Shaping the Political Landscape Theme Study

What are National Historic Landmark Theme Studies?
National Historic Landmarks are often identified through theme studies.Theme studies are an effective way of identifying and nominating properties because they provide a comparative analysis of properties associated with a specific area of American history, such as the fur trade, earliest Americans, women's history, Greek Revival architecture, Man in Space, or labor history. Theme studies provide a national historic context for specific topics in American history or prehistory. In order to make the case for national significance, a theme study must provide that necessary national historic context so that national significance may be judged for a number of related properties.


A few theme studies relating to the theme 'Shaping the Political Landscape':

American Labor History: This study identifies key sites that commemorate the history of American laborers and their activities, the impact of industrial and technological change, and the contributions of workers to the country's development. This context explores workers as not only as economic beings, but also as family and community members, and as citizens and agents of democratic change.

Civil Rights in America: A Framework for Identifying Significant Sites: This theme study framework represents the first chapter in a larger study on the history of civil rights that helps the National Park Service evaluate proposals for new units in the park system.This overview describes the efforts of women and minority groups to secure and enforce civil rights under the U.S. Constitution. Additional theme study chapters include Racial Desegregation of Public Accommodations, Racial Desegregation in Public Education in the United States, and Racial Voting Rights.

The US Constitution: This theme study seeks to identify sites associated with Supreme Court cases that have resulted in the growth of the Constitution. The first section contains the introductory essay and includes the result of the survey of 155 cases/sites studied in this effort. The second section contains the nominations of the five properties recommended for designation as a result of this search. The third section contains a list of 165 existing NHLs and units of the National Park System that are significant in one or more areas of the history of the Constitution.

Japanese Americans in World War II (.pdf | 9.1MB): Commemorating sites related to Japanese Americans' wartime experience should foster the preservation of these sites. Their preservation will make them viable tools for public education and on-going reminders of a shared remorse over the treatment of a group of American citizens. As eligible properties are designated National Historic Landmarks, they will be commemorated as tangible reminders that government initiatives—even those taken in the guise of public safety—can be extreme, discriminatory, contrary to basic freedoms we embrace, and a violation of individual rights.

Last updated: March 30, 2018

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