History Standards

Here are some of the ways the "1919 Bishops' Plan" website can be used to help teachers meet United States history curriculum standards.

The following standards are based on the National Standards for History, Grades 5-12, created by the National Center for History in the Schools.


The documents and images on this site relate directly to Era 7, The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930), especially Standards 1 and 3.

Standard 1, "How Progressives and others addressed problems of industrial capitalism, urbanization, and political corruption," can be shown through use of the documents related to the thought of John A. Ryan, a prominent Catholic progressive, through the supporting documents illuminating the conditions of workers during the early 20th century, and through the key document itself, the Bishops' Program on Social Reconstruction.

Standard 3, "How the United States changed from the end of World War I to the eve of the Great Depression" can also be illuminated through the documents on the site. The site's central document, the Bishops' Program, recounts the changes to economy and society resulting from the war and proposes how they should be addressed. The section on the fate of the proposals outlined in the Program in the 1920s illustrates how the changes in U.S. society and economy caused a shift in how the proposals were seen.

The documents on this site promote Historical Thinking Standards 1-3 in particular:

1. Chronological Thinking
2. Historical Comprehension
3. Historical Analysis and Interpretation

Each themed groups of documents contain series of student questions/exercises designed to illuminate historical meaning. The questions and exercises are formulated to generate clarity as to the meaning of the documents and their relationship to each other. For example, in the Pledging the Church to Reform section, the correspondence, minutes and other materials leading to the issuance of the Bishops' Program is reproduced. Users are then asked to explain how the Program was put together, based on the documents, prompting students to think chronologically as well comprehensively and analytically. The site also has a more general chronology related to general contemporaneous social and economic developments of the period in which students can place events related to the passage of the Bishops' Program. Reading through the site's introduction, the document introductions, and answering the questions, then, can effectively promote more sophisticated historical thinking in the classroom.

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