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Push and Pull Factors - Why did settlers move West after the Civil War?

Push and Pull Factors - Why did settlers move West after the Civil War?

Author: Dan Boyle
Description:

At the end of this tutorial, students will be able to:

  • Identify reasons why settlers left the East for the West
  • Identify reasons why settlers were pulled to the West
  • Identify "Exodusters"
  • Describe why Civil War veterans and their families moved West
  • Discuss the Homestead Act and Morrill Land Grant Acts of 1862
  • Discuss the building of the transcontinental railroad
  • Discuss the importance of precious metals in bringing people West
  • Describe other occupations that settlers had as they moved West

During the Civil War Era, there were a number of reasons why settlers were pushed and/or pulled to the West.  These may have been personal reasons based on their experiences in the Civil War, they may have been to escape the evils that they saw in the East, they may have accepted the offers of cheap land from the government, or they may have been looking to "strike it rich."  Whatever the reason, by the end of the 19th Century, there was no more frontier in the United States.

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Tutorial

Work to Prepare

Please make sure that you have viewed both tutorials on the push and pull factors of Westward Expansion during the Civil War Era and that you prepare for the Socratic Seminar that we will be having tomorrow.

Push Factors in Westward Expansion during the Civil War Era (Screencast-O-Matic Version)

A look at some of the reasons why people left the East for a new life in the West in the years of the Civil War Era

Push Factors in Westward Expansion during the Civil War Era (YouTube Version)

A look at some of the reasons why people left the East for a new life in the West in the years of the Civil War Era

Pull Factors in Westward Expansion during the Civil War Era (Screencast-O-Matic Version)

A look at the reasons why some people were pulled to the West during the Civil War Era

Pull Factors in Westward Expansion during the Civil War Era (YouTube Version)

A look at the reasons why some people were pulled to the West during the Civil War Era

Socratic Seminar - Be Ready for this in Class Tomorrow

Tomorrow, we will be conducting a socratic seminar as to why people moved West after the Civil War.  

What this means is that 1/2 of you will start the class in an inner circle discussing the "push factors," while the other 1/2 of you are in an outside circle taking notes, takeaways, thoughts, etc. about the matter.  After 20 minutes we will switch and the group that was on the outside will move to the inner circle and discuss the "pull factors," while those started on the inner circle will move to the outer circle to take notes, takeaways, thoughts, etc.  You will not find out which circle you are in until tomorrow when you get to class.

What I am asking you to do to prepare for this is to come to class with three questions for the "Push" factors and three questions for the "Pull factors.  The three questions for each should be as follows:

  1. Literal - This is a fact based question that is easily answered from the material presented.  There is no interpretation involved.  ex. What did the Morrill Land Grant do?
  2. Analysis/Inference - This is the act or process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or presumed to be true.  These questions ask how and/or why, require analysis of the information presented, read between the lines, search for hidden meanings, etc.  ex. Why do African Americans believe the West provides the best chance for improving their lives?
  3. Synthesis - These are questions that reach beyond the information presented in the tutorials and inquire into the value, importance, and application of the information presented.  ex. Is running away from your past ever possible?

When you come to class, you will be divided in to two groups.  You will have 5 minutes to go over the questions that you have and make sure that you are ready to be a part of the discussion.

THIS IS NOT A DEBATE!  It is a discussion about why people moved West, not whether one reason was more important than another.  Because you are developing discussion questions, you should work to develop questions that further discussion.  Try to avoid questions that provide a "yes or no" answer.  Your group will be responsible for 20 minutes worth of discussion, so please keep that in mind.

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