The following units are currently in the research and development stage at the Choices Program. Look for announcements on our website, newsletter, and social media regarding their availability!

Racial Slavery and the Making of the Modern World

How did the creation of racial slavery affect the history of the Americas?

First edition. Forthcoming in 2020. Slavery has existed since ancient times, but the form that took shape in the sixteenth century was distinctly race-based. By the 1660s, many European nations and their colonies associated race with skin color, and slavery with Africans. The slave trade and slavery enriched many. For centuries, those who benefited from the slave trade favored economic profit over concerns for the terrible human cost. Students explore how and why the system of racial slavery developed in the Americas and how it continues to shape society and affect the lives of people today. At the heart of the unit are the experiences of enslaved people as they navigated and resisted a violent and oppressive system designed to dehumanize them.

A Forgotten History: Slavery and Emancipation in New England

What role did New England play in the history of slavery?

First edition. Forthcoming in 2020. The fact that thousands of enslaved people lived in New England during and immediately following the colonial era rarely makes it into history textbooks. In this unit, students explore the economic and social effects of slavery and the slave trade in New England and consider the experiences of enslaved people of the period. Through readings and lessons, students examine the effects of the trade on enslaved people and slavery itself for New England and explore how history, and the telling of history, affects us today.

NOTE: Content in this unit is being significantly updated and expanded to replace the retired unit, A Forgotten History: The Slave Trade and Slavery in New England.

Imperial America: U.S. Global Expansion (1890-1914)

How and why did the United States embark on a process of global imperial expansion?

First edition. Forthcoming in 2020. In 1898, the United States defeated Spain in a war that led to the U.S. claiming control over Spain’s colonial territories of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam. In an era defined by imperial conquest, the War of 1898 signaled U.S. leaders’ intentions to construct the nation’s own overseas colonial empire. The story of American imperialism is often told as only a temporarily period of colonial expansion that departed from the nation’s foreign policy. In contrast, Imperial America connects turn-of-the-century imperialism to the settler colonial process of nineteenth-century westward expansion and to the various forms of “informal” imperialism that would characterize the U.S. empire throughout the twentieth century. Students explore and balance accounts of elite decision makers in Washington, D.C., with local experiences and cultural expressions of the inhabitants of American colonial territories. Students consider the social, political, cultural, and economic transformations experienced by Americans and those affected by American imperialism.

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