Social Studies - 2018-19

USI.8b - Geographic and Economic Factors of Westward Expansion

The student will apply social science skills to understand westward expansion and reform in America from 1801 to 1861 by  

b) explaining how geographic and economic factors influenced the westward movement of settlers;

Adopted: 2015

BIG IDEAS

UNDERSTANDING THE STANDARD

Westward migration was influenced by geography and economic opportunity. 

ESSENTIALS

Geographic and economic factors that influenced westward movement 

 Population growth in the eastern states 

 Availability of cheap, fertile land 

 Economic opportunity, such as gold (California Gold Rush), logging, farming, freedom (for runaway slaves) 

 Cheaper and faster modes of transportation, such as rivers and canals (Erie Canal), steamboats 

 Knowledge of overland trails (Oregon and Santa Fe) 

 Belief in the right of Manifest Destiny—the idea that expansion was for the good of the country and was the right of the country 

KEY VOCABULARY

Updated: May 16, 2018