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Lesson Plans - Salem’s Maritime History: A History of our New Nation

NAME OF LESSON: Salem’s Maritime History: A History of our New Nation
GRADE(S) DESIGNED FOR: 8
TIME REQUIRED:

1 week (approx. five 45-minute classes)

NAME OF AUTHOR:

Linda Barry           
PRIMARY SALEM in History CORE THEME ADDRESSED:

An Industrious People: American Economic History

ADDITIONAL SALEM in History CORE THEME(S) ADDRESSED:  
SALEM in History Topic Addressed:

Building Wealth Through the China and East Indies Trade

Lesson Summary | Frameworks | Essential Question(s) | Lesson Objectives
Historical Background Essay | Materials List and Pre-Arrangements/Preparations Needed
Vocabulary | Lesson Activities | Student Product or Performance
Assessment Criteria | Possible Modifications | Possible Extension Activities
Cross Curricular/Interdisciplinary Links/Activities | Sources and Resources
Additional Resources for Students and Teachers


LESSON SUMMARY:

In this lesson, students will examine history from the perspective of a local shopkeeper who relies on the successful East Indies and China maritime trade of the early 1800s.  Students will briefly spiral back through Salem’s maritime history beginning in Colonial times, through the Revolution, then focus primarily on the post-war, early years of the new republic when Salem became world-renowned in maritime trade.

Students will learn about the mercantilism and the Far East maritime trade of the early 1800s through a series of interactive activities.  Students will use multi-modalities to learn about Salem’s history and its influence in the national growth.  They will be asked to determine the origins of various items (local or imported) through the use of primary sources, read text, study maps and design a circular advertising goods sold at an import shop. 

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PRIMARY SOURCES USED in LESSON:

Inward Foreign Manifest for the Ship Mount Vernon, nd [1803], Manifests, Collection District of Salem and Beverly; Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36, National Archives and Records Administration–Northeast Region (Boston).

Online at: "Records of a Salem Vessel in 1803: An Online Exhibit" http://www.archives.gov/northeast/boston/exhibits/mount-vernon/
[Viewed 10 November 2005].

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ESSENTIAL QUESTION(S):

How did Salem’s maritime history, specifically the East Indies and China trade, contribute to the expansion and growth of the new nation? 

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LESSON OBJECTIVES

LEARNING/CONTENT OBJECTIVES:

Students will understand the impact of Salem’s maritime trade on the American economy and culture, specifically the expansion of product selection.

CONCEPT/SKILLS OBJECTIVES:

Students will study primary and secondary sources to extract an understanding of the impact of Salem’s maritime trade on life and the economy in the Early Republic.      

 
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CORRELATION WITH HISTORY STANDARDS FROM the 2003 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORY AND SOCIAL STUDIES CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK

MA FRAMEWORK STRAND:

US History I, The Revolution through Reconstruction, 1763-1877

MA FRAMEWORK UNIT/THEME ADDRESSED:

The Formation and Framework of American Democracy and Political Democratization, Westward Expansion, and Diplomatic Development, 1790-1860

MA FRAMEWORK LEARNING STANDARD(S) ADDRESSED:

USI. 16- Describe the evolution of the role of the federal government, including public services, taxation, economic policy, foreign policy and common defense.

USI.22- Summarize the major policies and political developments that took place during the presidencies of George Washington (1789-1797), John Adams (1797-1801), Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)

USI.26- Describe the causes, courses, and consequences of America’s westward expansion and its growing diplomatic assertiveness.  Use a map of North America to trace America’s expansion to the Civil War, including the location of the Santa Fe and Oregon trails. (a. War of 1812)

MA FRAMEWORK CONCEPT AND SKILLS STANDARD(S) ADDRESSED

GRADE AND SUBJECT: Grade 8 History and Social Science

NUMBER(S) AND DESCRIPTION(S): 

History and Geography:

1. Apply the skills of pre K through grade seven.

4. Interpret and construct charts and graphs that show quantitative information. 

General Economic Skills:

13. Define and use correctly mercantilism, feudalism, economic growth, and entrepreneur.  United States Economic Skills:

25. Explain the basic economic functions of the government in the economy of the United States.

28. Analyze how federal tax and spending policies affect the national budget and the national debt.

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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND/CONTEXT ESSAY: 

Salem’s maritime history is world-famous, beginning in Colonial times when Salem residents became known throughout the thirteen colonies and beyond as talented fisherman and shipbuilders, during the Revolutionary War when many ship owners and sea captains loaned themselves and their property to the continental navy transporting goods along the eastern sea coast around the English blockades, and after the Revolution when Salem’s vessels began to trade around the world as part of the mercantile industry establishing the United States within the world market.

