School Improvement in Maryland

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 5.0 History

Topic C. Conflict between Ideas and Institutions

Indicator 2. Explain the political, cultural, economic and social changes in Maryland during the early 1800s

Objective b. Describe the importance of changes in industry, transportation, education, rights and freedoms in Maryland, such as roads and canals, slavery, B&O railroad, the National Road, immigration, public schools, and religious freedoms

Provide students with a map of Maryland that includes Delaware, western and northern Virginia, and southern Pennsylvania. On the map, mark for students the locations of the following:

  • Cities/towns: Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Frederick, Westminster, Hagerstown, Cumberland, Chesapeake City, Delaware City (DE), Philadelphia (PA), York (PA), Wheeling (VA), and Georgetown (VA)
  • Roads: Baltimore to York, Baltimore to Reisterstown, Route 1 (show portion from Philadelphia into Virginia, but explain to students that it spanned the entire east coast)

Ask students how a lack of a good transportation network might impact life. What do they think life would have been like in Maryland around 1800 with very few roads and no railroads or canals? Explain that between 1800 and the Civil War (1861), the entire nation, including Maryland, focused much energy and money on building reliable transportation networks to link cities and regions. Distribute the Maryland map to students and ask them to draw in the following transportation routes built during this time period (it is not essential that students look up the exact lines that each route followed):

  • Turnpike from Baltimore through Frederick and Hagerstown (then called Elizabethtown) to Cumberland (was constructed in various phases as part of different projects)
  • National Road from Cumberland west to the Ohio River at Wheeling, Virginia
  • Turnpike from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.
  • Turnpike from Baltimore to Westminster
  • Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from Baltimore to Cumberland and then Wheeling Virginia
  • Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Washington Branch from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.
  • Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad from Baltimore to York, Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad
  • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal along the Potomac River from Georgetown, Virginia to Cumberland
  • Chesapeake and Delaware Canal between the Chesapeake Bay's northern end at Chesapeake City, Maryland and the Delaware River at Delaware City, Delaware

Ask students to consider how life in Maryland would have changed as a result of this new transportation network. Where do most of the roads end? (Baltimore) What do they think this says about the role of Baltimore around 1800? How do they think the expanded transportation network affected Baltimore going forward?

Resources for Objective 5.C.2.b:
Clarifications | LESSON SEEDS |