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History Unbound: 19th Century

Library of Congress Primary Source Sets 19th Century Index

Beyond the Bubble Assessments - 19th Century

Lesson Plans - 19th Century - grades 3-8

Lesson Plans - 19th Century - grades 6-8

Lesson Plans - 19th Century - grades 6-12

Lesson Plans - 19th Century - grades 9-12

19th Century Social Studies Framework Key Ideas

4.1 GEOGRAPHY OF NEW YORK STATE: New York State has a diverse geography. Various maps can be used to represent and examine the geography of New York State. (Standard: 3; Theme: GEO)

4.5 IN SEARCH OF FREEDOM AND A CALL FOR CHANGE: Different groups of people did not have equal rights and freedoms. People worked to bring about change. The struggle for rights and freedoms was one factor in the division of the United States that resulted in the Civil War. (Standards: 1, 5; Themes: ID, TCC, SOC, CIV)

  • 4.5a There were slaves in New York State. People worked to fight against slavery and for change.
  • 4.5b Women have not always had the same rights as men in the United States and New York State. They sought to expand their rights and bring about change. ( Students will explore what happened at the convention of women in Seneca Falls. )
  • 4.5c The United States became divided over several issues including slavery resulting in the Civil War. New York State supported the Union and played an important role in this war. 

4.6 WESTWARD MOVEMENT AND INDUSTRIALIZATION: New York State played an important role in the growth of the United States. During the 1800s, people traveled west looking for opportunities. Economic activities in New York State are varied and have changed over time with improvements in transportation and technology. (Standards: 1, 3, 4; Themes: MOV, TCC, GEO, ECO, TECH)

  • 4.6a After the Revolution, New Yorkers began to move and settle further west, using roads many of which had begun as Native American trails. 
  • 4.6b In order to connect the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean, the Erie Canal was built. Existing towns expanded and new towns grew along the canal. New York City became the busiest port in the country. Students will examine the physical features of New York State and determine where it might be easiest to build a canal, and form a hypothesis about the best location. Students will compare their hypothesis with the actual location of the Erie Canal. Students will examine how the development the canal affected the Haudenosaunee nations.
  • 4.6c Improved technology such as the steam engine and the telegraph made transportation and communication faster and easier. Later developments in transportation and communication technology had an impact on communities, the state, and the world.
  • 4.6d Farming, mining, lumbering, and finance are important economic activities associated with New York State.
  • 4.6e Entrepreneurs and inventors associated with New York State have made important contributions to business and technology. Students will research several people who made important contributions to business, technology, and New York State communities. Some people to consider include Thomas Jennings, Thomas Edison, Henry Steinway, John Jacob Bausch, Henry Lomb, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Lewis H. Latimer, Jacob Schoellkopf, Nikola Tesla, George Westinghouse, George Eastman, Amory Houghton, Willis Carrier, John D. Rockefeller, Edward H. Harriman, J.P. Morgan, Hetty Green, Emily Roebling, and Elisha Otis, and others as locally appropriate.
  • 4.6f Between 1865 and 1915, rapid industrialization occurred in New York State. Over time, industries and manufacturing continued to grow.
  • 4.6g As manufacturing moved out of New York State, service industries and high-technology industries have grown. 

4.7 IMMIGRATION AND MIGRATION FROM THE EARLY 1800S TO THE PRESENT: Many people have immigrated and migrated to New York State contributing to its cultural growth and development. (Standards 1, 3, 4, 5; Themes: ID, MOV, CIV, ECO, EXCH)

  • 4.7a Immigrants came to New York State for a variety of reasons. Many immigrants arriving in New York City were greeted by the sight of the Statue of Liberty and were processed through Ellis Island. 

