Published Date

January 1, 2004

Resource Type

For the Classroom



AHA Topics

Teaching & Learning

This resource was developed in 2004 as part of “The 19th-Century US Survey and American Religions through the Civil War” by J. David Hoeveler.

The US Survey, 19th Century

I partook in this project as one of the Wisconsin participants in the U.S. survey component. My work explored a large number of website locations that presented subjects from the 19th century. From these I have selected what follows on the basis of their potential as instructional enhancements for all those teaching this era of American history at the college level. I concluded that I might best facilitate their efforts by describing the sites as a review or critique. As in the manner of a book review I have given a general description of each site and often more detailed narratives of its special features. I have tried to think what recommendations the site might have for instructional use and have sometimes given suggestions in that regard. In almost all cases I offer sites that incorporate useful original documents. But I have also been attentive to illustrative material also, believing, as I often say when introducing visuals in my classes, that history is learned by eye as well as ear. Finally, I hoped to convey something of the “flavor” of each site and have often quoted from parts of its materials for that purpose.

American Religions

Probably nothing quite so fully expresses the diversity of American life and history as the religious identities of American people. This collection of website images, I hope, will help demonstrate that fact. It ranges from Reformation beginnings in Europe to the Civil War in the mid-19th century. At least parts of the collection could be used to supplement any American history course that falls within that chronology. I have had two intentions in mind. First, I wanted students to have some visible dimension of the religious denominations and sects that they might encounter in a basic American history course. So here they will meet Puritans, Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, Catholics, Jews, Shakers, Mormons, and others. Second, I have had the historical context in mind. So the sites illustrate Protestant and Catholic warfare, religion and the American Revolution, Evangelicalism and social reform, religion and the Civil War. I have also tried to convey something of the character of the sites to which I reference the illustrations, setting in quotations descriptive accounts of the individuals, buildings, and documents presented.