AQA GCSE History: America, 1840–1895: Expansion and consolidation

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AA America, 1840–1895: Expansion and consolidation

In this module, the focus is on the development of the United States of America during the second half of the turbulent 19th century. It was a time of significant change and upheaval on account of expansion to the west and consolidation of territories and as a nation.

Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in bringing about change as well as the roles and impact of key individuals in effecting change. This module consists of three parts detailed below:

Part one: Expansion: opportunities and challenges

Themes explored include:

  • The geography of North America: attitudes to the Great American Desert and the belief in ‘Manifest Destiny’.
    Why the early settlers went west and the challenges they faced: Brigham Young and the
    Mormons; the pioneer migrant farmers, the journey west; the miners.
  • Dealing with a different culture: the Plains Indians’ way of life; early American Government policy towards the Plains Indians; the Permanent Indian Frontier; a changing relationship with the Plains Indians.

Part two: Conflict across America

Themes explored include:

  • Increasing conflict on the Plains: the Fort Laramie Treaty (1851) and the failure of the policy of concentration; the Indian Wars (1862–1867): reasons for and consequences of the Wars; Sand Creek Massacre; Fetterman's Trap.
  • The background to the American Civil War: differences between North and South, issues of slavery, westward expansion and free states abolitionism; breakdown of the Missouri Compromise, John Brown, the roles of Lincoln and Jefferson Davis; the social and economic impact of the American Civil War on civilian populations.
  • Coming to terms with the Mormons: the Mountain Meadow Massacre and its aftermath.

Part three: Consolidation: forging the nation

Themes explored include:

  • The aftermath of the American Civil War: the 13th Amendment; Civil Rights Act; reconstruction in the South, 1866–1877; carpetbaggers; the balance of Federal and State powers.
  • The continued settlement of the west: the Homesteaders, reasons for going west; government actions and laws; land and railroads; farming problems and solutions.
  • The resolution of ‘the Indian problem’ after 1865: the small reservations policy; attitudes to the native Americans; Battle of the Little Big Horn; The Dawes Act; Battle of Wounded Knee; the closing of the frontier and its impact on native Americans.

Resource Examples

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This module download also includes the following teaching resources:

  • 1 Explain Manifest Destiny Bubble Sheet (pdf)
  • 1 Explain Manifest Destiny Bubble Sheet (docx)
  • Abattle Of The Little Big Horn (wmv)
  • AQA GCSE History Exam Booklets (2020 & 2021 Syllabus) (zip)
  • L1 Definition Of Manifest Destiny (pdf)
  • L1 Definition Of Manifest Destiny (docx)
  • L1 Early America And Manifest Destiny (pptx)
  • L1 Plains Indians Way Of Life (pptx)
  • L1 What Was Manifest Destiny Poster Homework (docx)
  • L1 What Was Manifest Destiny Poster Homework (pdf)
  • L10 Abraham Lincoln Additional Resources (ppt)
  • L10 Abraham Lincoln Additional Resources (pdf)
  • L10 Davies And Lincoln Comparison Activity (docx)
  • L10 Davies And Lincoln Comparison Activity (pdf)
  • L10 Jefferson Davis Additional Informatio (pptx)
  • L10 Jefferson Davis Additional Informatio (pdf)
  • L10 Lincoln And Davis (pptx)
  • L11 Impact Of The Civil War On Citizens (pptx)
  • L12 Mormons And The Mountain Meadow Massacre (pptx)
  • L13 13th Amendment Homework Information (pdf)
  • L13 13th Amendment Homework Information (pptx)
  • L14 Civil War Reconstruction (docx)
  • L14 Civil War Reconstruction (pdf)
  • L15 Carpetbaggers Federal And State Powers (docx)
  • L15 Carpetbaggers Federal And State Powers (pdf)
  • L16 Homesteaders (pptx)
  • L17 Battle Of Little Big Horn Snowballing Video Ppt (ppt)
  • L17 Resolving The Indian Problem After 1965 (pptx)
  • L17 The Battle At Little Bighorn History (mp4)
  • L17 The Wounded Knee Massacre (mp4)
  • L2 Donner Party Fact Gathering Sheet (pdf)
  • L2 Donner Party Fact Gathering Sheet (docx)
  • L2 Donner Party Textbook Task Information (docx)
  • L2 Donner Party Textbook Task Information (pdf)
  • L2 Mormons And Early Western Expansion (pptx)
  • L2 Mormons And Utah Extra Information (docx)
  • L2 Mormons And Utah Extra Information (pdf)
  • L2 Territorial Expansion Additional Information Task Sheet (pdf)
  • L2 Territorial Expansion Additional Information Task Sheet (docx)
  • L2 White Settler Farming Problems (pdf)
  • L2 White Settler Farming Problems (docx)
  • L3 Culture Clash Between Native Americans And Whites Information Sheet (doc)
  • L3 Culture Clash Between Native Americans And Whites Information Sheet (pdf)
  • L4 Buffalo Diagram (pdf)
  • L4 Buffalo Diagram (pptx)
  • L4 Info Hunt Information (docx)
  • L4 Info Hunt Information (pdf)
  • L4 Sioux Religion Info Hunt Collection Chart (pdf)
  • L4 Sioux Religion Info Hunt Collection Chart (docx)
  • L4 The Donner Party (pptx)
  • L4 The Donner Party Explained (mp4)
  • L5 Permanent Indian Frontier Homework (pdf)
  • L5 Permanent Indian Frontier Homework (doc)
  • L5 White Settler Farming Problems (pptx)
  • L6 Fort Laramie Treaty Stick In Sheet (docx)
  • L6 Fort Laramie Treaty Stick In Sheet (pdf)
  • L6 The Battle At Little Bighorn History (mp4)
  • L6 Why Did Tension Grow Between The Plains Indians And The White Settlers (docx)
  • L6 Why Did Tension Grow Between The Plains Indians And The White Settlers (pdf)
  • L7 Indian Wars Timeline (pdf)
  • L7 Indian Wars Timeline (doc)
  • L8 Causes Of The Us Civil War And The Missouri Compromise (pptx)
  • L9 Causes Of Us Civil War Including John Brown (doc)
  • L9 Causes Of Us Civil War Including John Brown (pdf)