Unit Team 2009

Teacher's WebQuest Pages

Essential Question for All: How did immigration affect American conceptions of "We the People"?


Unit Goals should be broad enough to encompass your lesson objectives and align to the Essential Question.

Please submit an updated version of the graphic organizer or alternatively update this wiki page.


Pete, Ilana, Don, & Dave

Unit Goal

Guiding Questions

1) What role does economics play?
2) Why were railroads mainly built by newly-arrived immigrant groups?
3) Why were Irish immigrants willing to take low-paying and dangerous jobs?
4) How did the gold rush affect the development of railroads in the West?
5) Why do different immigrant groups clash with one another?
1) What role did race play in labor relations and in employment?
2) Why were railroads mainly built by newly-arrived immigrant groups?
3) Why are people willing to take low-paying jobs?
4) Why do groups clash with one another?
5) How did the Irish migration intensify anti-Catholic sentiment?

10/13/09 REVISIONS
1) Why were the Irish immigrants willing to take the low paying and dangerous jobs? (Ilana, 10/13/09)

Primary Source Documents & Artifacts
1. Photos of railroad, mill and canal workers (1840's-1850's).
2. Political cartoons of immigrants (including stereotyping of workers) (1840's & 1850's).
3. Salary information from the 1840's & 1850's.
4. Letters from railroad workers (Chinese? Irish?) - 1840's to 1850's
5. Advertisements for railroad workers (1840's-1850's)
6. Letters from industrialists (1840's-1850's).
7. Pictures: Burning Charlestown C---- [?] Aug. 12, 1834
8. Anti-Irish propaganda
9. Letters from convent


Debbie, Deborah

Unit Goal

...the impact the work of artists had on the immigrants choosing to come to the U.S. or join the westward expansion.

Guiding Questions

1) How did artists affect the concept of immigration and expansion?
2) What were the beliefs and aspiration for life in America?
3) How were these beliefs and aspirations for life in America portrayed in paintings?
4) How did immigrants learn about opportunities in Ameica?
5) What organizations or societies contributed to immigration between 1800-1850?

Primary Source Documents & Artifacts

1. Paintings by T. Cole (MFA)
2. Letters, Poems
3. Newspapers/Harpers Weekly
4. Artist Societies/schools
5. Ship logs (wagon trains?)
6. Inventories - Household
7. Paintings by Homer, Bierstadt, Durand, Gast, Moran, Remington
8. Documents - 42nd Congress - Yellowstone National Park System
9. Birds Eye View Maps (of ????)
1. Letters from Europe to USA to Europe
2. Public schools, voting rights, land ownership (things that drew immigrants to settle in US)
3. Diaries, journals kept by immigrants
4. Newspapers
5. Immigration societies, fraternal organizations
6. Paintings of USA that may have been motivators to immigrants from Europe


Lisa, Dana, Coryne, Ann

Unit Goal

...interpret census data to determine the impact on immigrants (Irish and German) in mid-19th century Boston.
...to explain and describe the cultural, political, and economic impact of immigration to the U.S, using census data, personal communications, propaganda, maps, and campaigns.

Guiding Questions

1) What impact does immigration census data have then and now on the ability to uncover the past?
2) Why is the U.S. Census count necessary?
3) How can demographic data be used to shed light on math and statistics, culture, politics?
4) What factors contribute to peoples' decision to emigrate from their home country to the U.S.?
5) How were Irish immigrants and enslaved Africans similarly viewed?
6) What reforms arose in response to urbanization and industrialization?
7.) How did native inhabitants view/react to the influx of imigration to the U.S? (particularly the Irish in Boston)

