America’s Centennial

  • America’s Centennial

    America’s Centennial

    General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox marked the official end of the Civil War, but it didn’t mean an end to the nation’s troubles. Bitter disagreements about how the South should rejoin the nation followed.


  • The Reconstruction Years

    The Reconstruction Years

    At the end of the Civil War, America was bitterly divided. In his second inaugural address, President Lincoln asked Americans to “bind up the nation’s wounds.” He hoped Americans would forgive each other and work for peace. After

  • The Mexican American War

    The Mexican American War

    Fueled by land hunger and a quest for adventure, Americans wanted to move further west across North America. Many people, including President James K. Polk, believed in the idea of “Manifest Destiny,” that God had given North America to them and it was the country’s destiny to spread across the continent to the Pacific...

  • The Indian Plight

    The Indian Plight

    Almost from the time the first colonists arrived in North America, their relationships with the native people were troubled. The Indians believed that the Earth gave them everything they needed and couldn’t be bought or sold. Because of this philosophy, most tribes didn’t develop permanent settlements or believe they owned the...

  • The Oregon Trail

    The Oregon Trail

    Imagine traveling with your family for months in a covered wagon the size of your bathroom. All the food, clothing, and tools your family owns must fit in that wagon; there is little room for toys. You eat dried meat, biscuits, and beans for most meals – and you’re happy to have that since many families go hungry.


  • The Gold Rush

    The Gold Rush

    In 1848, James Wilson Marshall, a carpenter from New Jersey, found flakes of gold in a river near Sacramento, California. He was building a saw mill for John Sutter. Although Sutter and Marshall tried to keep the find a secret, word quickly got out when Sam Brannon, a local shopkeeper, marched through town carrying a vial filled...

  • The Reform of Religion

    The Reform of Religion

    The early 1800s were a time of optimism and hope. People believed that they could create a better society, based on Christian morals and culture. During this time, America saw a “revival” of religious interest and fervor. Protestant preachers held camp meetings where they preached to large groups of people. Disagreements...

  • Women’s Rights

    Women’s Rights

    During the Constitutional Convention, Abigail Adams reminded her husband, John Adams, to “remember the ladies.” Unfortunately, her advice wasn’t heeded. Although the Declaration of Independence declared that all men are equal, free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, women in America were given few rights. Women could not...

  • Early American Literature and Art

    Early American Literature and Art

    Art and literature had flourished in Europe for centuries. Although many early American settlers were well-read and educated, most writings were personal journals or political essays. Folk art, including signs, flags, and quilts were common. America began to develop its own literary and artistic voice in the early-to-mid...

  • The Industrial Revolution

    The Industrial Revolution

    Imagine a world in which almost all your food, clothing, toys, tools, and furniture were grown or made by your own family or a nearby craftsman. Most of your day would be spent working. Because handmade goods were costly and took so much time to make, you’d have only a few clothes and toys.

    This was the reality of...