7.6 WESTWARD EXPANSION: Driven by political and economic motives, the United States expanded its physical boundaries to the Pacific Ocean between 1800 and 1860. This settlement displaced Native Americans as the frontier was pushed westward. (Standards: 1, 3; Themes: ID, MOV, TCC, GEO)  

  • 7.6a Conflict and compromise with foreign nations occurred regarding the physical expansion of the United States during the 19th century. American values and beliefs such as Manifest Destiny and the need for resources increased westward expansion and settlement.
  • 7.6b Westward expansion provided opportunities for some groups while harming others. Students will examine the Erie Canal as a gateway to westward expansion that resulted in economic growth for New York State, economic opportunities for Irish immigrants working on its construction, and its use by religious groups such as the Mormons to move westward. Students will examine the policies of New York State toward Native Americans at this time. 

7.7 REFORM MOVEMENTS: Social, political, and economic inequalities sparked various reform movements and resistance efforts. Influenced by the Second Great Awakening, New York played a key role in major reform efforts. (Standards: 1, 5; Themes: SOC, CIV, GOV)

  • 7.7a The Second Great Awakening, which had a strong showing in New York, inspired reform movements.
  • 7.7b Enslaved African Americans resisted slavery in various ways in the 19th century. The abolitionist movement also worked to raise awareness and generate resistance to the institution of slavery.
  • 7.7c Women joined the movements for abolition and temperance and organized to advocate for women’s property rights, fair wages, education, and political equality.
  • 7.7d The Anti-Rent movement in New York State was an attempt by tenant farmers to the protest the landownership system. Students will trace the Anti-Rent movement in New York State.

7.8 A NATION DIVIDED: Westward expansion, the industrialization of the North, and the increase of slavery in the South contributed to the growth of sectionalism. Constitutional conflicts between advocates of States rights and supporters of federal power increased tensions in the nation; attempts to compromise ultimately failed to keep the nation together, leading to the Civil War. (Standards: 1, 3, 4; Themes: TCC, GEO, GOV, ECO) 

  • 7.8a Early United States industrialization affected different parts of the country in different ways. Regional economic differences and values, as well as different conceptions of the Constitution, laid the basis for tensions between States rights advocates and supporters of a strong federal government.
  • 7.8b As the nation expanded geographically, the question of slavery in new territories and states led to increased sectional tensions. Attempts at compromise ended in failure.
  • 7.8c Perspectives on the causes of the Civil War varied based on geographic region, but the election of a Republican president was one of the immediate causes for the secession of the Southern states.
  • 7.8d The course and outcome of the Civil War were influenced by strategic leaders from both the North and South, decisive battles, and military strategy and technology that utilized the region's geography.
  • 7.8e The Civil War impacted human lives, physical infrastructure, economic capacity, and governance of the United States. 

8.1 RECONSTRUCTION: Regional tensions following the Civil War complicated efforts to heal the nation and to redefine the status of African Americans.
(Standards: 1, 4, 5; Themes: MOV, SOC, CIV, ECO)

  • 8.1a Different approaches toward and policies for Reconstruction highlight the challenges faced in reunifying the nation. Students will compare and contrast the differences between Reconstruction under Lincoln’s plan, Johnson’s plan, and congressional (Radical) Reconstruction.
  • 8.1b freed African Americans created new lives for themselves in the absence of slavery. Constitutional amendments and federal legislation sought to expand the rights and protect the citizenship of African Americans.
  • 8.1c Federal initiatives begun during Reconstruction were challenged on many levels, leading to negative impacts on the lives of African Americans.

8.2 A CHANGING SOCIETY: Industrialization and immigration contributed to the urbanization of America. Problems resulting from these changes sparked the Progressive movement and increased calls for reform. (Standards: 1, 2, 4; Themes: MOV, SOC, TECH, EXCH)

