Theme: Geography — Development of the United States
Many important events in United States history have been influenced by
geography. Geographic factors or conditions include location, size, climate,
natural resources, and physical features. These events in turn have had political,
social, and economic impacts on the development of the United States.
Identify two important events in United States history and for each
• Describe how a geographic factor or condition influenced the event
• Discuss the political, social, and/or economic impacts of this event on the
development of the United States
You may use any important event that was influenced by geographic factors or conditions.
Some suggestions you might wish to consider include the Louisiana Purchase, the
construction of the Erie Canal, migration to California in the late 1840s, the Civil War, the
purchase of Alaska, the building of the transcontinental railroad, the acquisition of the
Philippines, the building of the Panama Canal, the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority
(TVA), and the construction of the interstate highway system.
You are not limited to these suggestions.
In your essay, be sure to
• Develop all aspects of the task
• Support the theme with relevant facts, examples, and details
• Use a logical and clear plan of organization, including an introduction and a conclusion that
are beyond a restatement of the theme
In developing your answer to Part II, be sure to keep these general definitions in mind:
(a) describe means “to illustrate something in words or tell about it”
(b) discuss means “to make observations about something using facts, reasoning,
and argument; to present in some detail”
Throughout history the U.S. has been influenced by geographic features that have made a big impact on society. The big impact includes location, size, climate, natural resources, and physical features. A good example of this impact is the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican-American War. Both of these examples were great for the United States but impacted other countries.
When Thomas Jefferson was given the opportunity to purchase French land in North American territory, he set aside his constitutional beliefs and supported the treaty that made the Louisiana Purchase. This purchase impacted the United States both economically and physically. Economically because it opened new ports, which became new trading routes with other countries. Physically, by doubling the size of the United States. A downside to the purchase was that the purchase forced Native American tribes off their land