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Alabama: 10th-Grade Standards

AL.10 Standard: United States History I—Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution

The study of the early history of the United States in Grade 10 forms the foundation for understanding the development and principles of modern American society. Beginning with the earliest explorations of American continents, this course offers a chronological study of major events, issues, movements, individuals, and diverse groups of people in the United States from a national and an Alabama perspective.


  • 10.1.1. Students will:

    Compare effects of economic, geographic, social, and political conditions before and after European explorations of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries on Europeans, American colonists, Africans, and indigenous Americans. (Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government)

  • 10.1.2 Students will practice:

    • Describing the influence of the Crusades, Renaissance, and Reformation on European exploration
    • Comparing European motives for establishing colonies, including mercantilism, religious persecution, poverty, oppression, and new opportunities
    • Analyzing the course of the Columbian Exchange for its impact on the global economy
    • Explaining triangular trade and the development of slavery in the colonies


  • 10.2.1 Students will:

    Compare regional differences among early New England, Middle, and Southern colonies regarding economics, geography, culture, government, and American Indian relations. (Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government)

  • 10.2.2 Students will practice:

    • Explaining the role of essential documents in the establishment of colonial governments, including the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the Mayflower Compact
    • Explaining the significance of the House of Burgesses and New England town meetings in colonial politics
    • Describing the impact of the Great Awakening on colonial society


  • 10.3.1 Students will:

    Trace the chronology of events leading to the American Revolution, including the French and Indian War, passage of the Stamp Act, the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, passage of the Intolerable Acts, the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the publication of Common Sense, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. (Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government)

  • 10.3.2 Students will practice:

    • Explaining the role of key revolutionary leaders, including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Crispus Attucks, and the Marquis de Lafayette
    • Explaining the significance of revolutionary battles, including Bunker Hill, Trenton, Saratoga, and Yorktown
    • Summarizing major ideas of the Declaration of Independence, including theories of John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    • Comparing perspectives of differing groups in society and their roles in the American Revolution, including men, women, white settlers, free and enslaved African Americans, and American Indians
    • Describing how provisions of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 affected relations of the United States with European nations and American Indians


  • 10.4.1 Students will:

    Describe the political system of the United States based on the Constitution of the United States. (Economics, History, Civics and Government)

  • 10.4.2 Students will practice:

    • Interpreting the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States; separation of powers; federal system; elastic clause; the Bill of Rights; and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Nineteenth Amendments as key elements of the Constitution of the United States
    • Describing inadequacies of the Articles of Confederation
    • Distinguishing personalities, issues, ideologies, and compromises related to the Constitutional Convention and the ratification of the Constitution of the United States, including the role of the Federalist papers
    • Identifying factors leading to the development and establishment of political parties, including Alexander Hamilton’s economic policies, conflicting views of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, George Washington’s Farewell Address, and the election of 1800


  • 10.5.1 Students will:

    Explain key cases that helped shape the United States Supreme Court, including Marbury versus Madison, McCullough versus Maryland, and Cherokee Nation versus Georgia. (History, Civics and Government)

  • 10.5.2 Students will practice:

    • Explaining concepts of loose and strict interpretations of the Constitution of the United States


  • 10.6. Students will:

    Describe relations of the United States with Britain and France from 1781 to 1823, including the XYZ Affair, the War of 1812, and the Monroe Doctrine. (History, Civics and Government)


  • 10.7. Students will:

    Describe causes, courses, and consequences of United States’ expansionism prior to the Civil War, including the Treaty of Paris of 1783, the Land Ordinance of 1785, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the Louisiana Purchase, the Indian Removal Act, the Trail of Tears, Manifest Destiny, the Mexican War and Cession, Texas Independence, the acquisition of Oregon, the California Gold Rush, and the Western Trails. (Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government)


  • 10.8. Students will:

    Compare major events in Alabama from 1781 to 1823, including statehood as part of the expanding nation, acquisition of land, settlement, and the Creek War, to those of the developing nation. (Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government)


  • 10.9. Students will:

    Explain dynamics of economic nationalism during the Era of Good Feelings, including transportation systems, Henry Clay’s American System, slavery and the emergence of the plantation system, and the beginning of industrialism in the Northeast. (Economics, History, Civics and Government)


  • 10.10.1 Students will:

    Analyze key ideas of Jacksonian Democracy for their impact on political participation, political parties, and constitutional government. (History, Civics and Government)

  • 10.10.2 Students will practice:

    • Explaining the spoils system, nullification, extension of voting rights, the Indian Removal Act, and the common man ideal


  • 10.11.1. Students will:

    Evaluate the impact of American social and political reform on the emergence of a distinct culture. (History, Civics and Government)

  • 10.11.2 Students will practice:

    • Explaining the impact of the Second Great Awakening on the emergence of a national identity
    • Explaining the emergence of uniquely American writers
      • Grade Level Example:

        James Fenimore Cooper, Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allen Poe

    • Explaining the influence of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Dorothea Lynde Dix, and Susan B. Anthony on the development of social reform movements prior to the Civil War


  • 10.12.1 Students will:

    Describe the founding of the first abolitionist societies by Benjamin Rush and Benjamin Franklin and the role played by later critics of slavery, including William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Angelina and Sarah Grimké, Henry David Thoreau, and Charles Sumner. (Geography, History, Civics and Government)

  • 10.12.2 Students will practice:

    • Describing the rise of religious movements in opposition to slavery, including objections of the Quakers
    • Explaining the importance of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 that banned slavery in new states north of the Ohio River
    • Describing the rise of the Underground Railroad and its leaders, including Harriet Tubman and the impact of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, on the abolitionist movement


  • 10.13.1 Students will:

    Summarize major legislation and court decisions from 1800 to 1861 that led to increasing sectionalism, including the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Acts, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Dred Scott decision. (Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government)

  • 10.13.2 Students will practice:

    • Describing Alabama’s role in the developing sectionalism of the United States from 1819 to 1861, including participation in slavery, secession, and the Indian War, and reliance on cotton
    • Analyzing the Westward Expansion from 1803 to 1861 to determine its effect on sectionalism, including the Louisiana Purchase, Texas Annexation, and the Mexican Cession
    • Describing tariff debates and the nullification crisis between 1800 and 1861
    • Analyzing the formation of the Republican Party for its impact on the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States


  • 10.14.1 Students will:

    Describe how the Civil War influenced the United States, including the Anaconda Plan and the major battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Vicksburg, and Gettysburg and Sherman’s March to the Sea. (Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government)

  • 10.14.2 Students will practice:

    • Identifying key Northern and Southern Civil War personalities, including Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan, "Stonewall" Jackson, and William Tecumseh Sherman
    • Analyzing the impact of the division of the nation during the Civil War regarding resources, population distribution, and transportation
    • Explaining reasons for border states’ remaining in the Union during the Civil War
    • Describing nonmilitary events and life during the Civil War, including the Homestead Act, the Morrill Act, Northern draft riots, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Gettysburg Address
    • Describing the role of women in American society during the Civil War, including efforts made by Elizabeth Blackwell and Clara Barton
    • Tracing Alabama’s involvement in the Civil War


  • 10.15.1 Students will:

    Compare congressional and presidential reconstruction plans, including African-American political participation. (Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government)

  • 10.15.2 Students will practice:

    • Tracing economic changes in the post-Civil War period for whites and African Americans in the North and South, including the effectiveness of the Freedmen’s Bureau
    • Describing social restructuring of the South, including Southern military districts, the role of carpetbaggers and scalawags, the creation of the black codes, and the Ku Klux Klan
    • Describing the Compromise of 1877
    • Summarizing post-Civil War constitutional amendments, including the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments
    • Explaining causes for the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson
    • Explaining the impact of Jim Crow laws and Plessey versus Ferguson on the social and political structure of the New South after Reconstruction
    • Analyzing political and social motives that shaped the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 to determine their long-
      term effect on politics and economics in Alabama