Welcome to UNITED STATES history & GEOGRAPHY: GROWTH AND CONFLICT
"We must act upon the motto of all for each and each for all. There must be ever present in our minds the fundamental truth that in a republic such as ours the only safety is to stand neither for nor against any man because he is rich or because he is poor, because he is engaged in one occupation or another, because he works with his brains or because he works with his hands. We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less."
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt
Students in grade eight study the ideas, issues, and events from the exploration, to the framing of the Constitution up to World War I, with an emphasis on America’s role in the war, and the impacts of the industrial revolution. 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 and Westward expansion. They make connections between the rise of industrialization and contemporary social and economic conditions.
This above link is a great site to learn more and be a scholar.
Please see the legal links for the law that might help you understand the cases we have studied in class and new questions you might have:
Favorite Quotes: These ae examples of primary sources. these can be interpreted and extrapolated, to write down your ideas.
“I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowlege among the people. no other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom, and happiness..”
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. “
Possible Areas of inquiry for the course:
- The First Americans Description: In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students hypothesize the geographic origins of American Indian artifacts to explore how the first Americans in eight cultural regions adapted to their environments. Essential Question: How did the first Americans adapt to their environments? Reading Further: Digging Up the Past
- European Exploration and Settlement Description: In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze and bring to life images depicting European exploration and settlement to discover how European nations explored and established settlements in the Americas. Essential Question: How did Europeans explore and establish settlements in the Americas? Reading Further: Who Was the Real Columbus?
- The English Colonies in North America Description: In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students analyze the similarities and differences among the English colonies in North America by creating and visiting sales booths in a "colonial fair." Essential Question: What were the similarities and differences among the colonies in North America? Reading Further: A Colonial Cast of Characters
- Life in the Colonies Description: Students work in pairs in a Social Studies Skill Builder to analyze primary and secondary source material to explore eight aspects of life in the American colonies, including rights of colonists, religion, education, and life for enslaved African Americans. Essential Question: What was life really like in the colonies? Reading Further: A Great Awakening
- Toward Independence Description: In a Response Group activity, students participate in a series of colonial town meetings to debate whether to rebel against British rule. In the process, they evaluate the events that deeply divided the American colonists and eventually caused them to rebel against the British government. Essential Question: When is it necessary for citizens to rebel against their government? Reading Further: “I Love the Story of Paul Revere, Whether He Rode or Not”√
- The Declaration of Independence Description: Students learn about key events leading up to the writing of the Declaration of Independence and, in a Writing for Understanding activity, analyze key excerpts of the Declaration and the principles of government they express. Essential Question: What principles of government are expressed in the Declaration of Independence? Reading Further: The Power of Common Sense
- The American Revolution Description: In an Experiential Exercise, students participate in a game of Capture the Flag. They compare their experience to the determining factors of the war for independence from Great Britain—examining the strengths and weaknesses of each side, important battles, and other key factors in the conflict—to determine how the British were defeated. Essential Question: How was the Continental army able to win the war for independence from Great Britain? Reading Further: George Washington: A Warrior Spirit and a Caring Heart
- Creating the Constitution Description: In an Experiential Exercise, students examine the factors that led to the creation of a stronger central government under the U.S. Constitution by re-creating a key debate from the Constitutional Convention. Essential Question: What compromises emerged from the Constitutional Convention? Reading Further: James Madison and the Long, Hot Summer of 1787
- The Constitution: A More Perfect Union Description: In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students work in pairs to explore the key features and guiding principles of the U.S. Constitution by assuming the role of law students taking a final exam on the Constitution. Essential Question: How has the Constitution created “a more perfect Union”? Reading Further: Who Are “We the People”?
- The Bill of Rights Description: In a Response Group activity, students learn about the important rights and freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights by analyzing a series of scenarios to determine whether the Bill of Rights protects certain actions taken by citizens. Essential Question: What freedoms does the Bill of Rights protect and why are they important? Reading Further: What Is Religious Freedom?
