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Cast in Iron

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Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, University of Alabama Center for Public Television and


Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark


Sloss Furnaces carries a rich legacy that began in the post-Civil War South and continues through to today. It was founded in 1882 by James Withers Sloss who paid only $180,000 to have it built. Sloss Furnaces became a symbol of pride and progress in the South. It was the first to export iron overseas and helped make Birmingham, AL a thriving city.

Listen as historians take you through Sloss's legacy and ironworkers recount what it was like to work inside its walls.


Length: 28:37

Content Areas: Social Studies

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

SS2010 (3) Geographic and Historical Studies: People, Places, and Regions
4. Relate population dispersion to geographic, economic, and historic changes in Alabama and the world. (Alabama)
Examples: geographic—flood, hurricane, tsunami
economic—crop failure
historic—disease, war, migration
  • Identifying human and physical criteria used to define regions and boundaries
  • Examples: human—city boundaries, school district lines
    physical—hemispheres, regions within continents or countries
    SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
    10. Analyze social and educational changes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for their impact on Alabama.
    Examples: social—implementation of the Plessey versus Ferguson "separate but not equal" court decision, birth of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
    educational—establishment of normal schools and land-grant colleges such as Huntsville Normal School (Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical [A&M] University), Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (Auburn University), Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (Tuskegee University), Lincoln Normal School (Alabama State University)
  • Explaining the development and changing role of industry, trade, and agriculture in Alabama during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including the rise of Populism
  • Explaining the Jim Crow laws
  • Identifying Alabamians who made contributions in the fields of science, education, the arts, politics, and business during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
    SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
    16. Determine the impact of population growth on cities, major road systems, demographics, natural resources, and the natural environment of Alabama during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
  • Describing how technological advancements brought change to Alabamians, including the telephone; refrigerator; automobile; television; and wireless, Internet, and space technologies
  • Relating Alabama's economy to the influence of foreign-based industry, including the automobile industry
    SS2010 (10) United States History I: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution
    15. Compare congressional and presidential reconstruction plans, including African-American political participation. [A.1.a., A.1.b., A.1.c., A.1.d., A.1.e., A.1.i., A.1.k.]
  • Tracing economic changes in the post-Civil War period for whites and African Americans in the North and South, including the effectiveness of the Freedmen's Bureau
  • Describing social restructuring of the South, including Southern military districts, the role of carpetbaggers and scalawags, the creation of the black codes, and the Ku Klux Klan
  • Describing the Compromise of 1877
  • Summarizing post-Civil War constitutional amendments, including the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments
  • Explaining causes for the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson
  • Explaining the impact of the Jim Crow laws and Plessey versus Ferguson on the social and political structure of the New South after Reconstruction
  • Analyzing political and social motives that shaped the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 to determine their long-term effect on politics and economics in Alabama (Alabama)
    SS2010 (10) United States History I: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution
    16. Explain the transition of the United States from an agrarian society to an industrial nation prior to World War I. [A.1.a., A.1.b., A.1.c., A.1.d., A.1.e., A.1.h., A.1.i., A.1.k.]
  • Describing the impact of Manifest Destiny on the economic and technological development of the post-Civil War West, including mining, the cattle industry, and the transcontinental railroad
  • Identifying the changing role of the American farmer, including the establishment of the Granger movement and the Populist Party and agrarian rebellion over currency issues
  • Evaluating the Dawes Act for its effect on tribal identity, land ownership, and assimilation of American Indians between Reconstruction and World War I
  • Comparing population percentages, motives, and settlement patterns of immigrants from Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, including the Chinese Exclusion Act regarding immigration quotas


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