Grade 8 Standards

Grade 8: Markets influence people’s choices.

Eighth grade explores the economics of the Constitution, the development of the Capitalist economy, economic incentives for Westward expansion, economic conflicts behind the wars of the period, the economics of slavery, the philosophical and economic differences between Jefferson and Hamilton&emdash;including the continuing controversy over a Central Bank&emdash;and the Industrial Revolution.

8.3 Students understand the foundation of the American political system and the ways in which citizens participate in it:

Section 2. Explain how the ordinances of 1785 and 1787 privatized national resources and transferred federally owned lands into private holdings, townships, and states. Section 3. Enumerate the advantages of a common market among the states as foreseen in and protected by the Constitution’s clauses on interstate commerce, common coinage, and full-faith and credit.

Section 4. Understand how the conflicts between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton resulted in the emergence of two political parties (e.g., view of foreign policy, Alien and Sedition Acts, economic policy, National Bank, funding and assumption of the revolutionary debt)

8.4 Students analyze the aspirations and ideals of the people of the new nation:

Section 3. Analyze the rise of capitalism and the economic problems and conflicts that accompanied it (e.g., Jackson’s opposition to the National Bank; early decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that reinforced the sanctity of contracts and a capitalist economic system of law).

8.5 Students analyze U.S. foreign policy in the early Republic:

Section 1. Understand the political and economic causes and consequences of the War of 1812 and know the major battles, leaders, and events that led to a final peace. Section 2. Know the changing boundaries of the United States and describe the relationship the country had with its neighbors (current Mexico and Canada) and Europe, including the influence of the Monroe Doctrine, and how those relationships influenced westward expansion and the Mexican-American War

8.6 Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced, with emphasis on the Northeast:

Section 1. Discuss the influence of industrialization and technological developments on the region, including human modification of the landscape and how physical geography shaped human actions (e.g., growth of cities, deforestation, farming, mineral extraction). Section 2. Outline the physical obstacles to and the economic and political factors involved in building a network of roads, canals, and railroads (e.g., Henry Clay’s American System).

Section 3. List the reasons for the wave of immigration from Northern Europe to the United States and describe the growth in the number, size, and spatial arrangements of cities (e.g., Irish immigrants and the Great Irish Famine).

8.7 Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the South from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced:

Section 1. Describe the development of the agrarian economy in the South, identify the locations of the cotton-producing states, and discuss the significance of cotton and the cotton gin. Section 2. Trace the origins and development of slavery; its effects on black Americans and on the region’s political, social, religious, economic, and cultural development; and identify the strategies that were tried to both overturn and preserve it (e.g., through the writings and historical documents of Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey).

Section 4. Compare the lives of and opportunities for free blacks in the North with those of free blacks in the South.

8.8 Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the West from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced:

Section 1. Discuss the election of Andrew Jackson as president in 1828, the importance of Jacksonian democracy, and his actions as president (e.g., the spoils system, veto of National bank, policy of Indian removal, opposition to the Supreme Court). Section 2. Describe the purpose, challenges, and economic incentives associated with westward expansion, including the concept of Manifest Destiny (e.g., the Lewis and Clark expe-dition, accounts of the removal of Indians, the Cherokees’ “Trail of Tears,” settlement of the Great Plains) and the territorial acquisitions that spanned numerous decades.

Section 4. Examine the importance of the great rivers and the struggle over water rights.

Section 5 Discuss Mexican settlements and their locations, cultural traditions, attitudes toward slavery, land-grant system, and economies.

Section 6. Describe the Texas War for Independence and the Mexican-American War, including territorial settlements, the aftermath of the wars, and the effects the wars had on the lives of Americans, including Mexican Americans today.

8.9 Students analyze the early and steady attempts to abolish slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence:

Section 6. Describe the lives of free blacks and the laws that limited their freedom and economic opportunities.

8.10 Students analyze the multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the Civil War:

Section 2. Trace the boundaries constituting the North and the South, the geographical differences between the two regions, and the differences between agrarians and industrialists. Section 7. Explain how the war affected combatants, civilians, the physical environment, and future warfare

8.11 Students analyze the character and lasting consequences of Reconstruction:

Section 2. Identify the push-pull factors in the movement of former slaves to the cities in the North and to the West and their differing experiences in those regions (e.g., the experiences of Buffalo Soldiers).

8.12 Students analyze the transformation of the American economy and the changing social and political conditions in the United States in response to the Industrial Revolution:

Section 1. Trace patterns of agricultural and industrial development as they relate to climate, use of natural resources, markets, and trade and locate such development on a map. Section 2. Identify the reasons for the development of federal Indian policy and the Plains wars with American Indians and their relationship to agricultural development and industrialization.

Section 3. Explain how states and the federal government encouraged business expansion through tariffs, banking, land grants, and subsidies.

Section 4. Discuss entrepreneurs, industrialists, and bankers in politics, commerce, and industry (e.g., Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Leland Stanford).

Section 5. Examine the location and effects of urbanization, renewed immigration, and industrialization (e.g., the effects on social fabric of cities, wealth and economic opportunity, the conservation movement).

Section 6. Discuss child labor, working conditions, and laissez-faire policies toward big business, and examine the labor movement, including its leaders (e.g., Samuel Gompers), its demand for collective bargaining, and its strikes and protests over labor conditions.

Section 7. Identify the new sources of large-scale immigration and the contributions of immigrants to the building of cities and the economy; explain the ways in which new social and economic patterns encouraged assimilation of newcomers into the mainstream amidst growing cultural diversity; and discuss the new wave of nativism.

Section 8. Identify the characteristics and impact of Grangerism and Populism.

Section 9. Name the significant inventors and their inventions and identify how they improved the quality of life (e.g., Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Orville and Wilbur Wright).