History of Jim Crow

The Jim Crow laws encompassed every part of American life, from politics to education to sports. This site provides a comprehensive look at the 80-year period of segregation in the U.S.

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.

Civil War Women

From the Duke University Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Special Collections Library: Resources by and about women during the Civil War.

Bombardment of Fort Sumter

Crisis at Fort Sumter

An interactive historical simulation and decision-making program that reconstructs the dilemmas of policy formation and decision making in the period between Abraham Lincoln's election in November 1860 and the battle of Fort Sumter in April 1861.

  • The Emancipation Proclamation: Freedom's First Steps

    Emancipation

    Why was the Emancipation Proclamation important? While the Civil War began as a war to restore the Union, not to end slavery, by 1862 President Abraham Lincoln came to believe that he could save the Union only by broadening the goals of the war. Students can explore the obstacles and alternatives America faced in making the journey toward "a more perfect Union."

  • Evaluating Eyewitness Reports

    Eyewitness

    Practice working with primary documents by comparing accounts of the Chicago Fire and testing the credibility of a Civil War diary.

  • 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.

  • Walt Whitman to Langston Hughes: Poems for a Democracy

    Walt Whitman.

    Walt Whitman sought to create a new and distinctly American form of poetry. His efforts had a profound influence on subsequent generations of American poets. In this lesson, students will explore the historical context of Whitman's concept of "democratic poetry" by reading his poetry and prose and by examining daguerreotypes taken circa 1850. Next, students will compare the poetic concepts and techniques behind Whitman's "I Hear America Singing" and Langston Hughes' "Let America Be America Again," and will have an opportunity to apply similar concepts and techniques in creating a poem from their own experience.

  • 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."

  • Women's Suffrage: Why the West First?

    Why the West?

    Students compile information to examine hypotheses explaining why the first nine states to grant full voting rights for women were located in the West.