Unit overview: national expansion & civil war

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Academic U.S. & Virginia History Name: ______________________________

Mr. Briscoe/Mr. Null Second Quarter


Unit Description

By the 1840s, American society was rapidly changing, with major reform movements calling for greater equality and opportunities for all Americans. “Manifest Destiny” also emerged as a driving force in U.S. politics and culture. Within just a few short years, from 1845 to 1848, the nation reached westward toward the Pacific, annexed the Republic of Texas, and forced Mexico to cede control of nearly one third of its own territory. Ironically, the rapid expansion of the nation’s boundaries threatened the nation’s unity by reawakening the sectional debate over slavery and states’ rights. Although the Compromise of 1850 served to ease tensions between North and South for a time, it only prolonged the inevitable. As the 1850s progressed, regional political differences sharpened over such issues as the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Dred Scott decision, and abolitionist support for John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry. With the election of an anti-slavery Republican presidential candidate in 1860, the Southern states finally made good on their threats of secession. The civil war that followed from 1861 to 1865 was the critical turning point in American history, settling the debate over national vs. state sovereignty with destructive finality and setting the stage for one of the strongest surges of national economic expansion in the nation’s history.

Essential Questions

*How and why did Americans expand westward to the Pacific by the 1840s?

*How and why did expansion and other factors reopen sectional divisions over slavery in the 1850s?

*What factors led to the start of the Civil War? How and why did the Union and Confederacy?

Schedule of Classes and Topics (subject to change)
T Dec 10 Introduction to the Unit; Manifest Destiny; Focus 17: Westward Expansion

DUE: Focus 16: Geography of the Southern States (distributed by 12/6)
TH Dec 12 Polk & the Mexican-American War; Focus 18: The Road to Secession (research/prep)

DUE: 1. Focus 17 (expansion map)

2. Homework 9 (H9) – see attached
M Dec 16 Civil War Exhibit Work Session (meet in lab 231)

DUE: Bring research and materials (see exhibit guide provided 11/13)

Aim to complete the summary and source analysis papers that day
W Dec 18 Focus 18: The Road to Secession (presentations/discussion)

DUE: 1. QUARTER EXHIBITS (by 4:30 p.m. that day)

2. Focus 18 (completed in class)
F Dec 20 Quiz #4: Southern Geography & Chapters 8-10; Civil War Exhibit (meet in library)

DUE: 1. Homework 10 (H10) – optional assignment attached

2. Last day to turn in any “Young Republic” unit materials for credit
F Jan 3 Focus 19: North vs. South; The Civil War (part I)
T Jan 7 Primary Source Investigation (PSI): Lincoln’s Words

DUE: Completed PSI (quiz grade)
TH Jan 9 The Civil War (part II); Focus 20: Film Study – Lincoln

DUE: Homework 11 (H11) – see attached

M Jan 13 Unit Test: National Expansion & Civil War

DUE: Binder check (due start of class) & review all unit materials
W Jan 15 Semester Exam Review; Focus 20: Film Study – Lincoln

F Jan 17 Semester Exam Review; Focus 20: Film Study – Lincoln

DUE: Complete Semester Exam Review Guide (provided 1/13)
SEMESTER EXAM: Tuesday, January 21 – Friday, January 24 (see exam schedule)
Unexpected Changes to Schedule

As we move into the winter months, school days may be delayed or cancelled without much advance notice. If we miss a day for some reason, please check this unit guide and plan on picking up with where we left off when we return to class. In some cases, we may need to skip over lessons to keep pace for the end of the semester. Please note that you are expected to keep up with homework and other assignments and have them ready to submit on the scheduled due dates, even if days of school are missed in advance of the due date. If an assignment is due on a day that ends up being a snow day, make sure to prepare the assignment to turn in on the next day that class meets.
Civil War Exhibit

The Civil War exhibit is due on December 18 so that we can set up the exhibition that will be presented in the Media Center on December 20. Refer back to the guidelines and grading rubric provided in November for details on what to include. Individual presentations will begin on December 20 and continue during class time through January 17. The exhibit is 20% of the second quarter grade.
Quiz #4 and PSI

The quiz and PSI are each worth 10% of the quarter grade. There will be no retake option for Quiz #4 for reasons that will be explained in class on December 18. The PSI will be completed in class on January 7. Students excused absent that day can make up the PSI on their own time by January 15.
Unit Test

The unit test on January 13 will be different from previous unit tests. All questions (50 total) will be multiple-choice and you will be able to use your unit binder materials on the test as long as you are prepared to turn them in at the end of the test. There is no retake option for this test. This format allows for quick grading so that we can use the test for semester exam review purposes later in the week. The unit test is 20% of the quarter grade.
A retake version of the “Young Republic” unit test will be offered to eligible students before and after school on Tuesday, January 7 and Thursday, January 9. To be eligible, students must have completed and turned in all unit materials by Friday, December 20 or have earned at least a 90% on the original unit binder check on December 6.
Semester Exam

The first semester exam will be a mix of 50 multiple-choice questions from throughout the semester and two short essays on topics from the National Expansion & Civil War unit. Further details will be provided in class by January 13. We will spend the block on January 15 and 17 reviewing for the exam. If we have snow days between now and then, we may lose some of that review time.

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