Analyzing Visual Depictions of America's Expansion with American Panorama

How does it all fit together? Recently we have been discussing different ways to examine the territorial, economic, political, and cultural expansions that the United States went through in the 1800s. We’ve particularly been looking at American Panorama’s dynamic maps of the 1800s. Your assignment is to select two of the project’s four maps dealing with the 19th century. Choose a 5- or 10-year period that is consistent for both maps. Take notes on the data you find and your overall impressions of each map. Then, write a short one- to two-page essay responding to the following prompts and attach it to your notes:

How and why do the two maps you examined present the story of American expansion differently?


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For more on using American Panorama in the classroom, read John Rosinbum's post on AHA Today, "Exploring the Brutality of Expansion: Tracking Changes in the 19th Century with American Panorama."