• 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.

    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.

    Image of Alexander Hamilton from exhibit website

    Alexander Hamilton Exhibition

    This NEH-funded exhibit offers a look at founding father Alexander Hamilton. The site features historical artifacts, virtual tours of Hamilton's life in New York and New Jersey, a document database, and a comprehensive timeline.

    Al Qaeda terrorists attack America

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    Modern Journal Project Cosmo Magazine cover

    Modernist Journals Project

    This multi-faceted project, a joint effort of Brown University and the University of Tulsa, explores modernism and its rise in the English-speaking world through periodical literature (1890-1922). It includes teaching materials for use in the classroom and in research..

    For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights

    Through a host of media—including photographs, television and film, magazines, newspapers, posters, books, and pamphlets—the project explores the historic role of visual culture in shaping, influencing, and transforming the fight for racial equality and justice in the United States from the late-1940s to the mid-1970s.

    Shays' Rebellion and the Making of the Nation

    This site tells the story of Shays' Rebellion, an uprising against the Massachusetts government in 1786. It features essays on the topic, an encyclopedia of related figures, artwork, and maps. It also offers lesson plans. A timeline (1774-1820) presents key events over the years leading up to Shays' Rebellion, during the rebellion itself, and in its aftermath.

    The USS Washington seizes Amistad off Long Island coast

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    August 26, 1839
    57 Chevy, front end

    Automobile in American Life and Society

    The automobile’s impact on American life is everywhere. Each of the site’s five sections contains two essays, plus a select annotated bibliography or bibliographic essay to guide further reading.