Our country’s existence can be divided into distinguished time periods, or eras. Era is defined as “a period of time marked by distinctive character, events, etc.” 1 The characteristics of each time period are unique to that era. Clothing, transportation, and music are some characteristics that classify one time period from another. Four broad time periods in the history of the United States include: 1607-1763 Colonization, 1850-1877 Civil War & Reconstruction, 1914-1945 World Wars, and 1945-Present Contemporary America.
U.S. Time Periods 1 Taken from: http:// dictionary.reference.com /browse/era
Transportation: Early settlers came across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe on overcrowded sailing ships, such as the “Mayflower of 1620.” 17 After their arrival, they rode horse-drawn buggies and covered wagons to travel across land.
Music: Music from 1600-1760’s is known as Baroque music. “During the period, composers and performers used more elaborate musical ornamentation; made changes in musical notation, and developed new instrumental playing techniques.” 3 Johann Pachelbel is a recognizable composer from the 1600s. Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZHw9uyj81g to hear his famous “Pachelbel’s Canon in D”. Music from early America was heavily influenced by Pachelbel and other Europeans. “Their music included ballads, dance tunes, folk songs and parodies, comic opera arias, drum signals, psalms, minuets and sonatas.” 4
Architecture: Early colonists built homes using timber from surrounding forests. Sometimes these homes had as little as 1 room per house.
Clothing: Colonial clothing resembled “English men in the early 17th century. Primarily it was fashioned from wool and linen cloth, with some leather… Some of these colors had social significance—black was indicative of solid respectability, blue was frequently worn by children and servants, and russet (reddish-brown) was a countryman’s color… Until the industrial Revolution, all cloth weaving was by hand.” 5
Electricity: People during this era relied on candlelight to see in the darkness.
U.S. Time Periods 3 Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baroque_music#Middle_baroque_music_.281654.26ndash.3B1707.29 4 Taken from http://www.colonialmusic.org/Resource/DHessay.htm#What was Colonial Music 5 Taken from http://www.scarborough.k12.me.us/wis/teachers/dtewhey/webquest/colonial/clothing.htm 17 Taken from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=20&hid=105&sid=1ca4f6ab-4ca9-4cd1-a410-a668a5bc7415%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JmxvZ2lucGFnZT1Mb2dpbi5hc3Amc2l0ZT1laG9zdC1saXZlJnNjb3BlPXNpdGU%3d#db=ahl&AN=A800056428.01
Clothing: “This is the era of the crinoline, or the hoop skirt as we call it… Skirt widths could range from 150" for and average dress to 240" for evening dresses.” 8
Architecture: “American homes in the Civil War period varied tremendously. In the North, there were the pre-existing frame and brick houses, while a few Southern families lived in grand plantation houses. Out west, the prairies saw fewer log cabins and more sod houses. The development of balloon-frame housing, a technique to create pre-fabricated houses, made frame houses more affordable for working-class families. In the crowded areas of the cities, many lived in boardinghouses and makeshift shacks and shanties. Apartments were another option for the working poor in the cities of the Northeast. Apartments originated in France, and first appeared in New York and New Orleans a few years before the war.” 10
Music: Music from this time period falls under the romanticism era of music. This type of music “describes the expansion of formal structures within a composition, making the pieces more passionate and expressive.” 6 “On the American Civil War battlefield, different instruments including bugles, drums, and fifes were played to issue marching orders or sometimes simply to boost the morale of one's fellow soldiers.” 7
Electricity: During the war, soldiers relied on the sun and candlelight for visibility; however, they used the darkness of night to their advantage by traveling and scheming at night.
Transportation: “Transportation during the Civil War still consisted largely of infantry marches and horseback. Large equipment and supplies, such as cannons and cooking gear, were moved using horses and wagons. Ships and trains were also used during the Civil War. At this time, steam was used to power both ships and trains. The steam engine and the steamboat were used to move large numbers of troops and equipment long distances.” 9 The early form of the bicycle was also developed during this era.
