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America Story of Us: Episode 3 - "Westward" - Complete Video Guide

America Story of Us: Episode 3 - "Westward" - Complete Video Guide
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History: USA


Grade 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12





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In the television series "America: The Story of Us," the westward expansion of the United States is a significant theme covered in the depiction of American history. Here are some key aspects of westward expansion as portrayed in the series:

  1. Louisiana Purchase: The series highlights the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803, doubling the size of the United States. It explores President Thomas Jefferson's vision of expanding American territory and the Lewis and Clark expedition that explored and documented the newly acquired lands.

  2. Manifest Destiny: The concept of Manifest Destiny, the belief that it was America's destiny to expand westward, is addressed in the series. It depicts the idea of spreading American culture, democracy, and civilization across the continent.

  3. Oregon Trail: The series covers the arduous journey of pioneers along the Oregon Trail in the 19th century. It portrays the challenges, dangers, and hardships faced by those seeking a better life in the western territories.

  4. California Gold Rush: The series explores the impact of the discovery of gold in California in 1848. It depicts the influx of people from all over the world seeking fortune and the transformative effects the gold rush had on the region.

  5. Transcontinental Railroad: The construction of the transcontinental railroad is depicted as a major engineering feat and a significant catalyst for westward expansion. The series showcases the labor-intensive and often dangerous work involved in connecting the eastern and western parts of the United States.

  6. Native American Conflicts: The series addresses the conflicts between Native American tribes and the advancing settlers as the United States expanded westward. It portrays the displacement and mistreatment of Native Americans and the impacts of these conflicts on both sides.

  7. Homesteading and Settlement: The series showcases the Homestead Act of 1862, which offered free land to settlers willing to develop and cultivate it. It explores the challenges and opportunities faced by homesteaders as they established farms and communities in the West.

  8. Industrialization and Resource Extraction: The series examines the exploitation of natural resources, such as timber, minerals, and oil, as the United States expanded westward. It explores the growth of industries and the impact on the environment and indigenous populations.

While "America: The Story of Us" provides an overview of westward expansion, it is important to note that the series is a docudrama and may simplify or omit certain aspects of the historical narrative. For a more comprehensive understanding of westward expansion, it is recommended to consult additional sources and perspectives.

These twenty-two movie questions are aimed at helping your students focus during the video. They are are in chronological order and easy to answer. Enjoy!

Thumbnail Clipart Credit: By Prince Padania

Resource Tags

Louisiana Purchase US History America Story of Us Lewis and Clark Westward Expansion Manifest Destiny Gold Rush Transcontinental Railroad:

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