The dates most Americans remember July 4,for example work as shorthand for signal events. Change takes place across decades, but individual moments remind us what came before and how we got to where we are. So, with Americans celebrating their country at a time of widespread disagreement about what it stands for, TIME asked 25 acclaimed experts in U. Some of their picks are among the most famous days of the past centuries and others are far less famous, but all are relevant today.
The first successful voyage across the Pacific Ocean — from the Americas to Asia and back — occurred in and This epic passage established a transpacific link, and no other shipping route has been more successful or lasted longer.
Trade brought the continents together and created a seascape around the Pacific basin that included places like Acapulco, Manila and the coast of California. By the 18th and 19th centuries, American merchants built on these existing connections to launch their own commercial ventures into the Asia-Pacific region, a process that continues today — even as Washington engages in a trade war with China. Infollowing the discovery of gold on Cherokee land, the Georgia legislature passed a law extending its jurisdiction over the Cherokee Nation and allowing state surveyors to assess and divide land occupied by Cherokee people.
The land was then redistributed — with buildings intact — to white residents via a lottery system, driving Cherokee leaders and their white allies to bring suit against the U.
But, when the U. Supreme Court found that Georgia had no authority over the Cherokee government or its populace, President Andrew Jackson refused to enforce the decision. Rawley Prize in the history of race relations. Meigs, Ala. Meigs hospital was still being used to treat the black population there.
Read more about J. In the decades prior to the treaty, the U. In this way, it was not unlike other North American boundaries established by imperial powers without consultation from Indigenous groups.
Today, this region offers examples of successful co-occupancy that reflect the dynamic past. The U. The two countries are currently modernizing their agreement to reflect contemporary priorities. Meanwhile, during the last decade, the Colville Confederated Tribes of Washington state have successfully fought for recognition of ancestral subsistence rights in British Columbia, reinforcing Indigenous perseverance despite national borders. Through these practices, we witness continuity across the span of history.
On July 8th,defying Japanese restrictions on international traffic, Commodore Matthew Perry sailed his steam-powered ships into Edo Tokyo Bay, heavily armed and belching smoke. Other factors were already in play — he arrived amid the disintegration of the Tokugawa government and simultaneous European commercial overtures — and Perry approached Pacific diplomacy with arrogance and contempt.
His insistence that the Japanese trade with the United States hinged on a belief that international commerce was a marker of civilization.
He had no sense that military enforcement of this norm diminished its value, or that of the numerous American manufactures he brought as gifts. A missionary who accompanied the trip as an interpreter noted wanly that among those gifts, the six-shooters bestowed by Samuel Colt were likely to be particularly appreciated given their potential to repel foreign aggression.
Read more about U. When Abraham Lincoln dedicated a national cemetery for the soldiers who had died at Gettysburg, four months after that central battle of the American Civil War, he was not the principal speaker. Nothing else anchors the challenges of our present to the intentions of our past more clearly than the Gettysburg Address. Whatever else changes in American life, that proposition does not change; and holding it close is the best guarantee that democracy will endure.
Allen C. Guelzo is Henry R. He is the author of Reconstruction: A Concise History. Four years before the Supreme Court made segregation the law of the land in Plessy v. Ferguson, Ida B.InJames Madison and Thomas Jefferson discussed by letter the kinds of texts that should be required reading at the recently founded university in Virginia.
Download as PDF:. Get the E-book:. Purchase on Amazon:. Documents: Declaration of Independence. Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments. Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of Constitution of the United States. Brutus I. Federalist No. Brutus II. Sign Up. Speech on Amendments to the Constitution. Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport. Farewell Address First Inaugural Address Marbury v. Letter to John Holmes. Monroe Doctrine.
Letter to Henry Lee. Letter to Roger C. The Webster-Hayne Debates. Fort Hill Address. Proclamation Regarding Nullification. Speech on the Oregon Bill. Speech on the Repeal of the Missouri Compromise.
Dred Scott v. Fragment on the Constitution and Union. Final Emancipation Proclamation. Gettysburg Address. Resolution Submitting the Thirteenth Amendment to the States. Second Inaugural Address Oration in Memory of Abraham Lincoln. Plessy v. Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. New Nationalism Speech.Cities grew and American Industry grew with them. World War II was over and the American economy roared back. It was however the period that the Cold War began.
The Century began with the worse terror attack on US soil when twin planes crashed into the World Trade Centers in New York and a third plane crashed into the Pentagon. Explorers the Period when American was "discovered" by European discovers. Revolution The Colonies rose and revolted against the British and created a new nation. New Nation to A New Nation gets going a constitution is written and another war is fought.
Antebellum The Nations grow and extends to California, but it also divides as slavery continues to divide it. A Nation Divided Tensions over slavery grew to the point that once Lincoln was elected a Civil War became inevitable.