- Political Developments in the Early Republic Description: In an Experiential Exercise, students compare Federalist and Republican visions for the United States by taking on the roles of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson to debate the main issues that divided the two groups. Essential Question: How did the Federalist and Republican visions for the United States differ? Reading Further: The President’s House
- Foreign Affairs in the Young Nation Description: In a Response Group activity, students assume the roles of foreign policy advisers to early presidents to evaluate the extent to which the country should have become involved in world affairs. Essential Question: To what extent should the United States have become involved in world affairs in the early 1800s? Reading Further: Tecumseh, the Shooting Star
- A Growing Sense of Nationhood Description: In a Writing for Understanding activity, students visit an art exhibit, cotillion, and literary gathering to experience American culture in the early 1800s. They then create a chapter of a book describing what it meant to be an American in this period. Essential Question: What did it mean to be an American in the early 1800s? Reading Further: A New Literature Celebrates a New Nation
- Andrew Jackson and the Growth of American Democracy Description: In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze and bring to life images of key events in the presidency of Andrew Jackson to evaluate how well he promoted democracy. Essential Question: How well did President Andrew Jackson promote democracy? Reading Further: The Trail Where They Cried√
- Manifest Destiny and the Growing Nation Description: In a Response Group activity, students re-create each territorial acquisition of the 1800s and then evaluate whether the nation’s actions were justifiable. Essential Question: How justifiable was U.S. expansion in the 1800s? Reading Further: Westward on the Santa Fe Trail
- Life in the West Description: In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students create and perform minidramas about eight groups of people who moved to the West in the 1800s to explore these people’s motives for moving, the hardships they faced, and the legacies they left behind for future generations. Essential Question: What were the motives, hardships, and legacies of the groups that moved west in the 1800s? Reading Further: Gold Rush Pioneers
- Mexicano Contributions to the Southwest Description: Students work in pairs in a Social Studies Skill Builder to examine important Mexicano contributions and determine how they have influenced life in the United States. Essential Question: How have Mexicano contributions influenced life in the United States? Reading Further: Mexicano Culture Today
- An Era of Reform Description: Students examine the reform movements of the mid-1800s to evaluate to what extent they improved life for Americans. In a Response Group activity, they debate the extent to which grievances from the Declaration of Sentiments have been redressed today. Essential Question: To what extent did the reform movements of the mid-1800s improve life for Americans? Reading Further: Brook Farm and the Utopian Dream
- The Worlds of North and South Description: In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze and bring to life images from the mid-1800s to compare the different ways of life in the North and the South. Essential Question: How was life in the North different from life in the South? Reading Further: The Mill Girls of Lowell
- African Americans in the Mid-1800s Description: In a Writing for Understanding activity, students analyze quotations and examine images to discover how African Americans faced slavery and discrimination in the mid-1800s. They then create a journal describing some of the experiences of a slave in the period. Essential Question: How did African Americans face slavery and discrimination in the mid-1800s? Reading Further: Harriet Tubman, Moses of the Underground Railroad
- A Dividing Nation Description: In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze and bring to life images depicting the growing conflict between the North and the South to understand why the nation could not prevent civil war. Essential Question: Which events of the mid-1800s kept the nation together and which events pulled it apart? Reading Further: Slavery Divides Boston
- The Civil War Description: In an Experiential Exercise, students take on the role of soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg and encounter key aspects of what it was like to be a soldier in the Civil War and then write about their experiences. Essential Question: What factors and events influenced the outcome of the Civil War? Reading Further: Divided House, Divided Families
- The Reconstruction Era Description: In a Visual Discovery activity, students analyze primary source images to evaluate how close African Americans came to full citizenship during Reconstruction. Essential Question: To what extent did Reconstruction bring African Americans closer to full citizenship? Reading Further: The Long Road to Equal Rights
- Tensions in the West Description: Students work together in a Problem Solving Groupwork activity to create a music video to illustrate how western settlement impacted the Nez Percé. They then examine how settlers changed the West and impacted other American Indian groups. Essential Question: How did settlers change the West and affect American Indians? Reading Further: Black Exodus
- The Rise of Industry Description: In an Experiential Exercise, students take on the role of workers on an assembly line to experience the costs and benefits of industrialization. Essential Question: Did the benefits of industrialization outweigh the costs? Reading Further: The Celebrity Inventor
- The Great Wave of Immigration Description: In a Writing for Understanding activity, students create scrapbooks illustrating what life was like for immigrants in the early 1900s. Essential Question: What was life like for immigrants in the early 1900s? Reading Further: Young Immigrants Today
- The Progressive Era Description: In a Response Group activity, students take on the roles of Progressive era leaders in a panel discussion to evaluate whether progressives improved life in the United States. Essential Question: Did the progressives improve life in the United States? Reading Further: Children at Work
- The United States Becomes a World Power Description: In a Social Studies Skill Builder, pairs of students analyze political cartoons about U.S. actions in world affairs around the turn of the 20th century and evaluate the differing viewpoints of those actions. Essential Question: Should U.S. actions in world affairs around the turn of the 20th century be praised or condemned? Reading Further: The Yellow Press Goes to War
- Linking Past to Present Description: In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students discover important events of the last century and learn how they have affected society in the United States. Essential Question: What changes since 1914 have shaped how we live today? Reading Further: Questions for the Future
Recent News & documentaries
We hope that the ideas and concepts we learn as a class will help to make a better world through our understanding from the study of World History, Economics, and other disciplines. While math and science are also important we need young people to be non-violent and stop “haters” from making all kinds of folks unhappy, unsafe, and weary of the future. Let us understand our world better to create an earth that can improve people’s lives for the future by understanding our humanity’s past.