Ken Burns Classroom


Malcolm X at Queens Court in 1964

Postwar United States (1945-1970s)

The end of World War II in 1945 would usher a period of economic growth and stability in the United States that led to the establishment of a vibrant middle class.

Farmer and his sons and their farm house during a dust storm

The Great Depression and WWII (1929-1945)

Nothing could have prepared the country for the hardship it would face during the stock market crash of 1929, the man-made agricultural catastrophe of the Dust Bowl, and the economic collapse that shaped the 1930s.

Illustration from A journal of the voyages and travels of a corps of discovery

Expansion and Reform (1820-1860)

As the ambitions of the United States expanded westward, the concept of Manifest Destiny took hold in the 1840s. American settlers were fueled by the belief that they carried a divine destiny to take control of land occupied by Native Americans.

Painting by Junius Brutus Stearns of the signing of the U.S. Constitution

The New Nation (1750-1820s)

The United States of America grew out of a loose confederation of colonies under British colonial rule into a fledgling nation of 13 states.