California Standards History Test Review
Each year, students in California will take the California Standards Test (CST). This test also includes the study of history. Below is some of the factual information you will need to review before the test.
2003 - 2008 CST Released Test Questions - Scroll towards the bottom for the 8th grade history questions.
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8th Grade United States History Review PowerPoint
U.S. History CST Review – The first four tests apply to California 8th grade standards
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Test Taking Strategies and Preparation for all subjects
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No Pain, High Gain - Standardized Test Preparation
Spelling: A Key to Good Communication
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Grade 7 Reading Comprehension Test
Mr. Kash's California Standards History Test Review
Ancient History Review
Instructional Component 1: Early Man, Mesopotamia, and Egypt (Standards 6.1 and 6.2)
• Early humans were hunter-gatherers. They relied on animals and plants for food.
• They moved constantly in search of their food.
• Early farmers used slash and burn techniques.
• The coming of the Ice Ages caused people to adapt, including developing new clothing.
• After the Ice Ages, people began to domesticate plants and animals and build mud-brick houses, eventually leading to permanent settlements.
• Agriculture is the planting of seeds to raise crops. Prehistoric man switched from hunters and gatherers to agrarian societies.
• Societies started where water was in supply and the people learned irrigation (how to best use or transport water for crops and personal use).
• They also began to specialize in different activities, including weaving cloth for clothes.
• Mesopotamia means land between the two rivers (which provided water and transportation). It was a series of independent city-states (cities that ran themselves and had their own government, rulers, law, religion, etc. with no legal ties to other cities) lying between the Tigrus and Euphrates Rivers.
• The yearly flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers created rich soil allowing for good agriculture and early civilizations. However, the flood was unpredictable.
• New agricultural technique arose, such as irrigation through building dams, channels, walls, and ditches. These led to the rise of cities, religion, writing, science and math.
• Mesopotamia built temples and held religious festivals to please the gods.
• Hammurabi’s Code organized all laws, but was very harsh. "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."
• Mesopotamian's wrote using cuneiform. Cuneiform was first used to keep track of trade.
• Main city-states included Sumer (considered the first civilization which included specialized workers, record keeping, religion, government) Babylon, and Assyria.
• Sargon of Akkad had the first empire (a group of cities and people brought under one ruler).
• In ancient Egypt, the Nile River flooded every year providing fertile farmland in the desert.
• The Egyptians developed irrigation and other techniques to control Nile floodwaters.
• Egyptians embalmed their pharaohs and built great pyramids as tombs so that the pharaohs would make it to the after life.
• Egyptians used papyrus and hieroglyphics to record history.
• The pharaoh was considered both king and god.
• Massive pyramids were built as tombs for pharaohs.
Instructional Component 2: Hebrews, India, and China (Standards 6.3, 6.5, and 6.6)
The Ancient Hebrews
• Judaism was the first monotheistic religion. [belief in one god]
• According to tradition, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.
• The Ten Commandments became the basis for civil and religious laws of Judaism.
• The Torah is the holy book of Judaism. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible.
• Judaism focused on the belief in one God, the observance of law, practice of the concepts of righteousness and justice, and importance of study of the Torah and Talmud
•Abraham is considered the father of the Hebrew people.
• In 1700BC, a famine forced them into enslavement in Ancient Egypt. They were led out of slavery by Moses who received the 10 Commandments from God (laws the Jewish people were to follow).
• The Jewish people were the first monotheistic society (belief in one god). They follow the Torah (The Hebrew Bible).
• King Saul and King David were two other famous rulers of the Hebrew people.
• India’s first major religion was Hinduism, which involved a universal spirit called Brahman. The worship of this spirit is sometimes called Brahmanism.
• Vedas (meaning knowledge) are a collection of sacred hymns and poems.
• India developed great literature in Sanskrit, such as the Bhagavad Gita, and developed algebra, and the zero.
• The caste system organized Indians into four classes - the Brahmins (teachers, scholars and priests), the Kshatriyas (kings and warriors), the Vaishyas (traders), and Sudras (agriculturists, service providers, and some artisan groups).
• The Buddha’s life and teachings, such as honesty, non-violence, and compassion, created a new religion called Buddhism, which spread throughout India to Central Asia.
• The Buddha's Four Noble Truths:
1. Life is suffering
2. People suffer because of desire
3. The only way not to suffer is to have no desires
4. The Eightfold Path is the way to end suffering and end the cycle of reincarnation
• Confucius taught the importance of duty and respect for family.
• Confucius lived in a time when the government was struggling to run society and when many people were not following the ancient traditions. Confucius wanted to improve society through teaching people to do their duty and honor their parents.
• Respect for elders, proper conduct, and the proper behavior of rulers are key elements of Confucianism.
• Taoists follow the teachings of Laozi, and believe people should give up worldly desires and follow the force that guides all things—the Tao.
