deal with the hardships of the Great Depression. These New Deal reforms had a long-lasting effect on the role of government in American society and its economic life, but did not resolve all of the hardships Americans faced.

Unit 3: World War II

  • 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.  (Standards: 1, 2, 3; Themes: TCC, GOV, TECH, EXCH)
  • 8.6a Worldwide economic depression, militant nationalism, the rise of totalitarian rule, and the unsuccessful efforts of the League of Nations to preserve peace contributed to the outbreak of war in Europe and Asia.
  • 8.6b From 1939 to 1941, the United States government tried to maintain neutrality while providing aid to Britain but was drawn into the war by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States fought a war on multiple fronts. At home, the economy was converted to war production, and essential resources were rationed to ensure adequate supplies for military use.
  • 8.6c The nature and consequences of warfare during World War II transformed the United States and the global community. The damage from total warfare and human atrocities, including the Holocaust, led to a call for an international organization to prevent future wars and the protection of human rights.

Unit 4: Cold War

  • 8.7 FOREIGN POLICY: The period after World War II has been characterized by an ideological and political struggle. Increased economic interdependence and competition, as well as environmental concerns, are challenges faced by the United States. (Standards: 1, 2, 4, 5; Themes: TCC, GEO, ECO, EXCH)
  • 8.7a The Cold War was an ongoing struggle between the two nuclear superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. The Cold War shaped the reconstruction of national boundaries and political alliances across the globe.
  • 8.7b The United States-based its military and diplomatic policies from 1945 to 1990 on a policy of containment of communism

Unit 5: Civil Rights

  • 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. (Standards: 1, 4, 5; Themes: TCC, SOC, CIV, ECO)
  • 8.9a The civil rights movement began in the postwar era in response to long-standing inequalities in American society, and eventually brought about equality under the law, but slower progress on economic improvements.
  • 8.9b The civil rights movement prompted renewed efforts for equality by women and other groups.
  • 8.9c The Great Society programs of President Lyndon Johnson strengthened efforts aimed at reducing poverty and providing health care for the elderly, but the Vietnam War drained resources and divided society.
  • 8.9e Constitutional issues involving the violation of civil liberties and the role of the federal government are a source of debate in American society.

Unit 6: Civics & Citizenship (with Review)

There are themes that unite the study of American History throughout the 20th Century. Themes that unite us together include Identify, Diversity, Justice, Action, Globalization, Power, and Technology/Innovation.

To be a good citizen, students must understand the history of America and how they can demonstrate civic literacy.

One way for students to be good citizens is through being informed of current events and how experiences now relate to events from the past.