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Election Central Lessons

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Election Central Lessons

The following lessons contain readings and activities that provide historical background and raise issues related to the electoral process. These resources are arranged under four categories: Issues for the Election | U.S. History | World History | Government

voting_line_in_brooklynIssues for the Election

As voters go to the polls this election year, the United States faces crucial domestic and foreign policy issues. Parties and candidates will be taking positions on issues related to the economy, immigration, terrorism and foreign relations. Here are some background readings and lessons that address some of these issues.

Domestic Issues

The Economy

Unemployment and the Future of Jobs in America, (BRIA, Vol. 27:4)

A Guide to the Federal Budget Deficit and the National Debt Taxes (BRIA, Vol. 26:3)

John Maynard Keynes and the Revolution in Economic Thought (BRIA, Vol. 25:3)


Current Issues (Educating About Immigration)

Other Domestic Policies

Affirmative Action in American Colleges After Fisher v. Texas (BRIA, Vol. 29:2)

The Continuing Struggle for U.S. Health-Care Reform (BRIA, Vol. 28:1)

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on the Affordable Care Act (BRIA, Vol. 28:1)

Health Care: What Do Other Countries Do? (BRIA, Vol. 28:1:12)

Foreign Issues


What Is Terrorism? (America Responds to Terrorism)

Terrorism: How Have Other Countries Handled It? How Should We? (America Responds to Terrorism) 

Islamic Terrorism From1945 Until the Death of Osama bin Laden (America Responds to Terrorism)


U.S. Foreign & Military Policy

Communism, Capitalism, and Democracy in China (BRIA, Vol. 24:1)

North Korea: The Rogue Nation (BRIA, Vol. 26:4)

Women in the Military (BRIA, Vol. 29:4)

The Crisis in Ukraine (CRF Online Lesson)

The War in Afghanistan: What Should America’s Policy Be? (BRIA, Vol. 30:1)

U.S. History

Who Voted in Early America? (BRIA, Vol. 8:1)

How Political Parties Began (BRIA, Vol. 24:2)

Hamilton, Jefferson, and Their Fight for the Future of America (BRIA, 28:2)

The Election of 1824–25: When the House Chose the President (BRIA, Vol. 8:4)

Why Don’t People Vote? (BRIA, Vol. 8:4)

The Citizen in de Tocqueville's America (BRIA, Vol 2:1)

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates — Springboard to the White House (BRIA, 29:3:14)

Race and Representation (BRIA, Vol. 12:2)

How Women Won the Right to Vote (BRIA, Vol. 20:2)

The Progressives and Direct Democracy (BRIA, Vol 16:3)

Race and Voting in the Segregated South (CRF Online Lesson)

The Watergate Scandal (BRIA, 25:4:10)

Election 2000 The Closest Presidential Race Ever (CRF Online Lesson)


Making it Easier to Vote vs. Guarding Against Election Fraud (BRIA,, Vol. 24:2)

Political Parties, Platforms, and Planks (CRF Online Lesson)

saelections2009Election 2000 Closest Presidential Race Ever (CRF Online Lesson)

Race and Representation (BRIA, Vol. 12:2)

Are the News Media Focusing on the Wrong Thing? (BRIA, Vol. 13:1)

TV Attack Ads and the Voter (BRIA, Vol. 13:1)

Judges and Voters (BRIA, Vol. 14:2)

Election Polls (BRIA, Vol. 10:2)

How the First State Constitutions Helped Build the U.S. Constitution (BRIA, 29:1)

The Electoral College (BRIA, 28:2)

World History

Tulipmania & Economic Bubbles (BRIA, 26:3:11)

Bringing Democracy to Japan (BRIA, Vol 3:4)

South Africa: Revolution at the Ballot Box (BRIA, Vol. 12:2)

Emerging Democracies in Eastern Europe and Russia (BRIA, Vol. 19:1)

U.S. Involvement in Nation-Building Before Iraq (BRIA,, Vol. 20: 3)

Photo 1:  April Sikorski from Brooklyn, USA (vote here) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo 2 and 3: Wikimedia Common


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