What’s our next chapter in America’s story? IMPERIALISM!


Group 1 / Group 2 / Group 3 / Group 4 / Group 5

I can describe and evaluate the causes, events, and impact of American imperialism.

This will be a drive-by about American imperialism. It’s not because the topic isn’t important.  Actually, it’s due to the calendar and the amount of time allotted to NHD.  A decent trade off, if you ask me. You will eventually demonstrate your understanding with an editorial statement and cartoon, so no worries about memorization.While the US was pushing for reform at home, the country was also expanding abroad in the era of IMPERIALISM.  Should the US have been an imperial nation?  That’s our essential question!  How will we answer it?  Read on …

We will debate American imperialism in our next class, and you will have an assigned ares for your focus.  You should come up with arguments SUPPORTING and OPPOSING American involvement in your specific area – your side will be determined t the start of our next class.  The best debaters know the arguments of the opposite side.  The more prepared you are, the better your argument will be! Here are some chosen resources dealing with American imperialism – you can use others as well.  Primary sources are always HUGE!

Want to review the videos from class?

Annexing Hawaii / The Spanish American War (and a little bit about the Philippines) / China and the Open Door / Big Stick and Dollar Diplomacy / TR and the Panama Canal (not from class) /

Want even more detail?  Use this ABC-CLIO research list (usmstudent, historyrules).


Posted in Imperialism | Leave a comment

Progress and Problems – Tying the Past and Present Together

Untitled drawing (12)It’s target display time!  Which will you choose – a DEEP DIVE or  some BROAD STROKES?  It’s up to you!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In class February 16 – Hexagonal Thinking and the Progressive Era

Hexagons for Progressive Example


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Learning Experience Feb 14/15 – Here come the Progressives!

As you have seen from our investigation of the Gilded Age, there was great of progress in the American  economy, industry, urbanization, and immigration during the late 1800s early 1900s. However, progress comes with a price.   Politics were controlled by the wealthy, and political machines were challenging they ideals of democracy in many of the cities. The income gap between the wealthy and the rest of the nation was enormous.  The environment was ignored for industrial growth, and pollution and destruction of resources became problematic. Cities were overcrowded, and tenement living was unhealthy at best, deadly at worst. People didn’t know what was going into their medicine or food. Monopolies were formed with large corporations controlling many of the major industries of the time, and workers’ worries were ignored or opposed by business and government.  Women were second class citizens, lacing political, economic, and social equality.  African Americans continued to face challenges in all parts of the country.

Who will respond to these problems?


The Progressive Movement emerged in the late 1800s and early 1900s to push for reforms in response to the excesses of the Gilded Age.  We will examine what they did in their attempts to make America a better place on Monday – but you will definitely want to get some background.  So, spend about 27 minutes and 48 seconds this weekend meeting the Progressives (before you watch the Super Bowl). How?  Here you go …

WATCH America in the 20th Century – The Progressive Era.  Use usmstudent, wildcats as your username and password. What should you be looking for?  A general idea of what the Progressive Movement was, an understanding of some of the reforms Progressives pushed for, and some info on the Progressive Presidents (including the big guy – I mean the REALLY big guy). You can (and should) use the Progressive Era Intro as a guide – but no writing is necessary.

You can also watch my buddy John and his Crash Course on the Progressives … but make sure you watch the above video first!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big City Life!

Here’s what you experienced in your stroll through the big cities in the Gilded Age!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Learning Experience Feb 10/13 – The Great Wave of Immigration

The growth of industry and the rise of cities involved a third key component – the great wave of immigration that arrived in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We will investigate this HUGE change in American culture in our next class meeting.  To prepare, spend some time with the materials below – as much time as you desire!

Start with John Green (yes, Taft has a bromance crush on the guy) – it’s a great link between the West, the cities, and immigration!

Then, you can explore Ellis Island at the turn of the 20th century:

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 3.06.12 PM

Or play a simulation on immigrating to the US at the turn of the century:

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 8.31.21 PM

Or explore immigration and the tenements of NYC:

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 8.03.27 PM


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Learning Experience February 10/13 – Big City Life!

