School Improvement in Maryland
Clarifications: Each clarification provides an explanation of an indicator/objective to help teachers better understand the skills and/or concepts.

Standard 5.0 History

Topic B. Emergence, Expansion and Changes in Nations and Empires

Indicator 1. Analyze the growth and the development of the United States

Objective a. Explain the political and economic impact of the Louisiana Purchase on the United States


Almost from the moment they arrived in the New World, American settlers pushed the frontier westward in search of economic opportunity. In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase doubled the land area of the United States. This expansion had significant political and economic consequences for the young nation. The addition of the Louisiana Territory provided much needed room for settlers in search of cheap, fertile land and whetted Americans’ appetites for further westward expansion. In addition, it strengthened the American economy by securing the Mississippi River and the city of New Orleans for growing trade. Politically, it set a precedent for the expansion of presidential power and raised questions about the extension of slavery into new territories. These questions would not be resolved until the Civil War.

Resources for Objective 5.B.1.a:
CLARIFICATIONS | Lesson Seeds | Sample Assessments | Resource Links