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United States Era 4

Expansion and Reform (1801-1861)

Standard 1: United States territorial expansion between 1801 and 1861, and how it affected relations with external powers and Native Americans

Standard 2: How the industrial revolution, increasing immigration, the rapid expansion of slavery, and the westward movement changed the lives of Americans and led toward regional tensions

Standard 3: The extension, restriction, and reorganization of political democracy after 1800

Standard 4: The sources and character of cultural, religious, and social reform movements in the antebellum period

The new American republic prior to the Civil War experienced dramatic territorial expansion, immigration, economic growth, and industrialization. The increasing complexity of American society, the growth of regionalism, and the cross-currents of change that are often bewildering require the development of several major themes to enable students to sort their way through the six decades that brought the United States to the eve of the Civil War.

One theme is the vast territorial expansion between 1800 and 1861, as restless Americans pushed westward across the Appalachians, then across the Mississippi, and finally on to the Pacific Ocean. Students should study how Americans, animated by land hunger, the ideology of "Manifest Destiny," and the optimism that anything was possible with imagination, hard work, and the maximum freedom of the individual, flocked to the western frontier. While studying how the frontier experience indelibly stamped the American character, students should explore its ambivalent aspects: the removal of many Indian nations in the Southeast and old Northwest, acquisition of a large part of Mexico through the Mexican-American War, and abrasive encounters with Native Americans, Mexicans, Chinese immigrants, and others in the West.

A second theme confronts the economic development of the expanding American republic--a complex and fascinating process that on the one hand created the sinews of national identity but on the other hand fueled growing regional tensions. In the North, the first stage of industrialization brings students face to face with the role of technology in historical change and how economic development has had profound environmental effects. In studying the rise of immigrant-filled cities, the "transportation revolution" involving railroads, canals, and trans-regional roads, the creation of a national market system, and the proliferation of family farming in newly opened territories, students will appreciate how Tocqueville might have reached the conclusion that the Americans seemed at one time "animated by the most selfish cupidity; at another by the most lively patriotism." In studying the expanding South, students must understand the enormous growth of slavery as an exploitive and morally corrupt economic and social system; but they should also comprehend how millions of African Americans struggled to shape their own lives as much as possible through family, religion, and resistance to slavery.

A third theme interwoven with the two themes above, can be organized around the extension, restriction, and reorganization of political democracy after 1800. The rise of the second party system and modern interest-group politics mark the advent of modern politics in the United States. However, students will see that the evolution of political democracy was not a smooth, one-way street as free African Americans were disenfranchised in much of the North and woman's suffrage was blocked even while white male suffrage spread throughout the states and into the newly developed territories.

Connected to all of the above is the theme of reform, for the rapid transformation and expansion of the American economy brought forth one of the greatest bursts of reformism in American history. Emerson captured the vibrancy of this era in asking, "What is man born for but to be a reformer?" Students will find that the attempts to complete unfinished agendas of the revolutionary period and to fashion new reforms necessitated by the rise of factory labor and rapid urbanization partook of the era's democratic spirit and religious faith and yet also reflected the compulsion of well-positioned Americans to restore order to a turbulent society.

Each standard was developed with historical thinking standards in mind. The relevant historical thinking standards are linked in the brackets, [ ], below.

Standard 1

United States territorial expansion between 1801 and 1861, and how it affected relations with external powers and Native Americans.

Standard 1A

The student understands the international background and consequences of the Louisiana Purchase, the War of 1812, and the Monroe Doctrine.

5-12 Analyze Napoleon's reasons for selling Louisiana to the United States. [Draw upon the data in historical maps
Compare the arguments advanced by Democratic Republicans and Federalists regarding the acquisition of Louisiana. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas]
Analyze how the Louisiana Purchase influenced politics, economic development, and the concept of Manifest Destiny. [Evaluate the implementation of a decision
9-12 Assess how the Louisiana Purchase affected relations with Native Americans and the lives of various inhabitants of the Louisiana Territory. [Explain historical continuity and change
5-12 Explain President Madison's reasons for declaring war in 1812 and analyze the sectional divisions over the war. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas
5-12 Assess why many Native Americans supported the British in the War of 1812 and the consequences of this policy. [Consider multiple perspectives
5-12 Identify the origins and provisions of the Monroe Doctrine and how it influenced hemispheric relations. [Reconstruct patterns of historical succession and duration]

Standard 1B

The student understands federal and state Indian policy and the strategies for survival forged by Native Americans.

