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NCSS-3

People, Places and Environments


Resources:

The Vietnam War
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Alternatives
Key Figures

Cultural Revolutions
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Death of the Public World
A Redefinition of the Self
The New Left: Berkeley
Key Figures

History as Destiny: The Case of New York City
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
American Cities—New York in context
Present-day Characteristics of New York
Epilogue

Relevant transcripts:
American cities are powerful
Cities Have Personalities Too
New Yorkers Are Tolerant
New York Is Dense
New York Is Forever
The Placement of Cities
Epilogue

Relevant interactive tools:
New York Is Old
New York Is Old as a Big City
New York Is Old
New York Is Old as a Big City
New York Is Not a Doughnut
The North American Pattern
New York City Is Rich at the Center
New Yorkers Use Public Transportation
New York Is a 24-hour City
New York Is Not a Doughnut
The North American Pattern
New York City Is Rich at the Center
New Yorkers Use Public Transportation
New York Is a 24-hour City
Defense
Resource Cities
Political Capitals
Educational Establishments
Military Establishments
Cities as Religious Centers
Quiz
Defense
Resource Cities
Political Capitals
Educational Establishments
Military Establishments
Cities as Religious Centers
Quiz
Spanish Cities
French Cities
British Cities
Boston
Newport
Charleston
Philadelphia
Spanish Cities
French Cities
British Cities
Boston
Newport
Charleston
Philadelphia

Colonial City: Revolutionary Battleground
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant transcripts:
Henry Hudson
The Dutch and Indian Wars
Why Boston Declined
The Battle of Fort Washington
The Battle of Fort Lee
Why Does New York Rise Up Out of the Ashes?
Empire City and State

Relevant interactive tools:
The Dutch Empire
The Native American Population
The Dutch Empire
The Native American Population
Eighteenth–Century New York
Eighteenth–Century New York
New York Versus Boston or Philadelphia
New York Versus Boston or Philadelphia
New York in Revolution
Washington's Dilemma Part 1
Washington's Dilemma Part 2
New York in Revolution
Washington's Dilemma Part 1
Washington's Dilemma Part 2
The Natural Location of New York
The Dutch Heritage
The Natural Location of New York
The Dutch Heritage

Urban Crisis: Fire and Water
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Disasters

Relevant texts:
General Slocum
Less Than One Percent
Solving the Problem
Philadelphia
The Manhattan Company
A Safe and Wasteful System

Relevant transcripts:
What Are the Sources?
The Collect
No Water Meters
SIDEBAR: Every City Cannot Do It
Tales of Warning

Relevant interactive tools:
SIDEBAR: Chicago and San Francisco
Too Far from the Blaze
SIDEBAR: Chicago and San Francisco
Too Far from the Blaze
How Important Is Water?
Don't Be Stupid; Look for Water
How Important Is Water?
Don't Be Stupid; Look for Water

Urban Crisis: Disease, Crime, and Space
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Parks

Relevant texts:
Cemeteries
Creating Valuable Land
Cities and Disease
Cholera

Relevant transcripts:
What Is a Park?
The Most Important Park
Creating Safety

Relevant interactive tools:
Cemeteries for Picnics
Cemeteries for Picnics

The Stable Fifties
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
The Suburbs
The Suburbs: Conformity and Isolation

The Subversive Fifties
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Environmental Critique
Environmental Critique: DDT
Environmental Critique: Pollution and Health
Feminism

Kennedy, Johnson, and the Great Society
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Abolitionism and Antislavery
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
The Expansion Issue: Slavery in New Territories?
The Expansion Issue: The compromise of 1850
timeline

The United States in Vietnam
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this simulation, a special congressional committee—the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Vietnam—will examine changes in U.S. foreign policy toward Vietnam from 1954 through 1975. The committee will investigate why the United States entered the war but failed to prevent the communist takeover of the Republic of South Vietnam. Students will impersonate historical characters who are called to testify before this fictitious Senate subcommittee. The historical characters will explain, from their perspective, why the United States entered the war, why it escalated its military involvement there, and then, despite the escalation, why it suffered defeat. Do the senators and journalists reporting on the investigation blame any one U.S. president? Or do they blame rather a wide range of circumstances both domestic and international? This simulation will expose students to a variety of conflicting interpretations of the U.S. role in Vietnam.

