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Chapter 16: 1980-Present Inquiry Organizer

πŸ“Ž Inquiry Organizer Summary of chapter objectives and resources
πŸ“– Chapter Introductory Essay In-depth overview of significant events in the time period
πŸ”Ž Narratives Shorter essays on a dramatic story or individual
πŸ“ Decision Points Narratives that describe a pivotal decision in history
πŸ’¬ Point-Counterpoints Differing sides of an argument presented by scholars or historical figures
βœ’οΈ Primary Sources Firsthand accounts from the time period
πŸ“ Lessons Instructions and handouts to engage students in the classroom
✏️ Unit Essay Activity Culminating essay based on AP LEQs to assess chapter objectives
Unit 8: Chapter 16 (1980-Present)
Compelling Question: How does the American experiment play out in the foreign and domestic policy of modern America?
Chapter Objectives:

  • Students will examine the ongoing debate about the scale and scope of the role of government by examining the conservative challenge to the New Deal liberal order.
  • Students will explain the causes of the end of the Cold War and ensuing changes and continuities in American foreign policy.
  • Students will explore the significant social and economic changes caused by deindustrialization, globalization, new technology, and the role of government.
Supporting Question 1: How have debates on the scale and scope of government continued from 1980 into the present day? Resources:

  • Ronald Reagan and Supply-Side EconomicsNarrative
  • The 1992 Presidential Election and the Rise of Democratic PopulismNarrative
  • Herblock, Cartoons of Ronald Reagan, 1984-1987Primary Source
  • Executive Power in Times of CrisisLesson (from
  • Republican House Representatives, “Republican Contract with America,” 1994Primary Source
  • Is Affirmative Action Justified?Point-Counterpoint
Supporting Question 2: What were the causes of the end of the Cold War, and what new challenges has the United States encountered in its foreign policy? Resources:

  • George Washington’s Foreign Policy: Comparisons across U.S. HistoryLesson (from
  • The Iran-Contra AffairNarrative
  • Cold War DBQ (1947-1989)Lesson (from
  • “Tear Down This Wall”: Ronald Reagan and the End of the Cold WarDecision Point
  • Ronald Reagan, “Tear Down this Wall” Speech, June 12, 1987Primary Source
  • George H. W. Bush, Address to the United Nations General Assembly, September 23, 1991Primary Source
  • U.S. Foreign Policy in Somalia and RwandaDecision Point
  • U.S. Military Intervention in AfghanistanDecision Point
  • Has Francis Fukuyama’s “End of History” Thesis Been Proven Correct?Point-Counterpoint
  • Was the Invasion of Iraq Justified?Point-Counterpoint
  • Is It in the Interest of the United States to Maintain Its International Obligations?Point-Counterpoint
  • Francis Fukuyama, “The End of History?”, 1989Primary Source
  • New YorkerCovers, 2001-2011 (Reflections on 9/11)Primary Source
Supporting Question 3: How have deindustrialization, globalization, new technology, and the role of government affected U.S. society? Resources:

  • Fossil Fuels, Foreign Policy, and Climate ChangeNarrative
  • Rodney King and the Los Angeles Race RiotsNarrative
  • Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City BombingNarrative
  • Tech Giants: Steve Jobs and Bill GatesNarrative
  • The USA PATRIOT ActNarrative
  • Barack Obama, Keynote Address at the Democratic National Convention, July 27, 2004Primary Source
  • Continuity and Change: Immigration in the United StatesLesson
  • Security, Liberty, and the USA PATRIOT ActLesson
  • Does the Threat of Terrorism Justify Increased Surveillance?Point-Counterpoint
Additional Resources:

  • Chapter 16 Introductory Essay: 1980-Present
  • The Space Shuttle Program and theChallengerDisasterNarrative
  • Ronald Reagan, Address to the Nation on theChallengerDisaster, January 28, 1986Primary Source
  • AIDS Memorial Quilt, 1987Primary Source
  • Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning,” January 20, 1993Primary Source
  • Comparing Presidential Campaign Advertising 1964-1980Lesson
  • Unit 8 Civics ConnectionLesson
Unit 8 Essay Activity How does the American experiment play out in the foreign and domestic policy of modern America? Option A: Explain the effects of the end of the Cold War on U.S. foreign policy. Option B: Explain the effects of the War on Terror on U.S. society. Through this inquiry, students will evaluate primary and secondary sources to explain the factors that contributed to new and old challenges to U.S. foreign and domestic policy from 1980 to the present day. Ultimately, students will use the primary and secondary sources in this chapter to practice constructing an essay, in AP Long Essay Question format, demonstrating their skills in explaining historical casusation. Students should be evaluated using the AP Rubric.. Assess students’ progress in understanding the compelling question for this chapter by assigning the Unit 8 Essay Activity.

Some components of this resource may contain terminology that is no longer used because the terms are recognized to be offensive or derogatory, and some components may contain images that would be considered offensive or derogatory today. These terms and images have been retained in their original usage in order to present them accurately in their historical context for student learning, including understanding why these are not acceptable today.