World's Fairs and the Dawning of "The American Century"
A document-based teaching unit
The unit examines the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago through a variety of primary sources, including guidebooks, pamphlets, speeches, cartoons, and newspaper accounts of the fairs. Materials in this unit are designed to help students consider the role the World’s Fair movement played in reconstructing the American “national” culture after the Civil War, the extent to which the fairs encouraged both American technological progress and an attitude of cultural superiority, and the relationship between the fairs and the growing interest in American overseas expansion.
Lesson 1: To Make a Nation Whole
Lesson 2: The March of Progress
Lesson 3: Cultural Frankensteins?
Lesson 4: Case Study: Filipinos at the 1904 St. Louis Fair
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