U.S. Time Periods 6 Taken from http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romantic_music 7 Taken from http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_the_American_Civil_War 8 Taken from http:// www.shootingstarhistory.com/civilwar/civilwar.html 9 Taken from http://www.kidport.com/refLib/UsaHistory/CivilWar/Transportation.htm 10 Taken from http:// www.historycentral.com/CivilWar/AMERICA/homes.html
Music: Swing music is the dominant form of American music from this period. Resembling jazz music, swing “can include brass instruments (including trumpets and trombones), woodwinds, saxophones, and clarinets, or stringed instruments including violin and guitar; medium to fast tempos; and a ‘lilting’ swing time rhythm.” 11
Architecture: Due our nation’s Great Depression and “lack of money, houses were often converted into a boarding house. A Boarding house required more rooms, so often families would use curtains to separate rooms, and use spare lumber to make a porch into what was called a sleeping porch. Sleeping porches were often cold, due to a lack of insulation, and so mostly children of the family opening the boarding house would reside there. Also, often houses in the 1930's had missing shingles, peeling paint or cracked brickwork.” 13
Transportation: Different from the Civil War era, soldiers of this time period were equipped with fixed wing aircraft and motorized automobiles to go along with railroad, horseback, and ship transportation.
Clothing: Women’s hemlines and haircuts began to significantly shorten during this time period because they were considered practical for war work. “Men's suits became sharper edged, with more shoulder padding, looking less youthful and more masculine.” 12
Electricity: The use of electricity began to grow during this time period because Thomas Edison had invented the light bulb in 1879.
U.S. Time Periods 11 Taken from http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swing_music 12 Taken from http://www.costumes.org/Classes/fashiondress/WW1toWW2.htm 13 Taken from http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_were_the_homes_in_the_1930's_like
Transportation: Along with the expansion of fashion, music, and architecture, we now have modern versions of Henry Ford’s first Model T and the Wright Brother’s basic airplane. Today’s transportation consists of all types of motorized automobiles, jets, space shuttles, subways, trains, ships, advanced motorcycles, and more.
Clothing: This era encompasses several different fashion trends, including 50s poodle skirts, minidresses of the 60s, 70s bell-bottoms for both men and women, big 80s hair, and the band-inspired Goth look of the 90s and today.
Electricity: Throughout this present time period, people are becoming environmentally aware of Earth’s resources and they are using them to produce electricity. This “thinking green” movement includes harnessing the sun’s energy and the strength of the wind and converting them into an electricity source.
Music: In the 60s and 70s, “music became innately tied up into causes, opposing certain ideas, influenced by the sexual revolution, feminism, Black Power and environmentalism.” 14 Then the 80s began “with heavy metal, punk rock and hardcore punk, and hip hop achieving increased crossover success. With the demise of punk rock, a new generation of punk-influenced genres arose, including Gothic rock, post-punk, alternative rock, emo and thrash metal” 15 to bring us to today’s American music.
Architecture: Houses and buildings of today have vastly evolved from the simple 1 room homes of the colonial era. We now have skyscrapers and other buildings considered man-made marvels. Today’s building materials have moved away from colonial era timber to include brick, steel, glass, and other sturdier materials.
U.S. Time Periods 14 Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_history_of_the_United_States_(1960s_and_70s ) 15 Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_history_of_the_United_States_(1980s_to_the_present )
What are some of the characteristics/events that have remained constant through these U.S. time periods?
A common theme present in the majority of these time periods’ covered is war. Issues that cause conflict, events that occur during battle, and turning points that conclude warfare exist(ed) in the 1850-1877 Civil War & Reconstruction era, the 1914-1945 World Wars era, and the 1945-Present Contemporary America era.
How has education changed over the periods of time in the U.S.?
