Students in grade five study the development of the American nation to 1850. The learning focuses on the influence of physical and cultural environment on national origins, growth, and development. Students learn about the founding of colonial governments, the ideals of the Enlightenment, and the English tradition of self-government. They recognize that the nation has: a constitution that derives its power from the people; gone through a revolution; once sanctioned slavery; experienced conflict over land with the original inhabitants, and experienced a westward movement that took people across the continent. Through studying the causes, courses, and consequences of early exploration through the War for Independence and western expansion, students develop a fundamental understanding of how the principles of the American republic form the basis of a pluralistic society in which individual rights are secured.