Lesson Plans Lesson Plans

Becoming Maine: The Votes for Statehood

Brittany Cook, Maine Historical Society, Cumberland County



  • Social Studies -- Civics & Government
  • Social Studies -- History

1 day

  • 1775-1850
  • Civics & Citizenship

Maine became a state in 1820 after separating from Massachusetts, but the call for statehood had begun long before the final vote. Why did it take so long? Was 1820 the right time? In this lesson, students will begin to place where Maine’s statehood fits into the broader narrative of 18th and 19th century American political history. They will have the opportunity to cast their own Missouri Compromise vote after learning about Maine’s long road to statehood.

  • Students will become familiar with looking at and drawing information from primary source documents as historic evidence.
  • Students will make connections between Maine statehood, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War.
  • Students will use critical thinking to respond to questions about statehood that require informed opinion, including the positive and negative effects of the 1820 vote for statehood.

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