An Independent Country

  • Civil War Beginnings

    Civil War Beginnings

    The mid-1800s were a time of intense conflict in the United States. Northerners believed passionately that a free country could not practice slavery. Southerners believed they had a right to decide for themselves what would happen in their states. Many Southerners wanted to secede from the United States. Northerners (and…


  • Heading Toward Civil War: The South

    Heading Toward Civil War: The South

    In the years before the Civil War, the Northern states blossomed into thriving industrial areas. Factories produced goods, such as furniture, clothing, and tools, which were shipped to the West, as well as to other countries. The Northern states were becoming wealthy. People came to the cities looking for jobs,…


  • Frederick Douglass

    Frederick Douglass

    “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass became a famous abolitionist. He fought hard to end slavery. He knew what it felt like to be a slave. Frederick Douglass’s mother was a slave. His father was a white man, possibly the owner of…


  • Heading Toward Civil War: The North

    Heading Toward Civil War: The North

    Even before the Revolutionary War, the North and South had cultural and geographical differences. As the years went on, these differences became larger. From the 1820s to the 1850s, bustling cities sprang up in the North. Workers came to these cities to work in factories making cloth, furniture, watches, tools,…


  • 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…


  • 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…


  • 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,…


  • 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.…


  • 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 own property,…


  • 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 1800s. Fun…