Social History for Every Classroom

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Social History for Every Classroom

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"As it was in the old days"

Edward Curtis was a professional photographer of the American West. In 1906, the wealthy banker and art collector J.P. Morgan hired Curtis to produce a multi-volume series on Native Americans that would include essays, sound recordings, and 1500 [...]

Waiting for the Reduction of the Army

A massive labor strike in 1877 shook the very foundations of American politics and society. Starting with a spontaneous railroad strike in West Virginia, the “Great Uprising” spread rapidly across the country. In many cities, entire [...]

Federal Agents Hope to Change Indians' Attitudes about Land Ownership

Federal bureaucrats devised several methods to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream American values and culture. One strategy involved trying to change Native Americans' traditional sense of communally held land to a belief in individually [...]

A North Dakota Newspaper Proposes War Against Native Americans

White settlers found all sorts of ways to defend the destruction of Native American communities. The Manifest Destiny ideology held that Americans' westward march was sanctioned by God. Social Darwinists adopted the idea of "survival of the [...]

Native Americans Describe Traditional Views of Land Ownership

The Dawes Act of 1887 sought to assimilate Native Americans by, among other things, transforming their traditional uses and attitudes about land and land ownership to more mainstream American values of private ownership and settled farming. Some [...]

The Iron Horse vs. the Buffalo: Indian-Settler Conflict on the Great Plains

In this activity, students read a series of primary source documents, including the 1872 print "American Progress," that depict the social, political and cultural conflicts between settlers and Native Americans during the 19th century. Then, working [...]

How is History Recorded? The Lewis and Clark Journals and Lakota Winter Counts

In this activity, students read two primary documents from the early 1800s: a journal entry from the Lewis and Clark expedition and a Lakota Indian "winter count" calendar. Using an analysis worksheet, students identify key ideas and details from [...]


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