Historical Thinking and Skills
Students apply skills by using a variety of resources to construct theses and support or refute contentions made by others. Alternative explanations of historical events are analyzed and questions of historical inevitability are explored.
1. Historical events provide opportunities to examine alternative courses of action.
By examining alternative courses of action, students can consider the possible consequences and outcomes of moments in history. It also allows them to appreciate the decisions of some individuals and the actions of some groups without putting 21st century values and interpretations on historic events.
How might the history of the United States be different if the participants in historical events had taken different courses of action? What if Democratic Party officeholders had not been restored to power in the South after Reconstruction, the U.S. had not engaged in the Spanish-American War or the U.S. had joined the League of Nations?
What if the federal government had not used deficit spending policies during the Great Depression, Truman had not ordered atomic bombs dropped on Japan or African Americans had not protested for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s?
Expectations for Learning
Analyze a historical decision and predict the possible consequences of alternative courses of action.