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Ch 8: Manifest Destiny & American Expansion - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum

About This Chapter

The Manifest Destiny and American Expansion unit of this Middle School U.S. History Homeschool course is designed to help homeschooled students learn about the westward migration of Americans and the incorporation of new lands into the Union. Parents can use the short videos to introduce topics, break up lessons, and keep students engaged.

Who's it for?

This unit of our Middle School U.S. History Homeschool course will benefit any student who is trying to learn about the political, economic, and social factors that influenced America's push to the Pacific Ocean. There is no faster or easier way to learn about manifest destiny and American expansion. Among those who would benefit are:

  • Students who require an efficient, self-paced course of study to learn about the development of the concept of manifest destiny, presidential successes and failures in managing westward expansion, and sectionalism.
  • Homeschool parents looking to spend less time preparing lessons and more time teaching.
  • Homeschool parents who need a history curriculum that appeals to multiple learning types (visual or auditory).
  • Gifted students and students with learning differences.

How it works:

  • Students watch a short, fun video lesson that covers a specific unit topic.
  • Students and parents can refer to the video transcripts to reinforce learning.
  • Short quizzes and a manifest destiny and American expansion unit exam confirm understanding or identify any topics that require review.

Manifest Destiny and American Expansion Unit Objectives:

  • Outline the westward route of the Oregon Trail.
  • Describe the dilemma presented to the U.S. government by annexing Texas.
  • Discuss the sectional concerns raised by American expansion, and how they were addressed by President John Tyler.
  • List the accomplishments of President James K. Polk within the continental U.S.
  • Understand key conflicts of this era, including the Mexican-American War, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and the Wilmot Proviso.
  • Explain the results of the election of 1848 and the California gold rush.
  • Identify the key parts of the Compromise of 1850, approved by President Fillmore.
  • Discuss the effects of President Franklin Pierce's political and economic agenda.

8 Lessons in Chapter 8: Manifest Destiny & American Expansion - Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum
The Oregon Trail: Westward Migration to the Pacific Ocean

1. The Oregon Trail: Westward Migration to the Pacific Ocean

Throughout the first half of the 19th century, the United States expanded its borders all the way to the Pacific Ocean, fulfilling its manifest destiny. Find out about the reasons people wanted this land, the path that took them there and the politicians who supported it all.

Manifest Destiny's Texas Annexation Problem

2. Manifest Destiny's Texas Annexation Problem

Find out why it took five presidents (Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler and Polk) to get Texas annexed into the U.S. and added as a state during the era of Manifest Destiny.

President John Tyler: American Expansion and Sectional Concerns

3. President John Tyler: American Expansion and Sectional Concerns

In the presidential election of 1840, 'Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too!' prevailed. But with President Harrison's death just a month later, Vice President John Tyler took the oath of office. Was 'His Accidency' really as bad a president as some critics suggest?

President James K. Polk's Accomplishments in the Lower 48 States

4. President James K. Polk's Accomplishments in the Lower 48 States

President James Polk may be obscure, but he wasn't insignificant. Learn about his controversial territorial acquisitions that define most of what Americans today call the 'Lower 48' states.

The Mexican-American War, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo & the Wilmot Proviso

5. The Mexican-American War, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo & the Wilmot Proviso

The controversial Mexican-American War lasted from 1846-1848. In this lesson, discover how the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo expanded the southern part of the United States all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Election of 1848 and the California Gold Rush

6. Election of 1848 and the California Gold Rush

General Zachary Taylor was elected president in 1848, hoping to see the peaceful addition of land from the Mexican cession. 'Old Rough and Ready' wasn't prepared for the California gold rush.

President Fillmore and the Compromise of 1850

7. President Fillmore and the Compromise of 1850

Following President Zachary Taylor's death, Millard Fillmore took office. He supported the Compromise of 1850 that added new states from the Mexican cession and attempted to resolve long-standing controversies over slavery.

President Franklin Pierce's Politics and Economics

8. President Franklin Pierce's Politics and Economics

In the wake of the Compromise of 1850, President Franklin Pierce pursued an aggressive agenda of expansion. In this lesson, find out why it inflamed sectional tensions, and why he wasn't re-nominated for a second term.

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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the Middle School US History: Homeschool Curriculum course

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