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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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A nationwide rebellion brought the United States to a standstill in the summer of 1877. Eighty thousand railroad workers walked off the job, joined by hundreds of thousands of Americans outraged by the excesses of the railroad companies and the…

This essay discusses the impact of the transcontinental railroad on Native American life. It focuses on the role of buffalo hunters in the federal government's policy of Indian removal. This essay, and the related Iron Horse vs. the Buffalo activity,…

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Supported by government funds, railroad building boomed after the Civil War. There were only 2,000 miles of track in 1850; by 1877 there were nearly 80,000 miles in use. Railroad owners controlled tens of thousands of employees and hundreds of…

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Entrepreneur George A. Croffut published several tourist guides and manuals encouraging Americans to visit and settle in the West. His guides prominently featured the expanding railroad network as the best way to explore the vast territory beyond the…

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…

The "divide-and-conquer" tactics used by bosses pitted different ethnic groups against one another and native-born workers against all immigrants. It often worked out better for white workers than for Asians. Charles Crocker, one of the "Big Four"…

Native American warriors in the 19th century attacked the various people and institutions that threatened their way of life on the Great Plains. In these speeches to federal agents during the Indian Wars of the 1860s, Indian leaders attempt to…

Native American warriors in the 19th century attacked the various people and institutions that threatened their way of life on the Great Plains. As these reports from various federal agents, including the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and General…

Red Cloud, an Oglala Lakota chief, led a two year war against white settlers and railroad outposts between 1866 and 1868. Red Cloud's War, sometimes called the Powder River War, took place in parts of the Wyoming and Montana territories that were…

This booklet is curriculum support for the American Social History Project's 30-minute documentary 1877: The Grand Army of Starvation. The viewer's guide contains background information on issues raised by the documentary as well as additional…
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