• Taoism stressed that everything in life should be in harmony with nature.
• Emperor Shihuangdi united much of China under one dynasty.
• Shi Huangdi created one currency, built roads and a huge canal, and the Great Wall.
• Under the Han dynasty, the civil service exam created a government run by scholars. (If you wanted a job you had to pass a test and couldn’t just be given a job based on who you know).
• The Han rulers continued to expand the empire and ruled in a period of much peace.
• The Han dynasty also developed the Silk Road and began a trading network that reached much of Asia and the West, including Rome.
• The Silk Road brought new goods and ideas to China.
• Buddhism reached China during the A.D. 100's by monks traveling along the Silk Road.
• Buddhism began as an important religion in China after the Han dynasty collapsed.
Instructional Component 3: Greece and Rome (Standards 6.4 and 6.7)
• The mountains and seas surrounding Greece led to the rise of city-states.
• Each Greek city-state was run by its citizens, or members of the political community.
• The growth of Greece depended on establishing colonies and trade throughout the Mediterranean region.
• A direct democracy involves all citizens in voting and making laws. Most modern democracies are representative; people are elected to represent a group of citizens.
• Sparta developed a militaristic government.
• Athens created a democracy and focused on trade and culture.
• Athens and Sparta joined forces to defeat the Persians in the Persian Wars, but later fought the destructive Peloponnesian War.
•Alexander conquered the Persian Empire and spread Hellenism throughout southwest Asia.
• The Greeks spread their art, architecture, literature, theater, philosophy, and mathematics.
• Some of the great Greek writers include the dramatists Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus.
• Greek ideas of art and architecture influence styles today.
• Greek philosophers tried to answer life’s big questions.
• Major accomplishments included first Olympic games, world’s first democracy, philosophy (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle), literature, geometry, and written history.
• Rome is located in Italy (the big boot on the map).
• Legend says Romulus founded Rome after killing his brother Remus in 753BC.
• Rome was involved in a series of Punic Wars with Carthage (located in Northern Africa) between 264BC-146BC. Hannibal was a Carthage General. After the 3rd Punic War, Rome destroyed Carthage completely.
• The Roman Republic had two classes of citizens, the patricians (nobles), and the plebeians (common people).
• The Republic had three branches of government: The consuls, who were the chief executives, the senate, who made the laws, and praetors, who were judges.
• Julius Caesar, a Roman general, was named dictator for life. He had many reform ideas, but was assassinated by senators were afraid of his gaining too much power.
• Augustus was Caesar's grand nephew. He became Rome's first emperor. Under his rule, Rome expanded and enjoyed a period of peace. This period of peace lasted for 200 years and was called the Pax Romana.
• Jesus of Nazareth preached love, compassion, and forgiveness. He often taught using stories called parables.
• Early church leaders taught that people could gain salvation through Jesus, who was the messiah.
• Jesus made many enemies in Rome, and was put to death.
• Accounts of his resurrection, or rising from the dead form the basis of Christian belief that Jesus was the son of God.
• St. Paul the Apostle led the early church and its teaching that Jesus was the son of God and the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
• In 312 AD, Constantine became Roman emperor and converted Rome to Christianity by 330AD.
• Rome divided into an eastern and western empire. The Western Empire fell in 476AD (greed and corruption along with invading armies were the main causes).
World History Review
Instructional Component 1: Fall of Rome, Islam, Africa, and Mesoamerica (Standards 7.1, 7.2, 7.4, and 7.7)
The Decline of the Roman Empire
• Rome supported the provinces by building roads and aqueducts and providing protection in case of attack.
• The final collapse of the Western Empire occurred in C.E. 476.
• Roman emperors increased the size of the Roman Empire by conquering new territory.
• Rome’s contributions to architecture include the arch, the dome, and the column.
• Slave labor was used by the Roman Empire and helped lead to its downfall.
• Christianity spread throughout the Empire eventually becoming a major world religion when Constantine converted to Christianity.
• Internal problems that helped Rome’s downfall were corrupt generals, civil wars, and economic problems.
• Rome declined because the army became too expensive, the barbarians invaded the Empire, Roman armies fought among themselves, and Rome became too large to govern.
• The Five Pillars of Islam are the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), fasting during Ramadan, prayer, faith (there is one God and Muhammad is His Prophet), and Zagat (sharing of wealth). These Five Pillars describe the duties of Muslims.
• Muslims believe the written record of Allah’s words were revealed to Muhammad (the Prohphet of Islam) in the Qur’an.
• The collection of the words and deeds of Muhammad written down after several generations is called the Sunna.
• Islam considers Jews and Christians to be “people of the book.”
• Muslim achievements included astronomy, geometry, medicine, and mathematics.
• Islam was spread by merchants and by the acquisition of new territories through military conquest and alliances.
