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A Forgotten History: The Slave Trade and Slavery in New England explores the nature of the triangular trade and the extent of slavery in New England. It discusses the effects of the trade in slaves and of slavery itself for the new Americans of the time, helping students to understand how history, and the telling of history, affects us today.
A Global Controversy: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq draws students into the public debate on the U.S. decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Readings and activities provide students with an overview of the history of Iraq, help students understand events surrounding the U.S. led-invasion, and explore the effects of the war on Iraqi society, the United States, and the international community.
A More Perfect Union: The Constitutional Convention and the Ratification Debate revisits the events and controversies of 1787-88 surrounding the debate over the U.S. Constitution. Students gain a deeper understanding of the political climate of the era and the values that contributed to the political foundation of the United States.
Between Two Worlds: Mexico at the Crossroads involves students in Mexico’s wrenching economic and cultural transformation. The unit probes Mexico’s complex identity and history and brings students face-to-face with the difficult policy choices confronting the people of Mexico today.
Between World Wars: FDR and the Age of Isolationism examines the events in the United States and overseas in the early years of World War II and then recreates the great debate that took place in the United States over the Lend-Lease Act.
Beyond Manifest Destiny: America Enters the Age of Imperialism probes the political and ethical issues raised by the Spanish-American War and the acquisition of an overseas empire. Students compare America’s values and concerns at the turn of the century with the challenges facing U.S. policy today.
Brazil: A History of Change draws students into an often surprising and overlooked history. Like the United States, Brazil was colonized, gained its independence, and eventually overshadowed its colonizer. Like the United States, Brazil is a country of immigrants with a history of slavery that shaped its growth and affects it to the present day. Yet Brazil: A History of Change helps students see Brazil as a unique, dynamic country with an important history, diverse culture, and its own path of development.
Challenge to the New Republic: The War of 1812 examines the foreign policy challenges of the early U.S. administrations as the new nation struggled to gain international respect. Students consider the choices for America in 1812.
China on the World Stage: Weighing the U.S. Response focuses attention on the United States’ evolving relationship with China. Students explore the history of Western relations with China and consider the global impact of China’s economic growth, societal transformation, and increasing international involvement.
Climate Change and Questions of Justice explores the causes and effects of global warming and delves into questions of who is most responsible for and vulnerable to the changing climate. Students grapple with how to respond to climate change at local, national, and international levels in ways that are both effective and fair.
Colonization and Independence in Africa helps students explore Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and consider the changes colonialism imposed on African governments, economies, and societies. Students then consider African resistance to colonialism and examine the experiences of Africans in four case studies.
Competing Visions of Human Rights: Questions for U.S. Policy draws students into the debate on the role of human rights in U.S. policy. Through readings and activities students explore the history of international human rights and consider various options for defining and protecting rights.
North Korea with nuclear weapons is one of the most pressing issues facing the international community today. The Choices Program has developed a new Current Issues Lesson to help students better understand the domestic and international issues around North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Below are some additional resources on this topic.
Confronting Genocide: Never Again? traces the evolution of the international community’s response to genocide and examines how the United States has responded to six cases of genocide. Students consider how the United States should respond in the future if confronted with another genocide.
In Dilemmas of Foreign Aid: Debating U.S. Policies, students explore the history of U.S. foreign assistance and the institutions that distribute aid today. Readings, case studies, and primary sources prepare students to consider the trade-offs of foreign aid and articulate their own views on the future direction of U.S. policy.
Empire, Republic, Democracy: Turkey’s Past and Future traces the final years of the Ottoman Empire and the history of the Turkish Republic. Students explore the legacies of Atatürk’s sweeping reforms and then grapple with the same questions and challenges facing people in Turkey today.
Freedom in Our Lifetime: South Africa’s Struggle explores the history of South Africa and the development of a race-based society, the effects of apartheid on individuals and society, and the decision by some members of the anti-apartheid community to use violence to oppose the government’s policies.
Freedom Now: The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi traces the history of the black freedom struggle from Reconstruction through the 1960s. Readings and activities focus on the grass-roots movement to achieve civil rights for African Americans.
History, Revolution, and Reform: New Directions for Cuba traces Cuba’s history from the country’s precolonial past to its most recent economic, social, and political changes. Students re-create the discussions Cubans on the island are having about their country’s future.
Immigration and the U.S. Policy Debate helps students examine the historical and current dimensions of immigration, a topic that has become a key focus of U.S. policy. Through readings and activities, students explore past immigration laws and consider different policy options for the future.
