The American Dream: 1600 - 1878 -- Capstone/Evaluative Objectives
• Reasons why and ways in which Americans have united in political movements to abolish slavery, extend the franchise and provide equality of opportunity for each individual. (Private property rights, individual rights, individual responsibility, inalienable rights of the people)
• How American leaders, reformers and activists struggled to give greater meaning to the proposition that “all men are created equal” (e.g., Henry David Thoreau and Civil Disobedience”, Frederick Douglass and “What to a Slave is the Fourth of July?” and Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address). (Inalienable rights, property rights, equal justice under the law, individual responsibility)
• How women reacted to the promise that “all men are created equal” in the absence of gender rights (e.g., Abigail Adams correspondence to John Adams, The Declaration of Sentiments, Sarah and Angelina Grimke). (Inalienable rights)
• How and why shared political and civic beliefs and values have helped to define the “American” citizen rather than ethnicity, race, religion, class or national origin.(Individual rights as set forth in the Bill of Rights)
• (Downside of federalism)Ways in which federalism is designed to protect individual rights to life, liberty, and property and how it has at times made it possible for states to deny the rights of certain groups, e.g., states' rights and slavery, denial of suffrage to women and minority groups. (Federalism, individual rights, individual responsibilities, equal justice under the law, due process, inalienable rights)
• How United States presidents and their administrations encountered specific internal and external conflicts (e.g., debates over the role of government, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and the distribution of power among and between various institutions). (Structure of government, separation of powers with checks and balances, individual rights, individual responsibilities, federalism)
• How various racial and ethnic groups aided in the industrial and agricultural expansion of the United States.
• How and to what extent nationalism, patriotism and participation in warfare was reflected in American art, literature, music and language.
• How and why certain presidential campaigns and elections significantly changed American politics and society (e.g., 1796, 1800, 1824, 1828, 1860 and 1876) (Frequent and free elections in a representative government)
• How political scandals influenced various presidencies and the political development of the nation (e.g., Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson and Ulysses S. Grant). (Rule of law)
• Ways in which the Constitution has encouraged Americans to engage in commercial and other productive activities that have improved their quality of life.
• To what extent the idea that all persons have the right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness has provided increased opportunities. (Individual rights, due process, individual responsibility, equal justice under the law, private property rights)
• How various diplomatic treaties/agreements enabled westward expansion and economic development (e.g., Treaty of Greenville, Louisiana Purchase, AdamsOnis Treaty, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and Gadsden Purchase).
• How, why and to what extent the United States involvement in various wars led to economic crisis and panic.