Using a map and timeline, students identify the countries that claimed the land in the present-day United States, the land claimed by the United States, and the land settled and declared as states on specific dates. Students also tell the history of present-day Minnesota and identify where cities might have first started to form in Minnesota based on the map.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Minnesota | Unit 4: Treaties and Statehood" which focuses on how the enormous economic, political, and technological changes of the 19th century impacted the creation of the state of Minnesota.
184.108.40.206.1: Create and use various kinds of maps, including overlaying thematic maps, of places in Minnesota; incorporate the “TODALSS” map basics, as well as points, lines and colored areas to display spatial information.
- Interactive: Westward Expansion, 1790-1850
- Computer lab
- Computer with Internet access
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show interactives to the class
- Class set of Claimed Land, States, and Territories handout
In a computer lab, bring up the Westward Expansion, 1790-1850 on your projector. Direct students to the map on their computers as well.
In the first box on the upper right side of the map, demonstrate to students how to select states and territories by clicking “States and Territories,” and then click “Show Labels.” Have students do the same. Also have students select “Major Cities,” “Trail Routes,” and “Railroad Networks.” In the second box (right below the first), have students select “Present-Day States.” In the third box (lower right corner), have students select “States and Territories.”
Explain to students that the map legend can be used to identify items on the map. For example, the legend indicates that the dark brown lines on the map represent railroads.
Explain to students that clicking on a different dot shows the nature of the country at that point in time.
Pass out the Claimed Land, States, and Territories handout and have students answer the questions based on the map’s data. If computer labs are not available, either 1) instruct students to complete the handout as a take-home assignment, or 2) navigate through the map in class, allowing enough time for students to write their answers.
- 1790—Spain claimed land
1800—Spain and France claimed land
1810—Spain claimed land
1820—Spain claimed land
1830—Mexico claimed land
1840—Mexico claimed part of land and part was in dispute
1850—Mexico claimed a small part of the land
- As time went by, the portion of land claimed by foreign countries became smaller.
- 1790—Northwest and Southwest Territories, and the Republic of Vermont
1800—Northwest, Indiana, and Mississippi Territories
1810—Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Orleans, Michigan, and Louisiana Territories
1820—Missouri, Michigan, and Arkansas Territories
1830—Michigan, Arkansas, and Florida Territories
1840—Wisconsin, Iowa, and Florida Territories, Indian Territory, Republic of Texas
1850—Oregon, New Mexico, Utah, and Minnesota Territories, Indian Territory
- As time went by, territories were formed and were later claimed by the United States. The amount of land this happened to grew quickly within 60 years.
- The portion of land declared as a state grew and expanded toward the west over time.
- 1790—Northwest and Spanish Territory, some US claimed land
1800—Northwest and French Territory, some US claimed land
1810—Illinois and Louisiana Territory, some US claimed land
1820—Michigan and Missouri Territory
1830—Michigan and US Territory
1840—Wisconsin and Iowa Territory
- Based on the geographic features of Minnesota in 1850, cities might have first started to form in Minnesota along the Mississippi River and Lake Superior. The lake provided accessibility and settlements were moving from the west, and the river would allow for trade and accessibility down the Mississippi.