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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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New York City−A tramp's ablutions−An early morning scene in Madison Square.

From 1873 to 1878, the U.S. experienced its first nationwide economic depression of the industrial era. It affected Americans across the country. Families watched their children go hungry. Nationally, millions were out of work. During the winter of [...]

War, Civil Liberties, and Security Image Analysis Worksheet

This worksheet helps students to decode the images used in the War, Civil Liberties, and Security activity.

Item Type: Worksheet
War, Civil Liberties, and Security

In this activity, students will look at images from 1919 to explore the nature of the "Red Scare" of the World War I era, and think about it the context of current attitudes toward civil liberties since the September 11th attacks.

Colonial New York Slave Codes: Pedro's Walk (with text supports)

By 1740, almost twenty percent of New York's population was African American and roughly half of white households owned at least one slave. While slaves were forced to live and work alongside whites, they sought out the company of other African [...]

Item Type: Book (excerpt)
Analysis Worksheet for Colonial New York Slave Codes: Pedro's Walk

This worksheet accompanies Jill Lepore's description of a walk taken by a group of enslaved men in eighteenth-century New York City. It asks students to match the laws that governed slaves' behavior to different parts of Lepore's account.

Item Type: Worksheet
The American Frankenstein

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 [...]

Background Essay on Iron Horses and Indians

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 [...]

An African-American Socialist Lends His Support to Railroad Strikers

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 [...]

Technological Turning Points and their Impact Worksheet

This worksheet is designed to help students evaluate the impact of a particular kind of technology and decide if and how it was a "technological turning point."

Item Type: Worksheet
Technological Turning Points and their Impact

In this activity, students will look at images of various types of technology (eg. TV, video games, subway) and determine which ones are “technological turning points.” To help evaluate whether or not something is a “technological turning [...]

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