Center for the Teaching of History

2022 National History Day -- Debate & 历史上的外交:成功,失败,后果

从官方的2022年国史日开始 Debate & Diplomacy in History Theme Book.

Then begin exploring the many historical resources available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.  你可以在生活的任何地方寻找灵感 collections: by exploring our library catalogs, our online resources, our collection guides, or by visiting us in person.

Have research questions?  Not sure where to start?  Our Library Reader Services are happy to help!  您可以通过617-646-0532与我们的图书管理员利记手机官网,电子邮件地址为, or via live chat and virtual reference services with any questions.

Interested in obtaining reproductions of materials that have not been digitized? Learn about our reproductions policies on our website, or email with specific questions.

Questions to Get You Started

The following are a sample of the many potential topics for a National History Day 2022 Debate & Diplomacy in History 项目基于MHS利记手机官网,数字化和现场. 请注意,这些想法只是让你开始,和 many of these subjects will have to be narrowed down to produce a high quality project. We recommend browsing our Online Collections for ideas as well--just a few of those collections are linked to topics listed below.

"It is important to consider the short-term and long-term impact of different events or exchanges on history. 学生需要确定遗产和后果, good and bad, of the debates and diplomatic actions they choose. They must ask questions about successes, failures, and consequences to drive analysis. " (NHD Theme Book, 7). 

辩论和外交不局限于言语和对话. 而是一件珠宝,一篇报纸文章,一份礼物,甚至 this document 能传达信息并影响谈判或辩论吗. Think through the ways in which words and 视觉对象可以影响辩论,影响人与人之间的关系, communities, and nations.

Below are some questions to get you started:

  1. What does debate mean? What are the different forms it may take?
  2. What is diplomacy, and who is involved in it?
  3. 为什么某一场辩论或外交事件/协议很重要? How did it shape events that came after it?
  4. How have diplomatic relations between particular nations soured or improved over time? What caused the changes?
  5. What are the limitations of diplomacy? Was an agreement followed? If not, what happened instead?
  6. How have debates over a particular idea changed over time, especially with the development of [object/thing/idea] or the occurrence of a particular event?

Thinking Through The Archive

Archive: "a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.”                                                                  Analysis: “detailed examination of the elements or structure of something.”

As historians, it is important to think through the authors of the sources that you are working with. 他们的故事利记APP官网手机版,他们是否处于权力地位? What does the source tell us? What does it not tell us? 它是否以牺牲分享另一种叙述为代价,使一种叙述沉默?

  • Northeast Boundary Papers, 1700-1799. This collection is composed of correspondence and other papers concerning the dispute over the St. 克罗伊河是帕萨马科地的一部分.S. and Canada illegally claimed as their own and used as part of their Northeast boundary in the Treaty of 1783. The collection contains depositions and interrogations of persons living in the vicinity of the river, 包括帕萨马科迪部落和其他瓦巴纳基民族的成员, and of surveyors employed by both countries. How many different perspectives were involved? What were the goals of the different parties? Which voices are included or left out?
  • 与印第安人的两次会议记录,1780年7月. This small collection contains the proceedings of two meetings held between Native Americans and the British superintendent of Indian Affairs, Col. Guy Johnson, at Niagara on 3 July and 6 July 1780. The proceedings include transcripts of speeches by Johnson accusing the Native Americans of disloyalty and speeches by tribal representatives accusing the British of deception. The transcripts were written in an unknown hand. Historically, institutions like the MHS have housed mostly sources telling the experiences of white people. Who is likely to have recorded these speeches? Why are these proceedings important? And, why is it that the archive often only communicates a more whitewashed perspective?
  • Massachusetts Debates a Woman's Right to Vote. The MHS collection highlights the fight over a woman’s right to vote in Massachusetts by illustrating the arguments made by suffragists and their opponents. The purpose of a debate is to present the audience, and judges, with many viewpoints and perspectives. Why is it important to communicate many views, even if they contradict each other?

Debate and Diplomacy: Prompts Through The Eras

Early New England

  • Samuel Sewall's The Selling of Joseph: A Memorial: Printed in 1700, this was the first published anti-slavery tract in the American colonies. What argument does Sewall make against slavery? What arguments doesn't he use? Who is his audience? Who is he debating against? Was he successful? Why/why not?
  • Maps of the French and Indian War: Who created each map? What was the map's purpose? Whose perspective does the map reflect?
  • 波士顿大屠杀:审视视角的多样性 What were the debates in the aftermath of the event? Was there a winner? 这些叙述如何塑造了我们今天对这一事件的记忆?

