Issues & Controversies in History

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About This Product

Issues & Controversies in History places students at the center of the great debates and conflicts in U.S. and world history, exploring the issues as the key players saw them, or, in some cases, as historians have interpreted them. Formerly known as Issues & Controversies in American History, this comprehensive reference database has been expanded to cover every region of the world from antiquity to the present. It delivers dynamic, concise, and balanced coverage of a broad range of topics, from slavery, empire, and revolution to race, gender, economy, and disease, all over the globe. Plus, the redesigned home page brings the core content to the forefront, with a fully responsive design, easier navigation, and a cleaner presentation.

By building a deeper understanding of how historical events and conflicts have influenced U.S. and world history over the past 5,000 years, Issues & Controversies in History is essential for undergraduates studying history, political science, economics, sociology, speech and debate, writing, journalism, and many other subjects.


  • Focused Presentation: Articles in Issues & Controversies in History are divided into four sections—American History Eras, World History Eras, History Regions, and History Subjects:

American History Eras:

    • Beginnings to 1606: Three Worlds Meet
    • 1607–1760: Colonization and Settlement
    • 1761–1812: Revolution and New Nation
    • 1813–1855: Expansion and Reform
    • 1856–1869: Civil War and Reconstruction
    • 1870–1899: Industrialization and the Gilded Age
    • 1900–1928: Progressivism and the Emergence of Modern America
    • 1929–1945: The Great Depression and World War II
    • 1946–1971: Postwar and Civil Rights Era
    • 1972–Present: Contemporary Era.

World History Eras:

    • Prehistory–500 CE: The Ancient World
    • 501–1450: The Medieval World
    • 1451–1750: Global Expansion and Encounter
    • 1751–1900: Age of Revolutions
    • 1901–1945: Crisis and Achievement
    • 1946–Present: Promises and Paradoxes

History Regions:

    • Africa
    • Americas/United States
    • Asia and Oceania
    • Europe
    • Middle East

History Subjects:

    • Business, Labor, and Industry
    • Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, and Human Rights
    • Courts and Crime
    • Diplomacy and Foreign Relations
    • Disease and Health
    • Economy and Trade
    • Education
    • Empires and Civilizations
    • Environment and Natural Resources
    • Exploration, Colonialism, and Imperialism
    • Federalism and States’ Rights
    • Indigenous Peoples and Native Americans
    • Migration, Immigration, and Diaspora
    • Politics, Government, and Law
    • Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality
    • Rebellions and Revolutions
    • Religion and Cosmology
    • Science and Technology
    • Slavery
    • Society, Culture, and Social Issues
    • War and Military
    • Westward Expansion
    • Women and Gender
  • Balanced Articles: The objective, unbiased articles in Issues & Controversies in History provide clear pro and con arguments on hundreds of controversies in U.S. and world history. Each article is centered on original documents, with the goal of teaching students how to interpret primary sources, assess point of view, improve critical-thinking skills, and understand the forces that have shaped U.S. and world history.
  • Authoritative Content: All articles in Issues & Controversies in History are written by historians and experts, based on current scholarship.
  • Specially Created Educator Resources and Enhanced Lessons: Issues & Controversies in History features an array of valuable educator resources and critical-thinking assets to enhance any lesson or debate prep. Selected articles in Issues & Controversies in History are introduced by an original, three-minute tablet/mobile-friendly video, with additional instructor support materials that feature lesson plans and printable handouts. These are clearly called out on the Educator Resources page.
    • Original overview videos that introduce key issues in a clear and dynamic fashion and are perfect discussion starters;
    • Printable handouts that can be downloaded as PDFs and include collaborative projects;
    • “Extend the Lesson” sections that pose counterfactual “What If?” questions, challenging students to think about the issues beyond the scope of the article and to lead in-class debates;
    • Discussion questions and self-assessments with answer keys that promote critical thinking and inspire further exploration of the topic;
    • Plus, valuable learning objectives, procedures, and resources.
  • Rich Related Resources: Issues & Controversies in History includes more than 2,400 primary source documents, timelines, background articles, biographies, editorial cartoons, and more.
  • Video Resources: Issues & Controversies in History features proprietary tablet/mobile-friendly videos on selected controversies in history, perfect for introducing these topics in a succinct and entertaining manner.
  • Primary Sources: Issues & Controversies in History includes an enormous range of historical documents with introductory paragraphs that provide context and background to the sources—perfect for strengthening critical-thinking skills and essential to understanding the past. Original documents include speeches, editorials, newspaper articles, letters, and diaries, but also graphic works and physical objects, such as editorial cartoons, paintings, coins, statues, pottery, and ancient monuments.
  • Editorial Cartoons: Issues & Controversies in History’s editorial cartoons can help students better understand, visually, what is going on in the world. The cartoons illustrate events from throughout history, complete with questions that may be useful in helping students interpret the cartoon’s message.
  • Timelines: Issues & Controversies in History includes a list of topic-specific timelines—filterable by era, region, and subject—that can help users follow the major historical events and trends of a topic chronologically.
  • U.S. Presidential Elections Section: Issues & Controversies in History’s “U.S. Presidential Elections” section provides background and results of every U.S. presidential election since 1789, including voting statistics and biographies. Students can get valuable context, insight, and understanding of this year’s election by reviewing the stories behind those of years past.
  • Great for Distance Learning: Issues & Controversies in History is easy to access on or off-site, can be used for individual research or homework help, and has a variety of features—such as Enhanced Lessons for selected hot-button issues and exclusive Educator Resources—that make it a great source for virtual instruction or at-home learning.


  • Fully responsive design for mobile and other platforms
  • Bibliographies and websites
  • Background Encyclopedia content
  • Searchable images, maps, graphs, tables, charts, and chronologies
  • Counterfactual “What if?” sections for selected articles exploring what might have happened had people made different choices
  • Google Translate for 100+ languages
  • Ability to download text articles as PDFs
  • Read Aloud tool
  • Embed code feature—easily add content to any HTML page or learning management system
  • Save content directly to Google Drive so students can complete assignments at home
  • Single sign-on with Google or Microsoft
  • Persistent record links
  • Dynamic citations in APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard formats, with EasyBib and NoodleTools export functionality
  • An accessible interface, including VPAT, to ensure a comfortable research experience for all users
  • Searchable Support Center with valuable help materials, how-to tips, tutorials, and live help chat.

Library Journal Best Database

“…provides a wealth of information and will bring U.S. history to life for many students.”
American Reference Books Annual

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