The U.S. Entry into Vietnam
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint

Primary Source Analysis: Nixon and Vietnam
Resource Type: Teaching Activity

Primary Source Analysis: Nixon and Vietnam
Resource Type: Teaching Activity

The Affluent Society
Resource Type: Primary Source
Galbraith's classic study of 1950s America discusses the irony of the existence of significant poverty in affluent America.

Eisenhower at a Football Game
Resource Type: Primary Source
Eisenhower served as president of Columbia University; here he is seen waving a Columbia University pennant in one hand and an Army pennant in the other at a college football game.

Discovery and Settlement: New Amsterdam
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The present-day issues of tolerance and diversity are explored in colonial society. These primary sources provide contemporary perceptions of Native Americans, African Americans, Jews, and European settlers.

The American Revolution: Defeat and Victory in New York
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
New York City was a center of loyalist support and trans-Atlantic trade during the revolutionary era. The documents on the Battle of Brooklyn, the British occupation, and the end of the Revolutionary war demonstrate how these events were turned into victories for New York, establishing the city's path toward national and world prominence.

City Problems: Poverty and Slums
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Exploring the cholera epidemic in mid-nineteenth century New York City, this selection of primary sources provides a case-study of immigration, urbanization (e.g., slums such as the Five Points), and social and moral reform that can be applied to the study of any city in the industrialized world.

The Five Points Slum
Resource Type: Primary Source
Five Points, the great slum of antebellum New York, was located at the convergence of Worth, Baxter, and Park Streets in present-day lower Manhattan. Its residents suffered terribly during the cholera epidemic of 1832.

Report of the Magdalen Society
Resource Type: Primary Source
Led by John Robert McDowell, a Princeton divinity student, the Magdalen Society was founded in 1831 to help reform prostitutes living in the Five Points slum.

Petition to Have the Five Points Opened
Resource Type: Primary Source
Merchants owning property along the periphery of Five Points petitioned the municipal government in 1829 to demolish the heart of the slum by widening and extending Anthony and Cross Streets.

Daily Tally of Cholera Victims
Resource Type: Primary Source
Due to overcrowding and poor sanitation, the Five Points slum suffered numerous casualties during outbreaks of disease, as this daily report taken during the 1832 cholera epidemic makes clear.

Cholera Outbreak
Resource Type: Primary Source
This article, written during the cholera epidemic of 1832, conveyed the opinion that only certain social types contracted the deadly disease.

The Cholera Epidemic
Resource Type: Primary Source
Many of New York's Protestant leaders interpreted the 1832 cholera epidemic as proof of God's displeasure with contemporary morality.

Cholera Epidemic Editorial
Resource Type: Primary Source
As far away as New Hampshire, editorials denounced the New York cholera epidemic of 1832 as divine retribution for decadence and sin.

Charles Dickens on the Five Points
Resource Type: Primary Source
The famed British writer Charles Dickens published his account of his 1842 visit to America, where he found evidence of England's superior class system in the squalor of New York's Five Points slum.

Sunshine and Shadow in New York
Resource Type: Primary Source
Sunshine and Shadow in New York, a mid-nineteenth-century publication, depicts New York City as two polar societies, one affluent and vibrant, and one poor and diseased.

How the Other Half Lives
Resource Type: Primary Source
Newspaper reporters, such as Jacob Riis (1849–1914), played an instrumental role in exposing the destitution and misery of New York's immigrant and working-class neighborhoods.

Urban Society: Central Park and Social Reform
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
This microhistory of Central Park in New York City provides students with a laboratory for learning how social reformers attempted to clean the city of its slums and promote the well-being of its residents. These tools can be applied to the study of any large city.

President Johnson's Commencement Address
Resource Type: Primary Source
President Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908–73) made this landmark speech in 1965 to students at Howard University in Washington, D.C., a historically black institution, to delineate the tenets of his Great Society program.

Modern Republicanism and the New Right
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The development of a Republican majority is the focus of this DBQ, which explores the larger issues of modern republicanism in postwar America and the emergence of the new right. Electoral maps provide in-depth analyses of presidential elections since the 1960s.

