Shaping the Political Landscape Featured Parks

Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks. With the help of volunteers and park partners, we safeguard these more than 400 places and share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. Find a few of those stories here and then Find a Park to find more of all Americans' stories.

Independence National Historical Park: Explore the places associated with the birth of the nation. Learn more about Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed. There are more than a dozen other historic sites and museums in the park.

The Civil War: From 1861 to 1865, the American union was broken as brother fought brother in a Civil War that remains a defining moment in our nation's history. Its causes and consequences, including the continuing struggle for civil rights for all Americans, reverberate to this day. From the battlefields to the homefront, the cost of the war was steep...its lessons eternal.

César E. Chávez National Monument: Under the leadership of César E. Chávez and others such as Dolores Huerta and Larry Itliong, along with support from millions of Americans, the farm worker movement joined forces with other reform movements to achieve unprecedented successes that greatly improved working and living conditions and wages for farm workers. During the 1970s the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) grew and expanded from its early roots as a union for farm workers to also become a national voice for the poor and disenfranchised.

Civil Rights in America: To live freely and participate in society is a right many take for granted. Achieving and maintaining those civil rights have been a struggle for different groups throughout U.S. history. Civil rights mean more than the protests of the 1950s and 1960s and reach beyond racial and ethnic groups. Today, the struggle has gone from an issue of racial equality to equality for all and new voices are engaging in the discussion, helping to define who we are as a people and a nation.

Last updated: March 14, 2016