Jefferson and Expansion: Scaffolding Student Understanding of Cause and Effect

Duration: 60-90 min

This lesson focuses on the following prompt: “Analyze the causes of and the resulting issues from the Louisiana Purchase. Concentrate your answer between the years 1790-1820.” The lesson will allow students to interact with primary sources and begin to develop the skills that will help them write a Document Based Question (DBQ).

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  • Jefferson and Expansion Lesson Document Packet     View  |  Download
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  • Jefferson and Expansion Lesson Topic Analysis Guide     View  |  Download

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Grade Level

High School

Type of Lesson

Cooperative Learning

Common Core Standards

AP US History Curriculum Framework Standard:

Key Concept 4.2- U.S. interest in increasing foreign trade, expanding its national borders, and isolating itself from European conflicts shaped the nation’s foreign policy and spurred government and private initiatives.

Key Concept 4.3.II: Various American groups and individuals initiated, championed, and/or resisted the expansion of territory and/or government powers.

A.With expanding borders came public debates about whether to expand and how to define and use the new territories.

C.Whites living on the frontier tended to champion expansion efforts, while resistance by American Indians led to a sequence of wars and federal efforts to control American Indian populations.

Key Concept 4.3.III: The American acquisition of lands in the West gave rise to a contest over the extension of slavery into the western territories as well as a series of attempts at national compromise.

Author Info

Jamie Wilson
Watauga High School Boone, NC