Eisenhower and the Politics of the 1950s
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
This selection of primary sources gives students an opportunity to examine different layers of dissent during the Eisenhower presidency. Although President Eisenhower enjoyed great public support, his administration was challenged by problems at home and abroad.

Homogenized Society and Conformity
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
This carefully crafted selection of primary sources will allow students to weigh the multiplicity of factors that influenced American culture in the 1950s, such as the Cold War, government policies, legislation, corporations, and television. Students can focus on the extent to which consensus and conformity dominated relations among or within various social groups.

The Civil-Rights Movement
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The civil-rights movement shifted from nonviolent civil disobedience to "black power." The rich selection of primary sources will help students explore the philosophies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, the differences between the African American experience in the North and in the South, the role of government and political institutions, as well as global movements against imperialism.

Brown v. Board of Education: The Results of Segregation
Resource Type: Primary Source
This landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954 declared the segregation of black and white children in American public schools to be unconstitutional.

To Fulfill These Rights
Resource Type: Primary Source
President Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908–73) made this landmark speech to students at Howard University in Washington, D.C., a historically black institution, to outline the Great Society program.

The Counterculture
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Although the decade of the 1950s deserves its reputation as an age of political, social, and cultural conformity, seeds of social discontent nevertheless permeated American society. This carefully crafted DBQ focuses on the intellectual and artisitic critics of the affluent society, as well as the origins of the women's and civil-rights movements.

Levitt On Communism and Home Ownership
Resource Type: Primary Source
As the first community of its kind, Levittown, New York, located 25 miles east of Manhattan on Long Island, heralded the postwar arrival of suburban America with its mass-produced housing. William Levitt is quoted as saying the following.

I Am Waiting
Resource Type: Primary Source
One of the beat poets, Ferlinghetti captures an alternative perspective on life in postwar America in this poem.

Levittown, New York
Resource Type: Primary Source
As the first community of its kind, Levittown, New York, located 25 miles east of Manhattan on Long Island, heralded the postwar arrival of suburban America with its hundreds of acres of mass-produced housing.

Woolworth Counter Strike
Resource Type: Primary Source
In 1960, students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College, a historically black institution, defied segregation by sitting at the luncheon counter of the F.W. Woolworth store in Greensboro.

The Feminine Mystique
Resource Type: Primary Source
Founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Betty Friedan wrote this influential treatise critiquing the loneliness and dissatisfaction felt by many suburban housewives in postwar America.

Slavery a Positive Good
Resource Type: Primary Source
John C. Calhoun was vice president of the United States (1825-32) and U.S. senator from South Carolina for most of the period from 1832 to 1850.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Resource Type: Primary Source
By 1858, the former slave Harriet Jacobs had finished her autobiography, which was later edited by the famous abolitionist, Lydia Maria Child.

Illustrations of the Pro-Slavery Argument
Resource Type: Primary Source
These illustrations support the institution of slavery. Why?

Frederick Douglass and his Mother
Resource Type: Primary Source
Frederick Douglass's autobiography is considered one of the classic slave narratives and was written for the abolitionist cause.

Conditions of Slaves vs. Free Laborers
Resource Type: Primary Source
Historians consider George Fitzhugh (1806–81) as one of the most eloquent, influential, and popular spokespersons for slavery.

Frederick Douglass Describes a Whipping
Resource Type: Primary Source
Radical abolitionists sought to document their claims about the horrors of slavery.

Capitalism, Slavery, and Free Labor
Resource Type: Primary Source
Apologists for slavery, like George Fitzhugh, often argued that the investment in slaves positively influenced the way slaveowners treated them.

The "Mudsill" Theory
Resource Type: Primary Source
Senator James Henry Hammond explains that every society is based on the exploitation of a lower class. To Hammond, the pursuit of civilization is impossible without a class to do the drudge work.

Lincoln on Striking Shoemakers
Resource Type: Primary Source
During the presidential campaign in 1860, Abraham Lincoln traveled to New England and gave the following speech related to the famous strike of shoemakers in Lynn, Massachusetts. The newspaper that reprinted the speech indicated the audience's reaction in the bracketed information, provided in the excerpt below.

