My other website

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Leverett, Massachusetts (don’t think it has anything to do with my family

I maintain this website primarily for my high school World History classes but I also have another site in which I sometimes dabble in different historical subjects. Most of the posts are relatively short but I also recently included some longer papers which may be of interest to some.

Some of the topics have been:

John Newton the author of the popular hymn Amazing Grace and the slave trade

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Athanasius and the Establishment of Christian Orthodoxy in the Ancient Christian Church

The influence of the person & political philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi on the government of Indira Gandhi

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Donald Trump, The War of 1812 and the Burning of the White House

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Great Graphic novel about Sikhism

Indian Sikh priest Giani Jagtar Singh carries the Guru Granth Sahib, the central religious text of Sikhism, during a religious procession to mark the 413th anniversary of the installation of the Guru Granth Sahib at the Golden Temple in Amritsar in August 2017. Photo: Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images

Sikhs are primarily found within India but the Sikh diaspora is found in many nations throughout the world with Britain, Canada, and the United States hosting many Sikh citizens. Sikhs are often recognized by their distinctive uncut hair and turbans and are sometimes mistaken for Muslims but Sikhism is a distinct and separate religion. The Wilson Quarterly published a graphic novel by Josh Kramer in its fall 2015 issue. It’s well worth reading and educating yourself about this important world religion.

Tell Me Something About Sikh People by Josh Kramer Wilson Quarterly Fall 2015 

World War II

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We are nearing the end of the school year but before we end we will examine the largest war in history, World War II. We will look at both the war in Europe and the war in the Pacific. After the war in Europe, we will look at the tragedy of the Holocaust. If we have time we will discuss African Americans and World War II. After World War II, we will work on the study guide and prepare for the final exam.

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The Tuskegee Airmen

World War II- Causes and the War in Europe Powerpoint

Causes and the War in Europe Guided Notes

The Holocaust Powerpoint

Holocaust Guided Notes

World War II-War in the Pacific Powerpoint

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New Unit: Interwar period & World War II

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The Interwar Period: 1919-1939

The Interwar period is the time from the end of World War I to the beginning of World War II. While this is a relatively short period of time, it included events such as the Roaring Twenties, the Worldwide Great Depression, the rise of militarism, fascism, and totalitarian communism.

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Hyperinflation was so bad that German currency had no value. German children playing blocks with money!

Because we are so close to the end of the school year we will cover this period of history in one class period.

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The Interwar Period Powerpoint

The Interwar Period guided notes

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World War One: American Heroes

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Today we will finish World War I with an examination of two American heroes(along with a short look at Harlem Hellfighter, Henry Johnson). Sargeant Alvin York and Eugene Bullard. Alvin York was from the mountains of East Tennessee and he single-handedly captured an entire battalion. He killed at least 25 enemy German soldiers while capturing 132. In 1941 a Hollywood movie hit theaters portraying York’s act of heroism.

York.jpgThis battle scene was painted in 1919 by artist Frank Schoonover. The scene depicts the bravery of Alvin C. York in 1918.


After watchin a video about Alvin York we will watch a video about Eugene Bullard, read a short biography, and then answer constructed response questions. Eugene was known as the black swallow and he was the world’s first black combat pilot. Before the Tuskegee Airmen, there was Eugene Bullard.



Eugene Bullard Constructive Response Questions

The Two Lives of Eugene Bullard article from PBS American Experience

The Two Lives of Eugene Bullard article to print

WWI & Russian Revolution Study Guide

WWI American Heroes Powerpoint

World War I- The Great War Textbook reading

WW1 Glossary

BBC Schools World War I Glossary

World War One Glossary from Alpha History

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You can use the textbook link above, the glossaries or the powerpoints below to complete the Study Guide

Beginnings & Causes of World War 1 Powerpoint

World War One-A New Kind of War Powerpoint

Black and Asian Troops during World War One Powerpoint

End of WWI and the Peace Treaty Powerpoint

Russian Revolution Powerpoint

Russian Revolution

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At the beginning of World War I, Russia was a nation in turmoil. The reforms promised after the Revolution of 1905 never materialized and poverty persisted as the economy worsened. As the war progressed Russia’s prospects in the war were dim as Russia showed herself ill-equipped to fight a war against the Germans. As 1917 began Russia was on the edge of another revolution. By the end of 1917 Bolsheviks under Vladimir Lenin had seized power began to establish a radical Communist government as well as executing the entire Russian royal family. This led to a negotiated peace with the Central Powers and Russia’s withdrawal from World War One.


Below you find links to the Russian Revolution, Guided notes and the worksheet for the day.

Russian Revolution Textbook Reading

Russian Revolution Powerpoint

Russian Revolution Guided Notes 

WWI Practice Quiz

Assassin’s Creed® Chronicles: Russia_20160209173945

World War I: The War Ends

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As the war dragged on into 1916 and then 1917 it seemed to be a war with no end. The Western Front was a stalemate with battles that yielded little progress but costs thousands of lives. In response to a British blockade the Germans utilized U-boats or submarines to attack British naval vessels but then the Germans began to target British merchant ships delivering goods to Great Britain. When the passenger ship Lusitania was sunk by a U-boat killing over 1200 people including 120 Americans. Fearing the entry of the US into war Germany soon ceased attacking passenger ships but by 1917 the Germans returned to unrestricted submarine warfare because they saw it as vital to defeating the British navy.

