The industrial revolution

This lesson will focus on technological, social and economical changes that took place in the United States from 1800- 1850.

Historical Background

The years between 1800 and 1850 brought many changes to the lives of the American people. It offered new opportunities for women and for those who wanted to leave the farm and work in the city. During this time, the economy moved away from one centered around a local community and towards a market-based economy. One of the consequences of this shift was an increased mobility of the population, with people traveling to different parts of the country using new methods like the steamboat and the railroad trains. It allowed for a new ethic of consumerism and opened up a new world of consumer choices. It also brought together people from many different cultures and started the shift in national consciousness from “these united states”, to “The United States”, a shift which would not be completed until after the Civil War.

This was also an exciting time for women because the technological and social changes happening brought about a sense of greater independence. In many areas, it represented the first time that a woman could leave the domestic sphere and be exposed to a world beyond the hearth and home. This resulted in a desire for a greater voice in determining the path of their lives and their country, a desire that would culminate almost 100 years later in the passage of the 19th amendment. This was also a time when women began to receive more formal education, and began to take interest in managing their own financial affairs.

While the seeds of social progress were planted for women during this time period, any hope for progress in the lives of African Americans of the times was being torn out from the root. The invention of the cotton gin changed the economics of slavery permanently. The politics of slavery would divide the nation. These issues resulted in serious political and constitutional questions for territories and new states. During this time, the population of slaves in the country grew from 1 million to 4 million, despite a ban on the importation of new slaves.

Lesson Objective

After viewing a teacher made blog students will be able to describe changes created by the Industrial Revolution by completing notes capture sheets related to the blog.

Students will be able to describe the positive changes that were brought forth by the Industrial Revolution by completing an essay based on the information covered in the teacher created blog.



  1. After the teacher has completed the “Linking Resources and People: 1800-1850” map, from the curriculum guide, students will be given their note taking packet and will discuss the directions for filling out these note taking sheets.
  2. Next students will be shown the website at which they can find the Blog that they will be using to complete this project. Students are told that the questions on the blog are the same questions that they have in their packet. Each topic of industrialization has 1-4 websites that they must view. These websites contain information that will help them answer the questions on their note packet. These websites are located underneath the questions that are being asked in the blog.
  3. Students are told that they have to begin with the section of the blog that discusses new inventions and then work their way up the blog finishing with the new technology section of the blog.
  4. They are told that they need to work at their own pace but that they must complete the project within the 3 days of class time or else they may have to finish at home. Students will have 3 days of computer time to complete this project.


Students will be given critical thinking questions each night that relate to the box that they reviewed each day. For example, “Although the Industrial Revolution gave women more freedom, it also created problems for them. What were some of these problems? How did the Cotton Gin change slavery and the southern economy?”


There is a summative assessment that includes an essay.


The Blog that is used for this project has many different types of activities that will present many different learning styles. Some of the activities are auditory, kinesthetic, or visual. The visual activities will help the ESOL students and the special education students. The critical thinking questions will challenge the advanced students. The special education and ESOL students will be given a copy of the note packet with the correct answers after the 3 working days are completed.


Norton, Mary Beth. Major Problems in American Women’s History: Documents and Essays. Lexington, Mass: D.C. Heath, 1989. pg.176.

Garcia, Jesus. Creating America: A History of the United States. Evanston, Ill: McDougal Littell, 2005.

RMS8thGradeWorldStudies. “This blog is your link to discovering the Industrial Era as Part of our Study on the United States.” Blog posted March 10th, 2012.

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