Kids & Teens
Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children

Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children April 2020

COBBLESTONE is the award-winning and respected leader in the study of American history for young people. COBBLESTONE tells America’s story through a unique mix of captivating articles, lively graphics, historical photographs, primary sources, and maps. Each themed-issue examines historical events in detail making them exciting and relevant to today. A must-have for every history classroom and media center. Grades 5-9.

United States
Cricket Media, Inc.
Read More
9 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
getting started

What are taxes? If you look up the word “taxes” in a dictionary, you’ll see several slightly different meanings of the word: • a contribution for the support of a government required of persons, groups, or businesses within the domain of that government • a fee or due levied on the members of an organization to meet its expenses • a burdensome or excessive demand; a strain To some people, paying taxes is the price of citizenship in a democracy. Other people view taxes as a burden and as a way for a government to take and spend people’s hard-earned money. Whether a person think taxes are good or bad, fair or unfair, paying taxes is the law. The types and rates of taxes may change as laws change, but the collection of taxes is…

5 min.
no taxation without representation!

Great Britain’s victory over France in the French and Indian War (1755–1763) came at a cost. The war was expensive, and Britain’s national debt had nearly doubled during the conflict. King George III and Parliament needed a source of revenue to pay off the debt. One solution was to impose new taxes on the American Colonies. The members of Parliament didn’t think it was too unreasonable. After all, the colonists were British citizens and had benefited from Britain’s success in the war. Decades earlier, in 1733, Great Britain had attempted to tax the Colonies with the Molasses Act. The act placed a tax of six pence per gallon on imported molasses. British tax collectors had had a difficult time enforcing the law. The colonists had resisted or avoided paying the tax.…

3 min.
a tale of two rebellions

Founding Father Alexander Hamilton was determined to convince his fellow New Yorkers to support the U.S. Constitution. Together with James Madison and John Jay, Hamilton wrote 85 essays that eventually were collected into The Federalist Papers. The essays were written in 1787 and 1788 to explain how the Constitution would work. The book has become a resource for interpreting the Constitution. Hamilton wrote the majority of the papers, including seven essays on taxation. He believed that the power to collect taxes was essential for the federal government and that taxes provided a regular source of revenue to help the government pay for things. Hamilton wrote his first essay on taxation in December 1787. At that time, some of the states still were heavily in debt from the Revolutionary War (1775–1783). In fact,…

3 min.
it’s an emergency! the first income tax

A nation at war must pay to keep its forces fed, trained, armed, and supplied. Armies and navies consist of many thousands of troops, so the expense of fighting a war can grow to staggering amounts. When the American Civil War began in April 1861, leaders on both sides anticipated that the conflict would be over quickly. On July 21, the first major battle took place at Bull Run in Manassas, Virginia. The South’s Confederate Army defeated the North’s Union Army after a bloody battle. The realization set in that the war might last longer than anyone had thought possible. President Abraham Lincoln needed to raise money—and quickly—to ensure the Union cause. Congress quickly passed legislation that authorized the first income tax to be levied in the United States. Lincoln signed the Revenue…

6 min.
changing the constitution

In the early 20th century, many Americans were concerned about the vast fortunes held by a small group of people. It is estimated that four percent of Americans controlled one third of all the nation’s wealth. Meanwhile, a large segment of the population earned barely enough money to survive. Those families had little or no savings or any type of insurance. America had experienced rapid and widespread industrialization after the Civil War (1861–1865). The situation had made a small group of industrialists and bankers quite rich. Their great wealth was untouched by the government. There was no federal income tax on individuals. The chief sources of government revenue were tariffs on imports and excise taxes. Businesses paid those fees, then made back that money by charging more for consumer goods. The…

5 min.
our ever-changing tax laws

Over the course of the 20th century, events and circumstances called for changes to the nation’s federal income tax laws. Some of the first big changes came in the 1930s and the 1940s. The Great Depression left people struggling to make ends meet. Meanwhile, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs required money. A 1935 law raised the top taxable rate to 75 percent for incomes greater than $5 million. At the same time, the law eased the tax burden for low-income groups. The law also had relatively high personal exemptions, which is a set amount of money that a person can claim as a deduction on his or her taxes. Only about 5 percent of American workers paid the income tax in 1939. Then Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December…