Economic and Territorial Expansion

Economic and Territorial Expansion

Stockwell, M. (2012). The American story: Perspectives and encounters to 1877. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Prepare: In Chapter 8, you will read how the decades following the War of 1812 are often depicted as an age of nationalism, democratization, egalitarianism, individualism, industrialization, and economic and territorial expansion. The same period, however, could also be depicted as an age of racial oppression, ethnic cleansing, the entrenchment of slavery, the subjugation of women (see Rexford, 2008 for a discussion of how women’s shoes enhanced their domesticity and dependence), the spread of poverty, the militant conquest of foreign lands and foreign peoples, and the emergence of divisive sectionalism which would tear the country apart.

In conjunction with the textbook, watch one of the following videos below:

Ash, J. (Writer & Director). (2010). Division [Television series episode]. In J. Root & M. Jackson (Executive producers), America – The Story of Us. Retrieved from

Burns, K. & Barnes, P. (Producers). (2005). The story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: Revolution [Television series episode]. In Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony-A Film by Ken Burns and Paul Barnes. Retrieved from

Frye, R. E. (Producer & Director). (1990). Origins [Television series episode]. In R. E. Frye (Executive producer), In Search of the Dream: A Story of the African American Experience. Retrieved from

Samels, M. (Executive producer). (2009). Trail of tears [Television series episode]. In We Shall Remain – America through Native Eyes. Retrieved from

Reflect: As you read and watch the assigned sources, consider why the United States expanded economically and territorially during this period, and assess the impact of that expansion on the nation both as a unified whole and specifically on one of the following groups of people:

Native Americans
Small farmers
Urban workers

Write: Once you choose the group, please answer the following questions:

How did the United States’ economic and territorial expansion during this period influence or shape the group you chose?
Did the economic and territorial expansion of the United States in the first half of the 19th century serve to tie the country together or to drive it apart?

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