• Conquered much of Arabia (including Mecca) starting in 630’s and continued to spread through military conquests through the 1100’s.
• Ghana was at the center of a major trade route.
• The Muslim traders brought a system of numbers, the Islamic religion, and a system of writing to West African societies.
• The Niger River was important to transport gold. The gold was then traded for salt, which came from the desert.
• Ghana controlled the trade of salt from the Sahara and crops, livestock, gold, and enslaved Africans from central and southern West Africa.
• Ghana’s location between salt-producing North Africa and the gold-rich southern coast of West Africa, allowed it to control the gold-salt trade.
• Ghana and Mali were influenced by the laws and ethics of Islam.
Mesoamerica and Andean Civilizations
• The Maya were from Central America. The Aztec were from Mexico. The Inca were from South America.
• Mayan civilization was based on agriculture. They dug moats and canals to bring water to dry places.
• The Mayan thought the priests could interpret the will of the gods by studying the Mayan calendars. With the help of math, the priests could also help determine what were good times to plant crops, and figure out the mood of the gods.
• Two of the Mayan achievements included a system of writing called hieroglyphics and a calendar.
• Aztec farming methods made use of floating gardens called chinampas.
• The Aztec settled in a swampy island in Lake Texcoco because they believed they were told by their gods to build a city at the place where they saw an eagle perched on a cactus holding a snake in its beak.
• The Aztecs were often fought with neighboring tribes.
• The Inca king was called the Sapa Inca. The people believed he was descended from the gods.
• The Inca differed from the Maya and Aztec in that they had no written language.
• The Inca used a technique called terrace farming to raise crops on mountain slopes.
• The Aztec practiced sacrifices because they believed that if one was sacrificed, he would become divine. They also wanted to frighten their enemies. They captured prisoners from other tribes and sacrificed them as well.
• The Aztec and Inca empires had weakened by the time the Spanish arrived in the New World. Both had been involved in civil wars causing them to lose strength. Disease also killed many of their soldiers, but both civilizations both came to an end at the hands of the Spanish.
• The Aztec and Maya had slaves. The Inca did not.
• The Aztec, Maya, and Inca were all polytheistic, believing in many gods.
• The Inca had a system called quipu for keeping track of records.
Instructional Component 2: China, Japan, and Medieval Europe (Standards 7.3, 7.5, and 7.6)
• In the Tang dynasty, aristocrats held most of the jobs in the government. They got the jobs by passing civil service exams, becoming scholar officials.
• A meritocracy is the name for a system in which people are chosen for employment and are able to move up within an organization.
• During the 700’s improvements in roads, canals, and waterways improved transportation and enabled messengers and other government officials to travel more easily throughout China. These roads, canals, and waterways helped unify China.
• The Chinese invented printing, the compass, gun powder, and paper currency.
• Moveable type was invented by the Chinese and increased the availability of books.
• Tea was discovered in China, and used as a beverage and as medicine.
• Buddhism was brought to China from missionaries from India.
• Buddhism spread after the collapse of the Han Dynasty. It helped people cope with the hardships of life.
• Buddhism teaches that all life is suffering. People suffer because they are attached to material possessions. However, people could escape suffering by living a good life. This helped people deal with the hardships of life.
• In the Japanese feudal system, the emperor was at the top, followed by the shoguns (generals), daimyo (wealthy land owners), samurai (warriors), and then the peasants.
• A military life known as Samurai, the way of the warrior, was characterized by early weapon training and commitment to a strict lifestyle.
• The Code of the Samurai was called the bushido. It stressed loyalty and honor. A samurai would rather die than shame himself in battle.
• The daimyo was the ruler of the Samurai. The samurai would swear and oath of loyalty to his daimyo. The samurai would protect the land and peasants of his daimyo.
• Shinto, Japan’s main religion, holds that everything in the natural world is filled with spirits.
• Feudalism was a social and economic system in Europe and Japan.
• Kings or lords shared land (called a fief) with the rich, lesser nobles (vassals) in return for their promise to defend the king.
• Vassals would then rent land out to the serfs (peasants) at huge prices. Serfs (who were tied to the land and very poor) would farm the land and give most of the crops to the vassal for rent.
• The feudal system in Europe had kings and queens at the top, followed by rich, land owning lords, warrior knights, and then finally peasants and serfs, who were tied to the land.
• Under feudalism in Europe, people received protection from large landowners in return for military service, working on the lord’s land, and performing necessary tasks such as repairing bridges, working in the mill, or gathering wood.
• Vassals were landowners who had given title of their estate to the feudal lord. Vassals also served the king.
• The qualities important in feudalism were courtesy, loyalty, bravery and obedience. These became known as chivalry and became the code of the Knights.
