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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877) (x)

We found 148 items that match your search

Background Essay on Civil War "Contraband"

This essay describes how runaway slaves escaped to Union camps, and how the army formed "contraband camps" to house runaway slaves and their families. 

Background Essay on Eastman Johnson and A Ride for Liberty

This essay describes the circumsances surrounding one of Eastman Johnson's most famous paintings, A Ride for Liberty–The Fugitive Slaves.

Summary of the Emancipation Proclamation

Despite his personal opposition to slavery, when President Abraham Lincoln took office in 1861 he insisted that his constitutional duty was to keep the nation together, not to abolish slavery. He conducted the first year of the war with the goal of [...]

New York City Police Respond to the Draft Riots

This account, originally published as a series of articles for the New York Times, details the activities of police in the 6th precinct during the 1863 Draft Riots. The 6th precinct was in the northern part of the 6th Ward, home of New York's "Five [...]

An Irishman Encourages His Countrymen to "Go South"

The vast majority of nineteenth-century Irish emigrants to the United States settled in cities in the Northeast.  A smaller percentage headed for the western territories.  Some Irishmen were encouraged to go South instead.   After the Civil War, [...]

An English-Chinese Phrase Book

This phrase book was published in 1875 and distributed at Wells Fargo bank offices throughout the West, in cities and towns where Chinese immigrants lived and worked. Modeled on the traditional Chinese method of memorizing and reciting "sets" of [...]

A Protestant Nation Is Threatened on the Shores of the "American River Ganges"

In this 1871 political cartoon, which appeared in Harper's Weekly magazine, Thomas Nast predicts dire consequences for American citizens and institutions (elected government and public schools) because of the perceived influence of the Roman [...]

A Senator Calls for a More Democratic Immigration System

In the midst of debating the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, which concerned the rights of all Americans, regardless of race, to become citizens and vote, Senator Charles Sumner often urged more liberal and democratic application of the law. In [...]

New York City Draft Riots Role Play worksheet

These worksheets help students prepare for role plays of black and Irish New Yorkers debating their actions during the New York City draft riots of 1863. The worksheets accompany the activity "The New York City Draft Riots: A Role Play."

"Meanings of Freedom": Voices of Freedpeople worksheet

This worksheet contains quotations from freedpeople talking about different aspects of their lives, including land ownership, education, family, the law, and klan violence. Students are asked to interpret the statements and rephrase them in their [...]

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