Browse Teaching
Guides on commonly taught topics in world history along with selected primary and secondary sources, discussion questions, teaching strategies, differentiation, interactive activities, and annotated bibliographies.

Source Collection: French Monarchy Falls

Although the monarchy had always struggled against elites over the definition of royal power, virtually no one could imagine France being governed without a king. At the outset of the French Revolution, only a handful of citizens had even contemplated a republic.

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Source Collection: Women and the Revolution

Women participated in virtually every aspect of the French Revolution, but their participation almost always proved controversial. Women's status in the family, society, and politics had long been a subject of polemics.

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The Death of Marat painting

Source Collection: Paris and the Politics of Rebellion

The world was shocked by the swiftness and strength with which radicalism emerged in the first years of the Revolution. Interestingly, it is not so surprising that throughout the two centuries that have elapsed since then, labor has remained mainly arrayed on the political left. But was this an inevitable circumstance of the French Revolution?

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Source Collection: The Enlightenment and Human Rights

When the French revolutionaries drew up the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen in August 1789, they aimed to topple the institutions surrounding hereditary monarchy and establish new ones based on the principles of the Enlightenment, a philosophical movement gathering steam in the eighteenth century.

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Source Collection: Monarchy Embattled

Reality never matched the popular image of the all-powerful French King. Even Louis XIV, exalted by his own propagandists and many historians as the Sun King, never actually enjoyed that kind of authority. Theories of divine right, which linked the King to God, proved untenable for many.

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Short Teaching Module: Gender and Race in Colonial Latin America

When I teach a survey of the colonial history of Latin America, I often focus on the era’s cultural history, and specifically on the issue of hegemony and resistance.

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Source Collection: Social Causes of the French Revolution

Instead of bringing unity and a quick, political resolution to the questions of 1789, as intended by its originators, the Revolution was producing further conflicts. What had happened? Had the revolutionaries expected too much? Did the fault lie with the new political elite, because they excluded the lower classes from the optimistic prospects for change?

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Short Teaching Module: Humor as Resistance

In order to help students think about the dynamics of power in different kinds of societies, this case study attempts to challenge the black-and-white thinking to which students are inclined when thinking about Communism. By analyzing jokes from the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) we can see how people sought to create their own sense of freedom.

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Short Teaching Module: Filipino Comfort Women

This lesson on Filipino “comfort women” fits into a women’s history course. I chose this topic because it exposes the false dichotomy between being a victim and being a forceful advocate for your cause. These women prefer the word “survivors” as opposed to the word “victims” to describe themselves.

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Short Teaching Module: Letters of Milada Horáková

Horáková makes a good case study for several reasons. One of the most prominent European feminists of the first half of the 20th century, she was an active member of the resistance during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1940, she and her husband, Bohuslav, spent the rest of World War II in the Terezín (Theresienstadt) concentration camp.

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