1800s History

Civics Review

  1. What did the Declaration of Independence do?
  2. What does the Constitution do?
  3. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?
  4. When was the Constitution written?
  5. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
  6. What happened at the Constitutional Convention?
  7. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?
  8. What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?

Reading and Civics

The Revolutionary War between the new United States and Great Britain ended in 1783. The leaders of the new country came together and wrote the constitution in 1787.

George Washington was elected president twice, for 8 years. After him, John Adams became president. They both worked hard to help the new country stay together.

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson
Official Presidential portrait of Thomas Jefferson (by Rembrandt Peale, 1800)

In 1800, Thomas Jefferson ran for president. Before that, he was a representative from Virginia, and helped write the Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson was also the governor of Virginia and the first Secretary of State. He won the election of 1800 and became president in 1801.

One thing he wanted to do was to make the United States a bigger country. At this time, the United States had 16 states, but the Mississippi River was the western border.

Map of the United States after the Revolutionary War

The western side of the Mississippi river was called the Louisiana Territory. It was claimed by France. The name Louisiana comes from Louis (Luis), the name of the king of France.

This huge amount of land now includes Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and parts of New Mexico and Texas.

The Louisiana Purchase Projection = USA Contiguous Albers Equal Area Conic (EPSG:102003) Sources: William Morris, Natural Earth and Portland State University (https://gist.github.com/wboykinm/05756ac2e625bae9ed81);CC BY-SA 4.0

Thomas Jefferson made an offer to buy the rights to the Louisiana Territory from France. The United States bought the rights to the Louisiana territory from France in 1803 for $15 million.

The Louisiana Territory doubled the size of the new United States. But, this did not include any deal with the Native Americans who lived in the territory.

What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803? –> Louisiana

Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and believed that all people have the right to life and liberty. He believed that slavery was wrong, but he did not work to stop it.

And, he owned 600 slaves in his lifetime. One of his slaves, Sally Hemings, had several of his children. However, more and more people in the United States wanted to end slavery.

The United States stopped new slaves from coming into the country in 1821, but there were still millions of people without freedom. Some Americans wanted to free all the slaves.

Susan B. Anthony was one American who worked to end slavery. She organized meetings, spoke, wrote, and created a newspaper. She wanted all people to be free and have the same civil rights.

Unfortunately, women did not have the same rights as men in the 1800s. Women did not have the right to vote.

Susan B. Anthony fought for women’s rights, too, and she even voted illegally in 1872. She was arrested and ordered to pay $100, but she never paid the fine.

What did Susan B. Anthony do? –> Fought for women’s rights.

In 1812, there was more war with England. One man saw a terrible fight all night long. But in the morning, the US flag was still there.

He wrote a poem called The Star Spangled Banner. The Star Spangled Banner means “the flag with a lot of stars.”

The Star Spangled Banner became a very popular song. It became the national anthem for the United States. You can hear it before important events and sports games.

You can watch the National Anthem from the 2021 Inauguration of Joe Biden

What is the name of the national anthem? –> The Star Spangled Banner

But what about the millions of slaves in the US in the 1800s? The evil problem of slavery was like a bomb waiting. And in 1861, the bomb went off.

We call this time The Civil War.


  • What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?
  • What did Susan B. Anthony do?
  • What is the name of the national anthem?