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4 August Decrees

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In late July 1789, as reports of several thousand separate yet related peasant mobilizations poured into Paris from the countryside, a majority of them against seigneurial property, the deputies of the National Assembly debated reforming not just the fiscal system or the constitution but the very basis of French society. In a dramatic all–night session on 4–5 August, one deputy after another... Read More »

A Deputation of Women Citizens Demands Action on Food Prices (24 February 1793)

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In the rioting over prices of February 1793, women appealed first to the authorities, showing that they intended to communicate directly with their representatives in the municipal government of Paris. By explicitly referring to themselves as "citizens," these women publicly claimed their right to be heard.

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A GIRONDIN VIEW: ROLAND CALLS ON THE KING TO DECLARE WAR

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In the spring of 1792, the Legislative Assembly—particularly its Executive Committee, dominated by Girondins—took a more aggressive attitude toward Austria, repeatedly arguing that France needed to act first to ward off invasion and thereby not only preserve but advance the Revolution by spreading it across Europe. In June 1792, Jean–Marie Roland de la Platière, a Girondin minister in the King... Read More »

A Hard Line With Poland

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Polish and Soviet leaders met on numerous occasions to discuss the ongoing critical situation in Poland. On August 14, 1981, for example, Leonid Brezhnev (first party secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [CPSU]) met secretly with Stanislaw Kania and Wojciech Jaruzelski (leaders of the Communist Party in Poland [PZPR]) in the Crimea following Poland's Ninth Extraordinary... Read More »

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A New Development in the Scout Movement in South Africa

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This article by Baden Powell in a 1936 issue of the Journal of the Royal African Society refers to the compromise in South Africa that split scouting into four racially based "sections": European, Coloured, Indian, and African. Bringing the African Pathfinders into scouting as an affiliated organization allowed white scout officials to control this potentially subversive and embarrassing youth... Read More »

Abolition of Nobility

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The major principle underlying the 4 August decree found legislative expression in the decree of 19 June 1790. Situated in the broader context of the French Revolution, this document legally abolished the nobility, all its privileges, and, as the excerpt demonstrates, those aspects that seemed particularly contrary to reason.

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Advice of an Aztec Father to His Sons

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Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún recorded this text in the mid-16th century as part of an effort to gather information about native Aztec history and customs. Sahagún went to Mexico in 1529 as one of the first missionaries assigned to the newly conquered territory of New Spain. He remained there until his death, preaching and instructing youth in Spanish, Latin, science, religion, and... Read More »

Image from the collection titled "Making Pottery at Kwilu" taken by Robert E. Smith in the 1960s.  It shows a woman kneeling over a clay bowl she is sculpting with her hands.

Africa Focus: Sights and Sounds of a Continent

Review
By using the search filters effectively, teachers can have students compare and contrast various images of worship, schooling, work, and landscapes to highlight the vast cultural and ecological diversity of Africa.
Image of a stamped letter with Japanese writing

Ainu and Ezochi Rare Collection

Review
In this case, the collection focuses on the expansion of the ethnically Japanese “Wajin” people into the northern islands of present day Japan.
Phelps mourning embroidery from American Centuries' collections.  It shows two people visiting a grave flanked by weeping willows.

American Centuries

Review
A section of the site called "In the Classroom" offers numerous lesson plans for elementary and middle-school teachers, some written by museum employees and some by schoolteachers themselves, using materials in the online exhibits.

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