We the Teachers

Saturday Webinars: Martin Luther King, jr. vs. Malcolm X

 

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Drs. Chris Burkett, Peter Myers, and Lucas Morel discussed the different views and goals of Martin Luther King, jr. and Malcolm X in our latest Great American Debates series of Saturday Webinars.

Access the full archive here, and our podcast options below.

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Documents in Detail: Wilson’s Fourteen Points

 

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Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points laid out Wilson’s plan for not only a post-war world, but in many ways a new world order, in response to the destruction of World War 1. TAH scholars discuss the meaning of, context around, and impact of Wilson’s ideas in this one-hour webinar.

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Core American Documents: The Bill of Rights

 

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TeachingAmericanHistory.org is excited to share another resource for American history,  government, civics, and social studies teachers. While you may be familiar with our 50 Core American Documents book, we are launching a new 35-volume document collection.

This collection of documents on the American Founding inaugurates a new series of document collections from TeachingAmericanHistory.org.

Each Core American Document volume will contain the following:

  • Key documents on the period, theme, or institution, selected by an expert and reviewed by an editorial board
  • An introduction highlighting key documents and themes
  • A thematic table of contents, showing the connections between various documents
  • Study questions for each document, as well as questions that refer to other documents in the collection
  • Notes on each document to identify people, events, movements, or ideas to improve understanding of the document’s historical context.

When complete, the series will be comprehensive and authoritative, and will present America’s story in the words of those who wrote it – America’s presidents, labor leaders, farmers, philosophers, industrialists, politicians, workers, explorers, religious leaders, judges, soldiers; its slaveholders and abolitionists; its expansionists and isolationists; its reformers and stand-patters; its strict and broad constructionists; its hard-eyed realists and visionary utopians – all united in their commitment to equality and liberty, yet so often divided by their different understandings of these most fundamental American ideas.

The latest volume in Teaching American History’s Core American Documents Collections is out – the Bill of Rights. Edited by Professor Gordon Lloyd, this 26-document volume include all the same components of our other Core Documents volumes, with the goal in mind of establishing the context around the creation of the Bill of Rights, and the many sources of the right codified in those first ten amendments to the Constitution. Professor Lloyd explains how he went about choosing documents, and why he started at a somewhat novel point in history – and it’s not Magna Carta.

Kindle Edition

Physical Copy

iTunes Ebook (coming soon)

PDF

162nd Anniversary of Dred Scott v. Sandford

March 6th is the anniversary of the infamous Dred Scott v. Sandford Supreme Court decision, and in part to mark the event, TAH has partnered with the Missouri Humanities Council to hold a Seminar at the Missouri History Museum today – “Missouri Statehood, Dred Scott, and the Coming of the Civil War.” Although you can’t attend the program, you can access the free PDF reader from that second link, and access other materials related to Dred Scott below.

Saturday Webinar: FDR vs. Hoover

 

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TAH’S Saturday Webinar on March 3rd, 2019, focused on the ideological, practical, and political debates between Franklin Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, primarily during the election campaign of 1932, but reaching deeper into American traditions of limited government and the role of the federal government in the life of the individual.

Access the full archive here.

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Documents in Detail: Roosevelt’s Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine

 

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An essential statement of America’s changing role in the world at the time, both aimed toward the future and rooted in the past, Theodore Roosevelt’s expansion of the Monroe Doctrine helped to define American international status and power.

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U.S. History Lesson Plans on the Cold War

By definition, the Cold War is an abstraction. Without the sights and sounds of combat we usually associate with international tension and conflict, it can be difficult to fully grasp the enormous impact these 45 years of political hostility between the United States and the Soviet Union had on the world. By studying letters, speech transcripts, and other texts from this era, students can interact with the key voices from the Cold War and begin to understand the circumstances that led to popular culture’s images of Olympic boycotts, Hollywood blacklists, and backyard bomb shelters.

