Since 1994 the Scout Report has listed and annotated praiseworthy websites of interest to librarians, teachers, students, and scholars. Here's one that we will add to our Thomas Jefferson Portal research database: Creating the United States. More info:
As with other countries, the United States is very much a "work in progress". Of course, the nation's founders made a concerted effort to form a republic that would be able to govern effectively across a large geographic region and a plethora of different cultural traditions. This thoughtful and introspective online exhibit from the Library of Congress brings together a set of interactive resources and activities organized around themes that include "Creating the Declaration of Independence" and "Creating the Bill of Rights". Clicking on these themes will bring visitors to a brief narrative essay that sets the tone for the primary and secondary historical documents within each area. Here visitors will find such gems as an early map of the Appalachians, woodcuts of early Presidents, and the musings of Thomas Paine, among many others. Moving on, visitors should not miss the "Interactives" area. Here they can test their mettle by connecting particular phrases and ideas set down in the Declaration of Independence with the key texts that preceded it. And if visitors aren't stumped there (or even if they are), they can try the same tasks with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. After a visit to this site, some may even find themselves dusting off their old civics textbooks or at least planning a strip to a local government facility for further edification.