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November 2001

User's Guide to the Declaration of Independence
What's so special about the Declaration of Independence? This site explains!

This site, from the Claremont Institute, is a valuable resource to history or social science teachers that features a large collection of writings from the early American period.
The patriotic theme of red, white, and blue dominates the pages, and the link icons resemble campaign buttons. The layout is simple and user friendly, and no special plug-ins are needed.
The site is well-organized with links to the various areas of the site clearly displayed as buttons on the main page. Each main area has a top navigation bar for moving from one area to another and a table of contents for moving within an area. The site is also fully searchable by keyword.
The User's Guide to the Declaration of Independence provides a great resource for teaching a better understanding of the ideas on which American democracy is founded. The Declaration of Independence is fully hyperlinked to explanations of the terms and phrases and their historical context. Scanned copies of the original document are available in draft, engrossed, and printed forms. The site includes clear explanations of the essential ideas contained in documents. The Interactive Timeline chronicles the founding era of American history from 1763-1791. Included in this section are short biographies of historical figures of the time. The Issues section provides information on the relevance of issues of the day and contemporary issues. If visitors can't find the answer to a question, there is a link for sending it in to an "expert."

Reviewed by Hazel Jobe
Education World®
Copyright © 2001 Education World