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1492: An Ongoing Voyage
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Public Domain
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1492. Columbus. The date and the name provoke many questions related to the linking of very different parts of the world, the Western Hemisphere and the Mediterranean. What was life like in those areas before 1492? What spurred European expansion? How did European, African and American peoples react to each other? What were some of the immediate results of these contacts?

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
11/29/2023
African American History Online: A Resource Guide
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Public Domain
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Contributions by African Americans to the arts, education, industry, literature, politics and much more are well represented in the vast collections of the Library of Congress. The Library's digital collections, online exhibits, online catalog, databases and other online resources provide a broad range of multi-formatted digitized material available for research on the African American experience. The primary purpose of this guide is to introduce the user to digitized primary sources available online at the Library of Congress. To broaden the user's search beyond the Library of Congress, a list of suggested external websites is included.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
12/01/2023
The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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The exhibition The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship, showcases the incomparable African American collections of the Library of Congress. Displaying more than 240 items, including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings, this is the largest black history exhibit ever held at the Library, and the first exhibition of any kind to feature presentations in all three of the Library's buildings.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
12/01/2023
American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750 to 1789
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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The collection represents an important historical record of the mapping of North America and the Caribbean.

Most of the items presented here are documented in Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750-1789: A Guide to the Collections in the Library of Congress compiled by John R. Sellers and Patricia Molen van Ee in 1981. The bibliography contains approximately 2,000 maps and charts. Over the next several years many of the maps and charts in this bibliography will be added to the online collection each month.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
11/29/2023
Articles of Confederation: Primary Documents in American History
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States, on November 15, 1777. However, ratification of the Articles of Confederation by all thirteen states did not occur until March 1, 1781. The Articles created a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak central government, leaving most of the power with the state governments. The need for a stronger Federal government soon became apparent and eventually led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The present United States Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation on March 4, 1789.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
11/30/2023
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 to 1938
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Public Domain
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Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP) of the Works Progress Administration, later renamed Work Projects Administration (WPA). At the conclusion of the Slave Narrative project, a set of edited transcripts was assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. In 2000-2001, with major support from the Citigroup Foundation, the Library digitized the narratives from the microfilm edition and scanned from the originals 500 photographs, including more than 200 that had never been microfilmed or made publicly available. This online collection is a joint presentation of the Manuscript and Prints and Photographs divisions of the Library of Congress.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
12/01/2023
Civil War Maps
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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Brings together materials from three premier collections: the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, the Virginia Historical Society, and the Library of Virginia. Among the reconnaissance, sketch, and theater-of-war maps are the detailed battle maps made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss for Generals Lee and Jackson, General Sherman's Southern military campaigns, and maps taken from diaries, scrapbooks, and manuscripts all available for the first time in one place.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
12/01/2023
Compromise of 1850: Primary Documents in American History
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Public Domain
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The Compromise of 1850 was a series of acts that dealt with issues related to slavery and territorial expansion. This guide contains Library of Congress digital materials, external websites, and a print bibliography.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
12/01/2023
Exploring the Early Americas
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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Exploring the Early Americas features selections from the more than 3,000 rare maps, documents, paintings, prints, and artifacts that make up the Jay I. Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress. This ongoing exhibition has three major themes: “Pre-Contact America;” “Explorations and Encounters;” and “Aftermath of the Encounter.” Like the Jay I. Kislak Collection itself, the exhibition provides glimpses into the complex and fascinating past of the Americas. It provides insight into indigenous cultures, the drama of the encounters between Native American and European explorers and settlers, and the pivotal changes caused by the meeting of the American and European worlds. The last theme explores the profound growth of knowledge, particularly in natural history and geography, resulting from the encounters. This section includes two extraordinary maps by Martin Waldseemüller created in 1507 and 1516, which depict a world enlarged by the presence of the Western Hemisphere.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Game
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
11/29/2023
France in America
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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This online collection presents digitized items from the Library of Congress collection originally made available as the France in America digital library project, a part of the Global Gateways initiative. Conceived in partnership with the Bibliothèque nationale de France, France in America /France en Amérique was launched as a bilingual digital library made available by the Library of Congress. It explored the history of the French presence in North America from the first decades of the 16th century to the end of the 19th century. The original site was completed in fall 2006. Many of the items in this digital collection were digitized specifically for this partnership. To access materials from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, explore the Gallica External digital library platform.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
11/29/2023
Indian Removal Act: Primary Documents in American History
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830, authorizing the president to grant lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders. A few tribes went peacefully, but many resisted the relocation policy. During the fall and winter of 1838 and 1839, the Cherokees were forcibly moved west by the United States government. Approximately 4,000 Cherokees died on this forced march, which became known as the "Trail of Tears."

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
12/01/2023
The Legislative Process: Committee Consideration (Video)
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Public Domain
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Each committee receives many bill referrals over the course of a Congress – far more than the panel is capable of pursuing in any detail. The committee’s chair has the chief agenda-setting authority for the committee; in essence, the chair identifies the bills or issues on which the committee will try to formally act through hearings and/or a markup.

Subject:
Political Science
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
08/24/2023
The Legislative Process: Executive Business in the Senate
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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In addition to full legislative authority, the U.S. Constitution provides the Senate with two unique responsibilities: first, the power to confirm certain presidential nominees to the federal judiciary and certain executive branch positions; and second, the power to approve treaties. In the legislative process, treaties are treated very much like bills: they are referred to the Foreign Relations Committee, where they may be considered and reported. The Senate can consider a treaty on the floor under similar procedures used for legislation. However, the Constitution requires that two-thirds of voting Senators agree for a treaty to be ratified.

