Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)


College of Education


Research has provided us with information that textbooks are not free from bias. Textbooks are subject to a variety of influences such as the background, beliefs and motivations of the authors of primary sources, secondary sources, and analyses of sources. They are also subject to influences by large consumer groups as well as political and interest groups who finance the textbook market. Due to these influences, it is important for teachers to understand that textbooks are not free from bias, and if they do not do so already, they should supplement their students’ learning with primary and secondary sources beyond the textbook in order to provide for a more balanced understanding of United States history.

This thesis explores the change in United States history textbooks in regards to the American Revolution by reviewing five topics and events: the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Declaration of Independence, the role of women, and the role of blacks. This research was conducted using five different United States history textbooks: one from 1926, 1952, 1967, 1993, and 2007. This thesis discovered that significant changes exists with regards to these five topics or events over the time period investigated both in the amount of information as well as the type, order and details of information provided. The findings indicate the importance for teachers to supplement student learning with additional sources, and potentially have state education departments create a wide variety of resources of primary and secondary sources for teachers.

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