7-12 Compare the policies toward Native Americans pursued by presidential administrations through the Jacksonian era. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas
9-12 Compare federal and state Indian policy and explain Whig opposition to the removal of Native Americans. [Consider multiple perspectives
5-12 Analyze the impact of removal and resettlement on the Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole. [Appreciate historical perspectives
5-12 Investigate the impact of trans-Mississippi expansion on Native Americans. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
7-12 Explain and evaluate the various strategies of Native Americans such as accommodation, revitalization, and resistance. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas]

Standard 1C

The student understands the ideology of Manifest Destiny, the nation's expansion to the Northwest, and the Mexican-American War.

5-12 Explain the economic, political, racial, and religious roots of Manifest Destiny and analyze how the concept influenced the westward expansion of the nation. [Examine the influence of ideas
7-12 Explain the diplomatic and political developments that led to the resolution of conflicts with Britain and Russia in the period 1815-1850. [Formulate a position or course of action on an issue]
9-12 Analyze United States trading interests in the Far East and explain how they influenced continental expansion to the Pacific. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
5-12 Compare and explain the peaceful resolution of the Oregon dispute with Great Britain and the declaration of war with Mexico. [Challenge arguments of historical inevitability]
5-12 Explain the causes of the Texas War for Independence and the Mexican-American War and evaluate the provisions and consequences of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. [Analyze multiple causation]
Analyze different perspectives on the Mexican-American War. [Consider multiple perspectives]

Standard 2

How the industrial revolution, increasing immigration, the rapid expansion of slavery, and the westward movement changed the lives of Americans and led toward regional tensions.

Standard 2A

The student understands how the factory system and the transportation and market revolutions shaped regional patterns of economic development.

5-12 Explain how the major technological developments that revolutionized land and water transportation arose and analyze how they transformed the economy, created international markets, and affected the environment. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships]
7-12 Evaluate national and state policies regarding a protective tariff, a national bank, and federally funded internal improvements. [Examine the influence of ideas
9-12 Explain how economic policies related to expansion, including northern dominance of locomotive transportation, served different regional interests and contributed to growing political and sectional differences. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas]
9-12 Compare how patterns of economic growth and recession affected territorial expansion and community life in the North, South, and West. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
5-12 Analyze how the factory system affected gender roles and changed the lives of men, women, and children. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
Evaluate the factory system from the perspectives of owners and workers and assess its impact on the rise of the labor movement in the antebellum period. [Consider multiple perspectives]

Standard 2B

The student understands the first era of American urbanization.

5-12 Identify and explain the factors that caused rapid urbanization and compare the new industrialized centers with the old commercial cities. [Explain historical continuity and change]
7-12 Analyze how rapid urbanization, immigration, and industrialization affected the social fabric of early 19th-century cities. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
7-12 Explain the growth of free African American communities in the cities and account for the rise of racial hostility. [Examine the influence of ideas
5-12 Compare popular and high culture in the growing cities. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas]

Standard 2C

The student understands how antebellum immigration changed American society.

5-12 Analyze the push-pull factors which led to increased immigration, for the first time from China but especially from Ireland and Germany. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
7-12 Assess the connection between industrialization and immigration. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
7-12 Explain how immigration intensified ethnic and cultural conflict and complicated the forging of a national identity. [Interrogate historical data]
5-12 Assess the ways immigrants adapted to life in the United States and to the hostility sometimes directed at them by the nativist movement and the Know Nothing party. [Assess the importance of the individual in history]

Standard 2D

The student understands the rapid growth of "the peculiar institution" after 1800 and the varied experiences of African Americans under slavery.

7-12 Analyze the impact of the Haitian Revolution and the ending of the Atlantic slave trade. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
5-12 Explain how the cotton gin and the opening of new lands in the South and West led to the increased demand for slaves. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
9-12 Analyze the argument that the institution of slavery retarded the emergence of capitalist institutions and values in the South. [Evaluate major debates among historians
5-12 Describe the plantation system and the roles of their owners, their families, hired white workers, and enslaved African Americans. [Consider multiple perspectives]
5-12 Identify the various ways in which African Americans resisted the conditions of their enslavement and analyze the consequences of violent uprisings. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships]
Evaluate how enslaved African Americans used religion and family to create a viable culture and ameliorate the effects of slavery. [Obtain historical data]

Standard 2E

The student understands the settlement of the West.

