Unit 4: The Common Man

The Common Man unit covers three weeks of class time and deals with the impact of universal male suffrage that allowed the "common man" to finally have a voice in politics. Covered here are the Presidency of Andrew Jackson, the first calls for reforms to women and workers rights, as well as the growing abolition movement.  Time period: 1824 through 1850.
The Common Man unit contains three week-long sections:
the Nation Grows section examines the growth of the economy after the War of 1812.
the Age of Jackson section focuses on the dramatic events of Andrew Jackson's two terms.
the First Reforms section examines efforts to free slaves and improve the lives of women and workers.

Go to each section's home page to see a further breakdown into daily lesson plans.

  • After the War of 1812, the United States improves its infrastructure with canals and roads, allowing an American Industrial Revolution to take place. 
  • Examine the impact Andrew Jackson had on his party and on the country. Jackson represents the voice of the common man in American politics.  
  • Beginning in the 1820's, American activists seek to improve the rights of women and workers while abolitionists focus on freeing the slaves.  
  • During the Antebellum Era, population and economic pressures kept Americans moving westward - eventually resulting in the Mexican-American War. 
  • During the 1850's, the various slavery compromises became unworkable. A succession of weak Presidents were unable to bring the nation together.
  • The first major war fought during the Industrial Age, the American Civil War sees the end of state's rights and the beginning of true federal power.