Time Trials

Time Trials: When History is on Trial, Only Time can be the Judge

How should history remember Benedict Arnold? John Brown? In the Time Trials video series, students act as jurors in the Court of Public History. Watch as controversial figures in history discuss their actions and use the videos to debate their legacy. The videos are designed to support lessons for the secondary classroom. Watch the full program or select segments for students to use to debate together. 







The Time Trial of Benedict Arnold

Lesson Plan



The Time Trial of Benedict Arnold: Full Program:


The Time Trial of Benedict Arnold: Introduction

If I am a traitor...

You betrayed your country!

You betrayed the Declaration of Independence!

You betrayed Congress!

Why should you be remembered?

How were you injured?

Did you take money?

You betrayed the soliders!

You betrayed General Washington!

You began a conspiracy!

Verdict: Acquittal

Verdict: Conviction

Verdict: Undecided

The Time Trial of John Brown

Lesson Plan



Full Program: The Time Trial of John Brown


What happened at Harpers Ferry?

What happened in Kansas?

Was John Brown a religious zealot?

Is violence against the government ever justified?

Why didn't John Brown use nonviolence?

Was John Brown a murderer?

Was John Brown insane?

Would slavery have ended anyway?


Closing Statement 1: In Favor of Brown

Closing Statement 2: Critical of Brown