5-12 Explore the lure of the West and the reality of life on the frontier. [Examine the influence of ideas
5-12 Contrast the causes and character of the rapid settlement of California and Oregon in the late 1840s and 1850s. [Compare and contrast different patterns of settlement]
5-12 Examine the origins and political organization of the Mormons, explaining the motives for their trek west and evaluating their contributions to the settlement of the West. [Appreciate historical perspectives
7-12 Analyze cultural interactions among diverse groups in the trans-Mississippi region. [Consider multiple perspectives]
9-12 Assess the degree to which political democracy was a characteristic of the West and evaluate the factors influencing political and social conditions on the frontier. [Differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations]

Standard 3

The extension, restriction, and reorganization of political democracy after 1800.

Standard 3A

The student understands the changing character of American political life in "the age of the common man."

7-12 Relate the increasing popular participation in state and national politics to the evolving democratic ideal that adult white males were entitled to political participation. [Identify relevant historical antecedents
5-12 Explain the contradictions between the movement for universal white male suffrage and the disenfranchisement of free African Americans as well as women in New Jersey. [Evaluate the implementation of a decision
5-12 Analyze the influence of the West on the heightened emphasis on equality in the political process. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
9-12 Explain the combination of sectional, cultural, economic, and political factors that contributed to the formation of the Democratic, Whig, and "Know-Nothing" parties. [Analyze multiple causation
9-12 Evaluate the importance of state and local issues, the rise of interest-group politics, and the style of campaigning in increasing voter participation. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas]
Explain why the election of Andrew Jackson was considered a victory for the "common man." [Assess the importance of the individual in history
Analyze how Jackson's veto of the U.S. Bank recharter and his actions in the nullification crisis contributed to the rise of the Whig party. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships]

Standard 3B

The student understands how the debates over slavery influenced politics and sectionalism.

5-12 Explain the Missouri Compromise and evaluate its political consequences. [Identify issues and problems in the past
7-12 Explain how tariff policy and issues of states' rights influenced party development and promoted sectional differences. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
7-12 Analyze how the debates over slavery--from agitation over the "gag rule" of the late 1830s through the war with Mexico--strained national cohesiveness and fostered rising sectionalism. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas]

Standard 4

The sources and character of cultural, religious, and social reform movements in the antebellum period.

Standard 4A

The student understands the abolitionist movement.

7-12 Analyze changing ideas about race and assess the reception of proslavery and antislavery ideologies in the North and South. [Examine the influence of ideas
5-12 Explain the fundamental beliefs of abolitionism and compare the antislavery positions of the "immediatists" and "gradualists" within the movement. [Consider multiple perspectives
9-12 Compare the positions of African American and white abolitionists on the issue of the African American's place in society. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas]

Standard 4B

The student understands how Americans strived to reform society and create a distinct culture.

5-12 Explain the importance of the Second Great Awakening and the ideas of its principal leaders. [Examine the influence of ideas]
7-12 Assess how the Second Great Awakening impinged on antebellum issues such as public education, temperance, women's suffrage, abolition, and commercialization. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships
7-12 Define Transcendentalism, account for the rise of the first American renaissance, and analyze ideas concerning the individual, society, and nature expressed in the literary works of major Transcendentalists. [Examine the influence of ideas]
5-12 Examine how literary and artistic movements fostered a distinct American identity among different groups and in different regions. [Draw upon literary and artistic sources]
9-12 Identify the major utopian experiments and analyze the reasons for their formation. [Consider multiple perspectives]

Standard 4C

The student understands changing gender roles and the ideas and activities of women reformers.

9-12 Compare the North, South, and West in terms of men's and women's occupations, legal rights, and social status. [Interrogate historical data
5-12 Analyze the activities of women of different racial and social groups in the reform movements for education, abolition, temperance, and women's suffrage. [Examine the importance of the individual
7-12 Analyze the goals of the 1848 Seneca Falls "Declaration of Sentiments" and evaluate its impact. [Reconstruct the literal meaning of a historical passage
9-12 Compare and contrast the antebellum women's movement for equality and 20th-century feminism. [Hypothesize the influence of the past]