The Revolutionary War Era

The Early Republic

The 19th Century 

The 20th Century

  • The Treaties of Peace, 1919-1923: 对哪些国家来说,一战后的和平条约是成功的? A failure? How did they shape the decades that followed?
  • Margaret B. Wright 女性新闻捕捉工作场所中的女性; What specific arguments does Wright make? 随着时间的推移,利记APP官网手机版职场女性的争论发生了怎样的变化? 
  • Sheldon Leavitt Crosby Papers, 1914-1939 and Photographs depict Leavitt's diplomatic work, particularly in Turkey during the interwar period. Learn more about the Sheldon Leavitt Crosby photographs and the 1925 bombing of Damascus, Syria in this 2019 MHS Beehive blog postWhat was the role of diplomacy following WWI? In what ways did diplomacy fail to maintain peace? 

 Primary Source Highlights

历史学家使用多种类型的媒体进行研究. For example, they may look at diaries, letters, records, photographs, maps, or newspapers to perform their work. Similarly, diplomats use more than words to convey messages and maintain relationships. 这些媒体能告诉我们利记APP官网手机版一个国家、一个事件或一个大时代的什么信息? Here are examples of interesting documents and artifacts which could inspire your NHD project.

Diplomatic Medal of the States-General of the United Provinces of Holland given to John Adams


This gold medal was presented by the States-General of the United Provinces of Holland to John Adams upon his departure as minister on 6 March 1788. 亚当斯是美国派往荷兰的第一位特使, 这是唯一一枚已知存在的18世纪外交奖章. Learn more about the diplomatic work of John Adams and John Quincy Adams at the Adams Family Papers and Adams Papers Digital Edition!


Many U.S. 外交官们在国外执行公务时收到了礼物. For example, Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge received a baton made by An-Thanh Nuy Chuong Quan-Doi, a Vietnamese artist, circa 1963-65 in honor of Lodge's ambassadorship. 

Examining Symbols

[Diplomats] perform the critical task of cultivating relationships with foreign counterparts through skillfully selected words, tools, and actions. But when words fail due to language differences, time constraints, physical distance, or intractable disagreements, 国家之间有时通过精心挑选的符号进行交流(NHD, 12).

African Meeting House, Boston, Massachusetts



a sepia-toned photograph of a tall brick building. Two Black women stand at either side of the building.

The African Meeting House stands at 46 Joy St. in Beacon Hill. Built in 1806, 它是美国现存最古老的黑人教堂建筑, 现在是美国黑人历史博物馆的一部分. Throughout the nineteenth-century, 非洲会议中心举办了许多反奴隶制活动, including the founding of the New England Anti-Slavery Society by William Lloyd Garrison in 1832; the 1833 farewell address of Maria Stewart, a Black woman and the first American-born woman to speak publicly in a gender-mixed audience; an 1860 anti-slavery speech by Frederick Douglass after being run out of Tremont Temple; and the 1863 recruitment to the 54th Massachusetts Regiment led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw  (MAAH).

A letter written by John Quincy Adams.  The letter is written in cursive on yellowing paper and ink from the reverse side is visible.

Letter from John Quincy Adams to William Eustis, 25 April 1808, Regarding the Embargo Act 


1807年的禁运法案不仅在政治家中引起了分歧, merchants, and everyday Americans, it turned out to be a total failure! (该法案非常不受欢迎,导致了广泛的走私. It was also costly; the act ultimately hurt the economy of the United States more than the intended targets--Great Britain and France.) Several collections held at the MHS contain different perspectives on the Act. For starters, check out Letters to William and Caroline Eustis, in which William, a diplomat, corresponds with both John Quincy Adams and Thomas Jefferson over their support of the Embargo Act. (JQA甚至在这个问题上与联邦党决裂.)你可以深入挖掘JQA支持该法案的原因 diaries.


Looking for another perspective? In the Bromfield and Clarke Family Papers,约翰·布罗姆菲尔德在船上讨论英国的商业环境 Marie during the 1808 embargo, including letters discussing the financial and physical dangers of delivering a shipment of goods from the United States.

Banquet to the Ambassadors of Japan, by Members of the Boston Board of Trade: Bill of Fare

a menu printed on yellowing paper with colorful hand-painted flowers in the upper left corner. Bows are tied onto the top and bottom.


This handsome hand-painted silk menu was printed for a farewell dinner honoring Japanese diplomats and technical advisors after a seven-month visit to the United States. Among the visitors were key figures in the Meiji Restoration of 1868 and the new imperial regime. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oliver Wendell Holmes delivered speeches that evening. 为什么宴会可能是外交的重要组成部分? What is the role of non-diplomats, such as authors, poets, and boards of trade, in such events?


The MHS holds numerous collections related to American diplomats working in countries throughout Asia. For example, in the Phillips Papers II diplomat William Phillips write letters and kept diaries discussing his work in Beijing, China in the early 20th century; the George von Lengerke Meyer Papers include materials related to Meyer's ambassadorship to Russia during the Russo-Japanese War of 19005-1906; and, the Maria Revere Balestier Papers, 1834-1847,里面有利记APP官网手机版巴勒斯提尔作为一名美国军官的妻子的生活信息.S. 她是一名外交官,与丈夫和孩子住在新加坡. Content Warning: Balestier's descriptions of the Malay, Chinese, and Indian people with whom she and her family interacted are explicitly racist.  