Indian Independence and the Question of Partition examines the history leading up to the British withdrawal from the Indian subcontinent in 1947 and the legacies of partition that remain today. Readings and activities explore the era of British colonialism, Indian campaigns for independence, and the political debates between Indian groups and the British leading up to partition. Students learn about the experience of one province, Bengal, to gain an in-depth understanding of what was at stake for different groups at the time.
International Trade in a Globalized World helps students explore the controversies surrounding international trade. Students consider the issues that affect trade including globalization in the United States and abroad.
Iran Through the Looking Glass: History, Reform, and Revolution traces the history of Iran from its early dynasties to the present. Readings and activities help students understand the political and cultural conditions that led to the 1979 Revolution and its aftermath.
Nigeria: History, Identity, and Change invites students to explore Nigeria’s history—from the precolonial to the present—and think about what the country’s future might look like.
Responding to Terrorism: Challenges for Democracy addresses the issues arising from the September 11, 2001 attacks and the continuing threat of terrorism. Students consider the changing nature of terrorism, the motivations of terrorists, and the policy challenges for the United States.
Russia’s Transformation: Challenges for U.S. Policy helps students consider the U.S. relationship with Russia and its neighbors. Students survey the economic issues and political developments that have shaped the outlook of policymakers in the Kremlin and Washington.
The Teacher’s Guide for The Fog of War provides a series of lesson plans to accompany Errol Morris’ Academy Award winning full-length documentary.
Considering the perspectives of various stakeholders—European colonial men and women, enslaved Africans, and native peoples—students explore the complex factors that led to rebellion, war, and, ultimately, the independence of the United States.
The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons introduces students to the history of nuclear weapons and the concept of deterrence. It examines arguments for and against nuclear weapons and looks at three challenges facing us today: the leftover arsenals of the Cold War, proliferation, and the threat of nuclear terrorism.
The Cuban Missile Crisis: Considering its Place in Cold War History probes the complex relationship between the United States and Cuba, and examines the crisis that brought the world to the brink of war. The unit incorporates groundbreaking research on the Cuban missile crisis.
The French Revolution traces the history of France during this epoch. Students explore France’s political and social organization, its competition for empire, its financial crises, and the efforts to reshape French society.
The Haitian Revolution explores the development of the American colonial world and one of the greatest wealth-producing colonies in world history. Students consider the different groups involved in the conflict, draw connections between events in Europe and the Americas, and reflect on the legacies of the only successful slave revolt in the history of the world.
The Limits of Power: The United States in Vietnam draws students into the key decision points marking U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Historical background and original documents recreate the assumptions and mind-sets shaping U.S. foreign policy during the Vietnam War.
The Middle East in Transition: Questions for U.S. Policy draws students into the U.S. policy debate on one of the world’s most important regions. Students examine the role of oil in geopolitics, the issues between Israel and the Palestinians, the significance of the Iranian Revolution, and other historical issues that have shaped U.S. relations in the region.
The Origins of the Cold War: U.S. Choices After World War II engages students in the national debate on the U.S. role in the world in 1946. The unit recalls the historically-rooted ambivalence with which Americans greeted their country’s sudden prominence in world affairs after World War II.
The Russian Revolution explores the events leading up to Lenin and the Bolsheviks’ assumption of power. Students examine the political and economic conditions that led to the fall of the Tsar and explore the competing political ideologies in revolutionary-era Russia.
The U.S. Role in a Changing World helps students reflect on global changes, assess national priorities, and decide for themselves the role the United States should play in the world today. Readings include discussions of security, economy, environment, culture, and politics.
The United Nations: Challenges and Change helps students consider the record of the United Nations since its founding. Students examine the UN’s role in the world through an evaluation of three areas of UN work: the Security Council, peacekeeping, and human rights.
The United States in Afghanistan brings students into the policy debate about the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Students begin by exploring Afghanistan’s culture and history, and then examine the events that led to the Soviet invasion, the arrival of Osama bin Laden, and the situation today.
To End All Wars: World War I and the League of Nations Debate explores the transformation of U.S. foreign policy during World War I and the emergence of Wilson’s vision for a new world order. Students take part in the conference at Versailles to decide the future of Europe and in the Senate debate to determine the U.S. role in the postwar world.
Weimar Germany and the Rise of Hitler explores the political culture of Weimar Germany and examines why democracy failed to take root in a modern, industrialized society that had long been at the forefront of Western civilization.
Westward Expansion: A New History explores the transformation of the North American continent in the nineteenth century. Students examine this complicated and violent history through two lenses, first considering the major events and policies that accompanied U.S. westward growth, and then exploring the effects of U.S. expansion on a local level.