America Past

America Past introduces the people and places important to the social and cultural history of America. The historic sites that retain the influences of the United States’ social history provide the locations for tracing this country’s development from the founding of the 13 original colonies to the conditions that led to the Civil War. The series enhances American history courses by providing clear connections to the curriculum, extending and enriching typical textbook content, and highlighting personal experiences and dramatic events.

Grade Levels: 8-12
Resource Types: Video and America Past Teacher’s Guide (PDF)

New Spain

How the Spanish affected ways of life and culture in the New World.

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New France

How the French influenced ways of life and culture in North America.

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Southern Colonies

The influence of the plantation system on other aspects of Southern life.

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New England Colonies

The role of religion; the hardships faced by early settlers at Plymouth; how geography affected ways of life.

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Canals and Steamboats

How the Mississippi and Ohio rivers affected east-west trade; life on the early canals and steamboats.

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Roads and Railroads

How changes in land transportation affected regional and national development.

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The Abolitionists

Goals of the abolitionists; William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass; Northern and Southern reactions to the movement to abolish slavery.

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The Role of Women

The beginnings and the development of the women’s rights movement.

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Social Life

19th-century family life, population changes, reform movements, and medicine.

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Moving West

Factors that motivated Americans to move westward; Manifest Destiny.

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The Industrial North

The Industrial Revolution and its effects; industry in the North.

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The Antebellum South

Social classes in the pre-Civil War era.

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