African Americans and the Civil War
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
This rich variety of primary sources allows students to evaluate the role and historical agency of African Americans. When W. E. B. DuBois wrote Black Reconstruction in America (1935), he quoted a contemporary historian who gave no credit to African Americans for the freedom they won. These documents provide evidence of the roles African Americans played in the history of the Civil War and the larger history of their fight for freedom and equality.

Recruiting Poster
Resource Type: Primary Source
President Abraham Lincoln did not endorse the active recruitment of free African Americans into the Union army until 1863.

African American Soldiers
Resource Type: Primary Source
This was one of many battles in which the new African American troops distinguished themselves.

African American Troops Liberating Slaves
Resource Type: Primary Source
As the African American presence in the Northern war effort increased, so did the chances of freeing slaves from Southern plantations.

A Man Knows a Man
Resource Type: Primary Source
Military service, especially in battle, was often seen as a rite of passage that turned boys into men. Physical scarring or maiming served as the visible symbol of manhood tested and earned through combat.

Freedom Petition of Massachusetts Slaves
Resource Type: Primary Source
Four slaves submitted this letter to the provincial legislature in Massachusetts on April 20, 1773.

First Continental Congress Declaration and Resolves
Resource Type: Primary Source
Representatives of twelve of the thirteen original colonies met in Philadelphia in September and October of 1774 to develop a common response to the Coercive (Intolerable) Acts.

Common Sense
Resource Type: Primary Source
Thomas Paine (1737–1809) was born in England and emigrated to the colonies in 1774. In Common Sense, Paine articulates his argument for independence.

Abigail Adams to John Adams
Resource Type: Primary Source
In 1776, Abigail Adams wrote a letter to her husband, John Adams, who was then attending the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

Manumission of Slaves in North Carolina
Resource Type: Primary Source
In the wake of the Revolution, many Southern states liberalized their provisions for manumission. By 1790, slaveholders could manumit their slaves throughout the South, except in North Carolina.

The Declaration of Independence
Resource Type: Primary Source
In the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress asserted American independence from Britain and justified its decision to do so by citing a series of alleged violations of American rights.

Memoirs of Captain Alexander Graydon
Resource Type: Primary Source
Alexander Graydon (1752–1818), a captain in the Continental army, recounted the problems he encountered as he recruited men to fight the war, and he commented on the meaning of the Revolution.

A Whig Freeholder on Emancipation
Resource Type: Primary Source
Pennsylvania, like many of the Northern states, established gradual emancipation.

Rewards for Revolutionary War Veterans
Resource Type: Primary Source
North Carolina, like other states, rewarded veterans of the American Revolution with the granting of land and slaves.

The Constitution and Slavery
Resource Type: Primary Source
The Constitution's clauses relating to slavery did not mention the word "slavery.”

Benjamin Rush on the Confederation
Resource Type: Primary Source
Benjamin Rush (c. 1745–1813) was an American physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He served as a member of the Continental Congress (1776–77) and for a time in the Continental army; he was also a member of the Pennsylvania convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution.

Jefferson on Slavery
Resource Type: Primary Source
Jefferson questioned the effects of slavery and slaveholding, and foretold its end.

Otis on the Rights of the British Colonies
Resource Type: Primary Source
James Otis (1725–83) was a political activist during the period leading up to the American Revolution. In pamphlets, he articulated grievances against the British government.

Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death
Resource Type: Primary Source
At the second Virginia Convention, on March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry (1736–99) delivered this speech in which he argued that war with Great Britain was inevitable.

Lord Dunmore's Call to Slaves
Resource Type: Primary Source
In November 1775, Lord Dunmore called on slaves to desert their masters and join the British army.

Vermont's Constitution, 1777
Resource Type: Primary Source
The 1777 Vermont constitution included a clause that allowed for gradual emancipation.

Freedom Petition of New Hampshire Slaves
Resource Type: Primary Source
During the revolutionary era, many slaves petitioned colonial or state legislatures for their freedom and filed freedom suits, such as the one submitted by Nero Brewster, a slave, in Portsmouth on November 12, 1779.

