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OKH 2-1, 2-2

Page history last edited by Pam Merrill 4 years ago

Oklahoma Academic Standard 2. The student will evaluate the major political and economic events that transformed the land and its people from early contact through Indian Removal and its aftermath.


2.1  Summarize and analyze the role of river transportation to early trade and mercantile settlements including Chouteau’s Trading Post at Three Forks.

2.2  Describe the major trading and peacekeeping goals of early military posts including Fort Gibson. 

In a Nutshell

Connected to the French Fur trade, the eastern portion of Oklahoma became a major hub for economic exchange by the early 1800’s. Students should understand the role of navigable rivers in the region which accelerated the success of these early settlements and laid the foundation for later urban environments. In addition, students should be able to understand the historical events that presented an opportunity for American traders to access new markets. Students should analyze how the impact of the relocation and/or removal of American Indian tribes into the Oklahoma region led to inter-tribal conflicts over boundaries and land claims by American Indian tribes already present in Oklahoma. These concerns over border safety, tribal disagreements, and protection for economic investments directly led to the establishment of military posts in the area. 

Teacher Action 

Student Action 

  • Assist students in analyzing the ways in which incentives and resource availability influence what is produced and distributed in different types of economic systems, such as the emergence of the Chouteau Trading Posts and Three Forks Traders of Eastern Oklahoma.  

  • Guide students in comparing and analyzing complex maps and mapping technologies to explain relationships between the environment and events, particularly in reference to the emergence of Ft. Gibson and other military posts established along major trading routes. 

  • Evaluate how multiple, complex events are shaped by unique circumstances of time and place, as well as broader historical contexts when examining the role of river transportation to early trade and mercantile settlements of present-day Oklahoma.  

  • Evaluate the extent to which economic decisions have had significant historical impact such as the purpose of military posts to secure trade networks and the emerging conflicts between American Indian groups


Key Concepts 


  • Anthony Glass, Twin Villages, Three Forks Area, Clermont, Chouteau Brothers, keelboats, William Becknell, Santa Fe Traders

  • Wichita-Osage Conflict, Arkansas Osage, Adams Onis Treaty

  • complex trade network along the primary drainage systems of Oklahoma (Arkansas and Red River); rise of the Osage in the region as a dominant force of commerce and politics

  • relocation of multiple American Indian groups into region; emerging conflicts with the Osage, displacement of the Wichita

  • attempt to quell conflicts resulting in establishment of multiple military forts, including  Ft. Smith, Ft. Gibson

  • Western Cherokee, Arkansas Territory 

  • Students may be unaware of the significance of the region as a crossroads of cultures owing to the presence of various American Indian groups, American traders, and descendants of the French couers de bois. 

  • Many students will be unaware that the Arkansas Territory existed for a short time and also included a significant portion of what would become Oklahoma. 

Instructional Resources

Access suggested instructional resources correlated to the standard and objective.

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