British officer giving a command

"The War That Made America"

The War That Made America brings to life a vastly important — but often misunderstood — period of American history, a period that set in motion forces that would culminate in the American Revolution. The dramatic documentary tells the story of the French and Indian War (1754–1763), which began in the wilderness of the Pennsylvania frontier and spread throughout the colonies, into Canada, and ultimately around the world. Narrated and hosted by Graham Greene, the Academy-Award nominated actor for Dances With Wolves and an Oneida Indian whose ancestors fought in this war, The War That Made America combines a commitment to accuracy with a compelling filmed portrayal of the dangerous world of the 18th-century frontier.

Gudea of Lagash, ca. 2012 BCE

World History for Us All

World History for Us All is a powerful, innovative model curriculum for teaching world history in middle and high schools.

  • The Creation of the Bill of Rights: "Retouching the Canvas"

    Created October 19, 2011

    Stamp Act Congress meets in New York, draws up Declaration of Rights and Grievances

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    Repeats every year until Fri Oct 19 2035 .
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    October 19, 1765
  • The Creation of the Bill of Rights: “Retouching the Canvas”

    Created October 17, 2011
    The Creation of the Bill of Rights: James Madison Statue

    This lesson will focus on the arguments either for or against the addition of a Bill of Rights between 1787 and 1789. By examining the views of prominent Americans in original documents, students will see that the issue at the heart of the debate was whether a Bill of Rights was necessary to secure and fulfill the objects of the American Revolution and the principles of the Declaration of Independence. Students will also gain an understanding of the origins of the Bill of Rights and how it came to be part of what Thomas Jefferson called "the American mind," as well as a greater awareness of the difficulties that proponents had to overcome in order to add the first ten Amendments to the Constitution.

  • Ratifying the Constitution

    Created September 28, 2011
    Ratifying the Constitution: "Fame" Announces Ratification of Constitution

    This lesson introduces students to the vigorous debates surrounding the ratification of the Constitution that took place in the state conventions. State delegates grappled with questions about the nature of democracy, the distribution of wealth and power in society, the rights of individuals and minority groups, and the role of dissent in a republic.

    Re-enactors, Battle of Tippecanoe. Courtesy of PBS (WNED, Buffalo/Toronto)

    "The War of 1812"

    Website for the PBS film War of 1812. Website includes short scholarly essays on the American, British, Canadian & Native American perspectives on the war, the role of black sailors and soldiers, diplomatic manouoers, James Madison’s leadership, and the military campaigns. Multiple lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school levels

    U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall born

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    Repeats every year until Mon Sep 24 2035 .
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    September 24, 1755
    Childe Hassam, flags of nations

    Picturing America on Screen

    Picturing America on Screen is an NEH-funded documentary film project produced by Channel 13, WNET, New York. A group of 25 films created by 9 talented directors presents a sampling of Picturing American art ranging from the mystery and beauty of Anasazi pottery to the sculptural poetry of contemporary artist Martin Puryear.

    U.S. History Resources

    The U.S. History Resources assists students and teachers in high school U.S. history courses. For some, the understanding of the "big picture" gets lost in the sheer volume of facts, dates, people, and movements. When this happens, history can become more of a memorization exercise than a thoughtful analysis of how and why things occurred. This site attempts to simplify American history without making it simplistic.