Core Documents Collection

The collection of documents on the Cold War explores the deepening tensions between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. after WWII. The documents go on to examine the associated conditions and power struggles in Asia and the Pacific, which would usher in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Finally, they share the voice of Ronald Reagan, who would begin to see some of the walls come down.

The Cold War Core Document volume contains over two dozen texts, including the following:

John Paton Davies 1943

  • Memorandum by the President’s Adviser and Assistant (Hopkins) of a Conversation During Dinner at the Kremlin

June 1, 1945

June 22, 1945

  • Excerpts from the Ambassador in China (Hurley) to the Secretary of State

July 10, 1945

  • Excerpts from Memorandum by Mr. Edwin A. Locke, Jr., Personal Representative of President Truman

August 20, 1945

  • Speech at Berkeley, California

Dean Acheson March 16, 1950

  • NSC-68: United States Objectives and Programs from National Security

Excerpt

TOP SECRET

Washington

April 14, 1950

  • New Policy of Boldness

John Dulles May 1952

  • Statement on Liberation Policy

John Dulles January 15, 1953

  • Observations on Massive Retaliation

Hans J. Moregenthau March 1954

  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

House Joint Resolution 1145

Public Law 88-408

August 10, 1964

  • Vietnam: The Third Face of the War

Lyndon B. Johnson May 13, 1965

  • Address to the Nation on Iran Arms and Contra Aid

Ronald Reagan March 4, 1987

  • Remarks at Moscow State University

Ronald Reagan May 31, 1988

 

You can use some or all of the Core Documents, tailoring them to your curriculum, schedule, and students’ needs. When you plan a lesson around a Core Document rather than a textbook, you will start to see your students making connections that bring the issues surrounding the Cold War to life.

Accessing the Cold War Core Documents is easy. Just click on the link below and find everything you need to bring the Cold War Era into your classroom today!

Access the Cold War Core Documents

 

SYNOPSIS: The Cold War volume of Core Documents Collections is designed to help teachers bring to life for students the enormous impact of this 45-year period of hostility between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Check out this unique resource, provided by Teaching American History.

Liberty Fund: Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA

14 teachers from across the country gathered in Simi Valley, California, from 15-17 February 2019 to study the papers, ideas, and legacy of President Ronald Reagan. Coming from as far as Connecticut, these teachers engaged in six 90-minute discussion sessions in an effort to study Ronald Reagan’s political philosophy and public life, through a collection of his most notable speeches and some biographical material. Discussion Leader for the weekend was Dr. Stephen Knott of the United States Naval War College, a noted Reagan scholar. The weekend was punctuated by a visit to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, where attendees experienced Reagan’s 707 Air Force One, interacted with artifacts, videos, and images from his presidency, and learned about the ‘Great Communicator’ and the tumultuous times during which he was active in politics.

Saturday Webinar: Imperialists vs. Non-Interventionists

 

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TAH.org’s Great American Debates Saturday Webinar for 2 February 2019 focused on the heated years of debate during the late 19th and early 20th centuries over America’s role in the world, and whether or not she should seek to create an empire along the lines of what was common for European states at the time.

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U.S. History Lesson Plans on World War II

Today’s typical high school student has likely encountered a handful of books or movies
that explore aspects of World War II, from the Holocaust to D-Day to Japanese
American internment camps. While these media can enhance a student’s intellectual
and emotional understanding of the events, they don’t always provide a full picture of
World War II–its complex causes, effects, and legacy that continues to shape the United
States today. How can a U.S. History teacher invite students into the drama of World
War II and help them make these critical connections?

Core Documents Collection
The collection of documents on World War II explores the American shift from neutrality
to declaration of war after the Pearl Harbor attacks. The documents go on to examine
military and political strategies along with the war’s impact on women, African
Americans, and Japanese Americans at home. Finally, they delve into the aftermath of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ushered in the nuclear age.