An Act for Enfranchising Ned Griffin
Resource Type: Primary Source
In the wake of the Revolution, many Southern states liberalized their provisions for manumission. This came to an end between 1810 and 1820, as Southern lawmakers restricted, and in some cases barred, manumission.

Manumission of Slaves in Maryland
Resource Type: Primary Source
In the wake of the Revolution, many Southern states liberalized their provisions for manumission. This period of liberalized manumission came to an end between 1810 and 1820.

Jefferson on Emancipation
Resource Type: Primary Source
Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), in this letter to Edward Coles (1786–1868), maintained that emancipation was a task for the younger generation.

The Environmental Movements
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The larger issues of western expansion, industrialization, urbanization, and progressivism are explored in this DBQ on the environmental movements that arose at the end of the nineteenth century.

Tenement Slum
Resource Type: Primary Source
Jacob Riis, a reporter for the New York Sun newspaper, helped raise awareness about the conditions of the urban poor with his 1890 publication, How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York. This book would later influence Theodore Roosevelt.

Why the Farmers Revolted
Resource Type: Primary Source
This article appeared in the magazine Forum in 1893, during a time when many American farmers were facing great distress.

Railroad Ad
Resource Type: Primary Source
This Northern Pacific Railroad advertisement appeared in a 1900 issue of Harper's Weekly. The advertisement promotes travel to Yellowstone National Park.

Women and the Progressive Era
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The discussion of women at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century is often separated into different chapters and topics. This DBQ asks students to combine what they have learned about American society and about the changing roles and perceptions of women to evaluate the women's movement during the Progressive Era.

The Yellow Wall Paper
Resource Type: Primary Source
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a well-educated American woman who became depressed after her marriage in 1884. Diagnosed with neurasthenia and prescribed the "rest-cure,"she later wrote about her experience in The Yellow Wall Paper, published in 1899.

Twenty Years at Hull House
Resource Type: Primary Source
Jane Addams, a leading social worker during the Progressive Era, founded the Hull House settlement for immigrants in Chicago in 1889. She wrote about her experiences there in Twenty Years at Hull House, published in 1910.

Letter of a Woman Homesteader
Resource Type: Primary Source
Elinore Pruitt Stewart was one of many female homesteaders. In 1914, her letters were published in Letters of a Woman Homesteader. One letter, dated October 14, 1911, is reproduced below.

Margaret Sanger on Working Women
Resource Type: Primary Source
Margaret Sanger became nationally famous for organizing a birth-control movement. In this 1915 issue of the International Socialist Review, Sanger discusses working women.

The Rebel Girl
Resource Type: Primary Source
Joe Hill, lyricist and labor activist, wrote songs for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), including this tribute to the women involved in the IWW.

Scientific Advances and Thinking
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
By the late-nineteenth century, science and scientific thought influenced American intellectual life and culture. The documents attached to this DBQ allow students to assess how the achievements of science were both admired and feared.

Mrs. Marion Crocker on the Conservation Imperative
Resource Type: Primary Source
Mrs. Marion Crocker of the General Federation of Women's Clubs wholeheartedly endorsed the conservation movement, and the scientific basis on which it stood, in this 1912 speech to the Fourth Annual Conservation Congress.

Board of Indian Commissioner Report
Resource Type: Primary Source
In this 1905 “Board of Indian Commissioner Report,” the federal government outlines its Indian policy.

Southern Society: Religion and Slavery
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Using this DBQ, students will examine the paradoxical role of religion in the lives of slaves in the antebellum South. Different kinds of religion are explored as students confront the ways in which religion served to liberate or to oppress slaves.

Equiano: A Slave's Autobiography
Resource Type: Primary Source
Olaudah Equiano was enslaved as a child after he and his sister were kidnapped in Africa. His autobiography offers a rare comparison of African and American cultures.

Prosser's Rebellion
Resource Type: Primary Source
Ben, alias Ben Woolfolk, was an accomplice of Gabriel Prosser, an American slave who planned a major slave uprising in the United States on August 30, 1800. The following is an excerpt from Ben's confession, which led to his pardon.

A Slave Account
Resource Type: Primary Source
Henry Bibb was born a slave in Kentucky in 1815. He escaped to Canada in 1837 and subsequently wrote an account of his experiences.