WWI U-boat

The attacks on shipping began to draw the US closer to war and then the discovery of the Zimmerman note which was a secret message from the German government to Mexico promising the southwestern US if they came into the war on the side of Germany. So with the pressure from different directions, the US declared war in April 1917.


The Zimmerman Note

Today we will examine the end of the war and the Treaty of Versailles which formally ended the war. We will examine the conditions of the peace treaty and how it also set up the conditions that led to World War II.

End of WWI and the Peace Treaty Powerpoint

End of WWI and the Peace Treaty Guided Notes

Battle of The Somme Primary Source Worksheet (assigned earlier)

Treaty of Versailles Source Reading(optional)

World War I definitions & Constructed response questions(today’s work)

African, Asian, and African-American Troops in World War One

WW1 Flower_Paris_1916_Toor Collection

Many Sikh Indian troops fought for the British during WWI

Because most of the action and fighting during WWI took place within Europe many have the mistaken idea that only Europeans fought in WWI. But the reality is that WWI was a truly global war that included troops from around the world. Many African and Asian troops took part in the fighting as colonial troops with the hope that their courage and valor world win them respect and eventually self-rule and independence.


369th Infantry Unit

When the United States entered the war in 1917 one of the most decorated and prestigious units was the  369th Infantry Unit better known as the Harlem Hellfighters. The Harlem Hellfighters were an all African-American unit who fought with amazing tenacity and courage alongside French troops in Europe. Because of racial discrimination in the US during training, the 369th was sent to France ahead of other troops and were allowed to fight alongside French troops because American generals did not want them fighting with white US troops. The

The French government awarded the entire regiment the Croix de Guerre. The video below by the National Guard highlights the courage of the Harlem Hellfighters.

The Harlem Hellfighters
Harlem Hellfighters-History Channel
African Soldiers in World War I
India’s WW1 Hero You’ve Never Heard of


Below are links to the Powerpoint and assignments for the day.

Black and Asian Troops during World War One Powerpoint

Black and Asian Troops during World War One Guided Notes

Harlem Hellfighters Reading

Harlem Hellfighters Organizer Worksheet

We will also watch a trailer from the movie Joyeux Noel a movie which recounts the true and extraordinary Christmas truce of Christmas 1914 when German and Allied troops exchanged Christmas presents and played each other in soccer.

The graphic novel below is based on The Harlem Hellfighters; 200 Bonus points will awarded to students who read the novel and write a 1-page typed review.


For more information on Black history in Great Britain see the website Black Presence in Britain- Black British History

Bhagat Singh Thind was an Indian who enlisted in the United States Army in 1917. He settled in California after arriving in America in 1913.

World War I: A New Kind of War


Today we will continue to examine World War One or The Great War as it came to be known. World War One began with great waves of patriotic enthusiasm but the enthusiasm soon died down as the war reached a stalemate on the Western Front and thousands died trying to claim a few feet.


WWI also became a new type of war as new technologies led to new weapons and even more horrific ways to bring death to the battlefield. WWI saw the introduction to machine guns, poison gas, new artillery and high powered shells. Airplanes and tanks were seen for the first time on the battlefield. We will also see that the war spread to battlefields outside of Europe to the Ottoman Empire, Middle East, Africa and even Asia. When you come to class you will take about 5 minutes to take an online review quiz. Afterward, we will examine the war in more detail as we look at the powerpoint found below.

World War One-A New Kind of War Powerpoint

World War One- A New Kind of War Guided Notes

Europe Plunges into War Textbook reading


After we take notes you will read primary & secondary sources about the Battle of the Somme. You will use all the sources to answer constructed response questions but you will also compare the sources and evaluate their reliability.


World War Definitions & Questions  (Substitute in case of absence)

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New Unit: World War I Begins


Next, we will begin looking at World War One sometimes called the Great War.We will first examine the complicated causes and events leading up to World War One. These events are complicated but are based on four basic causes. These four causes or tensions were

  • Militarism
  • Alliances
  • Imperialism
  • Nationalism

But the spark that caused the explosion of World War One was the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914. As the Archduke and his wife were traveling through the streets of Sarajevo they were both killed by Gavrilo Princip a member of a Serbian nationalist group. Soon after recriminations and ultimatums were issued that led to multiple declarations of war that plunged all of Europe into a war that spread worldwide.


Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife

Below are the links for the day:

Beginnings & Causes of World War 1 Powerpoint

Beginnings & Causes  of World War 1 Guided Notes

WWI Begins Textbook Reading

WW1 Glossary

BBC Schools World War I Glossary

World War One Glossary from Alpha History

Causes of World War One Organizer & Crossword

WW1 Definitions and Constructed Response Questions

Serb student assassinates Archduke and his duchess


World War I Rap Battle