Literature and Language Arts

The essays in this section have been written by leading scholars of American history. They provide additional depth on events and ideas referred to in the introductory essay and, in some cases, different interpretations by historians looking at the same events. These essays are particularly useful in introducing your students to one of the most exciting aspects of studying history—understanding the past from a variety of perspectives.

Oath of Allegiance of Mikael Amerikian, 1931 (NARA ARC # 595054)

Immigrant Fiction: Exploring an American Identity

Author: Phillip Lopate Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, ca. 1890. (Library of Congress P&P)

Nineteenth-Century Feminist Writings

Author: Anne Firor Scott Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Rethinking Huck

Author: Steven Mintz Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Nathaniel Hawthorne, ca. 1860–1865. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs)

The Scarlet Letter and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s America

Author: Brenda Wineapple Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, 1846. (GLC05117)

The Slave Narratives: A Genre and a Source

Author: David W. Blight Curriculum Subjects: Economics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Eliza Crossing the Ice from a scarf of scenes from Uncle Tom's Cabin. (GLC06894)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Matter of Influence

Author: Hollis Robbins Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Langston Hughes, 1942 (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

“I, Too”: Langston Hughes’s Afro-Whitmanian Affirmation

Author: Steven Tracy Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Flapper on the cover of Puck magazine, 1916. (Library of Congress P&P)

F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Age of Excess

Author: Joshua Zeitz Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
John Brown, ca. June 1859, painted photograph. (GLC04447)

John Brown: Villain or Hero?

Author: Steven Mintz Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Literature, Religion and Philosophy Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Walt Whitman, 1863 (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

Lincoln and Whitman

Author: David S. Reynolds Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Lincoln at Cooper Union

Author: Harold Holzer Curriculum Subjects: Art, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Magellan: Missing in Action

Author: Laurence Bergreen Curriculum Subjects: Geography, Literature, World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The Catcher in the Rye: The Voice of Alienation

Author: Timothy Aubry Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Recueil des loix constitutives des colonies, 1778 (GLC01720)

The Declaration of Independence in Global Perspective

Author: David Armitage Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Union Stock Yards, Chicago, 1903. (LC-USZ62-51793)

The Jungle and the Progressive Era

Author: Robert W. Cherny Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Letterhead from Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, 1910, detail. (GLC)

The Myth of the Frontier: Progress or Lost Freedom

Author: John Mack Faragher Curriculum Subjects: Art, Economics, Geography, Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
George Ripley, Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Elizabeth Peabody (LOC)

Transcendentalism and Social Reform

Author: Philip F. Gura Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Sojourner Truth, 1864. (GLC06391.20)

Women and the Home Front: New Civil War Scholarship

Author: Catherine Clinton Curriculum Subjects: Art, Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
“The Heroine of Monmouth, June 28, 1778,” Currier & Ives, 1876 (LC-USZC2-2573)

Women and Wagoners: Camp Followers in the American War for Independence

Author: Holly A. Mayer Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Second edition of “Several Poems . . . ,” by Anne Bradstreet, published posthumo

“If Ever Two Were One”: Anne Bradstreet’s “To My Dear and Loving Husband”

Author: Charlotte Gordon Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
World War I poster, published by the US Food Administration, ca. 1917 (GLC09522)

“The New Colossus”: Emma Lazarus and the Immigrant Experience

Author: Julie Des Jardins Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: