Internet Public Library: Presidents of the United States

In this resource you will find background information, election results, cabinet members, notable events, and some points of interest on each of the presidents. Links to biographies, historical documents, audio and video files, and other presidential sites are also included.

Emigration and Immigration to the United States, 1789–1930

Collection of selected historical materials from Harvard's libraries, archives, and museums that documents voluntary immigration to the U.S.

Deatail of Japanese woodblock of a ship from Perry's fleet

Black Ships & Samurai: Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan

An MIT open courseware unit on how Japanese artists visualized the arrival and effects of Commodore Perry's fleet in 1853.

  • Lesson 2: The Election Is in the House: 1824: The Candidates and the Issues

    William H. Crawford was one of four candidates for President in 1824.

    All of the major candidates for president in the 1824 election claimed allegiance to the same party, the Democratic-Republicans. What distinguished the candidates from each other? What were the important issues in the campaign of 1824?

  • Lesson 4: The Monroe Doctrine: Whose Doctrine Was It?

    John Quincy Adams played a crucial role in formulating the Monroe Doctrine when  he was Monroe's Secretary of State.

    In what ways did John Quincy Adams and Thomas Jefferson contribute to the formulation of the Monroe Doctrine?

  • Lesson 4: Abraham Lincoln, the 1860 Election, and the Future of the American Union and Slavery

    Created July 19, 2010
    Abraham Lincoln at the time of his historic debates with Stephen A. Douglas.

    This lesson plan will explore Abraham Lincoln's rise to political prominence during the debate over the future of American slavery. Lincoln's anti-slavery politics will be contrasted with the abolitionism of William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass and the "popular sovereignty" concept of U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas.

  • Lesson 2: Slavery's Opponents and Defenders

    Idyllic cartoon of slaves thanking their master for taking care of them

    This lesson plan will explore the wide-ranging debate over American slavery by presenting the lives of its leading opponents and defenders and the views they held about America's "peculiar institution."

  • Was There an Industrial Revolution? New Workplace, New Technology, New Consumers

    Image Courtesy of American Memory.

    In this lesson, students explore the First Industrial Revolution in early nineteenth-century America. Through simulation activities and the examination of primary historical materials, students learn how changes in the workplace and less expensive goods led to the transformation of American life.

  • Was There an Industrial Revolution? Americans at Work Before the Civil War

    Image Courtesy of American Memory.

    In this lesson, students explore the First Industrial Revolution in early nineteenth-century America. By reading and comparing first-hand accounts of the lives of workers before the Civil War, students prepare for a series of guided role-playing activities designed to help them make an informed judgment as to whether the changes that took place in manufacturing and distribution during this period are best described as a "revolution" or as a steady evolution over time.

  • Lesson 1: The Monroe Doctrine: U.S. Foreign Affairs (circa 1782–1823) and James Monroe

    Portrait of James Monroe, fifth President of the United States, by Gilbert  Stuart.

    What was the Monroe Doctrine? What principles of foreign policy did this Doctrine establish? What were the significant events in U.S. diplomacy before 1823? What diplomatic roles had James Monroe played before he became president? Here, a careful examination of the document anticipates what is to come.