American History Timeline Resources: The Young Republic & Westward Expansion

The American Revolution is ending and a new, young republic has emerged. The United States is working to establish laws and begins the period of Westward Expansion during the early 19th Century.
American History Timeline Resources: The Young Republic & Westward Expansion includes resources, books, videos, and projects for studying this time period in American History. Check out our Constitution, learn about Eli Whitney, and travel down the Oregon Trail as you learn about this time period!

Our previous installments of American History Timeline Resources include:

We begin this period (The Young Republic & Westward Expansion) where we left off (at the end of the American Revolution), with some overlap as we take a look at the Young Republic and Westward Expansion.

American History Timeline Resources: The Young Republic & Westward Expansion

Many of the projects and brief readings for The Young Republic in this time period come from the Home School in the Woods – History Through the Ages – Time Traveler Series. In the case of this time period we are using History Through the Ages – Time Travelers – The Early 19th Century.

Time Travelers The Early 19th Century

All the names in the red headlines are ones we will be adding to our timeline notebook. While we may not study each one in depth, we will touch on them in some manner in relation to the given time period. Each time period will be covered over the span of approximately one week.

American History Timeline Resources: The Young Republic & Westward Expansion includes resources, books, videos, and projects for studying this time period in American History. Check out our Constitution, learn about Eli Whitney, and travel down the Oregon Trail as you learn about this time period!

* Please note that what movies you choose to watch with your children is a personal choice. Be sure to screen the movies and decide for yourself if you want to show them to your children.

1781 – 1787 Articles of Confederation, Shays’ Rebellion, Constitutional Convention

Books to Read: 

We took this opportunity to spend time learning not just about how the US Constitution came about but also to take a look at the document itself. We found that using simpler books that broke the text down for us was easier than some of the more in-depth adult books. Here is a collection of some of the books on our list:


Movies/Videos Watched:

1. A More Perfect Union 

“AMERICA, 1786. Ten years have past since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But America’s hopes for a united country are dangerously threatened. England wages a new war of unfair trade and tariffs. Fragmented states continually bicker over currencies, trade, taxations. America is a powder keg ready to explode.

But a handful of brilliant courageous men, James Madison, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin, lead a three year diplomatic battle that culminates in Philadelphia. There they created a new form of government…one that has since become the standard of freedom and democracy for the rest of the world.

A More Perfect Union is the film enactment of the birth of the Constitution and was shot on location at Independence Hall and other historic locations in Virginia”

2. Crash Course – The Constitution

1789 – 1803 Eli Whitney (Cotton Gin)

Books to Read: 

Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin (Inventions and Discovery) – Tells the story of how Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, and the effects it had on the Southern United States. Written in graphic-novel format.

Movies/Videos Watched:

1. How the Cotton Gin Works

2. Eli Whitney – Fast Facts

1803 – 1806 Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition

Books to Read: 

What Was the Lewis and Clark Expedition? – When Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and the “Corp of Discovery” left St. Louis, Missouri, on May 21, 1804, their mission was to explore the vast, unknown territory acquired a year earlier in the Louisiana Purchase. The travelers hoped to find a waterway that crossed the western half of the United States.

Have your student fill out these FREE Who Was Biography Notebook pages to put into their notebook.

Who Was Biography Notebook Pages 2

Movies/Videos Watched: 

  1. America The Story of US – Episode 3
  2. The Historic Expedition of Lewis & Clark

Project:

1. Ultimate Lewis & Clark – This page is filled with tons of lessons, books, activities, and printables. Related to Lewis & Clark. Pick and choose what activities and printables you would like to have your student do and add to their notebook.

2. The Trip West in a Covered Wagon from Home School in the Woods History Through the Ages – Time Travelers – The Early 19th Century Lesson 18

American History Timeline Resources: The Young Republic & Westward Expansion includes resources, books, videos, and projects for studying this time period in American History. Check out our Constitution, learn about Eli Whitney, and travel down the Oregon Trail as you learn about this time period!

1812 – 1815 War of 1812, James Madison

Books to Read: 

We found four great books on the War of 1812. I recommend you read at least one of the first two as they are more of a straight facts type of book. Then read at least one of the second two that are story style: one has a female lead character, and one a male!

American History Timeline Resources: The Young Republic & Westward Expansion includes resources, books, videos, and projects for studying this time period in American History. Check out our Constitution, learn about Eli Whitney, and travel down the Oregon Trail as you learn about this time period!

  1. What Caused the War of 1812? – This book reveals how U.S. president James Madison declared war on Britain (and essentially its colonies in Canada) in 1812 for harming U.S. trade with Europe, for impressing U.S. citizens into the service of the British Royal Navy, for siding with Native Americans against the U.S., and for standing in the way of American expansion to the north into Canada.
  2. Mr. Madison’s War – The Causes and Effects of the War of 1812
  3. Jeremy’s War 1812 – “It’s 1812 and rumors of war are sweeping Upper Canada. But 15-year-old Jeremy Fields has other things on his mind — like what to do now that his parents are dead and he’s been swindled out of the family farm. Angry and confused, Jeremy sets out for the town of York, only to lose his few remaining possessions — and very nearly his life — when a bridge collapses beneath his feet. Plucked from the river by British soldiers, Jeremy decides to join their regiment. Before long, the farm boy from Upper Canada becomes the personal servant to the great military strategist General Isaac Brock. Jeremy’s War 1812 blends historical fact with an exciting fictional story of a boy caught up in the battle to save Canada!”
  4. Whispers of War: The War of 1812 Diary of Susanna Merritt – eleven-year-old Susanna chronicles her experiences when her father and brother go off to fight leaving the women to fend for themselves on the family farm on the Niagara Peninsula of Upper Canada

Movies/Videos Watched:

The War of 1812 PBS Documentary – This is a two-hour documentary looking at the war from several perspectives, the American, Canadian, British and Native American.