• The Magna Carta was one of the most important documents that came out of the Medieval period because it made official the idea that ordinary people had rights, set up the basis for the idea of “due process of law,” and stated that the king was subject to the law of the land.
• The stated purpose of the Crusades was to insure the safe travel of Christians who wanted to visit the Holy Land. In reality, the Crusades were fought to win back the Holy Land from the Muslims.
• As a result of the Crusades, ideas and products were introduced to Europe.
• As a result of the Crusades, the Jewish populations in both Europe and the Middle East were attacked by Christians. Christians also burned and looted Constantinople.
• The Black Death to place from 1347-1350, a bubonic plague caused by fleas on rats brought back on trading ships from Asia swept through Europe killing 1/3 the population.
• The disease was known as Black Death.
• Many believed it was God’s punishment for living sinfully.
Instructional Component 3: Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, Exploration, Enlightenment, and Age of Reason (Standards 7.8, 7.9, 7.10, and 7.11)
• Major ideas of the Renaissance included realism, humanism, and individualism.
• People who were concerned with the Greek and Roman classics and saw the importance of public service were called humanists.
• The Renaissance was an important period to because humanists believed in the importance of the individual. Humanists believed that if people could understand the world, they could improve it.
• Renaissance artists depicted people as they really appeared. This is called perspective. Paintings began to look trephination.
• Leonardo da Vinci was famous for his painting, science discoveries, and accomplishments in many other areas. Among his creative ideas were the drawings for a horseless carriage and a parachute. Leonardo's most famous paintings are the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper.
• Patrons of the arts were extremely important during the Renaissance because they provided money for artists and writers to complete their work.
• Michelangelo, a foremost artist during the Renaissance studied the human anatomy so he could draw and sculpt the human figure realistically. He is most well known for painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
• William Shakespeare, one of the world’s greatest playwrights. He wrote many famous plays. Romeo and Juliet is one of his moose well-known.
•Dante Alighieri, or simply Dante, was an Italian poet from Florence. His most famous work is The Divine Comedy, is considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature.
• Johannes Gutenberg helped spread Renaissance ideas with the European invention of the moveable type printing press.
• The Great Schism was when the Catholic Church split in half, having two popes at the same time.
• The 95 Theses of Martin Luther stated his objections to the corruption within the Catholic church and the practice of selling indulgences. This was the beginning of the Reformation.
• John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Wycliff, Desiderius Erasmus, and William Tyndale all protested against Church practices like excessive taxes and indulgences.
• The Calvinists, followers of John Calvin, believed that one should lead a simple life and be devoted to God. They also believed that nothing should interfere with individual experience of God.
• Calvin promoted the idea of predestination. God determined before a person was born whether they would go to heaven or not.
• Justification by faith, a key idea of Martin Luther, held that a person could achieve forgiveness if he accepted God.
• The Church promoted special religious orders to help spread the ideas of the Church. The Jesuits are one example of this.
• King Henry VIII of England demanded that the Church grant him a divorce. When the Church refused, Parliament passed the “Act of Supremacy” creating the Church of England, splitting off from the Catholic church.
• The Counter-Reformation occurred when the Catholic Church officials met at the Council of Trent and ended the sale of church indulgences and required more training for priests. This helped the church win back supporters.
• The Scientific Revolution was the period of time during the 15th and 16th centuries characterized by new scientific ideas and the challenge of existing beliefs.
• Galileo’s ideas challenged beliefs of the Catholic church. He said the earth moved around the sun. The Church taught that the earth was the center of the universe.
• Galileo made new discoveries through observation. Among them were the theory of oval planet orbits.
• The Catholic Church admitted the error condemning Galileo almost 300 years after the fact.
• Scientific method as a series of steps using observation and experimentation in research. It also included a hypothesis which could be verified by testing.
• Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus may be thought of as one of the first scientists to use data obtained from accurate observation to refute accepted belief.
• Scientists and Reformation leaders both questioned ideas which had existed for years.
• Mathematician Isaac Newton had logical explanations regarding forces in the universe. He discovered that the force called gravity held the universe together.
• A revolutionary aspect of scientific method was that people could not learn by accepting truths. Truths must be tested and proved.
• One of Kepler’s contributions to astronomy was that orbits of planets were oval.
• One of the major ideas of the Enlightenment was applying the principles of scientific reason to social and political problems.
Age of Exploration, the Enlightenment, and the Age of Reason
• Explorers trying to find the shortest way to the east were motivated by the search for spices.
• Portugal, in the need of money, sent explorers to the New World in search for gold.
• New information from travelers such as Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta, improved maps and inventions that reached Europe and created desire for such items such as silk, gold, and spices. It also created an interest in exploration.
• The first sailor to successfully lead an expedition that circumnavigated the globe was Magellan.
• Christopher Columbus led four voyages to the New World. Though he never set foot on North American soil, he is credited with discovering America. Columbus was the first sailor who tried to sail west to find the Orient.
