ERIC Number: ED443759
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-May
Challenges to the New Republic: Prelude to the War of 1812. Public Policy Debate in the Classroom. Choices for the 21st Century Education Project. [Student Guidebook and] Teacher's Resource Book.
This 4-day curriculum unit explores U.S. foreign policy between 1787 and 1812. During this time the United States faced a series of foreign policy challenges that threatened its survival as an independent, constitutional republic. Between 1793 and 1815, a nearly continuous series of wars pitting the French against the British engulfed the European continent. Other nations joined the conflict when they could not avoid it or deemed it beneficial to do so. The resulting disruption that the United States faced to its ocean-going trade and on its frontiers became the dominant foreign policy issues during the years of the Early Republic. There are four distinct policy directions, or options, at the core of the unit. The options reconstruct the debate that took place in the U.S. Congress about whether to declare war after James Madison's war message of June 1, 1812. Each option is grounded in a clearly defined viewpoint about the U.S. role in the world. By exploring the spectrum of alternatives, students gain a deeper understanding of the competing values and assumptions that framed the debate on U.S. policy at the beginning of the 19th century. Ultimately, the intent is to help students clarify their thoughts on the U.S. experience, articulate their own views on U.S. policy, both past and present, and apply the lessons of history to the challenges facing the country today. The accompanying Teacher's Resource Book contains a day-by-day lesson plan and student activities. On the first day the core lesson analyzes the George Washington's and John Adam's administrations lasting impact on foreign policy through an examination of primary source documents. This is followed by an optional lesson that reviews international events and the rise of political parties as shown by political cartoons. On the second and third days, students take part in a simulation set in early June 1812 about the congressional debate that considers whether the United States should declare war on Great Britain. On the fourth day of the lesson, students assess the historical consequences of the War of 1812. The guide contains objectives, required reading, handouts, and homework. (BT)
Descriptors: Foreign Policy, Government Role, International Relations, Primary Sources, Public Policy, Secondary Education, Social Studies, United States History
Choices for the 21st Century Education Project, Watson Institute for International Studies, Box 1948, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912 ($12). Web site: http://www.choices.edu.
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Learner; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Students; Teachers
Sponsor: Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia, PA.
Authoring Institution: Brown Univ., Providence, RI. Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Inst. for International Studies.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United States Constitution