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Enduring Issues

Name of Corresponding Unit Plan: War of 1812

Grade Level: 9 - Adult

Common Core Standards
RI5. 9. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
SL.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
c. Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.
d. Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.

Content Areas: Social Studies

Recommended Length/Duration: 45-60 minutes for each topic

Learning Goals: Many of the issues that complicated the War of 1812 are still with us today. In this activity students will synthesize information from current events to analyze how issues from the War of 1812 resonate today.


  1. Discuss how many fundamental issues have persisted throughout American history. Problems that complicated the War of 1812 are still with us today.
  2. Divide the class into groups, each with the same topic or each with a different topic.
    Enduring Issues Worksheet includes:
    • Divided Government (Amendments to the Constitution Proposed by the Hartford Convention of 1814)
    • Military Power (Thomas Jefferson's "Special Message on Gun-Boats" delivered to Congress 1807)
    • Peaceful Coercion (Thomas Jefferson's Proclamation in Response to the Chesapeake Affair, 1807)
    • Unresolved Political Issues (Thomas Jefferson's letter to Elbridge Gerry, 1799)
  3. Have students read the primary source document to introduce their topic.
  4. Have students discuss together the issue using the guiding questions to stimulate their thinking.
  5. Have students report out their issue and the various opinions expressed in their group.

Assessments: Informal assessment based on participation and effort.

Materials/Resources: Enduring Issues Worksheet

Special Considerations: This activity assumes a certain level of common knowledge about current events. Younger or less sophisticated students may need more background information or direct instruction from the teacher.

Extensions: Students may want to explore additional issues that have remained problematic throughout American history.