Social History for Every Classroom

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Social History for Every Classroom

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"Arrest of Stephen S. Hill" (with text supports)

As this newspaper announcement indicates, the status of slaves in California was unclear and fluid. Even though California was admitted as a free state to the Union in 1850, many southerners, claiming their stay was temporary, brought their slaves [...]

"Meeting of Colored Citizens" (with text supports)

At least 2,000 African Americans participated in the California Gold Rush. Though some were brought as slaves by southern masters, many were free northern blacks who migrated west with other Americans. African Americans, even free citizens, however, [...]

A Boardinghouse Keeper Describes “Toil and Fatigue” in the California Gold Rush (with text supports)

Mary Ballou and her husband ran a boarding house in a California gold mining town. Ballou’s letter to her son, written in 1852, evokes the rough housing, violence, and high prices (from which the Ballous profited) in California during the gold [...]

A White Californian Argues for Indian Indenture (with text supports)

White Californians complained that the new American government, which took over California after the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in May 1848, was not doing enough to control and regulate Indian labor. In the chaos of the Mexican War, many Indian [...]

A Senator Speaks in Support of Empire (short version with text supports)

In this 1900 speech to Congress, the Republican Senator from Indiana, Albert J. Beveridge, strongly calls for the United States to annex the Philippines.

William Jennings Bryan Speaks Out Against Imperialism (with text supports)

William Jennings Bryan was the Democratic party candidate for President in 1900. He opposed U.S. expansion into the Philippines and often criticized U.S. imperialism in his speeches during and after the 1900 campaign.

Black Workers Call for a March on Washington Worksheet

This worksheet helps students undertake a close reading and analysis of a pamphlet calling for a March on Washington in 1941.

John Parker Describes the Challenges of Running Away (with text supports)

John Parker was born in Virginia in 1827, and was the son of a wealthy white man and an enslaved woman. He spent the first 18 years of his life as a slave and earned a reputation as a troublemaker for regularly trying to escape. In 1845, he [...]

Differing Federal Responses to the Great Depression Close Reading Worksheet

This worksheet helps students undertake a close reading of letters from President Herbert Hoover and President Franklin Roosevelt and summarize their different ideas about the role of government during an economic crisis.

Timeline of Selected New Deal Legislation Close Reading Worksheet

This worksheet helps students undertake a close reading of a timeline of New Deal programs and write a paragraph explaining one of them.

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