Issues & Controversies in American History

About This Product

With Issues & Controversies in American History, history comes to life, not as a mere recitation of names and dates but as a series of turning points where the future hung in the balance and opinions raged on all sides. This accessible educational database delivers dynamic, concise, and balanced coverage that provides the background, outcome, and contemporary points of view for every major debate and conflict in American history. All articles feature multiple primary sources, essential to understanding our nation’s past. In addition, all articles have been indexed to key subjects such as immigration, politics and government, race and civil rights, religion, war and military, and more.

Special, enhanced articles are introduced by an exciting, original three-minute video that gives essential visual context to the issue and controversy covered by the article. These enhanced articles include additional educator support material such as an overview of the topic, learning objectives, activity handouts, and self-assessment quizzes—all tools for applying the issues and debate topics to class lessons in a meaningful and contextualized way. Selected articles feature a special “What if?” section that suggests what could have happened had Americans chosen differently. This database is the perfect companion to Issues & Controversies and American History.


  • Focused Presentation: Articles in Issues & Controversies in American History are divided into 10 major time periods, from the precolonial era to the present, to correlate to history education standards: 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; and 1972–Present: Contemporary Era. The articles are also searchable by subject.
  • Balanced Articles: Each article in Issues & Controversies in American History features definitive, unbiased treatment providing clear pro and con arguments on hundreds of controversies in U.S. history, each amply supported by primary sources to enable students to grasp the essence and importance of every conflict and the reasons Americans debated them. Subjects covered include American Indians; business, labor, and industry; civil liberties; environment; federalism and states’ rights; immigration; slavery; and women and gender.
  • Authoritative Content: All articles in Issues & Controversies in American History are written by historians and experts, based on current scholarship.
  • Specially Created Educator Support Material: Issues & Controversies in American History features an array of valuable educator resources and critical-thinking assets to enhance any lesson or debate prep, such as:
    • 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 special activities, collaborative projects, and homework assignments;
    • “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 every topic;
    • Plus, valuable learning objectives, academic standards, procedures, and resources.
  • Enhanced Lessons: Selected articles in Issues & Controversies in American History are introduced by an original, three-minute tablet/mobile-friendly video, with additional educator support materials that feature activities, lesson plans, and discussion questions.
  • Rich Related Resources: Issues & Controversies in American History includes more than 2,000 primary source documents, timelines, background articles, biographies, editorial cartoons, and more.
  • Primary Sources: Issues & Controversies in American History includes historical documents with introductory paragraphs that provide context and background to the sources—perfect for document-based learning and strengthening critical-thinking skills.
  • Special Features: Issues & Controversies in American History features three rotating articles on the home page, changing monthly.
  • American Presidential Elections Section: Issues & Controversies in American History’s “American Presidential Elections” section provides background and results of every U.S. presidential election since 1789, including voting statistics, biographies, and links to related topics—perfect for adding context around this year’s election. Students can get valuable context, insight, and understanding of this year’s election by reviewing the stories behind those of years past, including voting statistics, biographies, and links to related topics.


  • Original introductory videos specially developed for selected articles—all mobile friendly
  • Bibliographies and websites
  • Background Encyclopedia content
  • Counterfactual “What if?” sections for selected articles
  • Correlated to Common Core, state, national, C3 Framework for Social Studies, and International Baccalaureate Organization standards
  • Google Translate for 100+ languages
  • Ability to download text articles as PDFs
  • Read Aloud tool
  • Share content to Google Classroom
  • Enhanced search technologies, including Search Assist
  • Persistent record links
  • Dynamic citations in MLA and Chicago formats, with EasyBib export functionality
  • Searchable Support Center with valuable help materials, how-to tips, tutorials, and live help chat.

The ComputED Gazette’s Education Software Review Award (EDDIES), “High School Online Database Website” category

Library Journal Best Database, “Best for High Schoolers” category

“…a wealth of information for students working on any research project…readily accessible and easy to navigate…Recommended.”
Library Media Connection

“…a very good addition to a school library’s reference collection. Highly recommended.”

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

For ordering, pricing, or other information, please call (800) 322-8755 or email