Lesson Plans Lesson Plans

Becoming Maine: The District of Maine's Coastal Economy

Brittany Cook, Maine Historical Society, Cumberland County



  • Social Studies -- Civics & Government
  • Social Studies -- Personal Finance & Economics
  • Social Studies -- History

1 day

  • 1775-1850
  • Civics & Citizenship
  • Economy

This lesson plan will introduce students to the maritime economy of Maine prior to statehood and to the Coasting Law that impacted the separation debate. Students will examine primary documents, take part in an activity that will put the Coasting Law in the context of late 18th century – early 19th century New England, and learn about how the Embargo Act of 1807 affected Maine in the decades leading to statehood.

  • Students will be able to identify what the Coasting Law was and the years during which it impacted the District of Maine.
  • Students will be able to draw comparisons between local Maine issues and national laws through an historical lens.
  • Students will become familiar with looking at and analyzing primary source documents as historic evidence.
  • Students will use critical thinking to take part in conversations about statehood that require informed opinion, including the positive and negative effects of the 1820 vote for statehood.

Download Lesson Plan

A resource developed by Maine Historical Society with support from Jane's Trust