A Slave Funeral
Resource Type: Primary Source
Charles Ball was a slave in western Maryland. In the following excerpt, he describes a slave funeral.

Religious Instruction for Slaves
Resource Type: Primary Source
Peter Randolph was a former slave and a minister at the Old African Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. In the following excerpt, he describes religious instruction for slaves.

Ex-Slave Becomes a Preacher
Resource Type: Primary Source
Members of the New Deal’s Federal Writers’ Project interviewed former slaves during 1936–38. The misspellings respect the speech and regional dialect of the ex-slaves. Anderson Edwards, born in Texas on March 12, 1844, recounts his experience as a preacher.

Ex-Slave Discusses Religion
Resource Type: Primary Source
Members of the New Deal’s Federal Writers’ Project interviewed former slaves during 1936–38. The misspellings respect the speech and regional dialect of the ex-slaves. Orleans Finger, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, c. 1858, described his faith in God.

Family Worship on a Plantation
Resource Type: Primary Source
This picture illustrates a family worshiping on a plantation in South Carolina. Note the African American preacher and both black and white worshipers.

Master Going to Sell Us Tomorrow
Resource Type: Primary Source
Spirituals were sung by slaves, mostly outside of churches. They reflected the values and experiences of African Americans.

Go Down Moses
Resource Type: Primary Source
Many spirituals compared African American slaves to the ancient Hebrew slaves depicted in the Bible, who eventually gained their freedom.

The Master-Slave Relationship
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The recent scholarship on slavery explores the complex relationship between master and slave and re-examines the historical agency of slaves. In reading the slave narratives provided in this DBQ, students can assess how slaves tried to retain their dignity in the worst of circumstances.

Slave–Sale Broadside
Resource Type: Primary Source
A slaveowner advertises his slaves as valuable commodities, identifying each slave.

Letter from a Fugitive Slave
Resource Type: Primary Source
In this letter, escaped slave Anthony Chase explains to his former master Jeremiah Hoffman why he has run away.

Ran Away
Resource Type: Primary Source
This broadside promised a reward for the return of a fugitive slave.

Shackles
Resource Type: Primary Source
These iron leg shackles are typical of those used on Southern plantations in the mid-1800s to restrain slaves when they were being moved from one location to another and to punish slaves who attempted escape.

Frederick Douglass on Slavery
Resource Type: Primary Source
Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who gained fame as an orator and a writer promoting the cause of abolition. He wrote the following testimonial to the demoralizing effects of slavery in his autobiography.

Dred Scott Decision
Resource Type: Primary Source
The following excerpt is from the majority decision in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford. Written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, it addresses the question of African American citizenship and slavery in the territories.

Testimony of a Female Slave
Resource Type: Primary Source
Harriet A. Jacobs recounts the unique struggles of female slaves in her autobiography, which was later edited by the famous abolitionist, Lydia Maria Child.

Experiences of Female Slaves
Resource Type: Primary Source
The following excerpt is from the narrative of a former slave who lived on a small farm in Tennessee.

Masters and Slaves
Resource Type: Primary Source
Members of the New Deal’s Federal Writers’ Project interviewed former slaves during 1936–38. The misspellings respect the speech and regional dialect of the ex-slaves. Mother Ann Clark, born June 1, 1825, was a slave in Louisiana. She describes the ruthlessness of her master.

Slaves Picking Cotton
Resource Type: Primary Source
In this illustration, slaves are shown picking cotton while overseers watch from horseback.

Economic Prosperity in the 1950s in the United States
Resource Type: Teaching Activity
The purpose of this classroom activity on economic prosperity in the 1950s is to analyze the forces that have paradoxically led to a cultural homogeneity, on the one hand, and to a contesting of cultural conformity, on the other. The role of television is closely examined in terms of how it helped to shape public perceptions—sometimes reinforcing a sense of unity, at other times sowing the seeds of discord.

A New Masculinity
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
Historians are grappling with the changing definitions of American male identity that developed at the end of the nineteenth century. Casey Blake argues that American men were looking for ways to "compensate" for what they regarded as the feminine elements of modern life, particularly those brought about by rapid urbanization and industrialization. In response, a new definition of manhood, what Blake terms "aggressive male individualism," emerged. A teacher examines the interpretations of Gail Bederman and Susan Curtis.

