Change Agents

What causes change in a nation & what is the impact of change?

1850 - 1900 Students will understand that the 19th century was a time of incredible change for the United States, including geographic expansion, economic growth, and innovative development.


Choose one of the Change Agents to explore:

    • Transcontinental Railroad, Inventions, Industry, Growth of Cities
    • Homesteading
    • Native American Lands and the Plains War
    • Immigration, New States & Territories, Spanish American War


  1. Develop list of open and closed ended questions on your Change Agent
  2. Do a close read of your text book on your Change Agent.
  3. Develop list of more questions
  4. Look at given sources and find other sources that guide your inquiry.
  5. Evaluate resources to determine which best support the inquiry and supporting questions


Think about these questions as you learn about your Change Agent

Who are the people involved in your Change Agent?

      • Who were they?
      • What did they believe?
      • How did people react to the Change?
      • Did people react differently or were impacted differently based on ethnicity, race, age, religion or social class?
      • Are their different versions to the “story” depending on who you are?
      • How did this “change agent” change people Lives? (for better or worse)

What was the economic impact of your Change Agent?

      • What were the costs of the Change Agent and what were the benefits?

Where did the Change Agent take place?

      • Where did this Change Agent take place? How did it change over time Show the activity on a map.
      • What effect did your change agents have on population patterns and people moving and changes over time?
      • If movement of people occurred, why did it occur?
      • On your map, label cities that were affected by your change agent? Or how your Change Agent affected cities?

What is the historical impact of the Change Agent?

      • What was happening in your story before the Change Agent came or happened?
      • What effect does the Change Agent have on United States history?
      • Analyze people and events in your story and determine how they contribute to change?
      • Explain how the Change Agent has possible implications on the present.

How was change impacted by the Change Agent?

      • What has changed because of this Change Agent?
      • What has remained the same?
      • Who has benefited from the Change Agent?
      • What has not benefited? Why?