Advanced Placement United States History content
  • Frederick Douglass’s “Narrative:” Myth of the Happy Slave

    Created October 8, 2014
    Frontispiece of original edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

    In 1845, the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, and Written by Himself was published. In it, Douglass criticizes directly—often with withering irony—those who defend slavery and those who prefer a romanticized version of it.

    Tryptich of Roosevelts, Franklin, Eleanor and Teddy

    The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

    Ken Burns’s new seven-part PBS series chronicles the lives of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor: three members of the most prominent and influential family in American politics. Premieres September 14.

    Tryptich of Roosevelts, Franklin, Eleanor and Teddy

    How Teachers Can Make the Most of The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

    Ken Burns’ seven-part, fourteen hour film The Roosevelts: An Intimate History illuminates over 100 years of American history as the country transitions between “politics as usual” and reform, isolation and internationalism, a laissez faire economy and government regulation, and international war and peace.

    September—Back to Work, Back to School, Back to Books

    Common Core Lessons and Related Resources for Back to School 2014

    Annual feature detailing resources teachers may find useful as school resumes. For this 2104 listing, EDSITEment has framed new resources aligned to respond to the Common Core State Standards including a number of exemplars.

    Original Fort McHenry flag

    The Star-Spangled Banner

    On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812. The sight of those “broad stripes and bright stars” inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the United States national anthem.

    Peter Whittemore (left), a descendant of Herman Melville, reads from Moby Dick

    A Revival of the American Spirit on the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan!

    On the occasion of the Charles W. Morgan’s homecoming to New Bedford, Massachusetts (June 2014), a descendent of Herman Melville, Peter Whittemore, acting as one of the 38th Voyagers, delivers an open letter to the world in the form of a “top-gallant salute.” He draws inspiration from his ancestor’s novel, Moby Dick and reflects upon the 38th Voyage of the Morgan as a wake-up call for 21st-century environmentalism.

  • The Preamble to the Constitution: A Close Reading Lesson

    Created July 8, 2014
    Preamble to the Constitution image

    The Preamble is the introduction to the United States Constitution and like all good introductions it serves several purposes. First of all, it states the source from which the Constitution gets its authority: the sovereign people of the United States. Second, it sets forth the great objects or ends that the Constitution and the government that it establishes are meant to serve.

  • The Argument of the Declaration of Independence

    Created June 23, 2014
    The Argument of the Declaration of Independence

    Long before the first shot was fired, the American Revolution began as a series of written complaints to colonial governors and representatives in England over the rights of the colonists.

    What is Chronicling America?

    Advice from the Experts for Your National History Day Project

    Teachers and students ask real questions and hear advice from experts in the fields of documentary filmmaking, websites, exhibitions, performance, and research papers in these engaging one-hour Hangouts led by National History Day, NEH, Smithsonian, and Newseum staff.

    NEH Google hangouts logo

    Thursday,

    Visual Culture of the American Civil War

    Produced by the American Social History Project, City University of New York, and funded through NEH's Summer Seminars Program, this resource provides multimedia presentations by historians, art historians, and archivists that are accompanied by archival images; primary documents illuminating aspects of the subject; and a bibliography of books, articles, and online resources.