Curriculum unit on the historical context of Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle and how the book helped reform efforts in Congress to pass the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.
“Democracy in America” by Alexis de Tocqueville is one of the most influential books ever written about America. While historians have viewed “Democracy” as a rich source about the age of Andrew Jackson, Tocqueville was more of a political thinker than a historian. His "new political science" offers insights into the problematic issues faced by democratic society.
This curriculum unit of three lessons covers the critical problems for United States foreign policy posed by the outbreak of the wars of the French Revolution. Was the U.S. alliance with France still in effect? Did America’s young economy require the maintenance of close ties with Britain? Ultimately, President Washington decided on a position of neutrality. This official position would last until the outbreak of war in 1812. Neutrality proved to be difficult to maintain, however, particularly in light of the fact that both Britain and France consistently interfered with American affairs.
In this curriculum unit, students look at the role of President as defined in the Articles of Confederation and consider the precedent-setting accomplishments of John Hanson, the first full-term “President of the United States in Congress Assembled.”
As the end of the 18th century drew near the French Revolution and its aftermath caused relation between the United States and France to deteriorate. The loyalty of certain Americans was called into question, and the Aliens and Sedition Act was born.
Even in its first 30 years of existence, the U.S. Constitution had to prove its durability and flexibility in a variety of disputes. More often than not, James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," took part in the discussion.
What combination of experience, strategy, and personal characteristics enabled Washington to succeed as a military leader? In this unit, students will read the Continental Congress's resolutions granting powers to General Washington; analyze some of Washington's wartime orders, dispatches, and correspondence in terms of his mission and the characteristics of a good general.
Fear of factionalism and political parties was deeply rooted in Anglo-American political culture before the American Revolution. Leaders such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson hoped their new government, founded on the Constitution, would be motivated instead by a common intent, a unity. But political parties did form in the United States, with their beginnings in Washington's cabinet.