About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Everyday Life in Antebellum America chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||The American Renaissance||Romanticism, transcendentalism and utopianism|
|Tuesday||19th century reform||Reform movements: temperance, education, abolitionist and feminist|
|Wednesday||America's transportation revolution||Turnpikes, steamboats, Erie Canal and transcontinental railroad|
|Thursday||Northern growth and subsequent problems||Commercialization, urbanization, immigration, labor unions, child labor, nativism and racism|
|Friday||Examination of the South, slavery and the fight to end it||Task system, cotton, slavery, Frederick Douglass and other abolitionists|
1. American Renaissance: Uniquely American Art, Literature and Culture
America began creating its own distinct culture in the 1800s. Learn about popular trends in art, literature, and pop culture in the antebellum era. Also, learn how religion and utopian communes changed the way some Americans lived.
2. Reform Movements of the 19th Century
Inspired by the Second Great Awakening and Transcendentalism, Americans started a number of social reform movements in the antebellum era, including the fight against alcohol and slavery, as well as the fight for public schools, humane prisons and asylums, and women's rights.
3. The Transportation Revolution: Turnpikes to Steamboats to Railroads
In the half-century before the Civil War, America experienced a transportation revolution that improved the way people and goods crossed the nation, opened up new areas for settlement and altered the centers of economic power.
4. Economic Developments in the North: A Commercial Revolution
In the Antebellum Era, the Northern part of the United States was revolutionized by a series of innovations, triggering a shift from an agricultural to a commercial economy. These economic changes sharpened the differences between North and South.
5. Problems of Urbanization and Daily Life in the North
In the antebellum years, American cities grew. Find out why and what it was like to live in New York, Philadelphia and other Northern cities in the middle of the 19th century.
6. Life in the South: Ordered Society and Economy of the Southern States
While the North was urbanizing and industrializing, the South became more committed to its rural, leisurely lifestyle and its agricultural economy built on slave labor. Limited industry did exist, but cotton was king!
7. Slavery in America: Cotton, Slave Trade and the Southern Response
The United Sates was conceived on the idea of freedom and the rights of all people, but early on, an institution took hold that was the exact opposite of that idea. In this lesson, find out the roots of slavery in the States, how it took hold, how slaves lived, and how they resisted the bonds of slavery.
8. Abolitionist Movement: Important Figures in the Fight to End Slavery
The abolitionist movement spanned decades. Although slavery did not end peacefully, great Americans like William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Beecher Stowe were some of the driving forces behind the anti-slavery movement.
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Other chapters within the Middle School US History Curriculum Resource & Lesson Plans course
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- Settling North America & the Colonies: Middle School Lesson Plans
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- America in the 1970s: Middle School Lesson Plans
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