Eli Whitney invented a machine called the cotton gin that separated cotton from cotton seed. Using the machine was fifty times more efficient than separating the cotton and the seed by hand.
What effects do you think the cotton gin had on the cotton business in the South?
In 1852, the National Road was finally completed. It stretched from Maryland to Illinois, covering nearly 600 miles and five states.
How do you think the towns along the highway benefited from the new traffic?
Many textile mills only hired young, unmarried women as workers. These young girls were often called “Lowell girls” after the Lowell textile mills. Conditions were often dangerous, and their private lives were closely controlled.
Why would factories prefer to use young women as workers instead of men or older, married women?
Canada and the United States may be friendly now…but that wasn’t always the case. In 1813, US forces burned the city of Toronto during the War of 1812. The British/Canadian forces burned Washington D.C.
What effect do you think the War of 1812 had on US-Canadian relationships? Can you imagine the US and Canada going to war against each other today? If so, over what?
In 1812, the United States goes to war for a second time with Great Britain primarily over a concept called “freedom of the seas”.
What do you think is meant by “freedom of the seas”? Is it a legitimate reason to go to war?
Imagine that you are James Monroe. You have been sent to Paris by the President to purchase the port city of New Orleans from the French for no more than $10 million. Instead, you go over budget, spending $15 million for all of the Louisiana Territory.
Write a short letter to President Jefferson justifying your actions. Basically, why did you decide to buy all of Louisiana?
Thomas Jefferson believed that a large permanent army might lead to a dictator or a dictatorial government. As a result of his distrust of armies, he reduced the United States military to 2,500 men.
Do you agree with Jefferson that a large army is risky? Why or why not?
In his inaugural address, President Thomas Jefferson remarked
“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship, with all nations – entangling alliances with none.”
What do you think Jefferson meant by this quote? Do you think it was a good policy for the US when we were such a young country? Do you think it would be possible for the US to have a policy like this today?
American History 1
What is a "bellringer"?
A "bellringer" is an opening activity for our class. It will usually consist of a short writing prompt related to a topic we will cover in class each day.
Read the blog post with today's opening question. Respond to the question with a paragraph of about 5 sentences.