Social Studies - 2018-19

VUS.6a - Territorial Expansion after 1800

The student will apply social science skills to understand major events in Virginia and United States history during the first half of the nineteenth century by

a) explaining territorial expansion and its impact on the American Indians;

Adopted: 2015


Unit Themes

Unit Essential Questions

Environment (geography)

How does the environment and geography impact our lives?

Economic Systems

To what extent does the American economy shape the American experience?


What are the duties and privileges of American citizenship?

Constitutional Principles

How does the US Constitution shape our lives as Americans?  


Conflicts between American settlers and Indian nations in the Southeast and the old Northwest resulted in the relocation of many American Indians to reservations.

Economic and strategic interests of the populace led to territorial expansion, which resulted in dominance over indigenous cultures.


Early stages of territorial expansion 

 Thomas Jefferson, as president in 1803, purchased from France the huge Louisiana Territory, which doubled the size of the United States. As a result, the United States gained control of the Mississippi River and New Orleans to facilitate western trade. Jefferson authorized the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the new territories that lay west of the Mississippi River. Sacajawea, an American Indian woman, served as their guide and translator. 

 American settlers streamed westward from the East Coast through the use of roads, canals, and railroads, which had intended and unintended consequences for American Indians.

Impact on the American Indians 

 The belief that it was America’s Manifest Destiny to stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific provided political support for territorial expansion. 

 During this period of westward migration, American Indians were repeatedly defeated in violent conflicts with settlers and soldiers and forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands. They were either forced to march far away from their homes (the Trail of Tears, when several tribes were relocated from Atlantic Coastal states to present-day Oklahoma) or confined to reservations.


Terms & EventsPeoplePlaces Supreme Court Cases

Bank of the United States

Jay Treaty


“Undeclared war”

Peaceful transfer of power

Louisiana Purchase

War of 1812

Monroe Doctrine

Florida(treaty with Spain)

Transportation Revolution

Free Markets

Judicial Review

Implied powers

Branches of government

Levels of government

Interstate Commerce

John Marshall

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

John Adams

Alexander Hamilton

Lewis and Clark



Oregon Territory

Western/Eastern Hemisphere

 Marbury v. Madison

McCulloch v. Maryland

Gibbons v. Ogden

Updated: May 18, 2018