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Grade 8 Social Studies
8th Grade Social Studies completes the cycle of study of United States and New York State History begun in 7th grade. In 8th grade we begin by visiting the division and reunion of the nation during the U.S. Civil War, reviewing the underlying causes of the conflict, pivotal events during the war. We then examine the maturing of the nation as an industrial society in the second half of the 19th century, the changes this caused in the social structure of the nation, and the efforts of the Progressive Movement to reform industrial abuses and related problems. This moves us into a period of time where we focus on the emergence of the United States as an independent nation in an increasingly interdependent world, observing the expansion of the United States as it builds an overseas empire and begins to take a role in global politics, culminating in our nation's involvement in World War I. We then focus on the United States between the world wars, exploring the cultural changes of the "Roaring Twenties" and the high spirits of the postwar period, as well as the crushing lows of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. This is followed by an exploration of the United States as it assumes worldwide responsibilities, first in World War II, and then as leader of the free world during and after the Cold War. We end the year by investigating the changing nature of the American people from World War II to the present as the United States begins the 21st century and a new millenium.