Causes of US Involvement in World War II

Following World War I, the United States adopted an isolationist stance. Starting in 1935, Congress even passed various neutrality acts to enforce the will against foreign entanglement. But by December of 1941, President Roosevelt’s formal declaration of war made this legislation irrelevant. Although America attempted isolationism, European and Asian affairs brought global tension that eventually […]

Prayer, Persecution, and Portsmouth: A Story of Colonist Anne Hutchinson

Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) is a key figure in the history of American religious freedom. As a pioneer settler of Massachusetts Bay Colony, Hutchinson held Bible studies that won her great admiration with a wide following. However, Hutchinson’s religious leadership eventually offended colony officials, leading to her banishment. Hutchinson later co-founded Rhode Island with religious freedom […]

The US Presidency and Tecumseh’s Curse

In 1840, General William Henry Harrison easily won the US presidency. He was celebrated as a war hero for having participated in the Battle of Tippecanoe, which defeated Tecumseh’s Shawnee forces. However, Harrison’s presidency would be short- lived. Some say it’s a result of “Tecumseh’s Curse”. According to legend, Chief Tecumseh sent a prophetic message […]

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

“Listen children and you shall hear/The midnight ride of Paul Revere.” So begins a famous poem penned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poet’s rendition of events, while not historically accurate, is a great contribution to American folklore. Paul Revere’s life was colorful, however, and facts alone make for interesting history. Paul Revere was a man […]

John Scopes and the Teaching of Evolution

In the mid-1920s, many young Americans flaunted long-established Victorian culture. Women were voting, illegal booze was flowing through speakeasies, and art had become abstract. Traditionalists in the South responded with a wave of religious revivalism. Journalists seized upon one particular court trial in Tennessee, for it exemplified this struggle between religious tradition and modernity. Who […]

France and the American Revolution

In March of 2003, after France opposed a UN invasion of Iraq, two US Republicans removed all references to French fries from menus affiliated with the US House of Representatives. In the House cafeteria, potatoes became “freedom fries”. In a time of such Francophobia, some Americans might be surprised by the history of positive French-American […]

The Frenzy of Salem Witch Trials

Over the summer of 1692, members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony became caught up in a frenzy of superstition and scapegoating. From June through September, they sent 19 fellow residents to Gallows Hill for hanging. They pressed another man to death with heavy stones. Others died in prison or languished there for months. The victims […]