Old South Meeting House


a black-and-white lantern slide features a scene from the corner of Washington and Milk streets in the 1870s. Old South Meeting House, with its tall steeple, dominates the image, with smaller buildings beside it.Boston is home to many historic structures that have been sites of debate for centuries. Old South Meeting House is one such place. 建于1729年,是为清教徒会众而建的教堂, 老南会堂是殖民时期波士顿最大的建筑. It became the site of mass protest meetings in the years leading up to the American Revolution. For example, in 1768, townfolk held a meeting against the impressment of sailors into the British Navy; from 1772-1775 many gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the Boston Massacre and argue for independence; and, when war broke out in 1775, British soldiers destroyed the interior of the Old South Meeting House and other symbols of the Patriots' cause. In the 20th century, Old South Meeting House continued to be a space known for its protection of free speech and for lively debate over contemporary issues.  (Revolutionary Spaces)



MHS Collection Guides

Here are just a few of the numerous collection guides 与国家历史日主题相关的手稿和文物.

This set of collections include digitized materials:

  • Rose Dabney Forbes Papers, 1902-1935: Forbes was involved in the American Peace movement, 她的论文包括马萨诸塞州和平协会的记录, the American Peace Society, 以及妇女和平党/永久和平联盟.
  • Women's Education Association (Boston, Mass.) Records, 1871-1935: The WEA worked to improve education for children and women, locally and nationally.
  • 马萨诸塞州历史学会总统信件——概述 : This subject guide is an overview of the Massachusetts Historical Society's U.S. presidents holdings of all known letters written by presidents found in the Society's manuscript and autograph collections.
  • Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women Records, 1894-1920这个马萨诸塞州协会成立于1895年5月, and its primary function was to obtain signatures for "remonstrances" against "the imposition of any further political duties upon women." These "remonstrances" were circulated to offset the petitions of the suffragists. What were the short- and long-term consequences of anti-suffrage groups and efforts?
  • The Society for Propagating the Gospel Among the Indians and Others in North America Records and the Benjamin Colman Papers give insight into white Christians' missionary efforts to convert Indigenous people to Christianity. 这些文件中包含了谁的观点,又遗漏了谁的观点? What did 'success' look like for the Society, and how did the Society's work change over time? 福音传播协会的持久影响利记APP官网手机版? 
  • Visual Materials of Antislavery. MHS’s website Images of the Antislavery in Massachusetts 是包含840张照片的数字档案吗, paintings, broadsides, banners, and sculptures related to antislavery. How do these visual materials work to persuade others to join and support antislavery efforts?
  • Who Counts?  A Look at Voting Rights Through Political Cartoons.  长期以来,政治漫画一直被用来引发公众辩论, illustrating opinions of the day for the masses. From early in the 19th century, arguments over voting rights—who votes and who counts the votes—have been depicted in cartoons, especially with the rise of illustrated newspapers and magazines with a national circulation before the Civil War. Featuring examples of published cartoons from the MHS collections as well as other libraries and foundations, this exhibition illustrates how cartoonists helped to tell the story of voting rights in the United States, including modern reinterpretations of these topics by Boston-area editorial cartoonists. 以前利记APP官网手机版投票权的斗争对今天有何影响? How are today's debates over voting rights similar? Different?

The following collections have not been digitized; however, you may make an appointment to view materials in person, or you may request reproductions of materials.

  • Massachusetts Audubon Society Records, 1874-2011: The nation's first Audubon Society, the MA branch was founded to discourage wealthy, 时髦的女人不再在帽子上戴真正的鸟羽毛. 该组织在倡导通过1900年的《利记APP官网手机版》方面很有影响力, which prohibited interstate shipment of birds killed in violation of local laws. 
  • Massachusetts Temperance Society Records, 1813-1929: Records span from the founding through the organization's dissolution, and include correspondence. What is the legacy of the temperance movement?
  • Timothy Pickering Papers: Following the Revolutionary War, Pickering served the federal government as a negotiator with the Seneca Nation in western Pennsylvania and, later, served on a diplomatic mission to the entire Haudenosaunee Confederacy which culminated in the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua. As Secretary of State, he helped to implement the Jay Treaty, 并负责维护法美关系. The latter did not go well, and his rocky relationship with President John Adams led to his dismissal in 1800.
  • Henry Lee Shattuck Diaries, 1953-1954: Housed within the Shattuck Family Papers, these diaries chronicle Shattuck's work in Germany as the chairman of the Interim Mixed Parole and Clemency Board for the U.S. State Department, including meetings with diplomats, social life and customs, and daily activities.
  • Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Papers II: During the 1950s and '60s Lodge served as an ambassador to the United Nations, Vietnam, and Germany. In 1969, he headed the United States delegation to the unsuccessful Peace Talks with Vietnam.