Exploration and Encounters: An Emerging American Identity, 1450 to 1750

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America's Founding Documents 

The National Archives America’s Historical Documents includes the Charters of Freedom: Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, as well as the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, the $72 million check written for the purchase of Alaska and Edison’s patent for the electric light bulb. There are narratives that accompany the primary sources and provide historic background to the events and people that were a part of the road to Revolution and the lasting effects of the “Charters of Freedom.” There is also a document featured each day for an event that occurred ion that date.

 
 
Archiving Early America 
Eighteenth-century primary source documents, images and music chronologically arranged. Copyrighted, but much of this web site is already in public domain and can be found elsewhere. Provides a look at what might be available. 

 
 
Colonial Williamsburg 
Site for Colonial Williamsburg. Primary source documents of colonial and Revolutionary War periods: letters, proclamations, ads for runaway slaves, etc, and a collection of colonial maps. Has teacher resource section on menu under "kids." Also, an exhibit on slave songs and the interaction between African music traditions and music of European Americans, secular and religious, and how they were used in slave culture and evolution to jazz. There is information about colonial life and trades or occupations. May be used in classroom setting. 

 
 
Constitutional Convention Documents 
The history of the Constitutional Convention from American Memory, Library of Congress. Search the Constitutional Convention Broadside Collection for primary sources consisting of broadsides printed that were accounts of minority opinions, odes, schedules, state ratifying conventions, etc. 

 
 
Eli Whitney Museum 
Discussion and primary and secondary sources on Eli Whitney and his invention, the cotton gin. and the milling machine, which allowed unskilled workers in factories to do the work that was formerly that of skilled workers. 

 
 
John Carter Brown Library 
This website provides a database of approximately 3000 images of the colonial Americas, from Hudson Bay to Tierra del Fuego, based entirely on primary sources printed or created between 1492 and ca. 1825 and often created from a European point of view. An excellent site for maps and other images from the era of exploration and colonization in the New World and the American Revolution.

 
 
Mississippian Cultures
This website focuses on the cultures of Prehistoric or pre-European-contact Native Americans who lived in what is now     the state of Illinois. Information covers a span of thousands of years and five periods arranged chronologically: Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, and Late Prehistoric.

 
 
The Second Amendment 
Information on The Second Amendment from Ohio State University. There are lesson plans on the site for high school and middle school students, but as of February 10, 2009, this portion of the site was under construction. 

 
 
Virtual Jamestown
Site dedicated to the history of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia. It includes maps, letters, newspapers, runaway slave ads, and early image of Native Americans for classroom use.
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