World Stage By the dawn of the century America was a world power and with President Theodore Roosevelt in office it started showing its power. The Twenties It was a short period in American history but that period between and left it marks.
Depression It was the worse depression in Amercian history and lasted from to Sixties Until a fateful day in November the Sixties were a period of hope and change, that changes as the Vietnam War began to dominate.
American The cold war came to and end, it looked like America could live in peace. America in the 21st Century The Century began with the worse terror attack on US soil when twin planes crashed into the World Trade Centers in New York and a third plane crashed into the Pentagon. Special Section on American History. Women Women in American history. From Colonial times to today.Click here for our printables that go with popular textbooks. Click here for our collection of general Social Studies printables that can be used in different classes, including United States History-American Studies.
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Forms for Teachers.This original imperialist European history of the French and English in North America was, and still is, one of the most popular in American history. Parkman helped set the early consensus history of the United States and in doing so through his voice and narrative, set the tone for the first generation of American history scholars. I believe Parkman had good intentions writing his work, when published in there were few, if any, professional historians and thus few written histories of the French and English in North America.
There was a need to document and unify a fractured republic off the heels of the Civil War.
Unpacking Trumpism In The Context Of American History
Parkman attempted to do this in his work, although now, one can see it was written through an imperialist vision with an anti-French and anti-Native bias. In doing so he echoes other early historians such as Frederick Turner and his Frontier thesis, the imperialist idea of civilization vs. For Turner on the expanding frontier, for Parkman, in the woodland wilderness of the North American northeast. This initial history is all that was needed for now professional historians, in the likes of Francis Jennings, to complicate and erode original narratives.
In when he would begin his work, the bicentennial of the American Revolution approached in the shadows of a Civil Rights movement that espoused new ideas of freedom. In his work he scolded early scholars of the Seven Years War such as Parkman for the mistreatment and non-treatment of sources to fit an imperialistic narrative. Jennings was happy to admit that as we all may have inherent biases, his hope was to continue the conversation for future historians, which he did.
With each generation of new scholars, new sources emerge as well. New secondary sources allow modern historians the ability to delve deeper into the wormhole of United States history. As opposed to Parkman, Anderson used an enormous amount of sources and notes to backup his work. So with this modern look at the Seven Years War, another opportunity arises to complicate a strain of the conflict and another chance to give a voice to the voiceless.
Historians job, as Anderson attempts to do, is to search out and acknowledge these biases while continuing to complicate and unpack our human history.
Agreed Parkman wrote with good intentions, and there were no professional standards he was expected to adhere to. The problem was that the baseline became the party line, established as truth rather than an interpretation subject to challenge and correction. Keep an eye out for sentence fragments. Your email address will not be published.
American History: Founding Principles, Civics, and Economics Unpacking Document
The Library of Congress has compiled a list of historic events for each day of the year, titled "This Day in History. The American History section of the Library of Congress is separated by time period or subject and offers an in-depth look at the history of the United States.
The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents in the history of the United States. The foundation of the American government, its purpose, form, and structure, are in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitutional Convention adopted the Constitution on September 17, The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. It guarantees greater constitutional protection for individual liberties and lists specific prohibitions on government power.
There are 27 Constitutional Amendments in all. You can view the original, parchment copy of the U. You can also view an online copy of the U.
Constitution or order a printed copy of the Constitution. The United States armed forces date towhen America needed a defense force to protect the original 13 colonies from a British invasion.
Today, there are five branches:. Military museums offer visitors insight into the history, defining moments, and current status of the branches of the U. Across the United States, military memorials and monuments commemorate wars, battles, and those who lived and served during those times.
Popular points of interest by each major war include:. Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They'll get you the answer or let you know where to find it. American Flag Branches of the U. Government Budget of the U. Government Data and Statistics about the U. Presidents, Vice Presidents, and First Ladies. American History Declaration of Independence U.Step into the shoes of a History Detective and tackle some of history's toughest mysteries.
These lesson plans guide students to evaluate conflicting evidence by:. Equip your students with foundational tools that will help them evaluate conflicting information for the rest of their lives.
Evaluating Conflicting Evidence: Sultana Weigh the merits of competing theories and come to a conclusion. Share : Have you created lessons around History Detectives? Do you have class investigations or student discoveries you wish to share? We always love to hear from you!
All rights reserved. History Detectives. These lesson plans guide students to evaluate conflicting evidence by: Sourcing: Who made this source? Where did it come from? Contextualizing: Imagine the setting surrounding this source: How was the world that made this source different than our own? Corroborating: What do other sources say about the information in this document?
Do they agree or disagree with what this document says? Close Reading: What does the document say? Is it biased? What is the tone? Document This How to examine old documents.