American History Links

  1. Early American History

  2. The 19th Century: 1800-1850

  3. The 19th Century: 1850-1899

  4. The 20th Century: 1900-1950

  5. The 20th Century: 1950-1999

  6. The 21st Century

  7. General American History Sites


Early American History

New World Slavery
Firsthand accounts from a variety of perspectives describe how it revolved over the next 250 years. Great original documents available online for study.

The Triangle Trade
This site is produced by the Merseyside Maritime Museum and illustrates details of the Triangle Trade.

Jamestown Historic Briefs
Produced by the National Park Service, this site provides numerous briefs regarding settlement and life in the Jamestown colony.

Colonial America
This site has many Colonial America links.

Pre-Revolution Period

The American Revolution

A New Nation (1781-1800)

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The 19th Century: 1800-1850

Africans in America: The Terrible Transformation
This site is produced by PBS and outlines the African slave trade.

Excavation of the Slave Ship Henrietta Marie
This site has a number of excellent pictures of the underwater excavation of the Henrietta Marie. Included is an extensive narrative of the African slave trade.

Women in America
In the 1820-1840s era women travellers recorded their observations of American life including the role of women.

19th Century America
A fantastic resources dealing with every aspect of 19th century American History.

Discovering Lewis and Clarke  Very impressive site with maps, journal extracts, and many images.

Thomas Jefferson Papers

Lewis and Clark: A bitter crossing  Idaho Public Television's look at the near failure of the fabled journey in the Bitteroot Mountains. Frequently asked questions are answered by a historian and background is provided on natives and canoes. Also includes a nice set of related links.

Lewis and Clark The PBS series, October '97.

Louisiana Purchase Treaty, 1803

Women in America, 1820 to 1842

The Amistad Case: Original Source Documents  An original source lesson (middle - high school) provided by the National Archives.

Donner Party Online

The Gold Rush of 1849  PBS Series companion with teachers guide and facts for kids.

The Gold Rush  The Sacramento Bee celebrates the 150th anniversary of the discovery of gold in California.

The Gold Rush in the Wayback Machine   Take a trip through time with Discovery to the California Gold Rush of 1849.

Oregon Trail: The Trail West  The most comprehensive listing of Oregon Trail resources. Below are just a few of these sites:

Across the Plains in '64  A book by a family that hit the trail in 1864

End of the Oregon Trail  A site sponsored by the Oregon Trail Foundation. Below are just two of their well made activities:

Black Pioneers of the Oregon Country

Prairie Schooners

In Search of the Oregon Trail  The PBS site. Includes a teacher's guide for the series. Oregon Trail  A broad, informative site with specific histories along the trail.

Tales of the Early Republic" - Jacksonian America

The US-Mexican War (1846-1848) The site chronicles the events of the era through multiple viewpoints to provide an enlightened perspective on the conflict.

1846: Portrait of The Nation The National portait Gallery's description of the seminal year through various portraits.

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The 19th Century: 1850-1899

American History Sources for Students: Important Topics: 1870-1930's

Immigration in American Memory
A great resource for teachers and their students. This site is divided into four periods-Settlement, The Growing Nation, The Great Surge, and Immigration Today.

Era of William McKinley
A serious historical time capsule of the presidency and era of William McKinley. Coverage of the Spanish American Wars and a set of political cartoons are some highlights.

Diaries from the Civil War
Several first-person accounts from Civil War participants can be accessed here.

Civil War Letters Home
Letters written by Newton Robert Scott, Private, Company A, of the 36th Infantry, Iowa Volunteers are included in the fascinating archive. These letters give a detailed look into life in the Union Army camps.

Abraham Lincoln Online
This is an excellent resource that is devoted entirely to our 16th President. The section on Lincoln's thinking is particularly insightful.

A Nation Divided
This web site features a Civil War timeline including related quotations and photographs.

Poetry and Music of the War Between the States
Great site for students to get a different perspective of the war through music, poems and song lyrics.

The Civil War Home Page
What a great resource for students. This site provides links to many primary documents including letters, pictures and unit information.

The American Civil War
This is a student created site to guide other students through the study of the Civil War. This could be used as an example of students designing their own web pages.

The History Place - The U.S. Civil War
This site is organized around a timeline to help students understand the sequence of events leading up to the Civil War and following the war. Some links provide more information.

U.S.S. Constitution
This site will answer that question of how the Navy was involved with the Civil War.

American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology A collection of interviews with former slaves who discuss their lives before and after freedom. The site features photos and RealAudio sound clips from one of the original interviews.

A Bittersweet Journey on the Underground Railroad

Camp Life: Civil War Collections From Gettysburg An outstanding virtual exhibit of what life was like for Civil War Soldiers.

The Confederate States of America Papers

Documenting the American South: Narratives on Slavery

Documenting the American South: Autobiographies, Diaries, and Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century South

The Emancipation Proclamation

The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War Part of the National Archives Teaching With Documents Series

Frederick Douglass - American Visionary An online exhibit, provided by the National Park Service's Museum Management Program as part of its American Visionaries series, chronicles the history of Douglass, his ideas, and his influence

The Fugitive Slave Act, 1850

The Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854

The Making of America  University of Michigan and Cornell University's collection of predominantly social history documents from 1850 to 1877. A huge collection for advanced research.

Matthew Brady's Portraits A collection from the National Portarait Gallery.

National Park Service Study of the Underground Railroad

Aboard The Underground Railroad  A National Park Service travel guide to the underground railroad.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center  Contains a timeline dating, a list of major players and contributors of the Underground Railroad movement, and a list of related resources on each individual.

The North Star: Tracing the Underground Railroad

The Valley of the Shadow: Living the Civil War in Pennsylvania and Virginia

The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson Using text and graphics from Harper's Weekly, this site explains the key political issues behind Johnson's impeachment, details the legal and political arguments for impeachment, provides biographies and portraits for 28 key figures related to the trial, and chronicles Johnson's term as President.

Pioneer Spirit - Homesteading in the American west

The West

The West (New Perspectives) great documents and pictures

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The 20th Century: 1900-1950

The National D-Day Memorial Foundation
This site is dedicated to memoralizing the valor, fidelity, and sacrifices of the Allied Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

National D-Day Museum
This site is an excellent source of information on the World War II European theater and the D-Day Invasion.

United States Holocaust Museum
A great resource for teachers and links to primary documents for students researching the subject.

The Veterans Project
The Veterans History Project covers World War I, World War II, and the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf wars. It includes all participants in those wars -- men and women, civilian and military. It documents the contributions of civilian volunteers, support staff, and war industry wokers as well as the experiences of military personnel from all ranks and all branches of service -- the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard and Merchant Marine.

Women Come to the Front
This is a great library of experiences of female journalists and photojournalists who served during World War II.

American Prohibition
A site devoted to the study of Prohibition during the 1920's.

Ellis Island
This is the home page of one of America's most well-known landmarks. Visit the historic "Wall of Honor."

Picturing Modern America:
This site is an amazing resource for American History (1880 – 1920), but it also has an exhibit builder that walks students through the process of creating an exhibit. This would be helpful no matter what you teach, especially as it pertains to the History Fair.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A History of American Sweatshops 1820 - Present  Smithsonian's National Museum of American History creates a virtual exhibit that is packed with data hidden in pictures and charts. Brings the history to the present sweatshop dilema.

Cartoons of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Child Labor in America 1908-1912 High quality photographs of children dwarfed by the adult work world.

Ellis Island from the History Channel

Ellis Island Photographs (California Museum of Photography)

How the Other Half Lives (Jacob Riis)

Immigration articles from the Atlantic Monthly magazine

Lower East Side Tenement Museum (New York City)

On the Lower East Side  Observations of Life in Lower Manhattan at the Turn of the Century

The Richest Man in the World: Andrew Carnegie

John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company   Seven hyperlinked chapters cover nineteenth century oil industry.

Theodore Roosevelt: Icon of the American Century The National Portrait Gallery presents this visual biography of Theodore Roosevelt, focused on his adult life and political career, 1882-1919.

U.S. Labor and Industrial History Audio Project  Contains a few Real Audio files of famous Labor Speeches at the bottom of the front page. Begins with speeches from a recent labor convention.

Women's Suffrage

Anti-Imperialism in the United States, 1898-1935

Cartoons of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Hawaii's Last Queen

Influenza 1918  PBS series companion includes teacher's guide and descriptions of the Flu that killed more Americans than the Civil War.

The Spanish-American War in Motion Pictures  A collection of real life films digitized by the Library of Congress.

World War I - Trenches on the Web  A thorough and interesting history of the "Great War" from many perspectives. This site will serve novices just as well as veterans. Be sure to check out the "tours" of the site if you are a first time user because it is a huge site.

The World War I Document Archive  An extensive archive of primary source documents oriented towards the political and military aspects of the war. Well organized by year and nation.

The Zimmerman Telegram An intercepted message sets a nation to war? This lesson is part of the National Archives Teaching With Documents Series.

The Harlem Renaissance  From Encyclopaedia Britannica, this site celebrates the intellectual creativity that blossomed in the African-American community in Harlem during the 1920s.

History of Radio Archive

The Kellogg-Briand Pact, 1929

Harlem, 1900-1940: An African-American Community  Developed by the New York Public Library, this site includes an exhibit, archival photographs, timeline, and resources for teachers that include lessons to go with the photographs.

Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro  Survey Graphic was a social work magazine of the 1920's. This site includes the entire edition of the magazine for March, 1925 which was focused on what is now termed the Harlem Renaissance. An outstanding source for primary materials.

Radio Days  A site dedicated to preserving the culture of old time radio.

Red Scare: An Image Database  Contains 137 photographs and political cartoons that illustrate US political history from 1918 to 1920.

Woman Suffrage and the 19th Ammendment A National Archives resource including primary documents and lessons.

Excellent resource from the American Memory project of the Library of Hoover Dam: Lonely Lands Made Fruitful   The story of one of the massive federal works projects of the depression. Includes slide shows (requires Flash).

Life History Manuscripts from the Folklore Project, WPA Federal Writer's Project An excellent resource from the American Memory project of the Library of Congress.

FDR Political Cartoons Political cartoons from the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Riding The Rails Companion site to the PBS series. Includes oral histories and a teacher's guide.

Surviving The Dustbowl  Companion site to the PBS series. Includes eyewitness accounts, Real Audio interviews, and a teachers' guide.

Voices From The Dustbowl  The American Memory project from the Library of Congress now has web access to songs and pictures from the migrant camps of 1940-41. Requires Real Audio to listen to the songs.

Japanese American Exhibit and Access Project  A very well designed exhibit and archive mainly centered on the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Holocaust: A Teacher's Guide  A well written site the provides the essential information about the Holocaust.

Normandy, 1944  Encyclopedia Britannica's free multimedia treatment of the largest invasion of all time.

Nuremberg War Crimes Trials Documents

Okinawa: The American Years, 1945-1972  A site dedicated to this sometimes forgotten battle in the Pacific during World War II and the long occupation thereafter.

Attack at Pearl Harbor

December 7: Today in History from the Library of Congress

A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution An exhibit from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Pearl Harbor Remembered

Radio in 1941

USS Arizona Memorial: Pearl Harbor

Powers of Persuasion: Posters on the Homefront A lesson from the Teaching With Documents Series from the National Archives. Includes links to many posters.

Victory: Posters on the Homefront  National Museum of American History's virtual exhibit.

The Way We Won:  America's Economic Breakthrough During World War II A four page article by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

World War II Archive Links to many World War II sites from Mississippi State University.

World War II Documents

World War II Primary Source Materials  From Nazi-Soviet relations to the Pearl Harbor hearings, this site contains thousands of full-text government documents related to the war.

World War II Poster Database  Over 300 full color original posters.

World War II Sounds and Pictures

Census Bureau Statistics on Voting and Registering 1964 - Present

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Life Magazine)

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Seattle Times)

Senator Joseph McCarthy

The Myth of The Melting Pot  A Washington Post series of articles.

Project Whistlestop A site created by the National Park Service and several Missouri School districts concerning Harry S Truman.

Richard Nixon Audio Library

Richard Nixon Video Library

Voices of the Civil Rights Era

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The 20th Century: 1950-1999

ArabNet-Palestine, History
A website that covers Palestine from early history to present day. Students and teachers can find primary source documents and current event articles.

Sixties Project
A scholarly look at this unique period in American history, The Sixties Project provides links to an assortment of primary and secondary sources related to the 1960s and the Vietnam Era.

Korean War
Diaries of veterans and a set of informative maps that can be downloaded is only one example of the richness of this site. This conflict has not been covered adequately in most history books.

Harlem Renaissance
Marvelous coverage of the 1920s cultural movement which became known as the Harlem Renaissance.

The Atomic Archive

National Security Archive  A collection of declassified documents by George Washington University.

ColdWar Policies 1945-1991

ColdWar, Soviet and Related History Documents

ColdWar: Soviet Perspectives

The Cuban Missile Crisis Text of over 250 related documents (with supplemental Editorial Notes),

including memorandums, telegrams, and personal messages between the US and Soviet leaders.

The Cuban Missile Crisis Home Page

The Cuban Missile Crisis - Audio Materials from the Kennedy White House Secretly recorded conversations made by John F. Kennedy during his presidency.

