HIGH LEVEL DOCUMENT BASED QUESTION This DBQ adheres to New York State Learning Standard 1 – History of the United States and New York, Commencement Level, Key Ideas #2 and #3. Additionally, this lesson plan corresponds with the National Social Studies Curriculum Standards thematic strands of culture, identity & people, places and environment.
This American West Document Based Question (DBQ) may be used in the classroom in various ways. First, students may build their own DBQ scaffolding questions in pairs, as a group, or on their own in class using the American West images as resources. Second, the teacher may decide to select specific American West images to include as scaffolding questions. Finally, American West images can be selected either by the teacher or the students and included with the following primary sources to form a comprehensive DBQ assignment. However, at least four American West images must be used as scaffolding documents.
This Document Based Question (DBQ) consists of two parts. Part A includes scaffolding questions for each primary source. Answer each scaffolding question in the space provided. Part B is the DBQ. Write an essay that fully answers the DBQ.
The opening of the American West in the 19th century had a major impact on many aspects of American society. Native Americans, immigrants, and Americans all experienced change, both positive and negative in their quest to settle the American West.
DOCUMENT BASED QUESTION
How did the opening of the American West affect Native Americans, immigrants, and Americans living in the Western United States during the 1800s?
TASK Answer each scaffolding question in the space provided based on the corresponding primary source. Answer the DBQ using information from at least five of the primary sources in Part A and your knowledge of United States history.
“Many, very many, that come here meet with bad success and thousands will leave their bones here. Others will leave their health, contract diseases that they will carry to their graves with them. Some will have to beg their way home, and probably one half that come here will never make enough to carry them back. But this does not alter the fact about the gold being plenty here, but shows the what a poor frail being man is, how liable to disappointments, disease and death.”
-S. Shufelt, Letter to his cousin, March 1850
“On reaching Dodge from Texas, we rode up to the Wright house where Flood met us and directed our cavalcade across the railroad to a livery stable, the proprietor of which was a friend of Lovell’s, the owner of the cattle. We unsaddled and turned our horses into a large coral and while we were in the office of the livery, surrendering our artillery, Flood came in and handed each of us twenty-five dollars in gold, warning us that when that was gone no more would be advanced.”
-Andy Adams, Journal Entry, 1882
“The Indians, men and women, were in high good humor, and why should they not be? Sheltered in the bosom of these grim precipices only the eagle, the hawk, the turkey buzzard, or the mountain sheep could venture to intrude upon them. But hark! What is this noise? Can it be the breeze of morning which sounds ‘Click, click’? You will know in one second more, poor, deluded, red-skinned wretches, when the ‘Bang! Boom!’ of rifles and carbines, reverberating like the roar of cannon from peak to peak, shall lay six of your number dead in the dust.”
-Captain John G. Burke, Journal Entry, December 28, 1872
“Our coach was a swinging and swaying cage of the most sumptuous description–an imposing cradle on wheels. It was drawn by six handsome horses, and by the sides of the driver sat the conductor. We had twenty-seven hundred pounds of mail aboard, the driver said – ‘a little for Brigham, and Carson, and ‘Frisco, but the heft of it for the Injuns, which is powerful troublesome ‘thout they get plenty truck to read.’
-Mark Twain, "Roughing It", 1872