School Improvement in Maryland

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 1.0 Political Science

Topic A. The Foundations and Function of Government

Indicator 3. Evaluate roles and policies of the United States government regarding public policy and issues

Objective a. Examine the effect that national interests have on shaping government policy, such as the abolitionist movement and slavery, states' rights, and regional commerce

Consider teaching this objective in conjunction with 1.A.3.b, which examines the impact regional and international perspectives have on the formulation of public policies.

This concept can be applied to any issue from early United States history, and is particularly well-suited to students’ examination of Henry Clay’s American System and other debates over internal improvements during the early national period. First, be sure students can explain and provide examples of the terms ideas and interests as they relate to politics and public policy. Then, teachers can have students analyze primary and secondary sources for the purpose of identifying stakeholders, political ideas, and interests related to the selected issue. If using primary sources, be sure to provide students with a variety of source materials representing each of the most important perspectives on the issue (for example, sources reflecting the ideas and interests of stakeholders who supported and opposed the proposals in Henry Clay’s American System). Finally, have the students identify which stakeholders represented national, rather than regional, or international interests.

Resources for Objective 1.A.3.a:
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