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A day after appointing a committee to write the Declaration of Independence, the Second Continental Congress named another committee to write the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation represented an attempt to balance the sovereignty of the states with an effective national government.
In this letter, Thomas Jefferson responds to a letter from his old acquaintance from Congress and fellow Republican, David Howell of Rhode Island, discussing his opposition to the Federalist Party:
What can the statistics tell us about the rise and fall of the second two-party system? How did the breakdown of this system contribute to the onset of the Civil War?Overview
It is appropriate in this presidential election year to examine the antebellum era through the lens of elections and electoral politics.Although an “era of good feeling” had followed the War of 1812, signs of political dissension were appearing as early as the presidential election of 1824. The issues contested in elections and...
This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based teaching resources. These units were developed to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. Through a step-by-step process, students will acquire the skills to analyze any primary or secondary source material.
Over the course of three lessons the students will analyze text from three documents defining American democracy: the Preamble to the United States Constitution, the...
The two decades following the end of “The Great War” witnessed significant changes in American economic, social, and cultural life. The affluence and optimism of the 1920s were tempered by memories of the war and an underlying fear of being dragged into another costly and deadly European crisis. These concerns about national security were reflected in increasingly isolationist rhetoric and a rash of neutrality-focused legislation. As dark clouds of war returned in the 1930s, while some Americans called for an enlarged...
This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based units. These units were developed to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. Through this step-by-step process, students will acquire the skills to analyze any primary or secondary source material.Historical Context
Vietnam was “America’s longest war.” While US operations tended to be very limited between 1945 and 1964, escalation in the early months of 1965...