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Grade: Senior
Subject: History

#2656. Jefforsonian Period

History, level: Senior
Posted Wed Aug 7 08:53:00 PDT 2002 by todd snedden (
Indiana, Indiana, USA
Materials Required: textbook
Concepts Taught: 1.Various concepts and practices of democracy flourished in this period --


1.Students are to read CROSSROADS Essay V to provide an overview of
the period in American history.

2.The teacher should prepare for a mini-lecture or class discussion by
compiling examples from events in the 1980s and
1990s which reveal the following political trends -- conservatism in
domestic policy; strong military position in foreign
policy, slowly vacillating in foreign relations; returning power from the
federal government to the states and from states to
communities; controversy over the role of the Supreme Court as
authoritative interpreter of the Constitution; a continual
push for reform in several arenas where select groups are being
disenfranchised; the apparent power of big business and
wealth in government; the apparent apathy of the ordinary citizen.
Follow this with a discussion of the "Jeffersonian
Republicans," drawing parallels between the two periods.

3.Each student is to select one of the "great events" between 1800 and
1824 and show how the various themes that ran
through this period would shape public perceptions of that event. The
teacher, with students, can determine which
student is to present this analysis for which event.

4.Point out to students that President Clinton is the first president to have
been born after the end of the Second World
War, and that by contrast all presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt
through George Bush had had some direct
participation in that war. In addition, note that a large percentage of the
modern American electorate is at least one full
generation removed from that major conflict. Have students draw some
parallels between these facts and the political
situation in 1824, more than forty years following the end of the
American Revolution (the 1783 Treaty of Paris).

5.The students should assume the role of a textbook writer for students
attending public academies of the 1840s and write
a 1/2 column synopsis of the Jacksonian Democracy era that portrays it
as an era of the ordinary man's coming to
economic and political power. The teacher should point out that simply
echoing the CROSSROADS essay and their
own textbook is not sufficient to complete this project. (At this time, as
well as all others when written compositions are
required, a scoring rubric should be developed by the teacher and
students and the standards for each grade must be
made clear to all interested parties.)

6.Small groups of students are to seek out as much information as possible
concerning one of the major reform movements
in this period, using whatever resources available. When this research is
complete, have students design a brochure that
these reformers might have used to present their concerns about
American democracy and the political process in that
period. (As in activity 5, make certain that students understand the
scoring rubric for assessing the product's merit.)