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Skills available for District of Columbia eighth-grade social studies standards

Standards are in black and IXL social studies skills are in dark green. Hold your mouse over the name of a skill to view a sample question. Click on the name of a skill to practice that skill.

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Our Colonial Heritage (1600–1720)

A New Nation (1720–1787)

The Constitution of the United States (1777–1789)

Launching the Young Nation (1789–1849)

  • 8.5 Students analyze the aspirations and ideals of the people of the new nation.

    • 1 Explain the policy significance of famous speeches (e.g., Washington's farewell address and Jefferson's 1801 inaugural address).

    • 2 Explain and identify on a map the territorial expansion during the terms of the first four presidents (e.g., the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Louisiana Purchase).

    • 3 Describe daily life — including traditions in art, music, and literature — of early national America (e.g., through writings by Washington Irving, and James Fenimore Cooper).

    • 4 Analyze the rise of capitalism and the economic problems and conflicts that accompanied it (e.g., Jackson's opposition to the National Bank; early decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that reinforced the sanctity of contracts).

  • 8.6 Students analyze U.S. foreign policy in the early Republic.

    • 1 Explain the political and economic causes and consequences of the War of 1812 and the major battles, leaders, and events that led to a final peace.

    • 2 Outline the major treaties with American Indian nations during the administrations of the first four presidents and the varying outcomes of those treaties.

    • 3 Identify on a map the changing boundaries of the United States and the relationships the country had with its neighbors (currently Mexico and Canada) and Europe, including the influence of the Monroe Doctrine, and explain how those relationships influenced westward expansion and the Mexican-American War.

The Divergent and Unifying Paths of the American People (1800–1850)

  • 8.7 Students analyze the paths of the American people in the North from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.

    • 1 Locate and identify the states that made up the Northern region of the United States on a map.

    • 2 Describe the influence of industrialization and technological developments on the region, including human modification of the landscape and how physical geography shaped human actions (e.g., growth of cities, deforestation, farming, and mineral extraction).

    • 3 Outline the physical obstacles to and the economic and political factors involved in building a network of roads, canals, and railroads (e.g., Henry Clay's American System).

    • 4 List and describe the reasons for the wave of immigration from Northern Europe to the United States, and describe the growth in the number, size, and spatial arrangements of cities (e.g., Irish immigrants and the Great Irish Famine).

    • 5 Describe the lives of black Americans who gained freedom in the North and founded mutual aid societies, schools, and churches to advance their rights and communities.

    • 6 Explain how the American North saw the emergence of ethnic self-identities that became political power groups and defined communities in urban areas (Germans, Irish, Jews, and black Yankees), and describe the political struggles among them.

    • 7 Trace the development of the American education system from its earliest roots, including the roles of religious and private schools and Horace Mann's campaign for free public education and its assimilating role in American culture.

    • 8 Explain the women's suffrage movement (e.g., biographies, writings, and speeches of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Maria Stewart, Margaret Fuller, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony).

    • 9 Identify common themes in American art as well as transcendentalism and individualism (e.g., writings about and by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).

  • 8.8 Students analyze the paths of the American people in the South from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.

  • 8.9 Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the West from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced.

    • 1 Locate and identify the states that made up the Western region of the United States on a map.

    • 2 Describe the election of Andrew Jackson as president in 1828, the importance of Jacksonian democracy, and his actions as president (e.g., the spoils system, veto of the National Bank, and opposition to the Supreme Court).

    • 3 Describe the course and outcome of conflicts between American Indians and Europeans settlers over land (Indian Wars).

    • 4 Describe the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the land-exchange treaties that forced Native Americans who lived east of the Mississippi River further west, and the effect these policies had on Native American nations (e.g., Cherokee Nation versus Georgia).

    • 5 Describe the purpose, challenges, and economic incentives associated with westward expansion, including the concept of Manifest Destiny (e.g., accounts of the removal of Indians, the Cherokees' Trail of Tears, and settlement of the Great Plains) and the territorial acquisitions that spanned numerous decades.

    • 6 Locate the great rivers on a map, and explain their importance and the struggle over water rights.

    • 7 Describe the role of pioneer women and the new status that Western women achieved (e.g., Narcissa Prentiss Whitman, Mary Fields "Stagecoach Mary," slave women gaining freedom in the West, and Wyoming granting suffrage to women in 1869).

    • 8 Describe Mexican settlements and their locations, cultural traditions, attitudes toward slavery, land-grant system, and economies.

    • 9 Describe the Texas War for Independence and the Mexican-American War, including territorial settlements, the aftermath of the wars, and the effects the wars had on the lives of Americans, including Mexican Americans today.

  • 8.10 Students analyze the issue of slavery, including the early and steady attempts to abolish slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

Civil War and Reconstruction (1830–1877)

  • 8.11 Students analyze the multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the Civil War.

  • 8.12 Students analyze the character and lasting consequences of Reconstruction.

    • 1 Explain the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution and their connection to Reconstruction.

    • 2 List and describe the original aims of Reconstruction (e.g., to reunify the nation) and its effects on the political and social structures of different regions.

    • 3 Explain the effects of the Freedmen's Bureau and the restrictions placed on the rights and opportunities of freedmen, including racial segregation and Jim Crow laws.

    • 4 Trace the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and vigilante justice.

    • 5 Explain the movement of both white Northern entrepreneurs (carpetbaggers) and black Yankees from the North to the South and their reasons for doing so.

    • 6 Explain the push-pull factors in the movement of former slaves to the cities in the North and to the West and their differing experiences in those regions (e.g., the experiences of Buffalo Soldiers and the Exodusters).

    • 7 Outline the pulling out of the federal army and its troops from the South due to an agreement negotiated by a bipartisan Congressional Commission, thus ending Reconstruction.

The Rise of Industrial America (1877–1914)

  • 8.13 Students analyze the transformation of the American economy and the changing social and political conditions in the United States in response to the Industrial Revolution.

    • 1 Explain the location and effects of urbanization, renewed immigration, and industrialization (e.g., the effects on social fabric of cities, wealth and economic opportunity, and the conservation movement).

    • 2 Identify the new sources of large-scale immigration and the contributions of immigrants to the building of cities and the economy (e.g., Italians, Jews, Greeks, Slavs, and Asians); the ways in which new social and economic patterns encourage assimilation of newcomers into the mainstream amid growing cultural diversity; and the new wave of nativism.

    • 3 Explain ecological, economic and race factors that contributed to the start of the mass migration of African Americans from the Southern regions of the United States to the Northeast and Midwest regions.

    • 4 Explain the connection between the ideology of Manifest Destiny and accelerated economic growth of the United States in the late 19th century (e.g., connection between U.S. business interests and military intervention in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean).