A Manual on the Origin and Development of Washington by H. Paul Caemmerer was published in 1939 — 45 years after the book we use as the spine for our Free Civic Studies. It is a perfect addition and an incredible free resource!
Hans Paul Caemmerer was the first secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts who was not an engineer. His Manual on the Origin and Development of Washington was one of the books he wrote on the history of Washington during his over 30-year tenure.
The book was specifically written so that students could include it as part of their high school civics courses:
This Manual on the Origin and Development of Washington is published for the use of students, particularly in high schools, desiring to make a study of the National Capital a part of their course in civics.
The 25 chapters composing the book are of such interest and importance that an hour a week may profitably be devoted to each, but the chapters on public buildings and monuments require each two or three periods for effective presentation. In this manner the Manual may serve as a textbook for a year’s work; it will also be found helpful by the general reader interested in Washington.
In other words, you have a year’s worth of lessons to cover high school history. Yes, it will need a bit of updating. But you may find you have the resources you need to do that in our free civics studies.
Topics covered include:
- The plan of the city.
- Washington through the early years.
- The parks.
- Early architecture.
- Arlington National Cemetery.
- Statues and monuments.
The above list really does not do the book justice. For one thing, there are dozens of illustrations. Secondly, the history of Washington, D. C. is interspersed throughout, making the book a fascinating read for the student of history. Finally, the growth of the area from its forest-like beginnings to what it is today is amazing.
In the Appendix you’ll find a biographical list of books about the Nation’s Capital. Most of these will be in the public domain. There is also a list of presidents through Franklin Roosevelt who was in office at the time of printing.
As an interesting aside, the book does cover the Chicago World’s Fair and its influence on Washington. The book used as the spine in our free civics studies begins with three youngsters returning from that fair. If you decide to use this book as a reference, the index in the back will help you find what you are looking for.
Most students studying civics will find the many illustrations interesting, if nothing else.
- Read online
- Various formats (EPUB, Kindle)
Free Civics Studies: The Century Book for Young Americans
Written to a younger audience, this title tracks very nicely. 16 weeks of lessons.