Academic standards list

Eighth Grade: United States History and Geography: Colonization of North America to Reconstruction and the American West — Social Studies (2014-2019)

Introduction

Eighth grade students will study the European exploration of North America, along with the geographic features that influenced early settlements and colonies. This course will emphasize the development and maturation of the British colonies, and the political, cultural, and economic influences that led to the American Revolution. The major events and outcomes of the American Revolution will be analyzed, along with the individuals that played influential roles in the development of the new nation. Students will follow the development of the United States and its government, continuing through the early 19th century. The impact of the expansion of the United States will be analyzed, including implications on domestic and foreign policy. Policies that affected the American Indians will also be studied. The events leading up to the Civil War will be examined, along with the individuals and events that were significant during the war. The history, people, government, and geography of Tennessee will be emphasized in order to illustrate the role our state has played in American history. Reconstruction and the development of the American West will conclude this course. Appropriate primary sources and informational texts will be included in order to enhance understanding of the content.
 

Content Strands: Many academic standards for social studies courses are categorized into content strands as indicated by letter codes. (C=Culture, E=Economics, G=Geography, H=History, P=Politics/Government, TN=Tennessee)

Colonialism (1600-1750)

Students will understand the social, political, and economic reasons for the movement of people from Europe to the Americas, and they will describe the impact of colonization by Europeans on American Indians and on the development of the land that eventually became the United States of America.

 

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from The First Virginia Charter, 1606; The Mayflower Compact, 1620; excerpts from the Charter of Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1629; excerpts from The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, 1639; excerpts from The Maryland Toleration Act, 1649; excerpts from The New England Articles of Confederation; excerpts from A Historie of Virginia, ("starving time") John Smith; excerpts from Of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford

Academic Standards
Explain the primary motivations for English colonization of the New World, including the rise of the middle class (joint stock companies), the need to move surplus
E,G,H
 
Trace and explain the founding of Jamestown, including:
E,G,H
Explain the founding of the Plymouth Colony, including the Separatists, William Bradford, Mayflower, Mayflower Compact, and Squanto.
C,G,H,P
 
Analyze the reasons for the settlement of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the events and the key figures of the colonies, including:
C,E,G,H,P
 
Describe the settlement of New Netherlands and the subsequent possession of the colony by the English, including:
C,E,G,H
 
Analyze the founding of Pennsylvania as a haven for Quakers and the tolerance that drew many different groups to the colony, including:
C,E,H,P
 
Explain the reasons behind the settlement of the Georgia Colony, including the role of James Oglethorpe and Georgia as a "debtor" colony and a "buffer" colony.
C,E,G,H
 
Describe the location and reasons for French exploration and settlements in North America, including the Huguenots.
E,G,H,P
 
Cite textual evidence analyzing examples of both cooperation and conflict between American Indians and colonists, including agriculture, trade, cultural exchanges, and
C,E,G,H,P
 
Locate and identify the first 13 colonies, and describe how their location and geographic features influenced their development.
E,G,H,P
 
Describe the significance of and the leaders of the First Great Awakening, and the growth in religious toleration and free exercise of religion.
C,H,P
 
Compare and contrast the day-to-day colonial life for men, women, and children in different regions and of different ethnicities, including the system of indentured
C,E,G,H,P
 
Analyze the ideas that significantly impacted the development of colonial self government by citing textual evidence and examining multiple perspectives using excerpts
C,H,P
 
Identify the origins and development of slavery in the colonies, overt and passive resistance to enslavement, and the Middle Passage.
C,E,G,H,P
 

Development of a New Nation (1720-1787)

Students will understand the major events preceding the founding of the nation and relate their significance to the development of American Republic

 

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech, Patrick Henry; The Declaration of Independence; excerpts from "Common Sense" and "The Crisis," Thomas Paine; excerpts from Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Consider: excerpts from Andrew Hamilton's closing argument in the trial of John Peter Zenger; excerpts from John Donelson's journal

Academic Standards
Compare the government structures and economic base and cultural traditions of New France and the English colonies.
C,E,G,H,P
 
Explain how the practice of salutary neglect, experience with self-government, and wide spread ownership of land fostered individualism and contributed to the American
C,E,H,P
 
Evaluate the contributions of Benjamin Franklin to American society in the areas of science, writing and literature, and politics, including analysis of excerpts from
C,H,P
 
