Skip to content
Chronological Reasoning and Causation

Defining American Culture

  1. Load Emma Nielson's School Room Description, 1888 in Main Image Viewer
  2. Load Emma Nielson's May Snowstorm Account, 1888 in Main Image Viewer
  3. Load Emma Nielson's Report Card, 1887-1888 in Main Image Viewer
  4. Load Photograph of Nielson Children, 1905 in Main Image Viewer
  5. Load Photograph of 1888 Blizzard, Lansingburgh: Men in the Street in Main Image Viewer
  6. Load Naturalization Record for Peter Nielson, 1875 in Main Image Viewer
  7. Load Map of Denmark, 1974 in Main Image Viewer
  8. Load Map of Lansingburgh, Beers Atlas, 1876 in Main Image Viewer
  9. Load Castle Garden Photograph in Main Image Viewer
  10. Load Passenger List for Peter Nielson in Main Image Viewer
  11. Load Page from the 1880 Federal Census, Rensselaer County in Main Image Viewer
  12. Load Page from the 1905 New York State Census, Rensselaer County in Main Image Viewer
  13. Load Page from the 1910 Federal Census, Rensselaer County in Main Image Viewer
  14. Load Lithograph of Castle Garden, 1877 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Develop an understanding of how industrialization altered the traditional social pattern of American society.
Complete a well-documented and historically accurate case study about individuals who represent different ethnic, national, and religious groups in New York State and the U.S. at different times and in different locations.
Consider the sources of historic documents, narratives, or artifacts and evaluate their reliability.
Describe historical events through the eyes and experiences of those who were there.
Essential Questions:
Is there an American culture?
How is cultural diversity both a benefit and a problem?
How did massive immigration lead to new social patterns and conflicts?
Why do some people view the same event differently?
Why was the United States a magnet to so many people?
Case Study: Students will complete the case study determining the effect a particular immigrant group had on American society and culture. The case study will focus on an immigrant family living in a local community at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. 
Essay: Compare immigration past and present in the same community as the case study. Compare countries of origin, reasons for emigration, and degree of acceptance by Americans.
Personal Accounts
Census Records
Immigration Records