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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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President McKinley Puts the Philippines on the U.S. Map

In this account of an 1899 meeting with a delegation of Methodist church leaders, President William McKinley defends his decision to support the annexation of the Philippines in the wake of the U.S. war in that country.

A Filipino Independence Leader Denounces U.S. Intervention

Sixto Lopez (1863-1947) was a prominent and influential leader of the Filipino independence movement who worked closely with the American Anti-Imperialist League. In this article published in Gunton's Magazine (a pro-capitalist, pro-labor journal), [...]

North Carolina Women Support a Non-importation Campaign

This declaration, reprinted in a London newspaper, provides an example of women's political activism during the revolutionary period. Over fifty "American ladies" from Edenton, North Carolina signed an agreement to stop buying and using tea, British [...]

Colonial Crowds Protest the Stamp Act

Colonists' protests against the Stamp Act took many forms, including hanging and burning effigies of British officials, and destroying the offices and houses of Stamp Act commissioners and royal officials. The following account of an attack on [...]

A Colonial Newspaper Protests The Stamp Act

In 1765 the British Parliament, in an attempt to increase revenue from the colonies to pay for troops and colonial administration, passed the Stamp Act. It required colonists to purchase stamps for many documents and printed items, such as land [...]

A Newspaperman Reports on Election Day in the "Bloody Sixth"

This 1855 newspaper account of election day in lower Manhattan is filled with the reporter's assumptions about the Five Points immigrant neighborhood and its residents. Irish immigrants had by this time garnered a reputation for disorderliness and [...]

Southern Newspapers Debate Secession

The Staunton, Virginia Spectator was a Whig newspaper that opposed Virginia's secession from the Union. In an effort to bolster support for its views, it published an excerpt from the Milledgeville, Georgia Recorder, a newspaper published in a state [...]

Capitol Design Competition: Guidelines

In 1792, with the new nation in need of a physical structures to house its newly-elected government, Thomas Jefferson decided that the design for the Capitol building should be chosen by an open competition. In a newspaper announcement of the [...]

Traitorous Scoundrels, with White Faces

Many Americans, including those in the North, were not opposed to slavery and saw no reason for the federal government to interfere with the expansion of slavery into western territories. After John Brown's attack on Harpers Ferry, people expressed [...]

Slavery is Guaranteed by the Constitutional Compact

To counter abolitionist attacks in the antebellum era, Southern slaveowners and politicians found it necessary to justify the institution--both morally and politically. On the moral front they argued that enslaved African Americans were inferior to [...]