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Disability History

The following primary source set, created using materials from the Library of Congress, contains a vast array of sources focused on Disability History in the United States. Disability has been interwoven into America’s history since the country’s inception through letters, images, newspapers, diaries and other primary sources. The set provides a comprehensive look into a wide range of Library of Congress resources.

Immigration

The massive influx of immigrants to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries shaped American society both at the time and indefinitely. The following primary source set explores materials organized for the Collaborative for Educational Services and by the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress has crafted a vast number of primary source sets, interactive presentations, and collections to showcase the tremendous volume of materials on the subject.

Mapping Springfield’s Industrial Growth

The following lesson on the industrial growth of Springfield, Massachusetts during the 19th century was created during the National Endowment for Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop – Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry, in the summer of 2015. Utilizing both primary and secondary source materials students will explore the industrial transformation of the Pioneer Valley during the early 19th century.

Technological Innovation and Change in the Connecticut River Valley in the Antebellum Era

A research unit and project developed during the National Endowment for Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop – Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry, in the summer of 2015, the following five-day lesson plan and subsequent independent student study, contains a comprehensive companion site to drive student learning and engagement. Instruction and research center around the development of technologies that shaped the American Industrial Revolution during the Antebellum Era in the Connecticut River Valley.

WWI on the Home Front: Women in the Workplace

Produced during the National Endowment for Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop – Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry, in the summer of 2015, the following lesson plan explores the domestic role of Women during World War I. Through the careful examination of Library of Congress primary source documents and secondary source materials, students will understand the social, economic, and political impact WWI had on women and vice versa.

What Do Trains Do? Exploring Local History through Maps

Using familiar imagery of trains, young students can begin to make foundational connections to geography and history using primary sources. Kindergarten students will make a first exploration of local history through early railroad maps from the Library of Congress. This lesson addresses Kindergarten Common Core State Standards and several Massachusetts Social Studies standards and skills. centered around maps. The culminating activity has students create and modify their own town maps to include symbols, cardinal directions, labels, a key, etc.

Boston, Then and Now: Change in the Urban Environment

Boston Public Schools teachers collaborated on this lesson to engage students with the sweep of American industrial and urban history. Due to Boston’s breathtaking changes in landscape, including the filling of much of Boston Harbor to create neighborhoods–the city offers a dramatic case study of change across the ages. Emerging America brings this lesson to you thanks to the outstanding map resources of the Library of Congress. Aligned to Common Core and Massachusetts State History standards

Modern America: American War in Vietnam: Multiple Perspectives on the U.S. War in Vietnam

American involvement in the Vietnam War was one of the most polarizing issues of 20th century American history. Many supported the conflict, claiming that a victory for communism would destabilize the entire region. Others argued that United States policy towards Vietnam was an illegitimate and unnecessary use of American power that led to an unconscionable loss of American and Vietnamese life. The following primary source set contains primary and secondary source documents accompanied by annotations and questions, classroom activities, and relevant standards.

New Nation: Westward Expansion: How the West Became American

The story of the American West is the story of the meeting of French fur traders and a variety of Indian communities, of American settlers and soldiers and Mexican families, of black miners and Chinese laborers. The creation of the continental United States was made possible through the acquisition of vast tracts of land that were not, contrary to the opinions of many, simply an empty wilderness. Thus, the history of westward expansion is a history of accommodation and adaptation, of conquest and colonialism.

Modern America: Urban America: The American City in the 20th Century

America’s self image, forged in the era of Thomas Jefferson’s yeoman farmers, is of a rural nation. The great landscape of the West often dominates popular culture and Americans imagine themselves as independent and self-sufficient, shaped by the western frontier. Yet there is also a long urban tradition in the United States that has equally shaped the development of American culture. The rise of the great metropolis in the late 19th century was due to the existence of enormous wealth in the cities, built upon industrialism and immigration.

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