After the Revolution, the maritime industry expanded.  Entrepreneurs from Salem saw opportunities in markets previously unavailable to them.  These markets were located beyond the familiar routes they had traveled under the British Empire.  Salem businessmen saw exotic ports like China and the East Indies as opportunities to expand their fortunes.  Many in the community were employed by the maritime industry including young men who sailed on the voyages to the East Indies and China. Many people found success in the maritime trade of the early 1800s, including Salem fleet owner Elias Hasket Derby and his captain, Nathaniel Silsbee.

The success of maritime trade became the bedrock of the national economy.  In 1790, customs duties on imported goods contributed 90% of all federal revenue.  Many goods were sold in the United States.  Other goods brought back from the East Indies were sold to nations in Europe.  The success of what is commonly referred to as the China trade (including the East Indies) also contributed to a national spirit.  Sailors were returning from sea and sharing stories of the exotic people and scenery they encountered.  American homes were soon decorated with goods crafted by Eastern artisans.  America was growing as a nation both financially and culturally and the name Salem was known in ports around the world. 

---

Hawes, Dorothy Schuman, To the Farthest Gulf: The Story of the China Trade. Ipswich MA: Ipswich Press, 1990. (ch 3,6,8)

National Park Service, Salem: Maritime Salem in the Age of Sail. Washington, DE: US Department of the Interior. (Section B)

Stewart, Douglas, “Salem Sets Sail.” Smithsonian (June 2004), 92-99.

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MATERIALS LIST AND PRE-ARRANGEMENTS/PREPARATION NEEDED

MATERIALS LIST:

  • Sample items (objects or pictures):
  • American Items- cheese, bread, corn, fish, shoes.
  • Imported Items- dragons’ blood, coffee, pepper, silks, tea, porcelain, pearls.
  • Inward Foreign Manifest for the Ship Mount Vernon
  • Large paper
  • Markers
  • Cobblestones magazine (Salem and the East Indies Trade)
  • World map
  • Trade route map
  • Sample circulars (from your newspaper or mail)
  • Paper
  • Glue
  • Internet access (or encyclopedia or other reference books)
  • Colored pencils

PREPARATION:

Students have already studied the Revolution, the inability of the Federal government to function under the Articles of Confederation, the drafting of and the ratification of the Constitution.  Class will spiral back and review Salem’s maritime history before and during the Revolution (fisherman, shipbuilders, triangle trade and trade within England’s Atlantic empire, privateers).

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VOCABULARY:

Entrepreneur, mercantilism, customs, duties, maritime

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LESSON ACTIVITIES:

Activity 1- Stock your shelves

Students will pretend they are shopkeepers in the early 1800s in Salem.  Their shops specialize in imported goods brought back to Salem from the China trade.  Students will work in small groups to design shelves for their shop (using large paper and marker).  Each group will be given sample products to sort through. Students can only place imported goods on their shelves (large paper).  They will be given 5 minutes, drawing on background knowledge and experiences, to guess and discuss from the pile which items would belong in an import shop.

Then students will use the primary source, the ship’s manifest, to discover what kinds of items were actually imported and therefore would be available to buy and sell in their shops as a result of the China trade.  Teacher can guide students’ analysis using questions.

Some groups may need more structured guidance in the form of written guiding questions.  Sample questions include:

  • What information is on this paper?
  • What is the ship’s name?
  • What is the date?
  • Where has the ship traveled?
  • What items were taken board and imported to the US?
  • Who was the ship owner?
  • What can we learn about the mercantile industry by examining this paper?
  • Why do you think others were required to keep similar records?
  • Who do you think used these records in the 1800s? 

Activity 2- Cobblestones

Students will read a short article in Cobblestones magazine.  Teacher can spiral back to prior activity and encourage students to make connections between the ships manifests and the other business practices discussed in the article.  (Students may also benefit if they make connections to businesses and the need to keep records in businesses they may be familiar with family business, experience selling lemonade, their own part time jobs, other entrepreneurial tasks like fund raising and shoveling snow).

Activity 3- The world and the trade routes of Salem merchants / Connect the Dots

Using a world map, teacher leads students to understand that New England sailors used two trade routes to get to China and the East Indies.  Students can show their predictions on the map, guessing the routes.

Next, Connect the Dots- Provide students with world map.  Students will plot the trade routes used by New England sailors to China and the East Indies.  Teacher can read longitude and latitude of various points along the trade routes or read the names of countries.  Then show the map with the actual trade routes.  Locate Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope.  Discuss dangers of sailing (weather, lack of navigation equipment, pirates, currants…).  Follow the routes with students explaining that sailors bought and sold products in many ports along the way and paid customs to the Federal government for goods brought into the United States for sale.  Ask students to compare the area American sailors were limited to before the Revolution (Atlantic/Caribbean) to the additional areas American sailors were sailing to in the 1800s. 

