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Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and ChildrenCobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children

Cobblestone American History and Current Events for Kids and Children March 2015

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.
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9 Issues


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the presidency

Today, the president of the United States (or POTUS) is one of the most powerful leaders in the world. But this was not always the case. The first attempt by the states to agree on a national government resulted in the Articles of Confederation in 1781, but it didn’t take long for Americans to realize that the Articles created a weak central government. So, the nation’s leaders tried again in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention. This time, the delegates created “a more perfect union.” Although they accepted that the federal government had to be stronger, they hoped to avoid giving unlimited power to any one person or branch. The answer to this predicament was to design a system of checks and balances. The U.S. Constitution describes three branches—legislative (Congress), executive (president…

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1 george washington

1789–1797 Federalist I walk on untrodden ground,” George Washington observed in 1789. As the first president of the United States, he faced an enormous challenge. The way that he filled the office would set a precedent for every U.S. president who followed him. Washington knew that he had to inspire respect and admiration. He also was aware that Americans were suspicious of leaders with too much power. In addition to defining the role of president, Washington had other goals. He wanted to strengthen the new country’s finances, repair its relationship with Great Britain, and develop its western frontier. Washington’s secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton, made the case for a strong central government and came up with a plan to help manage the country’s war debts. The biggest international crisis of Washington’s time in…

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2 john adams

1797–1801 Federalist John Adams was no stranger to presidential politics. He had served for eight years as the nation’s first vice president. He found that office frustrating and with few defined powers. The presidency would prove equally frustrating for him but for different reasons. At that time, candidates for president and vice president did not run on a ticket together. Adams won the 1796 election by just three electoral votes—71 to 68. The winner of the second-most votes, Thomas Jefferson, became vice president. Adams and Jefferson had once been friends during the Continental Congresses and the writing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. But by the 1790s, the two men had become political rivals. Adams believed in a strong national government and a strong executive branch. Jefferson feared too much power in…

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3 thomas jefferson

1801–1809 Democratic–Republican Thomas Jefferson referred to his presidential election in 1800 as a “bloodless revolution.” The election signified a shift away from the Federalist policies supporting a strong federal government. As president, Jefferson was committed to shaping a government representative of and responsive to the needs of the people. To him, that meant keeping most government decisions at the local and state levels. The 1800 election revealed a bitter split between the Federalists and the Democratic–Republicans—the party of which Jefferson emerged as the leader. Americans feared a difficult transition of power, but Jefferson’s inaugural address emphasized harmony and good will. He said, “We are all republicans: we are all federalists,” meaning that all U.S. citizens were Americans first and were bound by the same founding principles. He showed how to bring about an…

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4 james madison

1809–1817 Democratic–Republican James Madison was the fourth president to walk the diplomatic line between the warring nations of Great Britain and France. Unlike his predecessors, he found it difficult to keep America out of war. At first, Madison tried negotiating, but by 1811, newly elected congressmen in the South and the West (known as War Hawks) were pushing for a military conflict. They had issues with Great Britain over its support for Native Americans who occupied the lower Great Lakes and southern U.S. territories. They also protested the impressment, or forced recruitment, of American sailors into the British Navy and British interference in American trade. They claimed that national pride was at stake. On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain. The Federalists, who had been opposed to an open…

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5 james monroe

1817–1825 Democratic–Republican In his ruffled neck sleeves, knee breeches and silver-buckled shoes, James Monroe appeared to be the very picture of Revolutionary War ideals. At the beginning of his administration, Monroe went on a highly successful grand tour of New England and the Midwest to promote national unity. George Washington had done a similar grand tour in 1789. Monroe particularly wanted to tour New England, where opposition to the War of 1812 and the federal government had been strongest. He hoped to present himself as a figure of unity and give New Englanders a chance to show their loyalty to the nation. Monroe’s time in office was referred to as the “Era of Good Feeling.” His administration put the world on notice that the United States would act to keep the new nations…