Unit 10: Westward Movement

U.S._Territorial_Acquisitions.png
(Source: http://www.nationalatlas.gov/)
In this unit, you will learn about the Westward Expansion of the United States that took place from 1801 to 1861.

USI.8: The student will demonstrate knowledge of westward expansion and reform in America from 1801 to 1861 by:




a) describing territorial expansion and how it affected the political map of the United States, with emphasis on the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the acquisitions of Florida, Texas, Oregon and California.

b) identifying the geographic and economic factors that influenced the westward movement of settlers.

c) describing the impact of inventions, including the cotton gin, the reaper, the steamboat, and the steam locomotive, on life in America.

d) identifying the main ideas of the abolitionist and suffrage movements.

Read and study the graphics showing the SOL content of this unit.
USI 8a America undergoes territorial expansion. Expansion
  • Between 1801 and 1861, exploration was encouraged as America underwent vast territorial expansion and settlement.

USI 8b Geographic and economic factors influenced expansion. Influences
  • Westward migration was influenced by geography and economic opportunity.

USI 8c Industrialization had an impact on the North and the South. Impact
  • Prior to the Civil War, most industrialization in America was in the North; however, the equipment produced in the North had an impact on the farming society in the South.

USI 8d The abolition and suffrage movements took place at this time. Movements
  • The abolitionists worked to end slavery.
• The suffrage movement helped women gain equal rights.


Unit Vocabulary: Read and learn the vocabulary and definitions.

Republic: A form of government where people elect a representative

Annex: To add on; an addition

Cede: To give up (land)

Expedition: Long voyage of exploration

Population: All of the people living in a specific area

Fertile: Rich in materials for plants to grow

Economic Opportunity: Chance to gain wealth (gold, logging, farming, freedom for run-away slaves)

Transportation: Moving passengers or goods from one place to another

Overland Trails: Routes of western movement typically from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean

Manifest Destiny: Idea that the United States had the right and duty to expand throughout North America

Expansion: Gaining new lands and territories

Erie Canal: Man-made waterway that links Lake Erie to the Hudson River

Inventors: Someone who is the first to think of or make something

Entrepreneur: Someone who organizes resources to bring a new or better good or service to market in hopes of earning a profit

Production: Making something

Industry: Production of a particular product

Cotton Gin: A machine used to separate cotton fibers from the seeds

Industrialization: Changing over to “factories” within a country

Locomotive: A railroad engine

Reaper: A machine to harvest grain

Abolitionist: Somebody who is against slavery

Democracy: The free and equal right of every person to participate in government

Suffrage: The right to vote in elections

Deprive: To prevent from having

Deny: To refuse something to somebody