1607-1763 Colonization “The first American schools opened during the colonial era. As the colonies began to develop, many in New England began to institute mandatory education schemes. In 1642 the Massachusetts Bay Colony made "proper" education compulsory. Similar statutes were adopted in other colonies in the 1640s and 1650s. Virtually all of the schools opened as a result were private. The nation's first institution of higher learning, Harvard University, was founded in 1636 and opened in 1638.” 16
1850-1877 Civil War & Reconstruction “Education reformers such as Horace Mann of Massachusetts began calling for public education systems for all. Upon becoming the secretary of education in Massachusetts in 1837, Mann helped to create a statewide system, based on the Prussian model, of "common schools," which referred to the belief that everyone was entitled to the same content in education. These early efforts focused primarily on elementary education. The common-school movement began to catch on in the North. Connecticut adopted a similar system in 1849, and Massachusetts passed a compulsory attendance law in 1852.
It was not until after the Civil War and under Reconstruction governments, that the coalition of black and white Republicans in state legislatures established universal public education in the South. This was one of the major achievements of Reconstruction governments. By 1870, every state provided free elementary education. Although in some states, education was first established as integrated, after white Democrats regained political power in the 1870s, they imposed segregation on all schools, and later on all public facilities. The South was struggling after the war, but as they had before the war, the wealthiest classes resisted taxes that would provide sufficient funding for education… At the beginning of the 20th century, fewer than 1,000 colleges with 160,000 students existed in the United States. Explosive growth in the number of colleges occurred at the end of the 1800s and early twentieth century. ” 16
U.S. Time Periods 16 Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_education_in_the_United_States
How has education changed over the period of time in the U.S.? (cont’d)
1945-Present Contemporary America “The disfranchisement [of African Americans and poor whites] lasted for decades; in most states, it lasted with little relief until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s had gained passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965… In 1975 Congress passed Public Law 94-142, Education of the Handicapped Act. One of the most comprehensive laws in the history of education in the United States, this Act brought together several pieces of state and federal legislation, making free, appropriate education available to all eligible students with a disability. The law was amended in 1986 to extend its coverage to include younger children. In 1990 the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) extended its definitions and changed the label "handicap" to "disabilities"… No Child Left Behind (as amended in 2004) was an amendment to the 1997 IDEA legislation. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, "For the nation's 2.9 million students with identified specific learning disabilities currently receiving special education services under IDEA, the challenging new provisions of NCLB create expanded opportunities for improved academic achievement and documentation of that improved performance.” 16
16 Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_education_in_the_United_States U.S. Time Periods
Beginnings: Early American Homes . (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2009, from http://www.thepastwhispers.com/Beginnings.html
Federal Resources for Educational Excellence, F. (n.d.). U.S. Time Periods. Retrieved September 20, 2009, from http://free.ed.gov/subjects.cfm?subject_id=157
Pachelbel Canon in D Major Perfect Version. (2006, November 28). Retrieved September 20, 2009, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZHw9uyj81g
Baroque music. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baroque_music#Middle_baroque_music_.281654.26ndash.3B1707.29
Hildebrand, D. k. (2001, September 18). About Early American Music . Retrieved September 20, 2009, from http://www.colonialmusic.org/Resource/DHessay.htm#What was Colonial Music
Romantic Music. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romantic_music
era . (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2009, from http:// dictionary.reference.com /browse/era
Grade 1 . (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2009, from http://dc.doe.in.gov/Standards/AcademicStandards/PrintLibrary/docs-socialstudies/2007-ss-grade01.doc
Wilkins, M. (2008). THE FIRST CROSSINGS: 'SPARROW-HAWK' AND MERCHANT SHIPS OF THE EARLY SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. Nautical Research Journal , 147-162. Retrieved September 21, 2009, from http:// web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid =20&hid=105&sid=1ca4f6ab-4ca9-4cd1-a410-a668a5bc7415%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JmxvZ2lucGFnZT1Mb2dpbi5hc3Amc2l0ZT1laG9zdC1saXZlJnNjb3BlPXNpdGU%3d#db= ahl&AN =A800056