About This Chapter
History, People & Geography of the American Midwest - Chapter Summary
You can study the history, people and geography of the American Midwest with this chapter. These lessons give you the opportunity to learn about this area from pre-Columbian times to the early twentieth century. You'll be able to find out more about the various civilizations in this area and how they impacted the land. By accessing this chapter, you'll be able to increase your understanding of:
- Pre-Columbian civilizations and Clovis points
- The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears
- Effects of the Indian Wars
- Westward expansion and the transcontinental railroad
- Farming in the early 1900s and the Dust Bowl
These video lessons offer you short, in-depth information about this geographical area. You can use the video timelines associated with each lesson to go directly to the information you'd like to study. After completing each lesson, you can access our self-assessments quizzes to ensure you understand the historical events that shaped the American Midwest.
1. Pre-Columbian Civilization: North American Indians Before Europeans
Watch this video for an overview of the cultural groups of Native Americans as they lived at the time of first contact with Europeans. Some of these groupings, like the tribes of the plains, changed so much due to the addition of European influences, such as horses, that there is only conjecture as to how exactly they lived before European contact.
2. Clovis Points: Definition & Explanation
Explore the prehistoric stone tool called the Clovis Point, and test your learning about its use by ancient humans and discovery by modern archaeologists.
3. Cherokee Nation: Tribe History, Facts & Culture
Many Native American tribes fought to keep their land and way of life, while others preferred appeasement, cooperation, and/or assimilation. Learn about the Cherokee, their approach to U.S. expansion and settlement, and their way of life in this lesson.
4. What Was the Trail of Tears? - Facts, History & Route
The Trail of Tears was the primary passage toward federally created Indian lands west of the Mississippi River. Learn about the history of the forced Indian removal and the devastation that occurred to native groups along their painful journey to their new home.
5. Indian Wars in the West: History & Timeline
Between the 1850s and 1890s, the United States made a final claim for control of the North American continent. The push of westward settlement by European Americans into the Plains and Far West led to the final chapter in the Indian Wars.
6. Westward Expansion: The Homestead Act of 1862 & the Frontier Thesis
Between the mid-1800s and the turn of the 20th century, the American frontier opened and closed abruptly. What factors influenced this land rush, and how did it help shape American history?
7. Expanding the Transcontinental Railroad: History and Impact
After decades of wrangling, plans were finalized for construction of a transcontinental railroad during the Civil War. After completion in 1869, the railroad changed many aspects of American life, for better or worse.
8. Farming in the American West in the Early 1900s
After the passage of the Homestead Act, many people traveled west to begin farming the land. Learn about the many obstacles the western farmer faced during the early 1900s.
9. What Was the Dust Bowl? - Definition, Facts & Causes
The Dust Bowl was a catastrophic event that directly affected the American Midwest. It resulted in a massive outmigration of Midwesterners, mostly to California. In this lesson, we'll consider some facts about the Dust Bowl and some possible causes.
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