Describe the impact of the John Peter Zenger trial on the development of the principle of a free press.
C,P
 
Describe the causes, course, and outcome of the French and Indian War, including the massacre at Fort Loudoun.
C,G,H,P,TN
 
Explain the impact of individuals who created interest in the land west of the Appalachian Mountains, including:
C,G,H,TN
 
Summarize the major events of the Watauga Settlement, including:
E,P,TN
 
Analyze the social, political and economic causes of the American Revolution and the major battles, leaders and events, including:
C,E,H,P
Determine the central ideas expressed in the Declaration of Independence and write an expository piece in which the legacy of these ideas in today's world is
H,P
 
Using Thomas Paine's Common Sense and The Crisis identify aspects of the texts that reveal the author's point of view and purpose including loaded language.
H,P
 
Identify and explain the significance of the major battles, leaders, and events of the American Revolution, including:
C,E,H,P,TN
 
Summarize the effect of the Revolution on the Wataugans and the reasons, plans, and struggles in creating the Cumberland Settlement, including:
G,P,TN
 
Compare the points of views of the Loyalists and Patriots by integrating visual information through charts, graphs, or images with print texts.
C,G,H,P
 

The Constitution and Foundation of the American Political System (1777-1789)

Students analyze the political principles underlying the Constitution, compare the enumerated and implied powers of the federal government, and understand the foundation of the American political system and the ways in which citizens participate.

 

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from The Articles of Confederation; the U.S. Constitution; The Federalist Paper # 10 and #51; The Bill of Rights; Washington's Farewell Address

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Consider: excerpts from The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison; Patrick Henry's arguments against ratification

Academic Standards
Describe the significance of the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the Mayflower Compact in relation to the development of government in America.
C,H,P
 
Analyze the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and their impact on the future development of western settlement and the spread of public
E,G,P
 
Analyze the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation, including no power to tax, no common currency, no control of interstate commerce, and no executive branch,
C,E,H,P,TN
Identify the various leaders of the Constitutional Convention and analyze the major issues they debated, including:
C,E,H
 
Explain the ratification process and describe the conflict between Federalists and AntiFederalists over ratification, including the need for a Bill of Rights and concern
H,P
Describe the principles embedded in the Constitution, including the purposes of government listed in the Preamble, separation of powers, check and balances, the
P
Write an opinion piece arguing for the importance of a particular right as it impacts individuals and/or groups, using evidence from the Bill of Rights and contemporary
P
 
Analyze the major events of George Washington's presidency, including Pinckney's Treaty, Jay's Treaty, Whiskey Rebellion, and precedents set in the Farewell
G,P
 
Explain the strict versus loose interpretation of the Constitution and how the conflicts between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton resulted in the emergence of two
C,E,G,H,P
Explain the controversies that plagued the administration of John Adams, including the conflicts with England and France and the Alien and Sedition Acts.
H,P
 

Growth of the Young Nation (1789-1849)

Students analyze the aspirations and ideals of the people of the new nation.

 

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from the journals of Lewis and Clark; excerpts from decision in Marbury vs. Madison, John Marshall

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Consider: excerpts from John Marshall's decisions in Gibbons v. Ogden and McCulloch v. Maryland; excerpts from "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", Washington Irving; excerpts from The Deerslayer series, James Fenimore Cooper

Academic Standards
Describe daily life -- including traditions in art, music, and literature -- of early national America by examining excerpts from the stories of Washington Irving and
C,H,P
 
Identify the leaders and events and analyze the impact of western expansion to the development of Tennessee statehood, including:
G,H,P,TN
Analyze the role played by John Marshall in strengthening the central government, including the key decisions of the Supreme Court - Marbury v. Madison, Gibbons v.
H,P
 
Explain the major events of Thomas Jefferson's presidency, including his election in 1800, Louisiana Purchase, the defeat of the Barbary pirates, and the Embargo Act.
E,G,H
 
Analyze the impact of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by identifying the routes on a map, citing evidence from their journals.
C,E,G,H
 

The United States' Role on the World Stage (1789-1849)

Students analyze United States foreign policy in the early Republic.

 

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from The Monroe Doctrine

Academic Standards
Explain the causes, course, and consequences of the War of 1812, including the major battles, leaders, events and role of Tennessee:
E,H,P,TN
Identify on a map the changing boundaries of the United States, including the Convention of 1818 and Adams-Onis Treaty.
G,P
 
Analyze the relationship the United States had with Europe, including the influence of the Monroe Doctrine.
E,G,P
 

The Sectionalism of the American North, South, and West (1800-1850)

Students analyze the paths of the American people in the three regions of the United States from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced as they became increasingly sectionalized.