  • 8.2a Technological developments changed the modes of production, and access to natural resources facilitated increased industrialization. The demand for labor in urban industrial areas resulted in increased migration from rural areas and a rapid increase in immigration to the United States. New York City became the nation’s largest city and other New York cities experienced growth at this time. Students will identify groups of people who moved into urban areas, and examine where they came from and the reasons for their migration into the cities. Students will explore the immigrant experience at Ellis Island. Students will compare and contrast immigrant experiences in locations such as ethnic neighborhoods in cities, rural settlements in the Midwest, Chinese communities in the Far West, and Mexican communities in the Southwest.
  • 8.2b Population density, diversity, technologies, and industry in urban areas shaped the social, cultural, and economic lives of people.
  • 8.2c Increased urbanization and industrialization contributed to increasing conflicts over immigration, influenced changes in labor conditions, and led to political corruption.
  • 8.2d In response to shifts in working conditions, laborers organized and employed a variety of strategies in an attempt to improve their conditions.
  • 8.2e Progressive era reformers sought to address political and social issues at the local, state, and federal levels of government between 1890 and 1920. These efforts brought renewed attention to women’s rights and the suffrage movement and spurred the creation of government reform policies. 

8.3 EXPANSION AND IMPERIALISM: Beginning in the second half of the 19th century, economic, political, and cultural factors contributed to a push for westward expansion and more aggressive United States foreign policy. (Standards: 1, 2, 3, 5; Themes: GEO, GOV, CIV, ECO)

  • 8.3a Continued westward expansion contributed to increased conflicts with Native Americans.
  • 8.3b The Spanish-American War contributed to the rise of the United States as an imperial power.
  • 8.3c Interest in Pacific trade contributed to an increase in United States foreign interactions.
  • 8.3d The Roosevelt Corollary expanded the Monroe Doctrine and increased United States involvement in the affairs of Latin America. This led to resentment of the United States among many in Latin America. 

11.3 EXPANSION, NATIONALISM, AND SECTIONALISM (1800 – 1865): As the nation expanded, growing sectional tensions, especially over slavery, resulted in political and constitutional crises that culminated in the Civil War. (Standards: 1, 3, 4, 5; Themes: TCC, GEO, GOV, ECO, TECH)

  • 11.3a American nationalism was both strengthened and challenged by territorial expansion and economic growth.
  • 11.3b Different perspectives concerning constitutional, political, economic, and social issues contributed to the growth of sectionalism.
  • 11.3c Long-standing disputes over States rights and slavery and the secession of Southern states from the Union sparked by the election of Abraham Lincoln led to the Civil War. After the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves became a major Union goal. The Civil War resulted in tremendous human loss and physical destruction. 

11.4 POST-CIVIL WAR ERA (1865 – 1900): Reconstruction resulted in political reunion and expanded constitutional rights. However, those rights were undermined and issues of inequality continued for African Americans, women, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and Chinese immigrants. (Standards: 1, 4, 5; Themes: ID, TCC, CIV, ECO)

  • 11.4a Between 1865 and 1900, constitutional rights were extended to African Americans. However, their ability to exercise these rights was undermined by individuals, groups, and government institutions.
  • 11.4b The 14th and 15th amendments failed to address the rights of women.
  • 11.4c Federal policies regarding westward expansion had positive effects on the national economy but negative consequences for Native Americans.
  • 11.4d Racial and economic motives contributed to long-standing discrimination against Mexican Americans and opposition to Chinese immigration.

11.5 INDUSTRIALIZATION AND URBANIZATION (1870 – 1920): The United States was transformed from an agrarian to an increasingly industrial and urbanized society. Although this transformation created new economic opportunities, it also created societal problems that were addressed by a variety of reform efforts

  • 11.5a New technologies and economic models created rapid industrial growth and transformed the United States.
  • 11.5b Rapid industrialization and urbanization created significant challenges and societal problems addressed by a variety of reform efforts. Students will trace reform efforts by individuals and the consequences of those efforts including: Jane Addams and Hull House, Jacob Riis’ How the Other Half Lives, New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt and the Tenement Reform Commission, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and the Meat Inspection Act, Margaret Sanger and birth control, Ida Tarbell’s The History of the Standard Oil Company, Ida Wells and her writings about lynching of African Americans, Booker T. Washington’s contributions to education, including Tuskegee Institute, W. E. B. Du Bois and the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the publication of The Crisis and the Silent Protest (1917).
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