Welcome to Mr. Bellas’sAmerican History Web PageEmail me at: firstname.lastname@example.orgI teach three classes this year. They are:
Advanced Placement American History
Sophomore American History
Advanced Placement Human GeographyRefer to the left hand side of this page for lesson plans for each class.
E-DAY ASSIGNMENTS ARE ALSO FOUND BY CHECKING WITHIN THE APPROPRIATE CLASS.My Lesson Plans are as up to date as humanly possible, but subject to change due to natural disasters, the whims of the administration, and of course, my own mismanagement of time.
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There is a great popular saying in France that might sum up a fairly good reason for studying American History:
"Le plus ca change le plus ca le meme chose"
(The more things change, the more they stay the same)
My philosophy on American History: We are fortunate to live in a period where our history is complex but mature. American history is full of stories of greatness, heroism and tragedy. We as a country are not infallible - the US has made mistakes, and is old enough now to know better. Edmund Burke said in 1775, "A great empire and little minds go ill together." Since we are hopefully living at the height of the American Empire, and you are the current and future minds which must manage it, you need to arm yourself with the knowledge that can prevent mistakes and ensure the greatness of our country and our culture.
According to Historian Sam Wineburg of Stanford University, history is not about rote memorization of facts. It's about understanding the context of events and learning that there are multiple interpretations of an event. Benjamin Franklin believed that history played an important role in cultivating citizens who can think for themselves. The notion that there are multiple perspectives to every event and that we can debate them in a civilized manner is a positive American virtue.
You all are invited to the debate in my classes, and hopefully will learn to form your own opinions independently of what you absorb from the media or from those who want you to think there is only one "correct" version of American history. You will learn to assess the validity of historical arguments by using important documents and primary sources. You will also learn to construct your own arguments and bring facts to support these same positions.
My view on American Government:
"When it shall be said in any country in the world, 'My poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am a friend of its happiness.' - when these things can be said, only then may that country boast of its constitution and government."
-Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man