Primary Source Documents & Artifacts
1. Census Data (1840-1860) -- NARA
1a. Census Data (1950-2010)
2. Demographic maps
3. Passenger lists/manifests
4. Shipping Docs
5. Job Records (w/ ethnicity)
6. German/Irish data
7. State house - Malden directory
8. Personal communication (letters, diaries) that denote push/pull factor
9. Voting records/campaigns/South Boston might want to check the North End as well - many Irish lived there.
10. Billboards, Campaign Ads, speeches, political ads to appeal to immigration
11. Classified ads - "No Irish need apply" signs pointing to economic impact coupled with job records
12. Political cartoons showing Irish and slave scenes the same.
13. Songs showing similar treatment (Irish/Slaves)
14. Directory of local immigrants from state house, Mass historical
15.) Personal Communication (letters or diaries) of tenement descriptions/conditions where immigrants in urban communities lived- Something similar to the Howe, "World of Our Fathers" excerpt in the packet from Oct. 15th lecture (p. 7).
16.) Image of working conditions in the cities maybe in a cotton mill (or similar) around 1850.
17.) Personal Narratives or political cartoons showing immigrants as exploited wage earners in the urban working class.
18.) Census data, images, narratives showing growing immigrant populations in rapidly urbanized cities due to industrialization (Boston preferably) between 1820-1860.
19.) Political ads, recruitment posters, leaflets (?) of the Labor Movement in the Reform Era - of/by/for immigrants
20. Document from Boston Local Reform societies or Alms Houses of/by/for immigrants, Not sure what form this source would take.

Medford - I

Matt, Jon

Unit Goal

....how the Irish famine has shaped the course of development of the Irish-American community.

Guiding Questions

What are some of the long-lasting legacies of the Irish Famine as displayed in music, literature, artwork, politics, and demographics?

Primary Source Documents & Artifacts
1840s-1860's * Suggestion: talk to Taryn about her research from last year. Specifically coffin ships & ads.
1. Song Lyrics/poetry
2. Census Data
3. Newspapers
4. Novels
5. Political manifesto
6. Consider English work programs like famine roads and walls.
7. Consider British Legislation that caused people to leave Ireland.
8. Letters/Journals

Medford -- II

Jay, Taryn, Bob, Nick

Unit Goal

...the causes and effects of Catholic immigration in antebellum Boston.

Guiding Questions

1) How did Protestants react to the arrival of Irish Catholics in Boston?
2) What are the differences and similarities in beliefs, values, and attitudes of Boston Protestant and Catholics?
3) What were the long term effects of Catholic immigration in Boston?
1) How did immigrants gain enough influence to effect changes in voting rights?
2) How did immigrants learn about opportunities in America?
3) What organizations or societies contributed to immigration between 1800-1850?

Primary Source Documents & Artifacts
1. news articles on immigration and immigration policy (1840-1870)
2. broadsides particularly immigration and policy (1840-1870)
3. song - mighty, mighty bosstones
4. diaries/letters
5. church doctrines/ bulletins / bibles?
6. The Pilot????
7. Peter Stern's book with info about the Broad Street Riots.
8. Laws identifying the changes in voting qualifications, 1787-1850 (Boston).
9. Debates on the issue (immigrants, voting) in the Mass. legislature
10. Newspaper articles about immigrants voting (esp. Irish Catholics, 1787-1850, Boston).
11. British records of immigration

MVR Charter

Matthew, Tim, Aaron

Unit Goal

....how technological and economical progress affected the lives of Irish immigrants.

Guiding Questions

1) Were there any specific industries that appealed to immigrants? (factory work v. farm work)
2) What tensions came about due to increased connectivity of States?
3) Did the inventions/industrialization improve the life of immigrants, compared to prior time periods?
4) What kind of jobs attracted the Irish?

Primary Source Documents & Artifacts
1) Job Search advertisements.
2) Journals, Diaries recording the daily work lives of immigrants


Patricia, Rebecca, Philip, Michael, Jamie

Unit Goal

…how the influx of Irish immigrants into the Boston area affected the racial and political environment.
[How did Irish immigration and African Americans increase the rise of political, religious, and ethnic relations of the antebellum period? ]

Guiding Questions

1) How did immigrants and African Americans contribute to the political landscape of the antebellum period?
2) How did religion play a role in racial perspectives of the time period?

Primary Source Documents & Artifacts

1) The art in the craft display at the MFA
2) Journals written by mill girls found at the BPL – Pat
3) Newspaper Articles
4) Political cartoons --
5) Photographs of Irish Immigrants
6) Maps showing the locations of differing ethinic groups in Boston –
7) Election participation prior to and after Civil War (by race, ethnicity) -- Phil (Mass. Hist. Soc/NARA)
8) Campaigning for office
9) Voter results
10)Newspaper articles

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