How did different groups in the West experience U.S. expansion?
Second edition. January 2021.
PREVIEW THIS UNIT. The preview includes the table of contents, a student reading excerpt, and one lesson plan. PREVIEW ALL UNITS. Additional unit descriptions for the U.S. History Series that summarize key events, people, and terms, as well as underrepresented histories and skill development are available, along with a timeline, on this MIRO BOARD.
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, North America was home to diverse Native American, European, and African groups. These groups and individuals experienced U.S. territorial expansion in very different ways. Groups betrayed and fought each other, but they also worked to understand each other across a chasm of cultural difference. In later years, people in the United States would tell a history of this period that left out the violence and racism, as well as the mutual adaptation, that accompanied this conquest. In many senses the very term “westward expansion” conveys an overly benign and incomplete sense of what actually transpired. This curriculum unit introduces students to the term “settler colonialism” in addition to the idea of “westward expansion” to emphasize the processes of Native removal and the acquisition of land by U.S. settlers. In recent years, scholars have worked to reexamine the history of the West by focusing on Native American groups. With limited sources, they have pieced together histories that do not generalize the experiences of Native Americans, and that accurately portray the complicated interactions that occurred in the West. The unit is divided into three parts. Each part includes:
- Student readings
- Accompanying study guides, graphic organizers, and key terms
- Lessons aligned with the readings that develop analytical skills (including at least one that focuses on building geographic literacy) and can be completed in one or more periods
- Videos that feature leading experts
This unit also includes a Perspectives Lesson as the key lesson and additional synthesis lessons that allow students to synthesize new knowledge for assessment. You do not need to use the entire unit; feel free to select what suits your classroom needs.