Showing posts from January, 2012

The Louisiana Purchase

Students began learning about the Louisiana Purchase and I am using a terrific resource from the National Archives with my students to help them understand this topic better.

The "Our Documents" site lists 100 of the most influential documents in US History and the interesting thing about this project was the the American people voted on which documents made the list. Today students started viewing the actual Treaty that sold the Louisiana Purchase to America. Students will view the artifact and analyze it, as well. Working with primary sources is interesting for students and greatly increases their knowledge and understanding of history.

Here is the site with the treaty, please let me know what you think of it!

The New Nation and Political Parties

The most popular topic my History students want to know about every year is the American political party system. My students are fascinated with it and want to know how it got its start and if our modern-day parties are the same as the ones in History.
Starting this week students will be studying George Washington's administration and how the differences between two of his Cabinet members, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, led to the creation of the two party system of the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. They will also be deciding which party they would have chosen to belong to and giving reasons why.
(As for answering the question about today's parties being the same as the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans? The answer is yes and no--there have been many twists and turns throughout American political history and neither the ideas of the Republican nor Democratic parties today perfectly match the ideas of the Fede…