Browse Exhibits (23 total)

Understanding Racial Divisions Through Nat Turner's Rebellion

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Nat Turner's Rebellion is considered to be a pivotal event in United States history due to the fact that it caused the North and the South to disagree further about the topic.  This exhibit explains what led Nat Turner and his followers to kill over fifty white men, women, and children.  

By: Kacey Cabanban

Labor Struggles of the Early 19th Century

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The market economy of the early 19th century changed the function of artisans and journeymen, thus resulting in the creation of the American laborer. This website discusses the impact these changes had on American court decisions, the economy, and on the lives of workers. Throughout my research I asked the question, "Why were labor movements of the early 19th century unsustainable?" To answer this question I had to examine why labor organizations formed, and why they failed to demonstrate their original strength and influence into the mid 19th century. 

How the Barbary Wars Shaped US Diplomacy Overseas

Examining the role that the Barbary Wars played on shaping US diplomatic and military policy overseas.

The Barbary Wars were a series of conflicts between US forces and the rulers of North African sovereignties including Triopli and Algiers. The wars stand as an early example of US naval warfare, and how the US came to exert her presence in the old world. 

This exhibit examines the Barbary Wars by breaking down four different distinct periods within the timeframe of the conflict. In "Leading Up to the First Barbary War" it delves into historical context, and how the US came to face an issue with Barbary states. From there we move into the the wars themselves which provide an idea of what early US military engagements with non-European powers would look like. Finally, it is discussed the aftermath these skirmishes left in their wake, and the historical parallels to the modern US.

Michigan: A Territory's Growth to Statehood


With the adoption of the Northwest Ordinance in 1787, the territory that would become the State of Michigan was given a path to statehood through a series of phases. The phases were governed by the U.S. Congress and largely were tied to stages of territorial development such as population growth. This exhibit explores how Michigan followed the guidelines of the Northwest Ordinance to gain statehood from 1805 to 1837. The exhibit assesses the Michigan Territory's establishment in 1805 and its original appointed territorial government. Longtime territorial governor Lewis Cass is also addressed, along with the vast population growth of the territory in the 1820s and 1830s. A major step in development toward statehood was the popular election of representatives and a delegate to Congress. The exhibit then moves into the era of Stevens T. Mason and the young governor's leadership in the mid-1830s as Michigan made the final push toward statehood.

Territory of Michigan V. State of Ohio

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Often overlooked in U.S history classes is at the same time in which the Union was being divided by the issue of slavery was the terriroty of Michigan and the state of Ohio almost fighting a war over a dispute in where the border line between the two states lies. Michigan had all of the eggs in its basket by having support from past Presidents like John Quincy Adams and legal claims to the land from the Northwest Ordiance Act, it was still not enough to overcome the politics of America. President Jackson was more worried about having Ohio vote Democrat in the next election, that he took away Michigan's legal claim to the Toledo Strip. The federal response was very little to the "war" and the federal government forced Michigan into giving up their legal lands to a state. This project will focus on the histroy of the war, what led to it, the federal response, and the end result to the whole issue. Even today we say everything is political, and back in 1835, that was the case too, just with borders.

The Classical World's Grasp on the Founders


How were the framers of the Constitution and the early republic influenced by Greek and Roman visions for democracy and republicanism?

While the rest of the Western world viewed America's revolution for self-governance as radically progressive, America viewed its new nation as the rightful heirs to the ancient tradition for democratic virtue.  America's political experiment in mixed government is a solution to aristocratic and monarchial regimes, inspired by the classical traditions of Athens and Rome. While Enlightenment ideals are given due credit, the Athenian tradition for democracy and Roman spirit for Republicanism deserve proper recognition for fostering the American spirit for self governance. Constitutional debates on democracy, liberty, and the role of a unitary executive can all be traced back to the tradition of antiquity. 

Manifest Destiny and Native American Sufferage

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Manifest Destiny was the idea that America should expand westward to enter an age of economic prosperity and imporve the lives of Americans as a whole. Native Americans had inhabited the Americas for centuries, prior to the first Europeans arriving by ship. History explains, they were often forced off their land and moved to Indian Reservations against their will, but the purpose of this exhibit is to interpret the ideology behind Manifest Destiny and what the ultimate cost of westward expansion was to Native Americans.

By: Justin Pine

Historical Accuracy of The Oregon Trail


The Oregon Trail is a popular computer game originally created to teach children the harsh reality pioneers faced when traveling the Oregon Trail. This exhibit will strive to illuminate the difference between historical accuracy and fiction created by folklore. By studying primary sources, collecting game data, and comparing historical evidence to historically-based media, interpretation of the historical accuracy of The Oregon Trail can help direct future use of the computer game as a teaching tool or entertainment purpose.

The History of the Southern Belle

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During the late 18th century and early 19th century, southern women were expected to act in a certain manner and exemplify an image that would eventually be named the “Southern Belle.” For my project this semester, I have decided to research the idea of the “Southern Belle” and further divulge the details of their education and culture that helped create this image. During the antebellum period in the south, a women’s nature, and their appropriate social role became a matter of political concern all over the country. In the south, there was disagreement over a women’s role and the boundaries she may cross in the home and in society, regarding intelligence, education, and upholding “southern values”. However, a women’s need and presence in the home was certain at this time. Through research and representation in my digital research project, I plan to show that the creation, education, and cultural manifestation of the “Southern Belle” influenced the southern culture that would lead into the Civil War, including slavery. [1]