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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 November/December 2016

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


access_time3 min.
a deep divide

Long before fighting with guns started in the Civil War (1861–1865), Americans fought with words and ideas. As this issue shows, nearly all the disagreements involved slavery, and efforts to compromise never permanently eliminated the threat that slavery presented to the nation’s united future. When the Constitutional Convention opened in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, the delegates faced a problem: The country’s regional differences made agreeing on how “to form a more perfect union” difficult. The southern states’ fertile land and warm weather were ideal for growing large agricultural crops, which depended on an enslaved labor force. The northern states’ rocky soil and cold winters made them rely on occupations in trade and industry. And most northern states had started to abolish slavery. After four months of heated debate behind closed…

access_time4 min.
missouri wants in

Thanks to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the United States added a vast territory west of the Mississippi River and had room to grow in the new century. Exactly how states should be carved from that land raised concerns, however. And its undefined western border led to some uncertainty. Where did U.S. land end? Where did Spanish territories begin? At that time, Spain controlled a large portion of the Americas, including present-day Mexico, Florida, and the American Southwest. The desire to control New Orleans had been behind talks between officials in the United States and France, which had previously owned Louisiana. New Orleans was the territory’s largest and most important city. Located on the Mississippi River near the Gulf of Mexico, it was a strategic trading and shipping port. With a…

access_time1 min.
troubling tariffs

By the 1830s, the United States, led by the industrial North, had imposed a series of tariffs, or taxes, on imported merchandise. The tariffs funded the government and protected American manufacturing, but they also made it more expensive for Americans to buy European-manufactured products. Southerners, who relied on agriculture, resented the tariff duties that drove up prices. Vice President John C. Calhoun came up with an idea to combat the tariffs. He said that any state could declare a federal law invalid if the state did not agree with it. Calhoun’s idea, called “nullification,” met with opposition, but Calhoun’s home state of South Carolina supported it. The state threatened to secede if the federal government enforced the tariff. Determined to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the Union, a furious President Andrew Jackson…

access_time5 min.
the call to fight slave rebellions

To Nat Turner, the unusual bluish-green sun that dawned one morning was a sign. Together with an earlier solar eclipse and his religious visions, Turner took the second solar eclipse as an indication that “I should arise and prepare myself and slay my enemies with their own weapons.” Turner and six other enslaved men set out early on the morning of August 21, 1831. Their first stop as they moved through Southampton County, Virginia, was at the house of Turner’s master, where they killed the entire family. Within 36 hours, Turner’s group had grown to about 70 men, and they had killed at least 55 white people. Most of the men involved in the insurrection were quickly captured. After a trial, many of the convicted men were either executed or sold…

access_time5 min.
abolitionists join the struggle

For some Americans, the issue of slavery hung on a single question: Should a nation that valued liberty hold people as slaves? Across the nation, abolitionists—people who wanted to end slavery and immediately emancipate all enslaved people—organized to stop it. Free black Americans in the North had worked hard to rescue fugitive slaves from slave catchers and to end slavery since at least the 1820s, but white Americans had paid them little attention. Slowly, though, the abolitionist movement grew among white Americans in the North, too. By 1820, every state in the North had either prohibited or provided for slavery’s gradual abolition. Abolitionists made the institution of slavery and the evils of human bondage a moral and political issue. Southerners, meanwhile, resented what they saw as interference in their affairs. They…

access_time1 min.
a world view

In the 18th century, an intellectual movement called the Enlightenment swept Europe and America. It emphasized rational thought and individualism. It encouraged leaders to create a world in which people could reach their highest potential. It supported the concept that people should not be stuck in the same positions for life just because of the circumstances under which they were born. Those ideas of human freedom convinced many people that slavery must be abolished. In 1772, a famous legal case freeing a slave in Great Britain indicated that slavery would soon end there. In the years after the Revolutionary War (1775–1783), most northern states abolished slavery. In 1787, the Northwest Ordinance prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territory, which was the first organized territory in the new United States west of the…