videos + essays

Over the next two years, Seeing America will grow to include 100 videos, 18 essays, quizzes, discussion questions and lesson plans.

Is the judge trustworthy? Blythe’s <em>Justice</em>
Is the judge trustworthy? Blythe’s Justice

The dubious justice of the anti-immigrant Know-Nothing Party

Martyr or murderer? <em>The Last Moments of John Brown</em>
Martyr or murderer? The Last Moments of John Brown

John Brown has polarized political opinion from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement.

Face to face with the voters: Bingham’s <em>Country Politician</em>
Face to face with the voters: Bingham’s Country Politician

Before TV and Twitter, politicians talked to voters face-to-face.

Heroes of modern surgery: Eakins’ Dr. Gross and Dr. Agnew
Heroes of modern surgery: Eakins’ Dr. Gross and Dr. Agnew

Heroes of modern surgery: Eakins' Dr. Gross and Dr. Agnew

Inventing America, Colt’s Experimental Pocket Pistol
Inventing America, Colt’s Experimental Pocket Pistol

The gun that "won the West" also transformed American manufacturing and marketing.

Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite, and the battle for National Parks
Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite, and the battle for National Parks

Captured here in paint, this grand Californian landscape would soon disappear under water.

Snakes and petticoats? Making sense of politics at the end of the Civil War
Snakes and petticoats? Making sense of politics at the end of the Civil War

The makers of this ostentatious ceramic jug used images from popular satire to poke fun at the Civil War politics.

Carving out a life after slavery
Carving out a life after slavery

This eclectic assortment of carved objects speaks to the experience of a formerly-enslaved man in the post-Civil War South.

A breath of fresh air: industrialization and New York’s Central Park
A breath of fresh air: industrialization and New York’s Central Park

To bring “polite sociability” to the city, designers blended nature’s greatest hits into one ambitious park.

The Civil War: putting liberty front and center
The Civil War: putting liberty front and center

Johnson’s moving painting of a family fleeing slavery places the courage of African-Americans center stage.

<em>Washington Crossing the Delaware</em>, An American icon made in Germany
Washington Crossing the Delaware, An American icon made in Germany

This gigantic canvas is one of the most famous in the history of American art, but it wasn’t made in the USA.

Representing freedom during the Civil War
Representing freedom during the Civil War

This remarkable work honors those who fought for their own freedom, but acknowledges that the struggle goes on.