Some classes have just finished a unit on Presidential and Radical Reconstruction after the Civil War. We learned about the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments passed after the Civil War, ending slavery, making all men legal citizens, and giving black men the right to vote. In response to these amendments, southern states began a new economic system of sharecropping, and passage of laws that became known as the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. A clause in the 13th amendment making slavery illegal, unless convicted of a crime, created a new form of “legal” slavery in our country using the prison system. We also watched the documentary “The 13th,” which showed how this clause started imprisoning black men for crimes such as not stepping off the sidewalk for a white person, making it legal for them to be forced to work for free in prison.
We just started a unit on “American Indians on a Closing Frontier,” starting with the passage of the Indian Removal Act, which made it legal for Native Americans to be forced off their land, and the “Trail of Tears” of the Cherokee nation, forcing them to walk over 800 miles in the winter, killing 1/4 of their population.
Other classes have been learning about the pioneers settling the Western part of the United States, and the time period of the Wild, Wild, West. We made our own wagons that pioneers would use to travel 6 months across our country to settle in the west. We have started to delve into the famous figures of the Wild West including Davy Crockett, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, and more to come!