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List of Benchmarks for United States History

Standard 9.Understands the United States territorial expansion between 1801 and 1861, and how it affected relations with external powers and Native Americans
  Level II (Grade 5-6)
   1. Understands the factors that led to U.S. territorial expansion in the Western Hemisphere (e.g., Napoleon's reasons for selling the Louisiana Territory, expeditions of American explorers and mountain men)
   2. Understands the War of 1812 (e.g., causes, sectional divisions, Native American support of the British, defining the war)
   3. Knows the foreign territorial claims in the Western Hemisphere in 1800 and the impact on American foreign policy (e.g., the origins and provisions of the Monroe Doctrine; the claims of Spain, France, Britain, and Russia; nations that declared their independence in 1823; how President Monroe dealt with European attempts to reestablish control)
   4. Understands the impact of territorial expansion on Native American tribes (e.g., the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole removals, the significance of the Trail of Tears, the original lands held by various tribes of the Southeast and those held in the Old Northwest territory)
   5. Understands the origins of Manifest Destiny and its influence on the westward expansion of the United States (e.g., its role in the resolution of the Oregon dispute with Great Britain, how it led to the Mexican-American war)
   6. Understands elements of the relationship between Texas and Mexico in the mid-19th century (e.g., the Texas War for Independence, American settlement in Mexico’s Texas, the American defeat at the Alamo)
   7. Understands events that led to the Mexican-American war (e.g., the idea of Manifest Destiny, U.S. annexation of Texas, the invasion of Mexico by U.S. troops) and the consequences of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
  Level III (Grade 7-8)
   1. Understands the short-term political and long-term cultural impacts of the Louisiana Purchase (e.g., those who opposed and supported the acquisition, the impact on Native Americans between 1801 and 1861)
   2. Understands how early state and federal policy influenced various Native American tribes (e.g., survival strategies of Native Americans, environmental differences between Native American homelands and resettlement areas, the Black Hawk War and removal policies in the Old Northwest)
   3. Understands the social and political impact of the idea of Manifest Destiny (e.g., how it fueled the controversy over the Oregon territory, how it was reflected in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, its appeal to 19th century American industrial workers and small farmers)
   4. Understands the diplomatic and political developments that led to the resolution of conflicts with Britain and Russia in the period 1815 to 1850
   5. Understands the significance of the Lewis and Clark expedition (e.g., its role as a scientific expedition, its contributions to friendly relations with Native Americans)
   6. Understands the major events of U.S. foreign policy during the early 19th century (e.g., differences between the Monroe Doctrine and earlier foreign policy; renewed English-French hostilities; whether the War of 1812 was a war of independence, expansion, or maritime rights)
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Understands the impact of the Louisiana Purchase (e.g., its influence on politics, economic development, and the concept of Manifest Destiny; how it affected relations with Native Americans and the lives of French and Spanish inhabitants of the Louisiana Territory; how the purchase of the Louisiana Territory was justified)
   2. Understands the major provisions of the Monroe Doctrine (e.g., the extent to which its major purpose was to protect the newly won independence of Latin American states or to serve notice of U.S. expansionist intentions in the hemisphere, why the U.S. and other countries ignored the provisions of the doctrine for so long, its impact today)
   3. Understands shifts in federal and state policy toward Native Americans in the first half of the 19th century (e.g., arguments for and against removal policy, changing policies from assimilation to removal and isolation after 1825)
   4. Understands the religious, political, and social ideas that contributed to the 19th century belief in Manifest Destiny (e.g., the influence of U.S. trading interests in the Far East on continental expansion to the Pacific, "City Upon a Hill" and subsequent Protestant belief in building a model Christian community, millennialism and the Great Awakening, Republicanism, the urge to keep foreign enemies from gaining control of the Pacific Coast, the belief in America's duty to uplift "less civilized" peoples in the West)
   5. Understands the initiating factors and outcomes of the Mexican-American War (e.g., the extent to which President Polk bore responsibility for initiating the war, whether the war was justified, arguments for and against the war, the impact of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on the U.S. and Mexico)
   6. Understands Mexican and American perspectives of events leading to the Mexican-American War (e.g., the Alamo, the treatment of Mexicans and Cherokees loyal to the Texas Revolution in the Lone Star Republic prior to 1846)
   7. Understands political interests and views regarding the War of 1812 (e.g., U.S. responses to shipping harassments prior to the war; interests of Native American and white settlers of the Northwest Territory during the war; congressional positions for and against the war resolution of June 3, 1812)