• John Locke wrote Two Treaties of Government in 1690. In it he argued that an agreement between people and their ruler called a contract was the basis of government. He also said that people had a right to overthrow the ruler if the contract was not followed, and each person had the rights to life, liberty, and property protection.
• Thomas Jefferson borrowed many ideas from Locke when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.
• Natural Rights were rights guaranteed to all including life, liberty, and the right to own property.
United States History
Instructional Component 1: Foundations of America (Standards 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4)
The Great Awakening
• The Great Awakening of the 1740’s refers to an excitement about religion that swept through the American colonies.
• The Great Awakening was led by Jonathan Edwards, a minister who preached against the sins of man.
• The Great Awakening emphasized the importance of having sincere religious feelings.
• It had important political consequences in encouraging democratic ideals and thoughts of independence.
Declaration of Independence
• Principal author was Thomas Jefferson.
• Begins with the phrase, “When in the course of human events…”
• Includes the phrase: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights".
• Unalienable rights are rights that cannot be taken away. The unalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
• The Declaration states that it is the right and duty of a people who to overthrow the government and change the system if the government takes away their rights.
• Gives the power of rule to the people.
• Most of the Declaration deals with grievances against the king.
The U.S. Constitution and its Foundations
• The Magna Carta provided the basis for establishing self-government and addressing the rights of the people.
• The Mayflower Compact was the first known type of government in America.
• The Articles of Confederation was the first government of the United States. It was weak because it did not provide for a national chief executive, had no power to tax, and there was no national currency.
• The Preamble to the Constitution begins with the phrase: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union.”
• The Constitutional Convention was held in Philadelphia, was presided over by George Washington. It got rid of the Articles of Confederation and wrote a new document.
• The Connecticut Compromise or "Great Compromise" provided for a bicameral legislature (two houses) with equal representation for the states in one house and representation based on population in another.
• Slavery was a major issue in the Constitutional Convention. The delegates passed the 3/5 Compromise which made each slave counted as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of levying taxes and apportioning representatives. However, the word "slavery" never appears in the Constitution.
• The delegates were concerned about one branch of government getting too much power so they created a system of checks and balances.
• Federalism – a system in which the state and national government share power
• Powers given to the national government – coin money, regulate interstate commerce, establish post offices, establish foreign policy, maintain armed forces and declare war
• Supporters of the Constitution called themselves Federalists, while those who opposed its ratification were called Anti-Federalists.
• The Anti-Federalists were concerned about the chief executive having too much power and wanted a Bill of Rights added to the Constitution
• In defense of the Constitution, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison wrote a series of newspaper letters known as the Federalist Papers.
• The First Amendment protects the freedom of religion, speech, the press, assembly, and petition.
• The Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms.
• The Fourth Amendment protects the right to privacy and forbids unlawful searches and seizures.
• The Fifth Amendment guarantees that no one may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
• The founders of the Constitution felt that religion should be kept separate from government.
America’s Political System at Work
• The two disagreements between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton led to the creation of the two-party political system. They disagreed over the size of the federal government. Hamilton favored a strong federal government, Jefferson a limited federal government with more powers to the states.
• Shay’s Rebellion was caused from the differences people who had money on one side, and people who needed money on the other hand, and caused Massachusetts to pass the Riot Act, which allowed people to be jailed without a trial.
• The Whiskey Rebellion was a revolt of Pennsylvania corn farmers who wanted to overturn a high tax placed on whiskey.
• A bill becomes a law after it is approved by both Houses of Congress and the President signs it into law.
• Citizens can participate in the political process by assisting with elections at the polls, voting, joining a political parties and participating in political functions.
• The Alien and Sedition Acts posed a serious threat to First Amendment guarantees because they gave the President the power to deport any alien he thought was dangerous, prohibited assembly with the intent to appose any measure of the government and prohibited the publishing of anything false or malicious against the government.
Ideals of a New Nation
• The function and responsibilities of a free press include prohibiting the government from suppressing embarrassing information, encouraging open debate and discussion of public issues, and keeping people informed about issues that affect them.
• In his Farewell Address of 1797, George Washington advised his countrymen to avoid foreign entanglements, a military that was too powerful, and political parties, that split people.
• Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States at four cents and acre, cost fifteen million dollars, gave America control of the port of New Orleans and the Mississippi River, and removed the French treat from the frontier.
• The main purpose of the Lewis and Clark expedition was to explore the Louisiana Territory.
• In an effort to stop the expansion into their lands, a Shawnee holy man named Chief Tecumseh tried to unite Native Americans from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
• At the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Spain owned Florida and the land west of the Louisiana Purchase from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
• James Monroe’s years as president are referred to as the “Era of Good Feelings” because the Northeast economy expanded rapidly, with manufacturing bringing prosperity to the region. America was beginning to participate in the Industrial Revolution. There was little chance that the U.S. would fight another war with Britain.
