Military History

The essays in this section have been written by leading scholars of American history. They provide additional depth on events and ideas referred to in the introductory essay and, in some cases, different interpretations by historians looking at the same events. These essays are particularly useful in introducing your students to one of the most exciting aspects of studying history—understanding the past from a variety of perspectives.

Empire Building

Author: Robert W. Cherny Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Geography Grade Levels:

The American Civil War

Author: Gary W. Gallagher Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9
British General Burgoyne (center left) surrenders to General Horatio Gates at Sa

The War for Independence

Author: Ray Raphael Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels:

World War I

Author: Jennifer D. Keene Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
 Victoria Sambunaris, courtesy Maya Lin Studio

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Author: Maya Lin Curriculum Subjects: Art Grade Levels:
“Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge,” by Brown & Bigelow, 1907. (LOC)

Advice (Not Taken) for the French Revolution from America

Author: Susan Dunn Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Andrew Jackson and the Constitution

Author: Matthew Warshauer Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Omaha Beach, France, by Joseph Gary Sheahan, 1944. (US Army)

D-Day or Operation Overlord, June 6, 1944

Author: Antony Beevor Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

England on the Eve of Colonization

Author: Paul E. J. Hammer Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Every Citizen a Soldier: World War II Posters on the American Home Front

Author: William L. Bird Jr. and Harry Rubenstein Curriculum Subjects: Art, Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Adolf Hitler, n.d. (LOC) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (GLC)

FDR and Hitler: A Study in Contrasts

Author: David M. Kennedy Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Field Relief Work at Gettysburg

Author: Jane E. Schultz Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
"Colored Man Is No Slacker," WWI poster, 1918 (GLC06134)

From These Honored Dead: Memorial Day and Veterans Day in American History

Author: Kenneth T. Jackson Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

How the Town Shaped the Battle: Gettysburg 1863

Author: Allen C. Guelzo Curriculum Subjects: Geography Grade Levels:

Indian Removal

Author: Theda Perdue Curriculum Subjects: Geography, Government and Civics Grade Levels:
Benjamin West's unfinished American Commissioners of the Preliminary Peace Negot

Inventing American Diplomacy

Author: R. B. Bernstein Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Jamestown and the Founding of English America

Author: James Horn Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Geography, Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Louisiana Native Guard in Port Hudson, Louisiana, 1863. (GLC09229)

Lincoln and Emancipation: Black Enfranchisement in 1863 Louisiana

Author: Richard J. Carwardine Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:

Making a Film about Alexander Hamilton

Author: Muffie Meyer Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Battery B, 338th Antiaircraft Artillery, ca. 1943. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Patriotism Crosses the Color Line: African Americans in World War II

Author: Clarence Taylor Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Photography in Nineteenth-Century America

Author: Martha A. Sandweiss Curriculum Subjects: Art, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Portrait of General Ralph W. Kirkham in later life. Courtesy of the Library of C

Ralph W. Kirkham: A Christian Soldier in the US-Mexican War

Author: Amy S. Greenberg Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

September 11, 2001

Author: the National September 11 Memorial & Museum Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Sharing a Civil War Photo with a Million People

Author: Garry E. Adelman Curriculum Subjects: Art Grade Levels:
Live Fire Exercise. Courtesy of the US Army Center of Military History

Technology in the Persian Gulf War of 1991

Author: Robert Citino Curriculum Subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, World History Grade Levels: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The Battle for Baltimore

Author: Alan Taylor Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

The Battle of Antietam: A Turning Point in the Civil War

Author: James M. McPherson Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Photograph of American Indians by William Hicks Jackson, 1871. (GLC03095.97)

The Civil War and Reconstruction in the American West

Author: Elliott West Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The Colonial Virginia Frontier and International Native American Diplomacy

Author: William White Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
President Lyndon B. Johnson in Vietnam, 1966. (NARA)

The Consequences of Defeat in Vietnam

Author: Mark Atwood Lawrence Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels:
Ella Jane Osborn's service record. Click to enlarge.

The Diary of Ella Jane Osborn, World War I US Army Nurse

Author: Susan F. Saidenberg Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The First Saddest Day of My Life: A Vietnam War Story

Author: Sharon D. Raynor Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The Impact of Horse Culture

Author: Elliott West Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Geography Grade Levels:
Indian peace medal, 1829. (GLC02772.02)

The Indian Removal Act

Author: Elliott West Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
General Burgoyne Addressing the Indians (GLC04761)

The Indians’ War of Independence

Author: Colin G. Calloway Curriculum Subjects: Geography, Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The Korean War

Author: Allan R. Millett Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The League of the Iroquois

Author: Matthew Dennis Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:
West from Ha-Ta-Men Gate, Peking, 1901. (LC-USZ62-137101)

The Open Door Policy and the Boxer War: The US and China

Author: Warren I. Cohen Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

The Pueblo Revolt

Author: Edward Countryman Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, Religion and Philosophy Grade Levels:
Order to conscript Alabama slaves for the Confederate Army, 1864 (GLC06158.11)

The Riddles of “Confederate Emancipation”

Author: Bruce Levine Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
“Entrance of the American Army into New York, Novr. 25th, 1783,” published by Vi

The Social and Intellectual Legacy of the American Revolution

Author: Gary B. Nash Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
United Fruit Company banana conveyors in New Orleans, LA, ca. 1910 (LC-D4-39636)

The United States and the Caribbean, 1877–1920

Author: Jason Colby Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

The US and Spanish American Revolutions

Author: Jay Sexton Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Geography, Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels:

The War against Spain in the Philippines in 1898

Author: Richard Meixsel Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
American soldiers rest in a trench in the Argonne Forest, France, 1918. From Col

The William Shepp Diaries: Combat and Danger in World War I

Author: Michael S. Neiberg Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Zimmermann Telegram, January 19, 1917. (National Archives)

The Zimmermann Telegram and American Entry into World War I

Author: Michael S. Neiberg Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
“Bostonian’s Paying the Excise-man” (London: Philip Dawe, 1774). (GLC04961.01)

Unruly Americans in the Revolution

Author: Woody Holton Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
“The Heroine of Monmouth, June 28, 1778,” Currier & Ives, 1876 (LC-USZC2-2573)

Women and Wagoners: Camp Followers in the American War for Independence

Author: Holly A. Mayer Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

“Dear Girl, how much I love you”: The Revolutionary War Letters of Henry and Lucy Knox

Author: Phillip Hamilton Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

“Dear Miss Cole”: World War I Letters of American Servicemen

Author: Phillip Papas Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Lincoln and the Union Commanders (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

“I begin to see it”: Lincoln the War President

Author: James M. McPherson Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:
Rebel prisoners at Gettysburg, [1863]. Photograph by Mathew Brady. (Gilder Lehrm

“The Brave Men, Living and Dead”: Common Soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg

Author: Robert Bonner Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Quote written out by Frederick Douglass (ca. 1880) recalling speech given May 30

“The Merits of This Fearful Conflict”: Douglass on the Causes of the Civil War

Author: David W. Blight Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: