Core Curriculum

United States History Lessons


Early Elementary Social Studies
Early America
Colonizing the New World
The American Revolution
A New Nation
The Early Republic
The Growing American Country
A Nation Divided
America Expands
The Industrial Age
World War I
From Good Times to Bad Times
World War II
Life in the Fifties
The Civil Rights Movement
Life in the Sixties
Regions of the United States
Patriotic Symbols

Fighting for Independence
The Constitution
Building a Republic
The Economy of the North and South
The Civil War and Reconstruction
New Mexico
Settling the West
Imperialism and Progressivism
World War I: The War to End All Wars
From Prohibition to the New Deal
The Nineteenth Amendment...During the late 1880s and early 1900s, the United States experienced great change. The country entered a period of urban expansion, industrialization, and immigration. Amidst these changes reform movements such as the women's rights movement developed. Thanks to coinciding developments in mass media, ideas were spread more rapidly during this time period. This was an age that saw the rise of daily newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals. The height of the women's suffrage movement coincided with the climate of reform that marked the Progressive Era, 1890 -1920. Many of the women drawn to the movement also were involved in the temperance movement [for the eventual restriction or prohibition of the use of alcohol] and the abolition movement [for the abolition of slavery]. Perhaps it was their experiences with these movements that taught the organization, public speaking, and protest skills that women suffragists needed to mount a successful struggle for women's rights. At the same time this was an era influenced by clear gender ideals. Often referred to as the cult of domesticity, women and men were expected to occupy separate spheres – women in the home and men in the world of work. So, it was not only legal restrictions suffragists were fighting against but, also firmly entrenched social ideals. The women's movement officially began in 1848 with the Seneca Falls Convention. It took another 72 years before the 19th Amendment was ratified, granting women the right to vote. In fact, two famous leaders of the movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, did not live to cast a ballot legally. Over the 72 years, the women's suffrage movement experienced a variety of successes and setbacks. Finally President Woodrow Wilson, recognizing female involvement in World War I, supported legislation to amend the Constitution of the United States. As a result the 19th Amendment was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919 and ratified by the states on August 18, 1920. The Amendment states, “Section 1: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Section 2: Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
World War II: Nation Against Nation
Internment of Japanese Americans...The people who live in the United States of America have more freedom than people who live in other countries. People in the United States can practice a religion of their choice, write their own opinions without punishment, and if they do something wrong, the authorities have to be very specific about what crime they believe was committed. A person cannot go to jail or some other type of detention facility without access to a lawyer, and they must have a trial within a reasonable amount of time. In 1942, the U.S. Government chose to violate these rights for one specific group in the name of national security. Japanese Americans had to leave their homes and stay in camps. They did not have the opportunity to talk to lawyers. They were not scheduled for any trials to clear their names. The people could not have any papers written in Japanese. They could not speak Japanese in public meetings within the campsor practice the Shinto religion. The Japanese American population waited patiently and respectfully for the U.S. Government to correct the mistakes made in 1942. There are many lessons to learn from studying the process of interning the Japanese Americans. Attacks on U.S. soil are painful and frightening; however, denying the Bill of Rights to any citizen on the sole basis of their ancestry is a violation of those rights. The internment of Japanese Americans is not only a lesson of the past; it is something we should remember in the future. The words of Chief Justice Charles Evan Hughes from the National Museum of American History Exhibit on the internment of Japanese Americans remind us that the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights only work when people speak out against prejudice and mistreatment. If we as American citizens stay informed about current events and communicate with our elected officials, then we can avoid future violations of civil rights for all Americans.
The Cold War
Civil Rights
The Vietnam Era
Modern Times to the Present
Regions of the United States
Texas History
History of Texas Government...From the time Mexico won independence from Spain, people who lived in Texas saw a need to ensure basic rights and limit the government. Texas won independence from Mexico using the same basic principles that people in America used to win independence from Britain and establish the United States. The Texas Constitution provides a balance of power by splitting the government into Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. These separate bodies cannot take action that will limit or interfere with the workings of another branch. By distributing the power, we have a peaceful environment where citizens can speak to people in the government such as their representatives, the attorney general, or a judge. The people of Texas play an important role in their government because they elect people to serve in all three branches of the state government. Texans not only need to monitor the actions of their elected officials; they should also keep track of how their state and local governments spend money. Each person who owns property or a business in Texas pays taxes to the county and the city. These taxes pay for services such as schools and hospitals. If people believe that a law made by the legislature unfairly distributes these funds, they can take the government to court using the judicial branch. The judge can then tell the Legislature that the law does not agree with the Texas Constitution and the Legislature will have to make a new law. If the Governor does not like the law he can refuse to sign it and the Legislature will have to go back to work. This balance of power means that no one part of the government has too much power, which makes it more likely that the government will work for the people. Perhaps the best way to learn about government is to be an active participant in the process of passing new laws. Researching ideas like the concept of school choice can help you, the citizen, form your own opinions. You can express those opinions to your representatives and senators. Government is not just hundreds of laws written on paper, but is people actively choosing what rules all citizens will follow while providing services that help those citizens. By learning about your state government, the past actions of that government, and how it works today, you are laying a foundation to be an active and important part of the State of Texas.