• President Monroe favored protective tariffs, high taxes placed foreign goods to make the cost of American goods more competitive.
• The poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow includes “Hiawatha,” “Paul Revere’s Ride,” and “The Courtship of Miles Standish.”
• James Fenimore Cooper wrote The Last of the Mohicans. Cooper wrote about life on the American frontier.
• Washington Irving is the author of “Rip Van Winkle,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and Tales of a Traveler. Both Cooper and Irving became two of the first writers to popularize stories about America.
Instructional Component 2: Foreign Policy, Divergent Paths (Standards 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9)
Foreign Policy in the Early Republic
• In the 1800’s, the term impressments referred to a practice used by the British to force men into being sailors in the British navy.
• Impressment caused problems for the U.S. because American civilians were captured by the British and taken to sea to work on British warships.
• The causes of the War of 1812 were impressments and British attacks on U.S. merchant ships, Britain providing Native Americans with arms on the frontier, the desire to expand U.S. territory to include Canada and Spanish Florida.
• The “War Hawks” of the West were led by Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun. They were in favor of entering into war with Britain in 1812.
• The British burned public buildings in Washington D.C. including the White House during the War of 1812.
• The Battle of Fort McHenry was the inspiration for “The Star Spangled Banner.”
• The consequences of the War of 1812 were the Federalist Party lost influence, Andrew Jackson became a national hero after the Battle of New Orleans, and Native Americans in the upper Midwest were no longer a threat to U.S. westward expansion.
• The Monroe Doctrine stated that the United States would not allow any European interference in the western hemisphere.
Divergent Paths of the Americans: The Westerners
•Andrew Jackson’s election to the Presidency in 1828 was significant because he brought a greater degree of democracy to American government and a rise in the political participation of the common man.
• Jackson introduced the “spoils system,” that rewarded Jackson’s supporters with government jobs.
• President Jackson vetoed the bill to re charter the Second Bank of the United States because he believed it benefited the wealthy at the expenses of the common man.
• President Jackson’s policy toward Native Americans centered around a policy of their removal from their homelands.
• In response to the removal policy, the Cherokees appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled in favor of the Cherokees, but President Jackson refused to obey the law. The Cherokee were then moved to Oklahoma. Thousands died on the march. The Incident became known as the Trail of Tears.
• Manifest Destiny refers to the belief that the United States was meant to spread across the continent.
• After Mexico achieved its independence from Spain in 1821, there were few Mexicans living in Texas, so the Mexican government encouraged Americans to settle East Texas.
• In the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo that ended the war with Mexico, the U.S. paid $15 million for territory known as the Mexican Cession, which the U.S. received Mexican territory that included the future states of Calif., Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico and Arizona, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado; set the U.S. border at the Rio Grande River.
• The Lone Star Republic was annexed by the U.S. after the presidential election of James K. Polk
Divergent Paths of the Americans: The Northeasterners
• Between 1790 and 1840, the U.S. underwent many changes. The country had doubled in size; its population which had grown from 4 million to 17 million; a change from 90% of Americans working as farmers to 60% engaged in farming by 1840; the number of people in towns grew from 5% to 11%.
• The urbanization of the Northeast can be contributed to machines run by waterpower that required factories to be located by lakes, rivers and waterfalls; the factory system replaced the domestic system in the early 1800’s; the first mills were established in the New England states.
• Henry Clay’s vision of the American System included a national system of roads and canals to improve the nation's transportation system.
• The Erie Canal made transportation of goods on the Great Lakes much easier.
• The Transportation Revolution in the 1800’s included development canals, steamboats, and railroads; provide a great economic boost to the entire country; created and expansion of business opportunities throughout the nation.
• In the 1840’s, immigrants to the U.S. came from Ireland because of the Great Famine that was caused by a disease that destroyed potato crops.
• Among the free blacks who lived in the North were Benjamin Banneker, a mathematician, William Wells Brown, the first African American novelist and playwright, and abolitionists Henry Highland Garnet, Charles Remond, and Frederick Douglass.
• Educational reformers like Horace Mann called for free public schools to promote an educated population; supported public schools to prevent social ills like crime and poverty; were in favor of raising taxes to pay for public education.
• Women’s suffrage was espoused by Lucretia Mott, who organized the Women’s Rights Convention At Seneca Falls, New York; Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an abolitionist that was not allowed to participate in an all male antislavery conference; and Susan B. Anthony, who argued for equal pay for women teachers and equal property rights for women.
• Transcendentalism was a philosophy and literary movement that emphasized the unity of human beings with nature and the importance of self-reliance and individual conscience; was publicized by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, and Margaret Fuller; provided support for reform in America, particularly the antislavery movement.
