Modern History Portfolio Bibliography Part 1 – Recommended Sources

ModernBibliographyPart 1

-Colonization of North America-The Age of Revolution-A New Nation

ModernBibliography Part 2

-Expansion and Conflict-The Civil War

ModernBibliography Part 3

-Crisis in Europe and at Home-The Cold War Era and Beyond

NOTE: Following are “suggested” living books and non-fiction sources to accompany your study.


Working through a Portfolio will require that you access stories of the people and events indicated in the Portfolio’s Table of Contents and the Teacher’s Guide. But, exactly which books you find, or choose to use, is up to you. No one single book is indispensable. If a book recommended here becomes out of print and outrageously costly, just pick something else.  

Overview Books:

Having either the Kingfisher or Usborne World History Encyclopedia will be a convenience factor for you. Many times, when researching topics indicated in the Portfolio, your students will only need a short text entry with an image to glean the bit of information required. These books are as the title states, history encyclopedias. I highly recommend having one on your home library shelf.  

Access lots of stories within a single volume! The History Portfolios cover history topically, so all people and events closely associated with an era, or movement, are covered in a single chapter. The Story of the World series takes a chronological approach. The two approaches are perfectly compatible. I recommend using SOTW just as you would every other book listed below. When you need to read about a certain person or event, refer to SOTW ‘s index or table of contents, and locate the necessary stories. 

NOTE: Several topics covered in the Modern Portfolio can be found within SOTW vol. 3, so if you want to use SOTW, you’ll need volumes 3 and 4. Also, the Modern History Portfolio covers more American History than SOTW

Access tons of stories, and read about history from a Christian world view. There are so many stories in each volume of Mystery of History! Volume IV has stories about 84 distinct topics. As with SOTW, stories are easily located by using the table of contents or the index. If you want to cover history from a Christian world view, and access a narrative history told in a conversational style, this book will be well worth your money and a great convenience.

I have been very impressed by the Houghton Mifflin text books in this series. They are: A Message of Ancient Days, Across the Centuries, and A More Perfect Union. Each volume is full of primary source quotes, maps, charts, and quality images, and even selections from classic literature from which to read. The books are respectful of all cultures and religions and fit well with a classical approach. Units have chapters which are clearly defined with “lessons” divided into clear topics and sub topics that provide perfect note-taking opportunities. Easily pick up a very good quality used book on Amazon.

The Colonization of North America

The chapter or unit titled Colonization of North America begins with the first permanent settlements in North America by the English, French, and Dutch and concludes with the Seven Years’ War (The French and Indian War). Topics include the Roanoke Colony, Jamestown, the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony, the New England, Middle, and Southern Colonies, English and British Monarchs, George Washington, and the significance of the French and Indian War for the colonists. This chapter or unit also leads the student to explore daily life in the colonies, the significance of the Mayflower Compact, and the development of a uniquely American style of art. 


Read more about the Modern History Portfolio here, or about the Unit Study Portfolios here

The Age of Revolution:

The chapter or unit titled The Age of Revolution covers a broad range of dramatic changes occurring in North America, England, and France during the years 1763-1799. Major events include the American Revolutionary War, the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions, and the French Revolution. Topics include 1) the Background to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the American Founding Fathers, major battles in the American Revolutionary War, and the Articles of Confederation; 2) inventions and advances related to harnessing power, the mechanization of the textile industry in England, and iron smelting and machine works; 3) Benjamin Franklin in France, the chronology of events related to the French Revolution, the range of exploits of Napoleon Bonaparte, and French art. 


Read more about the Modern History Portfolio here, or about the Unit Study Portfolios here

A New Nation:

The chapter or unit titled A New Nation covers the Antebellum era, early 1789 – 1861. The geographic regions covered in this chapter or unit include all states and territories north and south, plus statehood issues related to the issue of slavery. Major topics include: The U.S. Constitution and national symbols; The War of 1812; the wave of westward expansion into Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois,Tennessee, and West Virginia; Daily life in the agrarian south vs. the industrialized north; The institution of slavery and the abolitionist movement; Locks and canals, and life on the Mississippi River; plus technological innovation and the mechanization of farming.


Read more about the Modern History Portfolio here, or about the Unit Study Portfolios here