Practicing the DBQ: APUSH “Changing Policy Towards American Indians and Jefferson’s Role”

Duration: 60-180 min

This lesson will specifically cover a Document Based Question covering Thomas Jefferson’s views of Native Americans and connecting it to the American government Indian Policy.  The focus is to assist AP US History students in preparing for the DBQ and practice document analysis, but this lesson can be modified and used for any level.  Several extension activities are available to help teach students or reinforce the concepts of document analysis.

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Handouts (PDF Format)
  • Jefferson's Changing Policy Towards Native Americans - Lesson Discussion Questions     View  |  Download
  • Jefferson's Changing Policy Towards Native Americans - DBQs     View  |  Download
  • Jefferson's Changing Policy Towards Native Americans - DBQ Extension     View  |  Download
  • Jefferson's Changing Policy Towards Native Americans - Native American Council Document     View  |  Download
  • Jefferson's Changing Policy Towards Native Americans - HIPPO method     View  |  Download

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Grade Level

High School

Type of Lesson

Cooperative Learning

Common Core Standards

AP US History: Standards from Periods 3 and 4

The competition among the British, French, and American Indians for economic and political advantage in North America culminated in the Seven Years’ War (the French and Indian War), in which Britain defeated France and allied American Indians.

Colonial rivalry intensified between Britain and France in the mid-18th century, as the growing population of the British colonies expanded into the interior of North America, threatening French– Indian trade networks and American Indian autonomy.

After the British victory, imperial officials’ attempts to prevent colonists from moving westward generated colonial opposition, while native groups sought to both continue trading with Europeans and resist the encroachments of colonists on tribal lands.

The ideals that inspired the revolutionary cause new beliefs about politics, religion, and society that had been developing over the course of the 18th century.

E The American Revolution
and the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence reverberated in France,
Haiti, and Latin America, inspiring future independence movements.

Key Concept 4.3 — The U.S. interest in increasing foreign trade and expanding its national borders shaped the nation’s foreign policy and spurred government and private initiatives.

Struggling to create an independent global presence, the United States sought to claim territory throughout the North American continent and promote foreign trade.

Following the Louisiana Purchase, the United States government sought influence and control over North America and the Western Hemisphere through a variety of means, including exploration, military actions, American Indian removal, and diplomatic efforts such as the Monroe Doctrine.

Frontier settlers tended to champion expansion efforts, while American Indian resistance led to a sequence of wars and federal efforts to control and relocate American Indian populations.

Author Info

Andrea Clark
Rich South High School
Address 5000 Sauk Trail
Richton Park, Illinois