Classroom Materials: Political History

  • Teaching Difficult Legal or Political Concepts: Using Online Primary Sources in Writing Assignments

    Sue C. Patrick's shares syllabi from her United States History and Western Civilization courses, which include assignments and links to digital primary sources. She also reviews a number of digital primary sources for the benefit of other instructors interested in using them in the classroom.

  • JFK's Executive Orders and the New Frontier

    One of Dan Kallgren's assignments. Students analyze executive orders from President Kennedy to draw out themes and place them in the context of Kennedy's agenda.

  • History and Policy Education Program

    Oct. 2, 2015 - Modeled on the National History Center's Congressional Briefings by Historians program, the History and Policy Education Program aims to help students appreciate the importance of bringing historical perspectives to contemporary policy conversations.  Designed to be adaptable to many courses and teaching styles, the Mock Policy Briefing initiative provides a guide for history educators to develop and host briefings about the historical dimensions of current policy questions.  Read more about the background of the initiative in the October issue of Perspectives on History. 

  • The Decision to Secede and Establish the Confederacy: A Selection of Primary Sources

    The American Historical Association encourages continued public debate about monuments to Confederate leaders and about the public spaces and buildings named after those individuals, as well as the role of Confederate flags in public culture. Historians’ recent experiences in media interviews have suggested that too few participants in these conversations have read the essential primary sources that clearly articulate the reasons for secession and the establishment of a new nation. This page links to a limited set of documents with a singular focus: why did state governments decide to secede and form a new nation?