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Defining American Culture: A Case Study of Immigrant Populations (1840-1890)

Objectives: 
Develop an understanding of how industrialization altered the traditional social pattern of American society.
Complete a well-documented and historically accurate case study about individuals who represent different ethnic, national, and religious groups in New York State and the U.S. at different times and in different locations.
Consider the sources of historic documents, narratives, or artifacts and evaluate their reliability.
Describe historical events through the eyes and experiences of those who were there.
 
Essential Questions:
Is there an American culture?
How is cultural diversity both a benefit and a problem?
How did massive immigration lead to new social patterns and conflicts?
Why do some people view the same event differently?
Why was the United States a magnet to so many people?
 
Assessment:
Case Study: Students will complete the case study determining the effect a particular immigrant group had on American society and culture. The case study will focus on an immigrant family living in a local community at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. 
Essay: Compare immigration past and present in the same community as the case study. Compare countries of origin, reasons for emigration, and degree of acceptance by Americans.
 
Materials:
Maps
Photographs
Personal Accounts
Census Records
Immigration Records