The Tonkin Gulf Incident Documents

The U2 Incident Documents

Vietnam War history page

Vietnam: A Webquest  A webquest is an online guided lesson that sends students out.

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The 21st Century

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General American History Sites

Gilder Lehrman Primary Source Collection
The Gilder Lehrman Collection publishes some of the rarest and most valuable materials provided to scholars, teachers, and the general public. Newly Discovered Documents include introductions by prominent scholars, as well as transcripts and downloadable facsimiles.

American Memory: By Popular Demand: Portraits of Presidents and First Ladies (1789-Present)
Looking for copyright-free images of Presidents and First Ladies for a school report? The Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress has selected this set of more than 150 images from its collections and made them available through the library's American Memory Web site. The digitized images include portraits, photographs, prints, and other media. Some of the images include other notables such as Sojourner Truth. Users can browse a subject index, access images through a timeline or theme essay, or search by keyword. The site includes many links to related image collections within the American Memory Project. Suitable for grades 6 to 12.

The American Presidency
The American Presidency Web site, created by Grolier International, offers a virtual encyclopedia on the most powerful office in United States government. Select the appropriate grade level (and corresponding encyclopedia) to access articles, essays, images, and facts about individual Presidents and First Ladies, Vice Presidents, and the key issues that affected their administrations. Users can access biographical essays, inaugural addresses, video and audio clips, and election results for each President. Other topics such as political parties and suffrage are also discussed. Suitable for grades 3 to 12.

The American President
The American President Web site is an online companion to the 10-episode PBS series that first aired in 2000. The site, which targets high school through adult users and was developed in collaboration with the National Council for the Social Studies, provides teachers and students with tools and resources to explore the United States Presidency. It includes biographies on each President (through Bill Clinton); a trove of lesson plans and classroom resources; a Web resource guide; a glossary of political history terminology; essays by historians, journalists, and educators; and an in-depth analysis of the 2000 election. Several features (an election simulation, a student magazine, and a polling booth) are no longer active, but this hardly detracts from the overall usefulness of the site. Suitable for grades 7 to 12.

American Presidents: Life Portraits
C-SPAN, the television network that specializes in public affairs programming, created this site as an online companion to its 1999 Peabody Award-winning television series of the same name. The Web site contains a complete video archive of its 41 episodes, plus additional resources such as lesson plans, bibliographies, primary sources, information on historic sites identified with Presidents, and at-a-glance biographical notes. A media player plug-in is required to view the video clips. Suitable for grades 4 to 12.

African-American Mosaic
An excellent resource for studying black history and culture. The collection includes photographs, recordings, books and music.

History Central
History Central provides a timeline of world history, as well as information devoted to America's Wars, including the history of every major war in America's history from the Revolutionary War to the Gulf War. These sections include photos and a description of each major event. Additionally, there is a section on elections. This part includes the history of each election in American history. The history includes both popular and electoral votes in each election, voter turnout, as well as a map of the states carried by each competing candidate. Finally, History Central includes pages on the economy, population, geography and over 400 primary source documents in American history.

An Outline of American History (Reconstruction to the Present)

Resource Materials and Lesson Plans for United States History

Military Art
This site has a number of excellent pictures of military scenes.

Biographical Dictionary
Use this site to supplement a research project. High school students will enjoy taking the history quiz.

American Life Histories
Some 2,900 documents provide a glimpse of the life and work of men and women from various occupations and geographical regions from 1936 to 1940 as part of the Folklore Project.

United Nations
Students can explore this site and learn what really happens in the United Nations. This site can also give background information and history of each branch.

The Institute for International Strategic Studies
The Publication Directorate of INSS publishes books, monographs, reports, and occasional papers on national security strategy, defense policy, and national military strategy through National Defense University Press that reflect the output of university research and academic programs. In addition, it produces Joint Force Quarterly, a professional military journal published for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

C.I.B. Media
This site provides campaign and unit histories and film from the United States military and various other periods.

Stackpole Military Books
This site provides campaign and unit histories and film from the United States military and various other periods.

American Immigration
A site constructed by two 10th grade students takes a serious look at immigration from 1607 to the present. Various sections deal with the reasons of immigration.

American Life Histories

Some 2,900 documents provide a glimpse of the life and work of men and women from various occupations and geographical regions from 1936 to 1940 as part of the Folklore Project.

The Learning Page:
This site is from the Library of Congress. The document-based lessons are truly excellent. For example, when studying political cartoons (one of the many activities), if you put your cursor over a part of the cartoon the site will tell you if the cartoonist is using symbolism, exaggeration, labeling, analogy, irony, etc.