Science and Religion
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
Casey Blake argues that Americans in the late nineteenth century were excited about new scientific developments but were also somewhat fearful—or at least ambivalent—about how science might alter religious and moral values. Historians differ on the nature and extent of the tension between religious faith and a scientific approach to knowledge, which Americans sought to resolve. A teacher examines the subtleties of Charles Rosenberg, James Turner, and Paul Croce.

Social Darwinism
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
The doctrine of Social Darwinism was historically interpreted in a variety of ways, and as such it was used to defend a host of ideological perspectives, which in some cases conflicted with one another. A teacher examines the competing interpretations of Richard Hofstadter, Robert Bannister, and Mike Hawkins.

Women and Social Reform
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this simulation, students will be assigned the role of a prominent, late-nineteenth-century, middle-class American woman. The goal is to understand the changing perceptions and roles of women in Progressive-era America, as they took on leadership roles in a variety of associational groups such as the YWCA and the Red Cross.

Social Darwinism
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
This simulation captures American society in 1900 and presents a fictional meeting of educators. In their respective roles, students will debate the ways in which educational reform can improve American society. Students will understand how different strands of social-Darwinist thought informed American life, culture, and politics, imposing a legacy which continues to affect American education as well as the larger society.

Compromise Between the North and South
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this dramatic simulation students will explore the possibility of an eleventh-hour compromise between the North and the South on the eve of the Civil War (1861–65). Students will understand how mounting tensions in the 1850s eventually led to the outbreak of war.

Decisions of Slaves to Leave the Plantation: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this simulation students will examine the very complex decision that slaves faced regarding whether to leave the plantations in the early years of the Civil War and whether to join the Union forces. Students will understand how a single decision gravely affected the lives of slaves, their families, the outcome of the war, and even the period of Reconstruction.

The American Revolution and Slavery
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The revolutionary era (1775–89) gave birth to contradictory definitions of freedom and equality. For some, freedom and equality entailed the right to property, including slave property. For others, freedom and equality implied universal entitlements that applied to all individuals, including slaves. This DBQ offers students the opportunity to debate these contradictory definitions by analyzing the definition of freedom each author uses in the provided documents.

The Frontier in American History
Resource Type: Primary Source
After the 1890 census, the historian Frederick Jackson Turner wrote an essay on the role of the American frontier in shaping the American character.

Roosevelt on Physical Health
Resource Type: Primary Source
The future president, Theodore Roosevelt, discusses the importance of physical health and strength for American males.

Reclamation Act / Newlands Act of 1902
Resource Type: Primary Source
The Reclamation Act / Newlands Act of 1902 allowed the government to undertake irrigation projects to establish farms for relief of urban congestion. The bill was named for its author, Francis Griffith Newlands, Democratic Representative from Nevada. The Reclamation Service, created in July 1902, was established a month later and eventually became the Bureau of Reclamation.

Roosevelt on the Conservation Movement
Resource Type: Primary Source
In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt explained in a speech to Congress the purpose of the Conservation Movement and how the government would seek to implement its goals.

Petition for Reservoir Rights
Resource Type: Primary Source
San Francisco petitioned Congress for use of the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite National Park for reservoir rights. The petition was presented at the congressional hearing before the Committee on the Public Lands of the House of Representatives.

The New World: Origins of Slavery
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The following primary sources, focusing on Bacon's Rebellion, help students understand the condition of freemen and indentured servants on the eve of the revolt and how colonial legislation helped institutionalize slavery in the southern colonies.

Colonial Society and Economy
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Colonial society (Virginia in particular) changed from a society with slaves to a slave society, where slavery was the foundation of the economic and social order. This selection of primary sources allows students to understand how commerce and agricultural production caused slavery to replace indentured servitude in the southern colonies and to create new forms of wealth.

Bacon's Rebellion: Colonial Society and Politics
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this simulation, which focuses on Bacon's Rebellion, students will recreate colonial society with a view to understanding how the legal and economic infrastructure of the colonies facilitated the development of slavery.

The American Revolution and the Meaning of Equality
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this simulation, which recreates the Revolutionary era, students are asked to probe and debate the contemporary meanings of freedom and equality. They will examine the defining principles of the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution, with a view toward understanding their impact on American political institutions and thought.