The World War II Core Document volume contains the following:
● Key documents on the period, from the Neutrality Act of 1935 to Roosevelt’s
Fireside Chats and speeches, Truman’s press release alerting the nation about
the atomic bomb, letters and diaries from soldiers, and reports from the
Nuremberg Trials
● An introduction highlighting key documents and themes
● A thematic table of contents, showing the connections between various
documents
● Study questions for each document, as well as questions that refer to other
documents in the collection
● Notes on each document to identify people, events, movements, or ideas to
improve understanding of the document’s historical context

You can use some or all of the Core Documents, tailoring them to your curriculum,
schedule, and students’ needs. When you plan a lesson around a Core Document
rather than a textbook, you will start to see your students making connections that bring
the issues surrounding World War II to life.

Accessing the World War II Core Documents is easy. Just click on the link below and
find everything you need to bring the World War II Era into your classroom today!

Access the World War II Core Documents

SYNOPSIS: The World War II volume of Core Documents Collections is designed to
help teachers bring to life for students the causes, effects, and legacy of the war. Check
out this unique resource, provided by Teaching American History.

Documents in Detail: Lincoln’s Speech on the Repeal of the Missouri Compromise

 

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Abraham Lincoln’s 1865 speech on the repeal of the Missouri Compromise signaled his return to public life and politics, after a few years of private law practice. In the speech he outlined not only his views on Congress’ action, but also the growing sectional divide, slavery, and the future of America.

Access the full archives here

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Saturday Webinar: Secessionists vs. Unionists

 

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The first Great American Debates webinar of 2019 took place on Saturday, 12 January, with a deep dive into the causes and ideas behind the opposing – and both diverse and complex in and of themselves – sides in the debate over states’ right, supposedly, to secede. Drs. Scott Yenor, Jonathan White, and Chris Burkett discussed the constitutional, legal, and political dimensions of an issue that had roots far earlier than the flare-up in late 1860.

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Documents in Detail: Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to Roger Weightman

 

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Thomas Jefferson wrote this letter only weeks before his death in 1826, and in it seeks to explain, in effect, what he meant by some of the key ideas expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Coupled with his 1825 letter to Henry Lee, this piece provides an interesting perspective on those ideas, from their key author. Jefferson not only reflects on American independence, but looks far into the future, when “all,” he believed, would seek political liberty, perhaps even in the American tradition.

Access the full archive here.

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When ‘I Have a Dream’ Is Your Textbook: How Teaching Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Actual Speech Changes the Way Your Students Learn

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.” The opening of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech reminds us that these words grew out of a major event, not a textbook. It is August of 1963, and hundreds of thousands of Americans are crowded before the Lincoln Memorial as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Near the end of the day, Dr. King addresses the hot, tired, but invigorated crowd with some of the most resonant words in our nation’s history. Shouldn’t the words themselves receive the greatest attention?

Digging Deeper

While virtually all U.S. history curricula cover Martin Luther King Jr.’s accomplishments, they often give no more than a glance to the speeches themselves. Most students learn that “I Have a Dream” is one of the most famous speeches in history. But what do they learn about the speech itself? What can they recite aside from the title’s refrain, the ending reference to the Negro spiritual, or perhaps “they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”?

As important as these lines are, they represent just a fraction of the orator’s richness of thought. By digging into his words, rather than a textbook summary of his ideas, students can appreciate King’s rhetorical strategies:

  • Different modes of persuasion (ethos, pathos, and logos)
  • Figurative language
  • Historical and religious allusions
  • Sentence structure and punctuation
  • Diction
  • Tone

Practicing What King Preached

Because Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher who believed in the power of the written and spoken word, communicating was not just a means to an end. The words themselves were art and truth, meant to inspire just as much as his actions. As students will learn by studying his speech, King refers to numerous other speeches, songs, religious texts, and political documents, understanding the weight and influence of these original sources.

Without studying the entirety of King’s speech, students miss on his truly indelible mark on America’s Civil Rights movement and intellectual history. Bring Martin Luther King Jr. to life in your classroom this year by living among his very words.

Access “I Have a Dream,” lesson plans, and other core documents today at TAH.org.

 

50 Documents That Tell America’s Story

Required reading for students, teachers, and citizens.

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