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A Standards Guide for Families of What is Expected in Grade 8 Social Studies

From the Ohio Department of Education
Focus: U.S. Studies from 1607 to 1877: Colonization through Reconstruction

What this means: Understanding the pattern of events that have happened in the past.
• Describe the political, religious and economic aspects of North American colonization including:

a) Reasons for colonization including religion, desire for land and economic opportunity;

b) Differences among the Spanish, French and British colonies;

c) Interactions between American Indians and European settlers;

d) Indentured servants and slavery;

e) Early governments and democratic practices that emerged;

f) Conflicts among colonial powers for control of North America.
• Explain what events led to the American Revolution such as the Proclamation of 1763, the Stamp Act, the Boston Tea Party and petitions and appeals to Parliament.
• Explain the results of developments of the American Revolution including:

a) A declaration of American independence;

b) Military struggle in the North in the early years of the war and the shift of the battle to the South after 1779;

c) Creation of state constitutions;

d) Impacts on women, African-Americans and American Indians.
• Explain the domestic problems faced by the leaders of the new republic under the Articles of Confederation including:

a) Maintaining national security;

b) Creating a stable economy;

c) Dealing with war debts;

d) Collecting revenue;

e) Defining the authority of the central government.

• Explain the challenges in writing and ratifying the U.S. Constitution including:

a) Issues debated during the convention resulting in compromises;

b) The Federalist/Anti Federalist debate;

c) The debate over a Bill of Rights.

• Describe the actions taken to build one country from 13 states including:

a) The precedents established by George Washington including the cabinet and a two-term presidency;

b) Alexander Hamilton’s actions to create a financially strong country including the creation of a national bank;

c) The establishment of an independent federal court system.

Check your understanding: Building One Country from 13 States

George Washington assembled a group of advisers called the Cabinet and he limited himself to two terms as president. This set an example that was followed by other presidents. Alexander Hamilton argued for the creation of a national bank.

• Describe the territorial expansion of the United States including:

a) The Northwest Ordinance;

b) The Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition;

c) Westward movement including Manifest Destiny;

d) The Texas War for Independence and the Mexican-American War.
Check your understanding: Territorial Expansion of the United States

The United States began as a narrow strip of land along the East Coast of North America. Throughout its first 100 years it continued to add new territory until it stretched from coast to coast.

• Explain causes of the Civil War including:

a) Slavery;

b) States’ rights;

c) Different economies of the North and South;

d) Extension of slavery into territories;

e) The abolitionist movement;

f) The addition of new states to the union;

g) The emergence of Abraham Lincoln as a national figure.

• Explain the courses and consequences of the Civil War with a focus on Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Battle of Gettysburg.
• Analyze the outcomes of Reconstruction with emphasis on President Lincoln’s assassination; President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment; attempts to improve opportunities for freedom; and the Ku Klux Klan and the enactment of black codes.

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