Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

Early National


Fort McHenry flag

A “digital textbook”

LEARN NC’s digital textbook for North Carolina History uses primary sources and multimedia to tell many stories about the past, not just one.

Part four explores the political, social, and cultural history of the state from the establishment of the federal government through the 1830s.

North Carolina Digital History

North Carolina in the New Nation

By the 1790s North Carolina was an independent state in an independent nation, but as its society and economy grew and changed, old conflicts lingered. Eastern elites and western farmers clashed over the need for transportation, education, and economic opportunity. North Carolina became more than ever a slave society, and thousands of Cherokee were forcibly removed from the state. North Carolina became known as the “Rip Van Winkle state,” and some wondered whether it would ever wake up. Meanwhile a wave of religious revivals swept the state and brought reform in its wake. As westerners and reformers gained power in the 1830s, the state began to grow again.

Designed for secondary students, part four of our web-based “digital textbook” combines primary sources with articles from a variety of perspectives, maps, photographs, and multimedia to tell the many stories of North Carolina in the early national period:

  • the establishment of a new capital, the growth of political parties, and the new state’s conflicts with its neighbors
  • the side-by-side development of agriculture and slavery
  • the Second Great Awakening or “Great Revival” and its impact on society
  • North Carolina’s stagnation as the “Rip Van Winkle state” and the efforts of reformers
  • education and the experiences of students
  • the North Carolina Gold Rush
  • transportation and the need for internal improvements
  • North Carolina’s role in national events
  • the reactions in North Carolina to Nat Turner’s Rebellion
  • the Cherokee, Indian removal, and the Trail of Tears
  • the success of reformers in the 1830s

Get started: Table of Contents


More than just a linear narrative, our “digital textbook” is modular and fully searchable. If you need a primary source, a map, some background reading, or a lesson plan, this is the place to start!