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How did antebellum America set the stage for the Civil War?
What factors influenced westward migration?
What were some of the outcomes?
The three decades prior to the Civil War saw America bursting at the seams and torn by civil strife between the North and the South. Sectional differences seemed beyond solving as the issue of slavery came to be a wedge between the states that could not be resolved.
At the same time the western and southwestern borders of the United States moved over a thousand miles in just a few years and settlers eager to leave their crowded lives in the East or from Europe poured into the new U.S. acquisitions at an unprecedented rate.
The settlers overran Native claims. In 1846 disputes over Oregon Territory were settled with Britain. The Spanish claims to lands beyond the Rockies and south of 42 degrees north latitude were the source of a land- acquiring war between the United States and Mexico. Following the war, California was added to the Union The borders of the land encompassing the Lower 48 states began to look very much like they do today.
For this assignment we will evaluate key people and events of the three decades or so prior to the Civil War
Use a separate sheet of paper document for your answers.
Be sure to use in the in-class materials and the online materials as needed. Of course, you are invited to find your own sources as well.
Uh, yes, of course you can use the materials you have gathered for your essay
This assignment includes four sections: Short Essays, In-Depth Essays, Matching, and Crossword. In order to facilitate answering the essay questions, I have included them here. The matching and crossword sections are available only in the printed assignment.
For this packet we will evaluate key people and events of the three decades or so prior to the Civil War.
Use separate sheets of paper document for your answers. I strongly recommend you create a Google doc.
Be sure to use in the in-class materials, discussions, and the online materials as needed. Of course, you are invited to find your own sources as well.
And, yes, of course you can use the materials you have gathered for your essay.
This is a big packet, but don’t panic. Just use our lesson materials and in-class work time. You will do just fine - probably.
Create a simple, original, and contextual essay of a couple of paragraphs to two of the topics listed under each category.
Remember, a contextual essay explains the circumstances that form the setting for an event or idea in ways it can be fully understood.
Topic One - Slavery
- What was the intent of the Kansas-Nebraska Act? Did it achieve the aims of its sponsors?
- What were fugitive slave laws? How did they affect attitudes toward slavery?
- What were the Negro spirituals? What might have been their uses?
- Explain how the Underground Railroad worked. What made it succeed? What challenges did it face?
- Explain the history and impacts of Harriet Tubman.
- Who was Dred Scott? How did his case affect America?
- What was the goal of Nat Turner’s revolt?
- Explain the history of John Brown prior to the raid on the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. What were his goals? Did he achieve them?
Topic Two - Manifest Destiny
- What was the concept of Manifest Destiny? How did it affect Americans’s moving west?
- What was the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo? How did it affect American westward movement?
- What was the appeal of the Oregon Territory? How did it affect American movement?
- Explain the Mexican Cession.
- How did the Mormon Migration differ from others on the Oregon Trail? How was it similar?
Topic Three - Texas
- How did the fight over slavery affect the westward movements of Americans into Texas?
- Who was Stephen Austin? Why was he important in the history of Texas?
- Explain the development of Texas Independence from 1820 to 1845.
- Explain the importance of the Battle of the Alamo and Battle San Jacinto.
Utopia and New Ways of Thinking
- What was the essence of transcendentalism? How did it affect the American political scene? How did it affect later generations? Be specific?
- What were the aims of the Seneca Falls Convention?
- What were people seeking when they built utopian communities?
Topic Four - Migration
- Explain the history of John C. Fremont. What were his original goals? How did that change? How did he affect the history of the American West? How did his wife and his in-laws affect his plans?
- How did the fur trade affect westward migration? What roles did the mountain men play after the fur trade declined?
For this part of Assignment Eight you will choose two of the following essential questions and create a simple essay of three paragraphs or so relating to the questions you chose. This means you will create a total of six paragraphs for this part of the assignment. For a three paragraph essay samples see this link if you are viewing this as a PDF file. If not, go to the website for the link.
- How did the Utopian communities of the time affect the general movement of Americans to the West?
- In what ways did the Texas revolt against Mexico and Texas’ eventual joining to the United States affect the westward growth of the United States?
- Why was the Mexican War fought? What were the outcomes?
- What drove Americans to move West along the emigrant trails?
- What issues were driving the division between the North and South? How did they grow?
- How did the changing course of federal law about slavery deepen the divisions between North and South?
- Describe the various forms of resistance to slavery.
- Printed files
- To view the first two pages of the packet for this assignment, click here.
- To view the crossword puzzle that goes with this packet, click here.
- Media files
- Online files
- Chapter 20 of the online textbook
- Chapter 21 of the online textbook
- Click here to open a copy of the PowerPoint about slavery we used in class.
- To view the YouTube video about the Kansas - Nebraska Act click here.
- Tips on writing a good three paragraph essay.
- To view the PowerPoint about westward expansion and Texas, click here.
- Here is the link to the YouTube video about the Seneca Falls Convention.
- To view the PowerPoint about westward expansion and the Oregon Trail, click here.
- Click here to view the PowerPoint about transcendentalism we use in class.
- Click here to see the video about the Second Great Awakening we used in class.
- Click here to watch the video of my PowerPoint about the economies of slavery.
- Click here to watch the video of my PowerPoint about the differences between the North and the South at the beginning of the Antebellum Era.
- Here is the link the video about Harriet Tubman.
- Click here to see the video about Texas Indepedence.
- To access the PowerPoint about the Seneca Falls Convention, click here.