Florida Virtual Schools – Teaching American History Project

The Meaning of the West in Late 19th Century America

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m. (EST)

Map of westward expansion (detail)


Elliott West

Alumni Distinguished Professor of History
University of Arkansas

About the Seminar

An exploration of how the two great events in nineteenth-century American history, the acquisition of 1.2 million square miles of western territory and the Civil War, created what was essentially a new nation.


PowerPoint: 8.3 MB

Online Evaluation

Seminar Recording

Streaming Recording

Download Recording (You will need to install the WebEx ARF player, available at download, to play back the recording.) Map of Mexico, 1847 (detail)

Enter Moodle Forum

Assigned Readings

To incorporate seminar texts into your teaching, we offer the National Humanities Center’s Primary Document Application Form.
  1. Homesteading
  2. Transcontinental Railroads
  3. The Rise of the Cattle Kingdom
  4. The Industrial West
    • Chart of US gold and silver production, map of global copper deposits, photos of gigantic tree, ox team pulling cut timber: see Powerpoint, nos. 2–4
    • Photograph of hydraulic mining: see Powerpoint, no. 5
    • A Day at Dutch Flat”, Albert F. Webster, excerpts (PDF)
  5. “The World’s Convention”: The Polyglot West
  6. Dealing with the “Indian problem”
  7. The Mythic West