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.
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.
Beginning in the 1870s, America underwent a second industrial revolution driven by the metal industries. For the worker, opportunities abounded; the United States experienced a massive migration from country to city, while immigrant workers flocked to America from Eastern and Southern Europe. As industrial wealth grew, so did class divisions and class unrest. In this period, a succession of organizations sought to mobilize workers according to a variety of ideologies and structures.
A model district-determined measure for 7th grade Geography, developed by the Collaborative in 2015 for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. A pre-assessment utilizes documents on the building of the Quabbin Dam in Central Massachusetts in the 1930s. The post-assessment utilizes documents on the building of the Aswan Dam in Egypt in the 1960s. Students use graphic organizers to prepare and then write a short essay on the costs and benefits of large water management projects.
Geography DDM Directions:
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed for the capture and return of runaway slaves. Northerner legislatures passed laws in an attempt to reduce the impact of the FSA and how the work of the Underground Railroad (UGRR) was impacted. Students will learn how the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (FSA) changed perspectives of Northerners and the ultimate destination of the fugitives themselves. Students will learn background knowledge and vocabulary about the Underground Railroad in the United States.
Incarceration in a variety of contexts and settings has been deeply ingrained in American society for centuries. The experience and processes of incarceration takes many forms including criminal detention, imprisonment in wartime, and immigration detainment. This primary source set contains a range of items tracing the history of incarceration in the United States and includes images, maps, political cartoons, and reports–all from the digital collections of the Library of Congress.
During the American Industrial Revolution the lives of individual citizens, as well as the overall structure of society, underwent a fundamental transformation. Some of these changes included: the pace of work, the availability and quality of goods and products, the development of complex urban centers, the introduction of technological advancements, and the implementation of a fast and reliable transportation network.
The Industrial Revolution sparked remarkable and permanent changes in the United States. The tremendous increase in the availability and variety of manufactured goods combined with the massive need for factories and workers to revolutionize American society generated a profound impact on American society. The following set offers a rich range of primary sources, exploring these changes and the extent of their impacts on workers, homes, communities, and the environment.
The following primary source set explores documents depicting life and events during the Cold War Era. A few topics, such as Civil Rights, have been organized by the Library of Congress to readily offer many primary sources online. Sections below will reference those resources. The CES primary source set draws upon diverse collections to offer a few high quality illustrations for discussion and to prompt inquiry.
The Library of Congress holds the best collection of primary sources anywhere on the Civil War and Reconstruction. (See especially the exhibitions under “d” below.) Therefore, the great challenge is to choose the most significant yet engaging and classroom-friendly from among hundreds of thousands of photos, drawings, newspaper articles, speeches, maps, and songs. Each item in this set focuses on a vital point in the conflict and its aftermath. Each item offers clear and meaningful opportunity for students to dig deeper.