The National Archives at Seattle

Washington State: Classroom Based Assessment(CBA)

Links to Primary Documents at the National Archives and Records Administration

10th-11th Grade

Causes of Conflict (History, Economics)

Student assignment:

In a persuasive paper or presentation, you will:

  1. select a conflict* and explain how historical and economic factors helped cause the conflict,
  2. explain why one factor (or factors) played the biggest role in causing the conflict using well-supported
  3. reasons, and
  4. cite, restate, or paraphrase and interpret relevant information from artifacts and/or primary sources.

* For the purposes of this CBA, "conflict" is defined as "a struggle between two or more groups."

Your discussion of the relative importance of the four strands to the conflict should be in the form of an essay. The visual display could take multiple forms.

Primary source documents from "Our Documents, 100 Milestone Source Documents from the National Archives and Records Administration," relating to this Classroom Based Assessment [CBA]:

Important notes for using this section:

  • Following each sub-topic is a list representing specific documents that are believed to best illustrate a topic. Each document is linked to an interactive digital copy of the record itself, complete with description, background information and teaching suggestions, from the "Our Documents" web site The transcribed copy is for your convenience and for students having difficulty reading handwriting. All pages can be easily downloaded and/or printed. Just click on the document title and it will take you to the specific "Our Documents" page.

Sample Topics and Associated Primary Sources:

Conflicts with Foreign Powers

Revolutionary War War of 1812 Mexican War Spanish American War World War I World War II Arab-Israeli War Korean War Cuban Missile Crisis Cold War Vietnam War

Internal Conflict Within the United States

Civil War Indian Wars

Political Differences (Democrat vs. Republican)

Conflicts Between American Citizens and Foreign-born

Associated Washington State Standards {EALR}

  • History 1.1.3b: Compare and evaluate competing historical narratives, analyze multiple perspectives, and challenge arguments of historical inevitability.
  • Economics 1.1a: Using the concepts of scarcity, choice, and incentives, and explain the use of a contemporary resource.
  • History 2.1.3: Compare and analyze major ideas in different places, times, and cultures, and how those ideas have brought about continuity, change, or conflict.
  • Social Studies Inquiry & Information Skills 3.1.4a: Identify central issue; formulate appropriate questions; identify multiple perspectives; compare and contrast; validate data using multiple sources; determine relevant information; paraphrase problem.


EALR Scoring
(*for additional levels, see OSPI Scoring Rubric)
History 1.1.3b *at highest level... Provides a plausible argument for why one factor (or factors) played the biggest role in causing the conflict with three (or more) reasons explicitly supported by evidence for each factor discussed.
Economics 1.1a
History 2.1.3
*at highest level... Identifies and explicitly explains how four (or more) factors helped cause the conflict. (needs to include at least one economic factor).
Social Studies Inquiry & Information Skills 3.1.4a *at highest level... Explicitly cites and accurately restates or paraphrases, and accurately interprets relevant information from two or more artifacts and/or primary sources.

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