Subject:
Political Science
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
08/24/2023
The Legislative Process: Overview (Video)
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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The process by which a bill becomes law is rarely predictable and can vary significantly from bill to bill. In fact, for many bills, the process will not follow the sequence of congressional stages that are often understood to make up the legislative process. The presentations on specific topics that follow present a more detailed look at each of the common stages through which a bill may move, but keep in mind that complications and variations abound in practice.

Subject:
Political Science
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
08/24/2023
The Legislative Process: Presidential Actions (Video)
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Public Domain
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Once both chambers of Congress have each agreed to the bill, it is enrolled – that is, prepared in its final official form and then presented to the President. Beginning at midnight on the closing of the day of presentment, the President has ten days, excluding Sundays, to sign or veto the bill. If the bill is signed in that ten-day period, it becomes law. If the president declines to either sign or veto it – that is, he does not act on it in any way – then it becomes law without his signature (except when Congress has adjourned under certain circumstances).

If the President vetoes the bill, it is returned to the congressional chamber in which it originated; that chamber may attempt to override the president’s veto, though a successful override vote requires the support of two-thirds of those voting. If the vote is successful, the other chamber then decides whether or not to attempt its own override vote; here, as well, a successful override vote requires two-thirds of voting members to agree. Only if both chambers vote to override does the bill becomes law notwithstanding the President’s veto. A successful override of a presidential veto is rare.

Bills that are ultimately enacted are delivered to the Office of the Federal Register at the National Archives, assigned a public law number, and included in the next edition of the United State Statutes at Large.

Subject:
Political Science
Social Science
Material Type:
Textbook
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
08/24/2023
The Legislative Process: Senate Floor (Video)
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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To consider a bill on the floor, the Senate first must agree to bring it up – typically by agreeing to a unanimous consent request or by voting to adopt a motion to proceed to the bill, as discussed earlier. Only once the Senate has agreed to consider a bill may Senators propose amendments to it.

Perhaps the modern Senate’s defining feature is the potential difficulty of reaching a final vote on a matter. Most questions that the Senate considers – from a motion to proceed to a bill, to each amendment, to the bill itself – are not subject to any debate limit. Simply put, Senate rules provide no way for a simple numerical majority to cut off or otherwise impose a debate limit and move to a final vote. As a result, Senators can effectively wage (or threaten to wage) a filibuster – in effect, insist on extended debate in order to delay or prevent a final vote on most amendments, bills, or other motions.

Subject:
Political Science
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
08/24/2023
Missouri Compromise: Primary Documents in American History
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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In an effort to preserve the balance of power in Congress between slave and free states, the Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820 admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state. Furthermore, with the exception of Missouri, this law prohibited slavery in the Louisiana Territory north of the 36° 30´ latitude line. In 1854, the Missouri Compromise was repealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Three years later the Missouri Compromise was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott decision, which ruled that Congress did not have the authority to prohibit slavery in the territories.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
12/01/2023
Plan of Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Va. View Enlarged Image
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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At this midpoint in the Spottsylvania Campaign (May 7-20), Union forces under Grant and Confederate forces under Lee were facing off to the south and east of Spottsylvania Court House. On May 12, Grant ordered Hancock to assault Ewell's position in the "mule's shoe" salient. This map attempts to depict the action during that assault. It shows Ewell's position at the start of the assault and the position he held after the Union forces breached the lines.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
12/01/2023
Presidential Election of 1800: A Resource Guide
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican) defeated John Adams (Federalist) in the presidential election of 1800 by an electoral vote of seventy-three to sixty-five. However, because electors could not distinguish between president and vice president when voting prior to the Twelfth Amendment (1804), Jefferson and his running mate, Aaron Burr, received the same number of votes in the Electoral College. With the vote tied, the presidential election was then decided by the House of Representatives as stipulated in Article II, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution. After thirty-six ballots, the Federalist-controlled House finally elected Thomas Jefferson president on February 17, 1801.

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the presidential election of 1800, including manuscripts, broadsides, newspapers, and government documents. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to the presidential election of 1800 that are available throughout the Library of Congress website. In addition, it provides links to external websites focusing on the 1820 election and a selected bibliography.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
11/30/2023
Railroad Maps, 1828 to 1900
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
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Contains 623 maps chosen from more than 3,000 railroad maps and about 2,000 regional, state, and county maps, and other maps which show "internal improvements" of the past century. The maps presented here are a selection from the Geography and Map Division holdings, based on the popular cartobibliography, Railroad Maps of the United States: A Selective Annotated Bibliography of Original 19th-century Maps in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, compiled by Andrew M. Modelski (Washington: Library of Congress, 1975). This annotated list reveals the scope of the railroad map collection and highlights the development of railroad mapping in 19th-century America.

The Railroad maps represent an important historical record, illustrating the growth of travel and settlement as well as the development of industry and agriculture in the United States. They depict the development of cartographic style and technique, highlighting the achievement of early railroaders. Included in the collection are progress report surveys for individual lines, official government surveys, promotional maps, maps showing land grants and rights-of-way, and route guides published by commercial firms.

Subject:
History
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
12/01/2023