 

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from "The Declaration of Sentiments," Seneca Falls Convention; excerpts from "Nature" and "Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson; excerpts from "Walden" and "Civil Disobedience," Henry David Thoreau; excerpts from "Ain't I A Woman," Sojourner Truth translated by Frances Dana Barker Gage; excerpts from Eliza Bryan of the New Madrid Earthquakes

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Consider: excerpts from Roughing It, Mark Twain; excerpts from A Narrative in the Life of David Crockett of the state of Tennessee, David Crockett

Academic Standards
Analyze the physical obstacles to and the economic and political factors involved in building a network of roads, canals and railroads , including Henry Clay's
E,G,H,P
 
Explain the causes and effects of the wave of immigration from Northern Europe to the United States, and describe the growth in the number, size, and spatial
C,E,G,P
 
Analyze the 19th century reforms influenced by the 2nd Great Awakening such as the Temperance Movement, Prison Reform, Mental Health Reform, and education, including
C,P
 
Analyze the women's suffrage movement and its major proponents, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony and examine excerpts from the
C,P
 
Identify common themes in American art and literature, including transcendentalism and individualism by analyzing essays and stories by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David
C
 
Trace the development of the agrarian economy in the South, the locations of the cottonproducing states, and the significance of cotton, the cotton gin and the role of
C,E,G,P,TN
 
Analyze the characteristics of white Southern society and how the physical environment influenced events and conditions prior to the Civil War.
C,E,G
Write a narrative with supporting text describing the effects of the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-12 on the land and people of Tennessee.
G,H,TN
 
Identify the constitutional issues posed by the doctrine of nullification and secession and analyze the earliest origins of that doctrine.
C,P
 
Explain the events and impact of the presidency of Andrew Jackson, including the "corrupt bargain," the advent of Jacksonian Democracy, his use of the spoils system and
C,E,G,H,P,TN
Analyze the contributions of Sequoyah to the Cherokee.
C,TN
 
Write a narrative piece that describes the impact of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the struggle between the Cherokee Nation and the United States government and
C,G,H,TN
 
Describe the concept of Manifest Destiny and its impact on the developing character of the American nation, including the purpose, challenges and economic incentives for
C,E,G,H,P
Describe American settlements in Texas after 1821 and the causes for the Texas War of Independence, including the roles of David Crockett and Sam Houston in the war and
G,H,P,TN
Analyze the reasons, outcome and legacy of groups moving west including the mountain men/trail blazers, Mormons, missionaries, settlers, and the impact of the Oregon
C,G,H
 
Describe the major events and impact of the presidency of James K. Polk, including his "Dark Horse" nomination, the settlements of the Oregon boundary, the annexation of
E,G,H,P
 
Describe the causes, course, and consequences of the Mexican War, including the controversy over the Rio Grande boundary, the roles played by Zachary Taylor and Winfield
C,E,G,H,P
Trace the major figures and events in the discovery of gold in California and its impact on the economy of the United States, including John Sutter, and 49'ers.
C,E,G,H
 

Slavery in America (1800-1850)

Students analyze the growth of slavery and the resulting controversies.

 

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe; excerpts from the Lincoln-Douglas Debates; excerpts from Roger Taney's decision in the Dred Scott case; excerpts from The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass.

Academic Standards
Describe the significance of the Northwest Ordinance and the banning of slavery in new states north of the Ohio River.
C,E,P
 
Describe the reasons for and the impact of the Missouri Compromise of 1820.
G,H,P
 
Analyze the impact of the various leaders of the abolitionist movement, including John Brown and armed resistance; Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad; William
C,E,H,P,TN
Explain the reasons for and the impact of the Compromise of 1850, including the roles played Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun and the Fugitive Slave Law.
C,E,G,H,P
 
Explain the motivations behind passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, including the rise of the Republican Party, "Bleeding Kansas," the Sumner Brooks incident, and
H,P
 
Analyze the reasons for and applied by the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case and the resulting divisiveness between the North and South.
C,H,P
 
Examine the arguments presented by Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln in the Illinois Senate race debate of 1858.
H,P
 
Identify the conditions of enslavement, and explain how slaves adapted and resisted in their daily lives.
C,H

Civil War (1830-1865)

Students analyze the multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the Civil War.

