American History

by Marian Perales, Vincent Burns, Spencer R. Crew, Chris Mullin, and Krister Swanson, Editors

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ABC-CLIO Solutions

Topics American History/General
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Appreciating American history requires students to understand the implicit yet underlining role of defining moments and movements in the evolution of the America they know. By putting past events in context with contemporary realities, American History encourages students to think critically about America's history in relation to its future.

American History surveys American history from the colonial era and American Revolution through to the nation's rise to eminence as a global superpower, analyzing American political conflict, economic development, and changing culture and thought as they tell one continuous and continuing story of America's history.


  • Houses more than 16,000 primary and secondary sources, including government and court documents, photos, maps, audio and video recordings, and more
  • Includes nearly 3,300 biographies of famous political and military figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Douglas MacArthur, as well as fascinating people from across American society, including Hank Aaron, Andrew Carnegie, Robert Redford, and Jonas Salk
  • Poses historical dilemmas such as "How successful was the New Deal in pulling America out of the Great Depression?" that invite learners to imagine themselves in the position of historic figures and in this way develop empathy and the ability to think laterally
  • Builds students' contextual understanding of key concepts in American history with more than 360 Course Essential Video modules recorded by master teachers and scholars
Suite Features

ABC-CLIO Solutions School Editions

Offering effective technology for your library and created specifically for middle and high school students, ABC-CLIO Solutions Schools Edition provides authoritative coverage of essential topics in U.S. history and government, world history, geography, and a range of multicultural and popular culture subjects.

Each online ABC-CLIO Solution includes four innovative components:

A COMPREHENSIVE REFERENCE LIBRARY with content from more than 230,000 primary sources and entries encompassing audio, video, photographs, illustrations, maps, and rich media.

A STANDARDS-BASED CURRICULUM updated daily by a team of subject-specific editorial experts and supported by an extensive range of instructional material.

A DEEP COLLECTION OF MODEL COMMENTARIES from noted scholars that have been specially commissioned to foster critical thinking stimulated by exposure to varying points of view.

AN EDUCATOR SUPPORT CENTER containing valuable professional development tools as well as relevant resources such as discussion points, activities, lesson plans, and research lists.


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Advisory Board

Marian Perales is the Managing Editor for the American History, African American Experience, American Indian Experience, and Latino American Experience databases. She received her BA from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and her MA from The Claremont Graduate University. She completed doctoral coursework at Claremont Graduate University specializing in Chicano/a history, U.S. religious history, and 19th century U.S. intellectual history. She has written articles on the western women's history and Chicana history.

Vincent Burns is the Vice President of Editorial for ABC-CLIO. Burns has worked in digital and print publishing for twenty years, during which he has edited and created award-winning reference products for the education and library market. A Fulbright Scholar and former journalist, Burns has published books and scholarly articles in the history of terrorism and Roman history. He received a doctorate in History from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1994.

Spencer R. Crew, PhD is Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. He received his PhD in history from Rutgers University. He has worked in public history for more than 25 years and served as president of the National Underground Railroad and Freedom Center and worked at the National Museum of American History-Smithsonian for 20 years. He is the past chair of the National Council for History Education and serves on the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. His publications include Field to Factory: Afro-American Migration 1915–1940 (1987), and Black Life in Secondary Cities: A Comparative Analysis of the Black Communities of Camden and Elizabeth, N.J. 1860–1920 (1993). He co-authored The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden (2002) and Unchained Memories: Readings From The Slave Narratives (2002) and co-editor of Slave Culture: A Documentary Collection of the Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers Project (Greenwood, 2014) and Memories of the Enslaved: Voices from the Slave Narratives (Praeger, 2015).

Chris Mullin teaches Latin, Advanced Placement European history, and Advanced Placement United States history in Santa Ynez Valley, California, at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School. Mullin graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in classical Greek and Latin and received his master's degree in education from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has been a fellow of the Teachers Network Leadership Institute and a facilitator for the California History-Social Science Project. In addition, he has developed numerous history-related classroom activities that he presented at state and national conferences. In 2003, Mullin was named California Teacher of the Year for his passionate and innovative approaches to teaching history.

Krister Swanson received his BA in economics and history and his MA in educational administration from California Lutheran University. Additionally, he received his MA and PhD in U.S. history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Swanson is a teacher at Thousand Oaks High School, located in Thousand Oaks, California. He instructs students in the varied topics of American history, literature, and government, as well as economics. Swanson previously taught at Valenica High School, where he was the social studies department chair, and at Arroyo Seco Junior High School, where he was the history department chair. In 2009, he served on the curriculum planning committee for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library's Air Force One Discovery Center. Swanson is the author of Baseball's Power Shift: How the Players Union, the Fans, and the Media Changed American Sports Culture (University of Nebraska Press, 2016).

Topic Centers


Exploration and Colonization, 1350–1760
• Exploration, 1350–1550
• European Colonization, 1492–1752
• The English Colonies, 1605–1760
Civil War and Reconstruction, 1840–1877
• Prelude to the Civil War, 1840–1861
• The Civil War, 1861–1865
• Reconstruction, 1865–1877
World War II and the Cold War Era, 1939–1960
• World War II, 1939–1945
• The Cold War, 1945–1960
• The Fifties, 1950–1959
Revolutionary Era, 1754–1783
• The Coming of Independence, 1754–1776
• The American Revolution, 1774–1783
Industrialization and Immigration, 1850–1900
• The West, 1850–1900
• The Rise of American Industry, 1850–1900
• Urban Life, 1860–1900
A Nation in Upheaval, 1954–1975
• The Civil Rights Movement, 1954–1975
• The Vietnam War, 1954–1975
• The Sixties, 1960–1969
• Nixon and Watergate, 1968–1975
A New Nation, 1776–1800
• The Constitution, 1776–1800
• The Emergence of a Nation, 1789–1800
Gilded Age to World War I, 1870–1920
• The Gilded Age, 1870–1914
• The Progressive Era, 1890–1920
• America as a World Power, 1890–1914
• World War I, 1914–1920
Conservative Agenda to the Clinton Era, 1975–2000
• Post–Watergate Society, 1975–1989
• The Conservative Tide, 1980–1992
• The Close of the 20th Century, 1992–2000
Expansion and Reform, 1790–1850
• Political Life in a New Nation, 1800–1830
• A Developing Economy, 1790–1850
• Westward Expansion, 1790–1850
• Social Movements, 1815–1850
Great Depression to the New Deal, 1920–1939
• The Twenties, 1920–1929
• The Crash and Great Depression, 1929–1939
• The New Deal, 1932–1939
Age of Globalization, 2001–Present
• America Embraces the New Millennium, 2001–2008
• Beginning of a New Era, 2008–Present




"American History is a well-designed site, with a good balance of graphics and text and good use of color."Library Journal

"Designed specifically with teachers and students in mind. . . . The layout of the site is easy to follow. . . . One of the most valuable assets of this reference for the use in schools is that it allows teachers to create a calendar of events and assignments that will specifically meet the needs of their classroom. . . . The American History website is a remarkable tool that will give learning U.S. history new appeal to young adults. Students will enjoy using it and it will give teachers the opportunity to teach U.S. history in a new and exciting format."American Reference Books Annual

"A website offering students up-to-date American history research documents and projects. It also includes customizable resources for teachers, like a syllabus or a calendar. . . . Strengths: The materials offered are aligned with curriculum and educational standards. They can be accessed from school or from home. . . . Overall Evaluation: A great website that offers a compendium of research and reference resources."Media & Methods Magazine

"This already outstanding resource has been improved with a crisp, easy-to-use interface that few students should have difficulty mastering. Highly recommended for school and public libraries."Booklist

"The American History website is a remarkable tool that will give learning U.S. history new appeal to young adults. Students will enjoy using it and it will give teachers the opportunity to teach U.S. history in a new and exciting format. For all of the topics covered and the use it will have in the library, the classroom, and in the students' homes this product deserves careful consideration."ARBA


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Auburn Riverside High School
Auburn, WA

"After purchasing the websites, I participated in an online training session which was both convenient and informative! Now I quickly set up customized research lists for the students to direct them to discussion questions and review activities they can complete in the library. The students love all the visual primary sources, especially when they are making posters or brochures for class."—Terrie Crockwell
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Etiwanda, CA

"With the ABC-CLIO Schools subscription websites, students can locate information themselves with minimal instruction. The websites are accurate and reliable, and they guide students in building information literacy skills—examining different interpretations, choosing between resources, and synthesizing information. Teachers appreciate that the websites are current and aligned to standards."—Susan Leigh Burrell
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Social Studies Teacher, Cate School
Carpinteria, CA

"The Wayne School district has adopted a thematic curriculum for the teaching of World and US History. As a result of this curriculum shift, we have decided not to rely on a textbook as the primary instrument for instruction. In this age of digital technology, we have found that there are many wonderful digital resources that students and teachers can utilize to enrich the learning experience. One of the best is ABC-CLIO. We find their databases of information to be rich in primary source materials, their readings to be clear and concise, and their videos, graphs, and charts very engaging. Furthermore, the ABC-CLIO databases are easy to navigate for students and teachers. Searches are easily obtained including advance searches. ABC-CLIO even provides stimulating lessons and discussion points to further enhance the classroom experience. We are very happy with their product including their support services. I would recommend ABC-CLIO to any school district looking to move their curriculum into the 21st century."
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2002 CODiE Awards Finalist — SIIA

2002 Curriculum Web Site Awards, Premium Award — District Administration

2002 Award of Excellence — The Communicator Awards

2002 Distinguished Achievement Award Finalist — EdPress

2002 Awards Portfolio Winner — Media & Methods Magazine

2003 Best Educational Software Award (BESSIE)—Web Site — ComputEd Gazette

2003 Curriculum Web Site Hall of Fame — District Administration

2003 Readers' Choice Awards: K-12 Instructional Software — eSchool News

2004 EDDIE Award Winner — ComputEd Gazette

2008 Best Educational Software Award (BESSIE)—Social Studies Web Site — ComputEd Gazette

2008 Education Software Review Award (EDDIE) — ComputEd Gazette

2008 Award of Excellence — Tech and Learning

2015 New Product Award for "Course Essentials" Video Learning Module Series — Tech and Learning

2015 Education Software Review Award (EDDIE) - Best American History Website — ComputED Gazette

2016 Best Educational Software Award (BESSIE) - American History Website — ComputEd Gazette

2017 CODiE Award Winner - Best Social Sciences Instructional Solution — SIIA

2018 Gold Award — Modern Library Awards

2019 Best Social Studies Website — ComputED Best Educational Software Awards (BESSIES)

2018 Best Online Educational Resource — ComputED Best Educational Software Awards (BESSIES)

2018 Best Social Studies Website — ComputED Best Educational Software Awards (BESSIES)



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