Project:

Main Causes and Events of the War of 1812 from Home School in the Woods History Through the Ages – Time Travelers – The Early 19th Century Lesson 6

American History Timeline Resources: The Young Republic & Westward Expansion includes resources, books, videos, and projects for studying this time period in American History. Check out our Constitution, learn about Eli Whitney, and travel down the Oregon Trail as you learn about this time period!

1811 -1840 The Oregon Trail

Books to Read: 

  1. The Oregon Trail: An Interactive History Adventure – You’re living in the United States during the time of the Westward Expansion. Settlers are heading west on the Oregon Trail as they seek better lives. Will you: Go west with your family as part of a wagon train? Serve as a trail guide for a group of settlers? Try to cope with the changes in your way of life as a western American Indian? Everything in this book happened to real people. And YOU CHOOSE what you do next. The choices you make could lead you to opportunity, to wealth, to poverty, or even to death.
  2. Daily Life in Covered Wagon – Drawing on diaries and letters, and illustrated with photographs of actual object from the past, Daily Life in a Covered Wagon explores what life was really like on the wagon trail.
  3. Westward Expansion: An Interactive History Adventure – Describes the people and events of the age of Manifest Destiny and the American West. The reader’s choices reveal the historical details from the perspective of a traveler on the Oregon Trail, a laborer, or a Sioux warrior. As with the Oregon Trail book, this was another one my daughter loved. It made everything come to life for her! So much so that with each of the books she chose to read every scenario!

Movies/Videos Watched:

Westward Ho The Wagons! – based on the novel Children of the Covered Wagon this is the story of a wagon train heading west on the treacherous Oregon Trail.

Project:

  1. Play this online Oregon Trail Game – The Oregon Trail is a computer game originally developed by Don Rawitsch, Bill Heinemann, and Paul Dillenberger in 1971 and produced by MECC in 1974. The original game was designed to teach school children about the realities of 19th century pioneer life on the Oregon Trail. The player assumes the role of a wagon leader guiding his party of settlers from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon’s Willamette Valley over the Oregon Trail via a Conestoga wagon in 1848. In this game you can choose to be a banker from Boston, a carpenter from Ohio, a farmer from Illinois. It’s kind of life a computerized choose your own adventure!
  2.  Map of the Growth of the Nation – Home School in the Woods History Through the Ages – Time Travelers – The Early 19th Century Lesson 2

American History Timeline Resources: The Young Republic & Westward Expansion includes resources, books, videos, and projects for studying this time period in American History. Check out our Constitution, learn about Eli Whitney, and travel down the Oregon Trail as you learn about this time period!

1815 – 1850 Missouri Compromise, Monroe Doctrine, Manifest Destiny, California Gold Rush

Books to Read: 

  1. The Monroe Doctrine: The Birth of American Foreign Policy – “American foreign policy has been shaped for almost 200 years by the words of President James Monroe. What did Monroe’s words mean, and how did they create a uniquely American foreign policy? Readers find the answers to these questions and many more as they explore the major points of the Monroe Doctrine. They also discover the historical circumstances that influenced the Monroe Doctrine, as well as the actions taken throughout American history because of it. “
  2. The California Gold Rush – This is another interactive history adventure. Since my daughter loved the other ones so much we went ahead and read this one too! These books do a great job of putting right into the time period, giving you a chance to make some of the decisions yourself to see how it will turn out.

Movies/Videos Watched:

American Experience: The Gold Rush – A PBS Home Video that incorporates “rare and exquisite daguerreotypes and original recreations, this film offers a vivid portrait of a seminal event in America’s history.” We found this documentary to be at a perfect level for my middle schooler. What I love about these is that it isn’t only historians and facts, but they do reenactments as well to help the history come alive!

Project:

1. Go Mining!

We haven’t “officially” done this yet, We have practiced in near by creeks, but we are planning a trip to the Herkimer Diamond Mines to do a little prospecting of our own!

This is a great video on how to man for gold that is interesting to watch, even if you can’t go try it yourself!

Not sure how to do all this? Check out How to Create a Timeline Based History Plan for all the details!

 

How to Create a Timeline Based History Plan from Starts At Eight. How to Create a Timeline Based History Plan is a step by step guide to using a timeline as the spine for your homeschool history studies.

Timeline Based American History Series

Timeline Based Middle School History {A Two Year American History Plan} from Starts At Eight is a two year plan (including resources) for teaching middle school history with a timeline as the spine.

Be sure to bookmark this Timeline Based Middle School History page and check back each month as we add our resources and projects for each time period!

We will spend approximately 5 weeks per time period. With each time period below I will include a list of multiple book and video resources, as well as a project or two for that time period. Be sure to click on each time period heading (as it gets linked along the way) to see what exactly we ended up including in our study, and how exactly we did it.

Year One

Before 1630 – Pre America

1630 – 1763 – Colonial America

1763 – 1783 – The American Revolution

1783 – 1860 – The Young Republic & Westward Expansion {This Post}

1830-1876 – Civil War/Reconstruction

Year Two

1871 – 1920 – 2nd Industrial Revolution

1914 – 1933 – WWI/Depression

1933 – 1945 – New Deal/WWII

1945 – 1960 – Postwar America

1960-1980 – The Vietnam Era

1980 – 2000 – End of the Century

2000 – Present – Recent History