Divergent Paths of the Americans: The Southerners
• The cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney. The cotton gin was a machine that took separated cottonseed from the cotton fiber. This made it possible for one person to remove the seeds from 50 pounds of cotton a day, verses 1 pound a day without the cotton gin.
• Cotton farming in the South greatly expanded after the invention of the cotton gin and slaves were considered more valuable than ever. Less slaves were freed by their owners. Slaves were now expected to work even harder because of the high price of cotton made a lot of money for their owners.
• Cotton was not the only important crop grown in the South. Tobacco was still very important.
• The majority of wealth and land in the South was concentrated in the hands of very few wealthy plantation owners.
• 3/4 of the white families had no slaves and worked on their own small farms.
• In support of slavery, Southerners argued that “Cotton is King” and the national economy would collapse without slave labor to produce it. They also argued that to criticize slavery was unpatriotic, and that slavery was good for the slaves because they didn't have to beg like poor urban free workers in the North.
• Abolitionists argued that slavery was to the American political principle that all men are created equal, as well as the religious belief that all human beings are equal in the eyes of God.
• Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vesey, and Nat Turner all plotted slave revolts.
• After Nat Turner’s revolt it became illegal in most states to teach blacks how to read, and anyone caught doing it would be put to death.
• Harriet Tubman made 19 trips into the South as a conductor on the Underground Railroad and helped nearly 300 slaves escape to freedom.
The Abolitionist Movement
• The Quakers were among the earliest groups against slavery.
• The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was the first national stand against slavery, and declared that the land north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River should be without slaves.
• The Missouri Compromise of 1820 allowed Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state and Maine to enter as a free state and kept the balance of slave a free states equal.
• William Lloyd Garrison favored the immediate abolition of all slaves. Garrison published The Liberator newspaper and founded the American Anti-Slavery Society.
• Frederick Douglass was a slave that escaped to freedom and settled in Massachusetts and published the abolitionist newspaper, The North Star.
• The Underground Railroad was an informal organization that helped slaves hide in safe houses as they escaped to Canada.
• John Brown led an attack on the U.S. government armory in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.
• California’s petition for admission to the Union led to the Compromise of 1850 in which it was admitted as a free state.
• In the Compromise of 1850, to appease the South, Congress passed a strong Fugitive Slave Law that strictly forbade Northerners to grant refuge to escaped slaves, allowed the people of New Mexico and Utah to decide by popular sovereignty whether they wanted to be free or slave. The Compromise also abolished the slave trade in Washington D.C.
• Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser worked out many compromises which eased sectional conflicts.
• The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 arose as a result of the territories of Kansas and Nebraska applying for statehood and left the question of slavery in up to popular sovereignty flooding both territories with people on both sides of the slavery issue.
• The Supreme Court's ruling in Dred Scott v. Stanford (1857) stated that an enslaved person was property and could be taken anywhere the slave owner wanted. It also stated that Congress could not ban slavery in the territories.
• The Lincoln-Douglass debates centered around the slavery question, with Douglas trying to paint Lincoln as a radical abolitionist, and Lincoln trying the portray Douglas as a pro-slavery supporter of the Dred Scott case.
Instructional Component 3: Civil War, Reconstruction, Industrialization (Standards 8.10, 8.11, 8.12)
The Civil War
• John C. Calhoun argued on several occasions that a state had a right to refuse to obey any federal law that it believed to be unconstitutional.
• The doctrine of nullification is premised on the importance of states’ rights. The South used nullification when they seceded.
• Regarding the issue of slavery in 1850, John C. Calhoun argued that citizens had the right to take their property (slaves) into all territories of the U.S., including new lands acquired from Mexico.
• Daniel Webster argued for peace and unity of the nation, not as a northerner, but as an American in support of a compromise over slavery. Webster believed that the South should not be allowed to secede from the Union.
• Henry Clay looked beyond sectional demands to forge a compromise that made both sides of the slavery issue give something up they wanted.
• By 1860, the North and South had grown into sections that were widely unlike because the South was almost totally rural, and the North was thriving on industries in several urban centers.
• When Lincoln was elected president in 1860, the Southern states seceded from the Union.
• Jefferson Davis was elected to be president of the Confederacy.
• Robert E. Lee was Lincoln’s first choice to command the Union Army. Lee proved more loyal to Virginia that to the nation. He was joined by many Southerners who resigned from the U.S. Army.
• Ulysses S. Grant had done poorly in his studies at West Point, but proved to be an excellent military leader.
• The advantages the North had during the war were it had a much larger population, many more industrial resources, and much more money.
• The South’s main advantage was fighting at home. The South only had to fight long enough to convince the North that it could not conquer the South.
• Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. It freed only enslaved persons in the Confederate states.
