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 5.0 History

Topic C. Conflict between Ideas and Institutions

Indicator 2. Analyze the emerging foreign policy of the United States

Objective b. Explain how the continuing conflict between Great Britain and France influenced the domestic and foreign policy of the United States

Throughout the first decade of the 1800s, both France and Britain repeatedly disrupted the economic interests of the United States. Have students use their textbooks and other resources to create three lists: a list of grievances against France, a list of grievances against Great Britain, and a list of American attempts to remain neutral and avoid hostilities with either party. You may choose to have each student create each list, or divide the class into three groups, each group taking one list and sharing their results with the class. Next, have students pretend that they are members of Congress in early 1812 debating what to do next to address France and Great Britain’s actions. Students should decide whether to recommend war with Great Britain, war with France, or continued diplomatic efforts. They should draft a speech to be read before Congress explaining their recommendation and their reasons for it. Remind students to consider less overt and more intangible potential motives for war as well, including territorial expansion, previous alliances, previous tensions, etc.

Resources for Objective 5.C.2.b:
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