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Introduction to the Toolkits

TAH.org’s American History Toolkits are topically-focused collections, each made up of resources from around the site, and organized to provide for easy access to a variety of materials for teachers. These toolkits are made possible by the generous support of the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation, and the work of several members our faculty.  The initial collection is made up of the following topics, which address some of the major eras and issues in American history and government.

  • The American Founding – Trace the development of the American Idea of government from the years leading up to the Revolution through George Washington’s terms as president.
  • Expansion & Sectionalism – The country grew swiftly during the first half of the 19th Century, and with that growth came opportunities, challenges, and eventually problems that drove the country to turn on itself.
  • Civil War & Reconstruction – 1861-1877, some of the most pivotal years in America’s history, as faction threatened to tear the country apart, and attempts to build a new sociopolitical order after military victory yielded mixed results.
  • The Progressive Era – Decades of dramatic change, economic and social, motivated Americans to seek equally dramatic political changes, in search of solutions to problems not only new to Americans, but novel in world history.
  • The Great Depression and World War 2 – A pair of potentially existential challenges to America and its system of government, addressed and resolved by American means.
  • Civil Rights – MLK and others sought to cash the check written by the Founders, and their work changed the political, economic, legal, and social status of millions of American minorities, all the while bringing America closer to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

Click on any of these and to find documents, guiding questions, webinars, podcasts, lessons, and other resources to help lay a solid foundation with original documents for major units of study. Each page is organized in the same way, as shown below:

  • Guiding Questions for the topic as a whole, with criteria for good answers
  • A curated list of 10 essential documents from our Library
  • Relevant Webinars, Podcasts, and YouTube videos
  • Other documents-based resources from around TAH.org
  • Relevant Presidential Academy resources
  • Lesson Plans that complement the documents and other resources

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