Past Institutes

Critical Events in U.S. History, 1776–1836

In October 2013, Humanities Texas held four one-day teacher workshops for two hundred teachers throughout the state focusing on critical events in U.S. history between 1776 and 1836.


Topics addressed included the Revolutionary War, debates over the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, the Second Great Awakening, and Jacksonian Democracy.  The workshops emphasized close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities. Teachers received books and other instructional materials and were trained in the examination and interpretation of primary sources. 


Workshop faculty included Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Jack N. Rakove (Stanford University) and Daniel Walker Howe (University of California at Los Angeles); Daniel Feller (University of Tennessee); and Thomas N. Pangle and Robert Olwell (The University of Texas at Austin).

Program Resources

Our November 2013 newsletter included a slideshow of images from the workshops.

Locations and Schedules

The workshop overviews detail each program’s schedule and participants.

BeaumontOctober 1Education Service Center, Region 5Overview
HoustonOctober 2Bayou Bend Collections and GardensOverview
AustinOctober 3Byrne–Reed HouseOverview
DallasOctober 4Dallas Institute of Humanities and CultureOverview


These workshops were made possible with major funding from the State of Texas, with ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Humanities Texas thanks ESC 5, the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, and the Bayou Bend Collections and Gardens for hosting the programs.

Questions about Teacher Institutes

Call 512.440.1991 or email

Participants gather in front of the Byrne-Reed House during the Austin workshop.
Daniel Walker Howe of the University of California, Los Angeles delivers a lecture on the Second Great Awakening at the Beaumont workshop.
Thomas L. Pangle of The University of Texas at Austin discusses the Constitution with teachers at the Houston workshop.