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Social Studies Curriculum Social Studies - United States History I
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U.S. I Strand 6: EXPANSION

(Ca. 1783-1890)

The territorial expansion of the United States created challenges and opportunities for the young nation. Significant advances in industrial technology, discoveries of vast natural resources, a series of gold rushes, visions of the destiny of the nation, continuing conflicts between American Indians and settlers, disagreements between slave states and free states, and a number of push and pull factors influenced territorial expansion. The physical, political, and human geography of the United States today reflects, in part, the 19th century expansion of the nation.

Possible Guiding Questions to Consider:

  • What motivated settlers to move west?
  • How do 19th century events such as the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican- American War continue to affect the United States today?
  • What is the relationship between land and power?
  • How did the continent's physical geography affect the expansion of the United States?
  • What were the costs and benefits of the Industrial Revolution?
  • How did industrial leaders use markets and capital to grow their businesses?
  • Making of America
    The University of Michigan offers this collection of primary resources from U.S. history in the years 1850-1877. The emphasis is on social history.
  • Our Documents - 100 Milestone Documents
    List of 100 milestone documents that chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965.This site also provides excellent links, including History Day.
  • The Great Chicago Fire and The Web of Memory
    This site is useful as a remembrance of an important event (the Great Chicago Fire of 1871), and also as an example of how such an event is documented by historians.

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Robert  Austin and see the Social Studies website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - Jennifer  Throndsen.

These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.