• During the war 186,000 African American soldiers fought for the U.S. in 166 all-black regiments. The most well known regiment of black soldiers was the 54th Massachusetts.
• President Lincoln’s first acts during the war were to call for 75,000 volunteers to serve in the military for three months, and to order a naval blockade of southern ports to prevent the exportation of cotton and the importation of munitions and supplies.
• The Second Battle of Bull Run in 1862 marked a low point in the war for the North, because the Union troops had been pushed back from Richmond to Washington.
• The Battle of Antietam was won by the North after General McClellan intercepted a copy of General Lee’s orders detailing troop placement. Antietam was the bloodiest single day in American history. The battle enabled President Lincoln to publish the Emancipation Proclamation from a position of strength. It also stalled Lee’s invasion of the North.
• General Ulysses S. Grant and General William Tecumseh Sherman joined forces to overcome the Confederacy in Vicksburg. They also gained control of the Mississippi River and effectively split the Confederacy in two parts that could not communicate with each other or sent reinforcements.
• The Battle of Gettysburg was General Lee’s attempt to take the war into the North in the state of Pennsylvania, where a victory would give him a clear road to Washington. The battle had serious consequences for the future because the Confederacy lost one-third of its army’s effective strength. The South did not invade northern territories again.
• President Lincoln appointed General Ulysses S. Grant the head of the Union armies because Grant demonstrated the tenacity and willingness to fight and fight again.
• Grant put General Sherman in charge of a strategy to split the South horizontally by destroying everything in the path of a march through Georgia to the sea.
• New technology made the Civil War even more deadly. Cannons and bullets were improved. Ironclad warships were developed that could withstand cannon shot. More accurate rifles were used.
• At the Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, at President Lincoln’s request, General Grant offered generous terms of surrender to the Confederacy that allowed Confederates to return home with their horses and side arms. General Lee was dignified in defeat and General Grant was gracious in victory. Lee and Grant even shook hands and reminisced about the days when they were colleagues in the army.
• After the Civil War, the South was physically, economically, and spiritually devastated. The war left hatred between the North and the South that lasted for decades. The southern aristocracy was stripped of its wealth and power.
• The purpose of Reconstruction was to bring the southern states back into the Union. Reconstruction also ensured black Americans their freedom. Another aim of Reconstruction was to rebuild the South from the great destruction of the war.
• Reconstruction provided southern states would be readmitted to the Union when their men took loyalty oaths to the U.S. It required each southern state to from a government and draft a new constitution that banned slavery, and provided provisions for the states to provide free public education to blacks.
• The Freedmen’s Bureau helped southern blacks who were homeless and jobless because of the war. It also provided for education for ex-slaves.
• Immediately after the Civil War, most ex-slaves became sharecroppers on land owned by whites. They stayed poor, but enjoyed greater freedom over their personal lives.
• Southern states that were readmitted to the Union after the Civil War tried to keep freedmen subservient by enacting Black Codes that barred blacks from doing any work except farming and household service.
• The 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery everywhere in the U.S.
• The 14th Amendment made African-Americans citizens and guaranteed equal protection of the laws to all citizens.
• The 15th Amendment extended the right to vote to black males.
• The South employed many means to deprive black of the right to vote. They included a poll tax, a literacy test, and the grandfather clause. These laws were called the Black Codes.
• The Jim Crow laws of the South extended segregation, or separation of the races, in all public places. They were challenged in court and found constitutional by the majority of the Supreme Court.
• The Ku Klux Klan was determined to keep blacks from voting and influencing politics. The KKK claimed to be the ghosts of Confederate soldiers and terrorized blacks in the night. They were responsible for the beating and murdering of hundreds of blacks.
• The Bessemer converter quickly changed iron to steel and made mass production of steel a reality. Andrew Carnegie, an American immigrant of humble beginnings, built the largest Bessemer plant in America and became the second richest man in the world.
• In the 1870’s, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, and Thomas Edison invented the phonograph and the light bulb.
• John D. Rockefeller got rich in the oil refinery business, Andrew Carnegie got rich in the steel business, and Leland Stanford got rich in the railroad industry. All three men would make and give away millions in charity.
• Immigrants between 1865 and 1880 from western and northern Europe contributed to the growth of America’s large cities.
• The American Federation of Labor was one of the first labor unions. The AFL was founded by Samuel Gompers.
• The labor strikes from 1881-1905 helped workers win the 8-hour workday.
• The Grange was the first national farmer organization. It was also known as the Patrons of Husbandry. The Grange was open to men and women.
• After the Civil War, the Bureau of Indian Affairs adopted a policy known as concentration to keep the Native Americans confined to certain areas of the West away from traveling settlers.
• The search for gold, silver, and copper, and the building of the railroads led to the demise of the buffalo, and with it, the main source of food, clothing, and shelter for the Plains Indians.