Middle-Class America and Its Discontents
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
This simulation asks students to place themselves in a Greenwich Village coffeehouse on the eve of the 1960s. Replicating a broad spectrum of American society, from conservatives to counterculture critics, students will understand how the fifties represented an era of consensus that paradoxically carried the seeds of protest that would fuel the rebellion of the sixties.

Industrialization and Sectionalism
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this simulation, which examines the economic expansion and industrialization of the United States, students confront the increasing economic interdependence of the North and the South. The menacing tensions between the social and cultural realities of the two regions will be examined as students come to understand the many causes of the Civil War (1861–1865).

Mapping Early New York City
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this innovative simulation students learn the skills of mapping. Although focused here on the early history of New York City, these skills can be applied to any urban center in any time period.

Moot Court: Central Park on Trial
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
This simulation, a moot court, engages students in social and moral reform. By exploring how nineteeth-century social and political elites dispossessed various groups such as African Americans in order to build Central Park, students will understand how the present-day problems of gentrification and urban renewal have their roots in nineteeth-century reform.

The Suburbs: Homogenity
Resource Type: Primary Source
Aerial view of Levittown, N.Y.

The Suburbs: Homogenity
Resource Type: Primary Source
Ad for Levittown, N.Y.

The Suburbs: Conformity and Isolation
Resource Type: Primary Source
Families move into Levittown, N.Y.

The Suburbs: Conformity and Isolation
Resource Type: Primary Source
Cape Cod–style houses in Levittown, N.Y.

Environmental Critique
Resource Type: Primary Source
Rachel Carson, author and environmentalist, at her typewriter (1952).

Environmental Critique: DDT
Resource Type: Primary Source
Farmer sprays DDT pesticide on trees (1948).

Environmental Critique: DDT
Resource Type: Primary Source
Cover of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962), which exposed data on the harmful effects of DDT and other chemical pesticides.

Poverty: Structural Poverty
Resource Type: Primary Source
Slums in Appalachia.

Poverty: Structural Poverty
Resource Type: Primary Source
Boy amid demolished slums, New York City (1961).

Poverty: Structural Poverty
Resource Type: Primary Source
Man looks out over slums in Detroit.

Poverty: Structural Poverty
Resource Type: Primary Source
Slums, Omaha, Nebraska.

Poverty: Structural Poverty
Resource Type: Primary Source
Girl in a slum area of Washington, D.C.

Conclusion
Resource Type: Primary Source
Street in the Bronx, New York City (1990).

Fire
Resource Type: Primary Source
The Great Fire of 1835.

Disasters
Resource Type: Primary Source
Wreck of the steamboat General Slocum (June 15, 1904).

Disasters
Resource Type: Primary Source
The charred facade of Happyland social club (1990).

Water
Resource Type: Primary Source
The earth appears blue because so much of it is water.

Water
Resource Type: Primary Source
The earth appears blue because so much of it is water.

Cities Deal with Water
Resource Type: Primary Source
New York from the air (c. 2001).

Cities Deal with Water
Resource Type: Primary Source
Fairmount waterworks, Philadelphia (1874).

Wealth in Water
Resource Type: Primary Source
New York watershed map.

Wealth in Water
Resource Type: Primary Source
Water-main break in New York (1998).

The History of the City of New York—E-Seminar 4, Urban Crisis: Disease, Crime, and Space
Resource Type: E-Seminar
In this fourth in a series of eight e-seminars, Professor Kenneth T. Jackson, examines public space in New York and focuses on the creation of Central Park. He also discusses the creation of the Metropolitan Board of Health, the implementation of health and sanitary regulations as a response to outbreaks of cholera, and the founding of the New York City Police Department.

Parks
Resource Type: Primary Source
Arlington National Cemetery.

Parks
Resource Type: Primary Source
Arlington National Cemetery.

Central Park
Resource Type: Primary Source
To activist Jane Jacobs, the designed impenetrability of Central Park was problematic.

Public Health
Resource Type: Primary Source
Densely inhabited slums in New York City facilitated the spread of cholera.


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Historical thinking 

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