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VS.6 Overview

Political Growth and Western Expansion: 1781 to the Mid 1800s

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of Virginia in the establishment of the new American nation by

  1. explaining why George Washington is called the "Father of our Country" and James Madison is called the "Father of the Constitution";

  2. identifying the ideas of George Mason and Thomas Jefferson as expressed in the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the VIrginia Statute for Religious Freedom;

  3. explaining the influence of geography on the migration of Virginians into western territories.


Armstrong, Jennifer.
Thomas Jefferson: Letters from a Philadelphia Bookworm.  Winslow Press, 2000.
Amelia Horsby is a 12-year-old schoolgirl who lives in Philadelphia in 1803 when she begins writing letters to President Thomas Jefferson. Her letters reveals what life may have been like for a young girl growing up in the early 1800s.

Fritz, Jean.
The Great Little Madison.  Putnam Pub Group, 1989.
Jean Fritz writes an interesting and humorous biography of the Virginian who became the fourth president of the United States.

Fritz, Jean.
Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution.  Paper Star, 1998.
This historical non-fiction helps students understand the writing of the Constitution and provides abundant background information.

Heilbroner, Joan.
Meet George Washington.  Random House, 2001.
This book tells how young George Washington became involved in the country’s struggle for independence and gives insight into all that was going in the early years of Virginia.

Kelley, Brent P.
James Madison : Father of the Constitution (Revolutionary War Leaders).  Chelsea House, 2000.
Through this biography, the reader learns about the life of James Madison and his contributions to the early colony of Virginia.

Richards, Norman.
Monticello (Cornerstones of Freedom).  Children’s Press, 1995.
Learn about Monticello, the home of our third president, in this richly illustrated book that also reveals much about the person who lived there.

Welsbacher, Anne.
George Washington (United States Presidents).  Checkerboard Library Publishing, 1998.
This book is a simple biography about the man who became the first president of the United States and is called the “Father of our Country.”

Woodruff, Elvira.
George Washington’s Socks. Apple Publishing, Reprint edition (1993).
This engaging historical fiction book describes the people, places, and events surrounding the Revolutionary War and creates a very real picture of history during this time period.


The Virginia Historical Society created this Web site based on its long-term exhibition, The Story of Virginia: An American Experience. The site features ten easy-to-read, detailed chapters on Virginia history from prehistoric times to the present. Additional enhancements, such as 100 downloadable images of artifacts, photographs, paintings, and documents from the collections, Standards of Learning references, chapter outlines, and suggested classroom activities, make this a comprehensive Web site on Virginia history. The site is completely searchable and includes numerous links to other resources on the Web. The Story of Virginia-Online provides teachers, students, scholars, and history enthusiasts with a complete resource for projects, research, and classroom instruction.

The Library of Virginia presents a short history as well as key documents about the democratization of politics.

Reference Resources about Colonial Life is the title of this enriched Web site that includes time lines, outlines, colonial families, colonial currency, colonial government, and many other topics.

America's Freedom Documents are available at this Web site.

Produced by Prince William County Public Schools in collaboration with
the Virginia Department of Education. All rights reserved. Filnet Inc.
Updated on August 11, 2008.