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NCSS-4

Individual Development and Identity


Resources:

Cultural Revolutions
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
A Redefinition of the Self: Free Expression
A Redefinition of the Self: Puritanism and Hedonism Combined
Revolution

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

Relevant interactive tools:
Why Ken Jackson Almost Starved While Rraveling Abroad
Why Ken Jackson Almost Starved While Rraveling Abroad

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

The Stable Fifties
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Abundance: Defining the Middle Class
Television: Sitcoms
The Suburbs: Homogenity
The Suburbs: Conformity and Isolation

The Subversive Fifties
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Disillusionment
Feminism
Feminism: Two Different Spheres

Relevant transcripts:
The feminine mystique.
Whose fault was it?

The Old South
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Slave Life and Culture: Slave Communities

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.

Debating the Legacy of the 1960s
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this simulation of a television talk show, students are required to assume the roles of present-day talk-show moderators as well as of individuals active during the 1960s. The students are to debate, in character, the legacy of the 1960s—the impact it has had on American politics and society up to the present day.

Primary Source Analysis: Protest Music
Resource Type: Teaching Activity

Primary Source Analysis: The Sixties
Resource Type: Teaching Activity

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

The Vietnam War: The Home Front
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
In his e-seminar Kennedy, Johnson and the Great Society, Alan Brinkley offers a measured assessment of the Great Society and, in particular, of the War on Poverty. He rejects the radical contention that the War on Poverty was a political response to social turmoil and mass pressure. He observes that, on the contrary, the Great Society was an elite initiative crafted by liberal policymakers who were confident about the future. But Professor Brinkley disputes the conservative contention that the War on Poverty was an unmitigated failure. He notes that poverty declined significantly between 1960 and 1970, particularly among the elderly, and asserts that, while the expansion of the American economy during that period contributed to that trend, Head Start, food stamps, Medicare, and other government programs also contributed much.

Student Information Given to Federal Investigators
Resource Type: Primary Source
This article in the Columbia University student newspaper reports that the dean of students provided federal investigators with information about students who had attended the university.

The Organization Man
Resource Type: Primary Source
William Whyte discusses the institutionalized and bureaucratized aspects of life in America.

Coming of Age in Mississippi
Resource Type: Primary Source
Moody reveals her experience of wandering into the white section of the local theater; she realizes, after the incident, that "whiteness" provided her friends with a different life.

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.

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.

Chocolate City
Resource Type: Primary Source
The militant black-power phase of the civil-rights movement had its musical corollary in the rise of funk, an urban, gritty genre most often associated in the late 1960s with James Brown (1928– ) and Sly and the Family Stone. The band Parliament burst onto the national scene in the mid-1970s.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Striking Shirtwaist-Makers Selling Socialist Newspaper
Resource Type: Primary Source
Many Jewish women were very involved in labor and socialist movements, as seen in this 1910 photograph of striking shirtwaist-makers selling copies of The Call, the New York socialist daily.

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.

The First Loan Fund Recipient
Resource Type: Primary Source
Frances Johnson was the first recipient of a college loan from a branch of the American Association of University Women. This enabled her to attend Cornell University. She is discussed in the minutes of the branch, published in 1925.

Marriage Rates of Alumnae
Resource Type: Primary Source
This table shows the marriage rates of women who graduated from a variety of American colleges during the period of 1820–1930.

Growth of Woman's Christian Temperance Union
Resource Type: Primary Source
This 1959 chart shows the growth in membership of women involved in the movement to prohibit the consumption of alcohol.

Sanger on Mammals
Resource Type: Primary Source
Margaret Sanger became a nationally famous social reformer. Here she teaches children about mammals.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Account of a Former Slave
Resource Type: Primary Source
In his 1846 autobiographical account, Lewis Clarke, a former slave, answers questions about the manner in which he lived before he gained his freedom in 1841.

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.

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.

Young Generation's Response to Victorian Culture
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
Casey Blake explains why the generation of educated Americans that came of age during the 1880s and 1890s rejected the Victorian culture of their parents, which focused on maintaining rigid control and creating an order to life. A teacher examines competing interpretations and finds that historian George Cotkin does not regard the break from Victorian culture as having been as dramatic as Blake and Lewis Erenberg insist.

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 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).

Abundance: The American Middle Class
Resource Type: Primary Source
Scene of typical middle-American life.

The Suburbs: Conformity and Isolation
Resource Type: Primary Source
Ad describes the rush by veterans to buy homes in Levittown, N.Y.

The Suburbs: Conformity and Isolation
Resource Type: Primary Source
Customers wait in line to buy houses in Levittown, N.Y.

The Suburbs: Conformity and Isolation
Resource Type: Primary Source
Welcome wagon offers gifts from local merchants to new arrivals in Levittown, N.Y.

The Suburbs: Conformity and Isolation
Resource Type: Primary Source
Dance rehearsal in Levittown, N.Y. (1950).

The Suburbs: Conformity and Isolation
Resource Type: Primary Source
Square dancers celebrate Levittown's 10th anniversary.

Feminism
Resource Type: Primary Source
Cover of a 1964 paperback edition of The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. This book was first published in 1963.

Feminism: Two Different Spheres
Resource Type: Primary Source
Woman works in her victory garden in Washington, D.C., during World War II.

Feminism: Two Different Spheres
Resource Type: Primary Source
Women war worker with child, World War II.

Disasters
Resource Type: Primary Source
Shrine to victims of the World Trade Center disaster, Union Square, New York City (2001).


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