From Nationalism to Sectionalism U. S. History I 9-12

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From Nationalism to Sectionalism

U.S. History I – 9-12

The War of 1812 had created a sense of National Unity and reinforced the idea that United States was indeed a serious player in the world stage. However, it would not be long before this unity would begin to falter and set the nation down a path of deep division over issues that would challenge our values and beliefs as a nation. As a result of regional and economic differences, the North and South grew further apart developing very different cultures and attitudes. This unit will explore early governmental policies that put the question of States rights to the test, as well as re-introducing questions addressing the institution of slavery and its expansion into new territories. Students will examine the specific events that pushed the North and South into opposing directions leading to a nation burgeoning with sectional conflict. Students will also study the Jackson administration’s policies and the responses to those policies through the lens of Nationalist and Sectionalist politics.

Stage 1 Desired Results


USI.24 Describe the election of 1828, the importance of Jacksonian democracy, and Jackson’s actions as President. (H)

USI.28 Explain the emergence and impact of the textile industry in New England and industrial growth generally throughout antebellum America. (H, E)
USI.29 Describe the rapid growth of slavery in the South after 1800 and analyze slave life and resistance on plantations and farms across the South, as well as the impact of the cotton gin on the economics of slavery and Southern agriculture. (H)

  • Seminal Primary Documents to Read: Frederick Douglass’s Independence Day speech at Rochester, New York (1852)

USI.35 Describe how the different economies and cultures of the North and South contributed to the growing importance of sectional politics in the early 19th century. (H)
USI.36 Summarize the critical developments leading to the Civil War. (H)

  • the Missouri Compromise (1820)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas of primary or secondary sources
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of the early Republic
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.8 Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claims
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.9 Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources


Students will be able to independently use their learning to… T



U1 – There is an ongoing debate over the balance of power between the federal government and state governments.

U2 – Peoples values are influenced by their interests
U3 – advances in science and Technology have significant effects on society


Q1 – What is the appropriate role of Government in people’s lives?

Q2 –In what ways do people’s interests influence their sense of morality?
Q3 – How is the impact of change in society measured?


Students will know…
Content Vocabulary: (Tier3 words) nationalism, sectionalism, nullification, secede, tariff, (tier2)popular vote
Academic vocabulary: (tier2)national, Industry, domestic, foreign, crisis, textile, manufacturing, urban, rural, mill, values, morality


The rise of nationalism and sectionalism and the reasons for the division(U1, Q1)
How influential Supreme Court cases, such as McCulloch vs. Maryland, shaped national policies. (U1,U2,Q2)
How domestic and foreign policies demonstrated both Nationalism as well as growing Sectionalism(U1,U2)
The significance of the Monroe Doctrine of establishing foreign policy and the role of America in the world. (U2,Q2)
The Missouri Compromise’s foreshadowing of growing tensions between the North and the South.(U1, Q1,Q3)
Controversies over Jacksonian Democracy and subsequent policies, specifically the Indian Removal Act, National Bank debate, and the nullification crisis.(U1,U2,Q1,Q2)
Regional economic differences promote both nationalism and sectionalism. (U3,Q3)

Students will be skilled at… S

Identifying the differences between nationalism and sectionalism(U1,Q1)
Assessing the political impact of nationalism in the early American Republic(U2)
Comparing and contrasting the Northern and Southern societies(U2,U3,Q2,Q3)
Analyzing government policies and their impact on the growing political tensions

Examining Andrew Jackson's path to the presidency(U2,Q3)
Evaluate the effectiveness of Andrew Jackson as a leader(U2,Q2)
Interpreting different points of view on the Trail of Tears(U2,Q2)
Connect the Industrial Revolution with the spread of slavery in the South.(U2,U3,Q2,Q3)
Assessing the impact of the economy on belief systems(U2,U3,Q2,Q3)

Stage 2 - Evidence

Evaluative Criteria

Assessment Evidence


Nationalism and Sectionalism CEPA

You must determine who hired Lawrence to kill the president, and write a report to Captain Hainsley, the Washington D.C. Chief of Police, that explains your reasoning.  


You are the best police detective in the country and have been brought in to solve the case of who killed Andrew Jackson.


Captain Hainsley, Washington D.C. Chief of Police


On January 30, 1835 Andrew Jackson almost became the first president of the United States to be assassinated.  A young man named Richard Lawrence attempted to shoot Jackson at point-blank range outside the Capitol building in Washington D.C.  Amazingly, both of the single-shot derringer pistols used by Lawrence misfired, and Jackson was unharmed.  

For this activity, imagine:

  • That Lawrence’s guns fired properly and that Jackson was killed that day in 1835.  

  • Lawrence was immediately apprehended and his rented rooms in Washington were searched by the police.  

  • During the search, the police found evidence that strongly suggests that Lawrence was part of a conspiracy to kill the president; it seems obvious that he was hired by a very important national figure to assassinate Old Hickory.  

You are the best police detective in the country and have been brought in to solve the case.

These are your suspects:

  • Nicolas Biddle, president of the National Bank

  • Senator John C. Calhoun, former Vice president/Senator

  • John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

  • John Ross, a chief of the Cherokee Nation

Product Performance and Purpose

You are responsible to come up with motive and evidence that links each suspect to the crime of conspiring to murder Andrew Jackson. You must then give your expert opinion as to who had the strongest motive and support that opinion with evidence.

A thorough product will include an introductory paragraph which explains the background and important details of the case, a paragraph for each suspect that highlights the suspect’s relationship with Andrew Jackson, political leanings and motive for wanting Andrew Jackson dead. It must also include a concluding paragraph that notes who the primary suspect is and why.


Stage 3 – Learning Plan

Summary of Key Learning Events and Instruction
Lesson 1: The Rise of Nationalism

  • Compare and contrast Nationalism and Sectionalism

  • Analyze the balance between State and Federal power

  • Examine national and foreign policies in the Early 1800’s

  • Analyze map of the Missouri Compromise

Lesson 2: The Rise of Sectionalism

  • Examine the factors leading to the industrial revolution

  • Assess the impact of the Industrial revolution on the Northern economy

  • Predict the effect that industrialization on the Nation

  • Evaluate how technology impacted progress in the United States

  • Identify the factors that increased cotton production between 1800-1860

  • Evaluate the relationship between the demand for cotton and the spread of slavery

  • Compare and contrast the differences between North and South

  • Predict the possible conflicts that may arise over regional differences

Lesson 3: The Age of Jackson

  • Examine Jackson’s path to the presidency

  • Analyze arguments for and against Indian Removal

  • Analyze the impact of Indian removal

  • Evaluate the role of the National Bank controversy on issues of States rights verses the power of the presidency

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