Westward Expansion and Regional Differences Books and Films | Student Handouts
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Unit V: Westward Expansion and Regional Differences
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  An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991) Movie Review and Educational Materials   The Alamo (2004) Movie Review and Guide for History Teachers   Far and Away (1992)          
  An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)   The Alamo (2004)   Far and Away (1992)          
Watching historical films can be a engaging way for American History students to learn about westward expansion and regional differences in the mid-nineteenth century.

Dances with Wolves (1990): Set in the American frontier during the Civil War era, this film tells the story of a Union Army officer who befriends Lakota Sioux Indians. It explores the clash of cultures during westward expansion and the impact on Native American communities.

The Revenant (2015): Based on a true story, this film follows frontiersman Hugh Glass as he embarks on a journey of survival and revenge in the harsh wilderness of the early 19th century. It provides a gritty portrayal of the challenges faced by explorers and settlers.

True Grit (1969 and 2010): Both the original and the remake are worth watching. These films explore life on the frontier, including the role of law enforcement and the challenges faced by individuals seeking justice.

Little House on the Prairie (TV Series, 1974-1983): While not a film, this TV series is based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's books about her family's experiences as pioneers in the American Midwest during the late 19th century. It provides insights into daily life on the frontier.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007): This film focuses on the legendary outlaw Jesse James and the myth surrounding him. It sheds light on the cultural fascination with outlaws during the expansion westward.

The Homesman (2014): Set in the Nebraska Territory, this film follows a spinster and a claim jumper as they transport three mentally ill women to a church in Iowa. It explores the challenges faced by women on the frontier.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966): A classic Western film set during the American Civil War, it explores the chaos and lawlessness of the era while following a trio of bounty hunters.

These films offer diverse perspectives on westward expansion and the regional differences that defined the mid-nineteenth century in the United States. They can complement classroom learning and provide students with a visual and emotional connection to the historical events and themes of the time.
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