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This broadside by John W. Barber, “The Drunkard’s Progress, or the Direct Road to Poverty, Wretchedness & Ruin,” was created in 1826 to be displayed in homes, shops, and public spaces to remind people about the dangers of drinking.
In the years leading up to the American Revolution, both the British and the colonists used broadsides to influence public opinion. This broadside, “The Bostonian’s Paying the Excise-man, or Tarring & Feathering,” printed in London in 1774, is a British depiction of the Bostonians’ treatment of a British customs officer, John Malcom.
Students will examine African American slave spirituals, a painting, and a personal narrative to analyze the underlying messages of these materials.Materials
The Old Plantation (painting) can be seen at:http://www.history.org/history/teaching/enewsletter/volume3/february05/iotm.cfmThe following materials are available as pdf files:...
As copies of the Declaration of Independence spread through the colonies and were publicly read at town meetings, people lit great bonfires, illuminated their windows with candles, fired guns, rang bells, and tore down and destroyed the symbols of monarchy on public buildings.But what exactly were people celebrating? A speech or a written document? Freedom or equality? Inalienable rights or the right to rebel?The actual Fourth of July holiday may have been started...
In 1915, 50 years after the end of the Civil War, D.W. Griffith, released his epic film Birth of a Nation. The greatest blockbuster of the silent era, Birth of a Nation was seen by an estimated 200 million Americans by 1946.Based on a novel by a Baptist preacher named Thomas Dixon, the film painted Reconstruction, the period following the Civil War, as a time when vengeful former slaves, opportunistic white scalawags, and corrupt Yankee carpetbaggers plundered and oppressed the former Confederacy until respectable white...
The roaring 1920s was an era of dramatic change. Among the most enduring manifestations of this change was the rise of the big city. The centrality of urban growth to the social, political, and economic changes of the 1920s gives it a special place in the study of that decade, the twentieth century, and the United States in the modern century. The changes that took place in New York City, America’s largest city by this time (see the interactive activity in the March 2007 issue of History Now), were...
How were the ever-changing roles of women in American society chronicled?Background
Joseph Heller writes in his book The Feminization of Quest-Romance that “American Literature equates the very essence of what it means to be American with the essence of what it means to be male. [Thus] women’s roles are identified only in relation to the male heroes whose identities they strengthen.” It can be argued that throughout much of American history, American women had few rights or...
Many of our most memorable images of the past come from movies. Films set in the past provide a vivid record of history: of the “look,” the clothing, the atmosphere, and the mood of past eras. Nevertheless, movies remain a controversial source of historical evidence. Because moviemakers are not held to the same standards as historians, historical films often contain inaccuracies and anachronisms. Further, films frequently blur the line between fact and fiction and avoid complex ideas that cannot be presented visually.Of course,...