In United States History Studies Since 1877, which is the second part of a two-year study that begins in Grade 8, students study the history of the United States from 1877 to the present. The course content is based on the founding documents of the U.S. government, which provide a framework for its heritage. Historical content focuses on the political, economic, and social events and issues related to industrialization and urbanization, major wars, domestic and foreign policies, and reform movements, including civil rights. Students examine the impact of geographic factors on major events and eras and analyze their causes and effects. Students examine the impact of constitutional issues on American society, evaluate the dynamic relationship of the three branches of the federal government, and analyze efforts to expand the democratic process. Students describe the relationship between the arts and popular culture and the times during which they were created. Students analyze the impact of technological innovations on American life. Students use critical-thinking skills and a variety of primary and secondary source material to explain and apply different methods that historians use to understand and interpret the past, including multiple points of view and historical context.