The content in
Grade 8 builds upon that from Grade 5 but provides more depth and breadth. Historical
content focuses on the political, economic, religious, and social events and issues related
to the colonial and revolutionary eras, the creation and ratification of the U.S.
Constitution, challenges of the early republic, the Age of Jackson, westward expansion,
sectionalism, Civil War, and Reconstruction. Students describe the physical
characteristics of the United States and their impact on population distribution and
settlement patterns in the past and present. Students analyze the various economic
factors that influenced the development of colonial America and the early years of the
Republic and identify the origins of the free enterprise system. Students examine the
American beliefs and principles, including limited government, checks and balances,
federalism, separation of powers, and individual rights, reflected in the U.S.
Constitution and other historical documents.