 

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from the "House Divided" speech in 1858, Gettysburg Address in 1863, Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and Inaugural Addresses in 1861 and 1865, Abraham Lincoln; excerpts from The Respective of Co. Aytch, Sam Watkins

Academic Standards
Identify on a map the boundaries constituting the North and the South and delineate and evaluate the geographical differences between the two regions, including the
E,G,P
Describe the influence of industrialization and technological developments of the regions, including human modification of the landscape and how physical geography
E,G,H,P
Evaluate each candidate and the election of 1860 and analyze how that campaign reflected the sectional turmoil in the country.
G,P,TN
Explain the geographical division of Tennessee over the issue of slavery and secession, including Governor Harris, the secession convention vote of 1861, anti-secession
P,TN
Describe Abraham Lincoln's presidency and his significant writings and speeches, including his House Divided speech in 1858, Gettysburg Address in 1863, Emancipation
C,H,P
Explain the roles of leaders during the Civil War, including Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and soldiers on both sides of the war,
C,E,H,P,TN
Describe African-American involvement in the Union army, including the Massachusetts 54th Regiment and the 13th U.S. Colored Troops in the Battle of Nashville.
C,H,TN
Cite textual evidence analyzing the life of the common soldier in the Civil War, including Sam Watkins and Sam Davis.
C,H,TN
Trace the critical developments and events in the war, including geographical advantages and economic advantages of both sides, technological advances and the location
 
Assess the impact of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on both the North and the South.
C,E,H,P

Reconstruction (1865-1877)

Students analyze the character and lasting consequences of Reconstruction.

 

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Consider: excerpts from Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws

Academic Standards
Explain the significance of 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
P
Analyze the choice of Andrew Johnson as Vice-President, his succession to the Presidency, his plan for Reconstruction and his conflict with the Radical Republicans.
H,P,TN
Compare the 10 Percent Plan to the Radical Republican Plan for Reconstruction.
C,P
 
Explain the effects of the Freedmen's Bureau and the restrictions placed on the rights and opportunities of freedmen, including racial segregation and Jim Crow laws.
C,H,P
Trace the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and vigilante justice, including its role in Tennessee.
C,P,TN
Explain the movement of both white and black Northern entrepreneurs (carpetbaggers) from the North to the South.
C,E,P
Explain the controversy of the 1876 presidential election and the subsequent removal of federal troops from the South.
H,P
 
Describe the push-pull effect in the movement of former slaves to the North and West, including the Exodusters and Pap Singleton.
C,E,G,H,TN
 
Describe the major developments in Tennessee during the Reconstruction Era, including the Constitutional Convention of 1870, the yellow fever epidemic of 1878 and the
G,P,TN

Westward Expansion after the Civil War (1865-1890)

Students analyze the social, political, and economic transformation of America as a result of westward expansion.

 

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from A Century of Dishonor, Helen Hunt Jacks

Academic Standards
Explain patterns of agricultural and industrial development after the Civil War as they relate to climate, use of natural resources, markets and trade and the location
E,G
 
Trace the evolution of federal policies toward American Indians, including movement to reservations; assimilation, boarding schools, wars with Indians (Little Big Horn
C,E,G,H,P,TN
 
Explain the significance of various American Indian leaders, including:
H
 
Explain the impact of the Homestead Act.
E,H,P
 
Analyze how significant inventors and their inventions, including barbed wire, the six shooter, windmills, sod housing, and the steel plow changed life in the West.
C,E,H,P
 
Trace the expansion and development of the Transcontinental Railroad, including the Golden Spike event (1869), and the role that Chinese immigrant laborers (Central
C,E,G,P
Examine the development and life of the iconic American cowboy, including his skills, clothes and daily life and work.
C,H
 
Explain the concepts of the Open Range, Long Drive and cow towns in the development of the American ranching industry.
E,G,H
 
 
Disclaimer: This website provides a reference tool for browsing academic standards and locating associated resources. We are not the originator of these academic standards. Although we strive to maintain accuracy, there may be revisions, updates, or errors within the text and structure of the information displayed. In case of any discrepancy, please respect the originator's published version (https://www.tn.gov/education/instruction/academic-standards/social-studies-standards.html) as the definitive record.