Westward Expansion
A.S.F.M.S. Social Studies Department
Manifest Destiny and Settling the West - Lesson

In this lesson you will learn about the expansion of our nation westward. You will view a brief video on our territorial expansion's history, then document your learning on a United States map graphic organizer.

Assignments to hand in:

Reading Notes 16 Handout
Processing 16 Handout


Opening of the Trans-Appalachian West Opening of the Trans-Appalachian West

Manifest Destiny Manifest Destiny Personified


Step 1: Introduction - View the pictures above. The availability of cheap land west of the Mississippi River, as well as opportunities for adventure and the chance to start a new life, encouraged thousands of people to move westward in the 1800's. Click to watch the video below on the growth of our nation:


Animated Map: Growth of the Nation Click for video


Step 2: Background Reading - Read America's Past Section 16.1 looking up boldface vocabulary within the text.


Territorial Acquisition Made by the United States Between 1803 and 1853 Click to enlarge


Step 3: Territorial Acquisitions Made by the United States Between 1803 and 1853 - View the map above. You will use this map to record important details about how and when each territory was acquired, as well as the impact each acquisition had on native peoples.


Step 4: Map Activity - Print out the Reading Notes 16 Handout (U.S. Map Graphic Organizer). Read the direction carefully. Use colored pencils and a different color for each region. (Example for a Visual: For the Mexican Cession, you might draw saddened Mexicans living under the American flag.) Read through America's Past Sections 16.2 - 16.8 to complete this activity.


Step 5: Conclusion/Processing - Print out and complete the Processing 16 Handout and read the directions carefully.


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