American History and Education Resources on the Net

With the ever-expanding Internet, the methods and opportunities for communication around the world are growing in vast amounts and the figurative size of the world is becoming smaller. Therefore, what we consider to be American history is linked in with other countries' histories in the world arena. What happens in the United States will inevitably affect that world in general. So, it becomes more and more difficult to define American culture as purely American.

The resources on the Internet which are available for research and perusal are many. You can view the whole document or select from this list:

Newsgroups | World Wide Web | Classroom Project


The plethora of newsgroups devoted to subjects of interest to the American History teacher and students is dizzying. It's difficult, to be sure, to keep up with a newsgroup that receives fifty or more new posts a day. But most times, scanning them could be helpful in deciding which path to take on a discussion or getting first-hand reactions about historical events (a good example to use is the standard "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?").

The variety and scope of newsgroups can be overwhelming, and a good piece of advice would be to stick to the moderated newsgroups. But, since a new newsgroup can be created every day (and many are), check your newsreader for new newsgroups (if it doesn't prompt you to subscribe to them already).

Note: these newsgroups are alphabetized according to hierarchy. For more information about hierarchies (and newsgroups & USENET in general), look here.

World Wide Web
The biggest list I have ever seen of American Studies information is maintained by David Phillips at Yale University. Simply called the American Studies Web, this has links to over 350 American Studies-related information servers in the fields of literature, history, arts and material culture, performing arts, religion and philosophy, and social science.
The University of Maryland's (unofficial) American Studies internet tutorial. Interested to see what others have done on the 'net involving American Studies? Look here and see!
The Library of Congress exhibition on selections from the African-American mosaic, which contains data from the civil rights movement, Library of Congress archives, and more.
Asian American Resources, including World Wide Web servers and online journals.
Center for the Study of the American South has a World Wide Web server with information on cultural events in the Southern region of the United States. Also included on this server is information on periodials published by the CSSC, such as Living Blues, The Southern Register, and The Southern Catalogue. Another Southern culture web server is located at metalab, and it's called Center for the Study of the American South(URL is
Genealogical resources from Yahoo - covering everything from Kansas pioneers to World Wide Web geneology databases.
Latin-American Studies list, maintained at the World Wide Web Virtual Library
Native American Resources page, with pointers to tribal resources, Native American art and exhibits, and cultural backgrounds.
Southwest Ohio Council for the Social Studies in conjunction with Cincinnati Public Schools, Dept. of Quality Improvement homepage by Paul Filio, Curriculum Director. This page has listings of standards from the Ohio State school systems, National Center for History in the Schools, and others.
The homepage of the United States, including information on Brittanica OnLine for the US and maps of (almost) all 50 states.

So, now what?

Now that you have investigated some sources of information, it's time to apply these in a real-life classroom situation. As a teacher, it is, by default, your responsibility to present information to students and make sure that they absorb it and understand it. The information presented on the Internet provides an additional source of material for you besides books and lectures.

Some potential uses for Internet materials are:

But how, you may ask, can one integrate these resources by having students search themselves for material relating to projects?

Here is one example:

Eleventh-grade United States History class, mid-level.
--Culture Project: The Government of the United States of America.

	Using the resources found in the Internet in 
	 addition to any others you may find, build
	 an alternative model of government which would 
	 possibly succeed in the United States of today. 
	 You can either support its existence (giving 
	 credible evidence for its survival) or refute
	 it (by arguing for the current system as viable).

	Look at the resources offered by our current 
	 government and determine if they actually 
	 contribute to our daily lives. 	

Questions to Consider:

  - Can a bureaucracy supply everyone with needed information
	or resources?
  - Does the current system of U.S. government provide its
	citizens with basic necessities? If not the basic
	necessities, then with what?
  - In constructing an alternate form of government, what will
	one have to take into consideration in order to supply
	all constituents with basic necessities? 

Resources to Use:

Newsgroups, such as the ones listed above, can provide interesting theories and ideas generated in debate and discussion. The following newsgroups would have the most relevant data to the project.

A list of primary resources to use:

The Library of Congress' gopher has information pertaining to Federal Government resources.

United States House of Representatives' World Wide Web server.

The United States Senate has a gopher server which lists files contributed by various members of the Senate

THOMAS, a service by the Library of Congress, provides legislative information regarding bills and documents processed by the Congress of the United States.

Other World Wide Web and gopher government information servers - in alphabetical order:

A big listing of Government Agencies from Yahoo.

Does your class have an Internet project which is accessible to the public? Mail us with the URL, content, and creator and we will add it to our list of virtual tours!

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