Activity 4- Create a circular for an 1803 import shop

Students will make a circular for their imaginary import shop of the 1800s.  Provide example of circulars from current newspapers or catalogs.  Then assign students to the task of designing a circular to advertise their import shops and the products available there.  They must find images of actual items imported into Salem or nearby ports in the 1800s.  They must include at least 5 items imported from the East Indies and China trade.  They will include a picture and brief description.  The circular must be attractive and include an appropriate shop name.

Students can find item by searching the internet, using the PEM web site, or looking up information in resource books.  Images of items used in circulars must look authentic (Xerox copies, downloaded pictures, etc. Student sketches may be used if items are not reproducible.)

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ASSESSMENT/STUDENT PRODUCT or PERFORMANCE:

Import Shop Circular

Student Discussion

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ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:

Activity 1-3-  Teacher observation and interaction

Activity 4-  Import Shop Circular

25 points (5 points each) - Final product must include all required information (pictures and description of 5 items imported and sold at the shop). 

25 points (5 points each) - All information must be historically accurate. 

25 points - Final product must be neat and in color. 

15 points - Final product must include an appropriate, visible shop name.

10 points – All sources must be sited on the back or on an attached page.

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POSSIBLE MODIFICATIONS:

Activity 1- Highlight or type the manifest

Activity 2- Paired reading or read aloud text

Activity 3- Color code map or highlight only the routes of the East Indies and China trade

Activity 4- Limit the number of items required for student made circulars, provide several items for students to select from and incorporate or provide help researching and locating images and information (Internet or print sources) 

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POSSIBLE EXTENSION ACTIVITIES:

  • Visit the West India Store (Derby Street, Salem) on a field trip
  • Search on-line or at the Peabody Essex Museum for other primary sources related to imported goods (like business records, captain logs, paintings, china and other artifacts brought to the United States during the early 1800s as a result of the China trade).
  • Translate the units of measurement used on ships’ manifests into modern units. (i.e. How much is a barrel, bushel, quintal?) 
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CROSS CURRICULAR/INTERDISCIPLINARY LINKS/ACTIVITIES:

Writing—various genres (see second page of assignment #2), acting out the trial, create a cartoon showing the events leading up to the Boston Massacre.

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SOURCES AND RESOURCES

PRIMARY SOURCES USED TO CREATE LESSON:

Inward Foreign Manifest for the Ship Mount Vernon, nd [1803], Manifests, Collection District of

Salem and Beverly; Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36, National

Archives and Records Administration–Northeast Region (Boston).

Collections of the NARA branch in Waltham include ship manifests, accounts of cargo, duties paid, etc.  It may require time to research, but the federal records are a valuable source of information on the economics of the China/East Indies trade and the growth of American wealth in the Early Republic.

SECONDARY (PRINT) SOURCES USED TO CREATE LESSON:

Cobblestone (September 1988). “Salem and the East Indies” issue

This issue is devoted to short articles about the early American trade with China.  Reading level makes it accessible to upper elementary school students and above. 

Early American Trade Routes to China http://teachingresources.atlas.uiuc.edu/chinatrade/index.html

These world maps are ideal for showing students routes used by American sailors to reach the China and the East Indies.  With the United States in the center, students can easily see the two major routes from Boston Salem.

WEB RESOURCES USED IN LESSON:

Peabody Essex Museum http://www.pem.org

The Peabody Essex Museum website allows viewers to explore and view items in the museum from their computer.  Students can use PEM’s artscape program to view images of items returned from voyages to China and the Far East in the early 1800s. 

"Records of a Salem Vessel in 1803: An Online Exhibit" Online at: http://www.archives.gov/northeast/boston/exhibits/mount-vernon/ [Viewed 10 November 2005].

This National Archives and Records Administration Northeast Region on-line exhibit features the Salem vessel, Mount Vernon.

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS AND/OR STUDENTS:

Hawes, Dorothy Schuman, To the Farthest Gulf: The Story of the China Trade. Ipswich MA: Ipswich Press, 1990. (ch 3,6,8)

This is a charming, brief survey of the Old China Trade.  Hawes sets the trade in context of European contact with the East, then focuses on Salem, providing some nice anecdotes on the ways in which China Trade influenced everyday life in Salem.

National Park Service, SALEM: Maritime Salem in the Age of Sail. Washington, DE: US Department of the Interior. (Section B)

Lushly illustrated brief introduction to the individuals, economic processes, groups, ideas and activities that helped Salem grown and prosper from the early 17th century through to the early 19th.

Stewart, Douglas, “Salem Sets Sail.” Smithsonian (June 2004), 92-99.

Overview of Salem’s maritime history, with focus on the China/East Indies trade.  Includes many images of objects in the Peabody Essex Museum collections.

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