Let’s go back in time, shall we?  Imagine taking a stroll in one of the new big cities of the Northeast and upper Midwest in the late 1800s.  You and a friend (maybe it’s an early Valentine … how romantic) spend an entire day in one of these new urban locations that is booming with technology, big business, leisure activities, social experiments, entertainment, and mass culture.  There is a dark side to the city as well, one of political corruption, slums and tenements, child labor, and flight to the suburbs.  What would you notice as you waltz around the city?

Browse through Big City Life from Creating America, City Life in Industrial America from the LOC, and IF YOU HAVE TIME check out John Green and Crash Course talking about political machines in the video below. Jot down some of your observations as you read and watch – and  get ready for a major tour of the big cities of the late 1800s in our next class meeting! This browse should only take you about 20-25 minutes – you have to get back to work in the factory! If you don’t get it all done, do not fret – management will come down on you if you spend too long!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Learning Experience February 10/13 – Big City Life!

In Class February 8/9 – The Rise of Organized Labor

We have seen the side of the guys making the big bucks … but what about the men (and women and children) that were toiling in the factories during the age of industrial growth? Let’s find out …

It’s the late 1800s, and you are an industrial worker in one of the major factories in the Upper Midwest.  You have decided to become part of a union – an organized group of workers who unite to push for improved working conditions. A new worker has asked you a series of questions about organized labor in order to determine if he should also join the union.  How would you respond?

What are your complaints about your status as a worker during the late 1800s?  (Check out Organized Labor from US History)

What tactics has your union employed in order to change your situation?  (Use The Great Upheaval  and  Labor vs. Management from US History)

What are some of the ways management has responded to your ideas and actions? (Consult Labor vs. Management from US History and How Did Management Respond  from Social Studies Help)

What has the government done (or not done) in response to your calls for change? (Try Labor Battles in the Gilded Age from Khan Academy – scroll down to “The federal government and the labor movement”)

Besides management and the government, what other challenges do Gilded Age unions face? (Check near the bottom of Organized Labor from US History)


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on In Class February 8/9 – The Rise of Organized Labor

Learning Experience Feb 6/7 – Captains or Robbers?

Hopefully you have a decent understanding of some of the important concepts that led to the growth of big business in the latter 1800s, young historians. Ask yourself – can you …

  • identify why a company would become a corporation and sell stock?
  • the difference between horizontal and vertical integration, including examples?
  • the definition and basic description of a trust?

These big businesses had to have someone at the lead … the major entrepreneurs of the time. You may have heard of these names – Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan – and we will discuss their lives and legacies in our next class and ask the question “Were they Captains of Industry or Robber Barons?” To prepare, use the handout provided in class. Carefully read and HIGHLIGHT or UNDERLINE and ANNOTATE all possible positive ideas and comments in one color, and HIGHLIGHT or UNDERLINE and ANNOTATE all possible negative ideas and comments in another color. You each have a specific individual on the second page – do the same for that person, and check out some of the links below for further information.

Be prepared – you will need to talk!

The links below come from “The Men Who Built America”, a recent History Channel documentary.  Check out more about your individual!

Want more?  Take a lookyloo at  The Wealthiest Americans Ever – New York Times and The 20 Richest People Of All Time

Even more?

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Learning Experience Feb 6/7 – Captains or Robbers?

Learning Experience Feb 2/3 – The Rise of Industry

IndustryIt was a quick trip out West – but now it’s time to head to the growing cities of the Northeast and Midwest as we see the boom in industry and big business.  To get some background, spend some time (25-30 minutes) with the materials below and come to class with an idea or two (or four) about the rise of industry after the Civil War AND start making connections between the past and present!

Create one page of notes – maybe some sketchnotes? – that BEGIN to support these targets:

  • I can describe the interrelated factors leading to the growth of industry in the late 1800s.
  • I can evaluate the industrialists of the late 1800s from multiple perspectives.

KEY TERMS AND IDEAS – effects of the Civil War, railroads, industrial growth, economic boom, inventions, horizontal and vertical integration,  Captains of Industry or Robber Barons, trusts and combinations, labor movement

Begin with The Growth of Industry from Creating America, and respond to this question – What were the key factors leading to the growth of industry in  the late 1800s?


From John Green and Crash Course (no password, but he rules)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Learning Experience Feb 2/3 – The Rise of Industry