New DBQuest on Historical Monuments & Meaning

March 03, 2021

Civil War memorials have been in the news over the last few years, and we're sure your students have questions. Why are some being removed? Why do people want to keep them? It’s just a statue, right?

The monuments and statues honoring individuals from this period play a critical role in shaping our memory and understanding of the Civil War today. There is no one right way to view a monument. Each has its own unique history and motivation of how it came to be. And that history is ripe for inquiry, exploration, discussion, and consideration in understanding the monuments around us.

To help students gain a broader understanding of these monuments and the legacy of this period, iCivics has released a new DBQuest focusing on one of these monuments, the Freedmen’s Memorial in Washington, DC. This DBQuest examines the complicated nature of memorial statues by diving into primary sources that reveal the statues origins, design elements, and a critique by a leading voice of the time, Frederick Douglass.

Great for remote learning, our new DBQuest allows students to:

  • Explain how monuments are historical sources that need to be analyzed and interpreted
  • Use a variety of primary sources to make an argument about the monument's intent
  • Develop historical empathy
  • Use evidence from informational texts to support analysis and answer questions

Freedman's Memorial statue in Washington D.C. with an orange button that says "click to access"

Please note that the language and terminology used in this content reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of iCivics, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.