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        Iowa | Activity 3.5: Settling Iowa During the 1800s

        Students examine various primary source documents and photos related to Homestead laws, and learn about Homestead laws and the causes of the Civil War. They then create two parallel timelines: Iowa settlement leading up to the Homestead Act, and the causes of the Civil War. 

        Lesson Summary

        Students examine various primary source documents and photos related to Homestead laws, and learn about Homestead laws and the causes of the Civil War. They then create two parallel timelines: Iowa settlement leading up to the Homestead Act, and the causes of the Civil War.  

        This lesson is part of "Great States: Iowa | Unit 3: Explorers and Settlers." In this unit, students will learn about the various incentives and events that drew European explorers and early settlers to the American West.

        Time Allotment

        20 minutes

        Learning Objectives

        Standards: 

        H.SS.3.22/H.SS.4.20: Compare and contrast events that happened at the same time.

        Supplies

        Directions

        1. Explain to students that, in 1832, the Sauk tribe was forced to give up land to the United States government following the Black Hawk War. This land, which became part of the Iowa Territory, was opened for European settlement the following year. By 1850, the population was just under 200,000. The land’s population grew to over one million by 1870, which was helped in part by the 1862 Homestead Act. Approximately 270 million acres of land across the United States were claimed and farmed as part of the 1862 Homestead Act. Nearly 9,000 homesteads in Iowa were recorded by the federal government as a result of the Homestead Act. Tell students they will see images of homesteading life.

        2. Explain to students that, at the same time homesteads were growing across Iowa and the Midwest, the Civil War was also looming. Many Iowa men went to fight in the war, while women took care of livestock and farms. 75,000 Iowans served in the Civil War, 13,000 of whom died. Iowa also aided financially, and produced food to send to Union armies.

        3. Distribute the Iowa Settlement and the Civil War Timeline handouts to students.

        4. Instruct students to cut the timeline events into strips and organize each set in chronological order. You may want students to paste the strips onto construction paper for clarity.

        5. As a class, discuss the progression of events. Ask students to point out events in one timeline that occurred at similar times as events in the other. On the board, have students take turns putting a timeline together showing the parallel events (each timeline side by side).

        Answer Key:

        Iowa Timeline:

        1833 Iowa lands open for European settlement

        1842 Sauk and Meskwaki tribes sell land to US to relieve debts

        1846 Iowa statehood

        1846 Mormons travel across Iowa

        1847 Dutch settlers arrive in Pella

        1855 German immigrants establish the Amana Colonies

        1861 Civil War begins

        1862 Homestead Act is signed

        1869 Transcontinental Railroad is completed

        Civil War Timeline:

        1820 Missouri Compromise

        1854 Kansas/Nebraska Act

        1857 Supreme Court “Dred Scott” decision

        1860 Abraham Lincoln elected president

        1861 Southern states secede from the Union

        1861 Civil War begins

        1865 Confederate armies surrender, ending the war

        Combined Timeline:

        1820 Missouri Compromise

        1833 Iowa lands open for European settlement

        1842 Sauk and Meskwaki tribes sell land to US to relieve debts

        1846 Iowa statehood

        1846 Mormons travel across Iowa

        1847 Dutch settlers arrive in Pella

        1854 Kansas/Nebraska Act

        1855 German immigrants establish the Amana Colonies

        1857 Supreme Court “Dred Scott” decision

        1860 Abraham Lincoln elected president

        1861 Southern states secede from the Union

        1861 Civil War begins (2)

        1862 Homestead Act is signed

        1865 Confederate armies surrender, ending the war

        1869 Transcontinental Railroad is completed

        For more information on Iowa during the Civil War, see Great States: Iowa Unit 5.

        For more information on the events in Iowa’s timeline, visit Iowa Pathways: http://www.iptv.org/iowapathways/timeline

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