Grade 8: US History to Reconstruction

Standard 8: Westward Expansion

Content Standard 8: The student will examine the political, economic, social, and geographic changes that occurred during the period of westward expansion.
Examine the concept and opposing perspectives toward Manifest Destiny as a motivation and justification for westward expansion.
Explain the territorial growth of the United States including the annexation of Texas, Mexican Cession, and the Gadsden Purchase; describe the need to maintain a balance of “free” and “slave” states.
Identify push and pull factors of mass migration and the settlement of western territories including the California Gold Rush, settlement of Oregon, and the Mormon migration.
Analyze the consequences of westward expansion, including the impact on the culture of American Indians and their homelands, and the growing sectional tensions regarding the expansion of slavery.