National Historical Standards

Era 3: Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820s)

Standard 1C: The student understands the factors affecting the course of the war and contributing to the American victory.

Grade level 5-12: Compare and explain the different roles and perspectives in the war of men and women, including white settlers, free and enslaved African Americans, and Native Americans. [Evaluate the influence of ideas]

Grade level 9-12: Analyze the problems of financing the war and dealing with wartime inflation, hoarding, and profiteering. [Identify issues and problems in the past]

Standard 2C: The student understands the Revolution's effects on different social groups.

Grade level 7-12: Analyze the ideas put forth arguing for new women’s roles and rights and explain the customs of the 18th century that limited women’s aspirations and achievements. [Examine the influence of ideas]

Historical Thinking Standards

1. Chronological Thinking

A. Distinguish between past, present, and future time.

B. Identify the temporal structure of a historical narrative or story: its beginning, middle, and end (the latter defined as the outcome of a particular beginning).

C. Establish temporal order in constructing historical narratives of their own: working forward from some beginning through its development, to some end or outcome; working backward from some issue, problem, or event to explain its origins and its development over time.

D. Measure and calculate calendar time by days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries and millennia, from fixed points of the calendar system: BC (before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini, "in the year of our Lord") in the Gregorian calendar and the contemporary secular designation for these same dates, BCE (before the Common Era) and CE (in the Common Era); and compare with the fixed points of other calendar systems such as the Roman (753 BC, the founding of the city of Rome) and the Muslim (622 AD, the hegira).

E. Interpret data presented in time lines and create time lines by designating appropriate equidistant intervals of time and recording events according to the temporal order in which they occurred.

F. Reconstruct patterns of historical succession and duration in which historical developments have unfolded, and apply them to explain historical continuity and change.

G. Compare alternative models for periodization by identifying the organizing principles on which each is based.

2. Historical Comprehension

A. Identify the author or source of the historical document or narrative and assess its credibility.

B. Reconstruct the literal meaning of a historical passage by identifying who was involved, what happened, where it happened, what events led to these developments, and what consequences or outcomes followed.

C. Identify the central question(s) the historical narrative addresses and the purpose, perspective, or point of view from which it has been constructed.

D. Differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations but acknowledge that the two are related; that the facts the historian reports are selected and reflect therefore the historian's judgement of what is most significant about the past.

E. Read historical narratives imaginatively, taking into account what the narrative reveals of the humanity of the individuals and groups involved--their probable values, outlook, motives, hopes, fears, strengths, and weaknesses.

F. Appreciate historical perspectives: the ability (a) describing the past on its own terms, through the eyes and experiences of those who were there, as revealed through their literature, diaries, letters, debates, arts, artifacts, and the like; (b) considering the historical context in which the event unfolded--the values, outlook, options, and contingencies of that time and place; and (c) avoiding "present-mindedness," judging the past solely in terms of present-day norms and values.

G. Draw upon data in historical maps in order to obtain or clarify information on the geographic setting in which the historical event occurred, its relative and absolute location, the distances and directions involved, the natural and man-made features of the place, and critical relationships in the spatial distributions of those features and the historical event occurring there.

H. Utilize visual, mathematical, and quatitative data presented in graphs, including charts, tables, pie and bar graphs, flow charts, Venn diagrams, and other graphic organizers to clarify, illustrate, or elaborate upon information presented in the historical narrative.

I. Draw upon the visual, literary, and musical sources including: (a) photographs, paintings, cartoons, and architectural drawings; (b) novels, poetry, and plays; and, (c) folk, popular and classical music, to clarify, illustrate, or elaborate upon information presented in the historical narrative.

3. Historical Analysis and Interpretation

A. Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas, values, personalities, behaviors, and institutions by identifying likenesses and differences.

B. Consider multiple perspectives of various peoples in the past by demonstrating their differing motives, beliefs, interests, hopes, and fears.

C. Analyze cause-and-effect relationships bearing in mind multiple causation including (a) the importance of the individual in history; (b) the influence of ideas, human interests, and beliefs; and (c) the role of chance, the accidental and the irrational.

D. Draw comparisons across eras and regions in order to define enduring issues as well as large-scale or long-term developments that transcend regional and temporal boundaries.

E. Distinguish between unsupported expressions of opinion and informed hypotheses grounded in historical evidence.

F. Compare competing historical narratives.

G. Challenge arguments of historical inevitability by formulating examples of historical contingency, of how different choices could have led to different consequences.

H. Hold interpretations of history as tentative, subject to changes as new information is uncovered, new voices heard, and new interpretations broached.

I. Evaluate major debates among historians concerning alternative interpretations of the past.

J. Hypothesize the influence of the past, including both the limitations and opportunities made possible by past decisions.

5. Historical Issues-Analysis and Decision-Making

A. Identify issues and problems in the past and analyze the interests, values, perspectives, and points of view of those involved in the situation.

B. Marshal evidence of antecedent circumstances and current factors contributing to contemporary problems and alternative courses of action.

C. Identify relevant historical antecedents and differentiate from those that are inappropriate and irrelevant to contemporary issues.

D. Evaluate alternative courses of action, keeping in mind the information available at the time, in terms of ethical considerations, the interests of those affected by the decision, and the long- and short-term consequences of each.

E. Formulate a position or course of action on an issue by identifying the nature of the problem, analyzing the underlying factors contributing to the problem, and choosing a plausible solution from a choice of carefully evaluated options.

F. Evaluate the implementation of a decision by analyzing the interests it served; estimating the position, power, and priority of each player involved; assessing the ethical dimensions of the decision; and evaluating its costs and benefits from a variety of perspectives.