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United States History and Geography: Growth and Conflict
Students in grade eight study the ideas, issues, and events from the framing of the Constitution up to World War I, with an emphasis on America’s role in the war. After reviewing the development of America’s democratic institutions founded on the Judeo- Christian heritage and English parliamentary traditions, particularly the shaping of the Constitution, students trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences. They learn about the challenges facing the new nation, with an emphasis on the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War. They make connections between the rise of industrialization and contemporary social and economic conditions.
8.6 Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced, with emphasis on the Northeast.
1. Discuss the influence of industrialization and technological developments on the region, including human modification of the landscape and how physical geography shaped human actions (e.g., growth of cities, deforestation, farming, mineral extraction).
2. Outline the physical obstacles to and the economic and political factors involved in building a network of roads, canals, and railroads (e.g., Henry Clay’s American Sys tem).
3. List the reasons for the wave of immigration from Northern Europe to the United States and describe the growth in the number, size, and spatial arrangements of cities (e.g., Irish immigrants and the Great Irish Famine).
4. Study the lives of black Americans who gained freedom in the North and founded schools and churches to advance their rights and communities.
5. Trace the development of the American education system from its earliest roots, including the roles of religious and private schools and Horace Mann’s campaign for free public education and its assimilating role in American culture.
6. Examine the women’s suffrage movement (e.g., biographies, writings, and speeches of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Margaret Fuller, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony).
7. Identify common themes in American art as well as transcendentalism and individual ism (e.g., writings about and by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).
8.7 Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the South from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.
1. Describe the development of the agrarian economy in the South, identify the locations of the cotton-producing states, and discuss the significance of cotton and the cotton gin.
2. Trace the origins and development of slavery; its effects on black Americans and on the region’s political, social, religious, economic, and cultural development; and identify the strategies that were tried to both overturn and preserve it (e.g., through the writings and historical documents on Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey).
3. Examine the characteristics of white Southern society and how the physical environ ment influenced events and conditions prior to the Civil War.
4. Compare the lives of and opportunities for free blacks in the North with those of free blacks in the South.
8.8 Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the West from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.
1. Discuss the election of Andrew Jackson as president in 1828, the importance of Jackso nian democracy, and his actions as president (e.g., the spoils system, veto of the Na tional Bank, policy of Indian removal, opposition to the Supreme Court).
2. Describe the purpose, challenges, and economic incentives associated with westward expansion, including the concept of Manifest Destiny (e.g., the Lewis and Clark expe dition, accounts of the removal of Indians, the Cherokees’ “Trail of Tears,” settlement of the Great Plains) and the territorial acquisitions that spanned numerous decades.
3. Describe the role of pioneer women and the new status that western women achieved (e.g., Laura Ingalls Wilder, Annie Bidwell; slave women gaining freedom in the West; Wyoming granting suffrage to women in 1869).
4. Examine the importance of the great rivers and the struggle over water rights.
5. Discuss Mexican settlements and their locations, cultural traditions, attitudes toward slavery, land-grant system, and economies.
6. Describe the Texas War for Independence and the Mexican-American War, including territorial settlements, the aftermath of the wars, and the effects the wars had on the lives of Americans, including Mexican Americans today.
8.9 Students analyze the early and steady attempts to abolish slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.
1. Describe the leaders of the movement (e.g., John Quincy Adams and his proposed constitutional amendment, John Brown and the armed resistance, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, Benjamin Franklin, Theodore Weld, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass).
2. Discuss the abolition of slavery in early state constitutions.
3. Describe the significance of the Northwest Ordinance in education and in the banning of slavery in new states north of the Ohio River.
4. Discuss the importance of the slavery issue as raised by the annexation of Texas and California’s admission to the union as a free state under the Compromise of 1850.
5. Analyze the significance of the States’ Rights Doctrine, the Missouri Compromise (1820), the Wilmot Proviso (1846), the Compromise of 1850, Henry Clay’s role in the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision (1857), and the Lincoln-Douglas debates (1858).
6. Describe the lives of free blacks and the laws that limited their freedom and economic opportunities.
8.10 Students analyze the multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the Civil War.
1. Compare the conflicting interpretations of state and federal authority as emphasized in the speeches and writings of statesmen such as Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun.
2. Trace the boundaries constituting the North and the South, the geographical differences between the two regions, and the differences between agrarians and industrialists.
3. Identify the constitutional issues posed by the doctrine of nullification and secession and the earliest origins of that doctrine.
4. Discuss Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and his significant writings and speeches and their relationship to the Declaration of Independence, such as his “House Divided” speech (1858), Gettysburg Address (1863), Emancipation Proclamation (1863), and inaugural addresses (1861 and 1865).
5. Study the views and lives of leaders (e.g., Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee) and soldiers on both sides of the war, including those of black soldiers and regiments.
6. Describe critical developments and events in the war, including the major battles, geographical advantages and obstacles, technological advances, and General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.
7. Explain how the war affected combatants, civilians, the physical environment, and future warfare.