American Studies Resources

One of the key goals of the Public Diplomacy Section at the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn is to promote better understanding of the United States in all areas—culture, history, government, politics, institutions, and society. To fulfill that goal, we work with educators throughout Estonia to promote American Studies in Estonian schools and universities. If you are an education professional who would like to discuss how we might help to enrich existing American Studies programs or develop new ones, please contact us.

As an additional facet of our effort to promote better understanding of the U.S., we maintain a small collection of materials available for loan to current educators and have curated a set of reliable online resources (below) on our country’s history, government, and culture. For more information on our in-house collection, email

American Studies Association (ASA)

The American Studies Association is an organization comprised of educators, students, and others interested in the study of U.S. history and culture in a global context. The association publishes American Quarterly, an American Studies-focused journal, provides resources including course syllabi to members, and provides multiple opportunities through its communities for American Studies professionals to share ideas and make connections.

Association of International Educators (NAFSA)

NAFSA is the largest association of international higher education professionals. As an organization committed to the advancement of international education, they provide professional development opportunities, physical and virtual networking spaces, and a myriad of professional resources on topics of interest to global educators.

U.S. Government (General)

 Official Guide to the U.S. Government

The U.S. government’s official guide to government information and services, contains a wealth of United States government knowledge, including information about various U.S. government agencies and their functions, the U.S. election process, and how the three different branches of government operate.

 Branches of Government

Executive Branch

The President of the United States

Visit the president’s official website,, for information about the current administration, policy issues, former presidents, and the history of the White House.

 Legislative Branch

United States Congress (, formerly THOMAS)

The official website for U.S. federal legislative information, this site provides access to accurate, timely, and complete legislative information for Members of Congress, legislative agencies, and the public.

United States Senate

The official website for the U.S. Senate includes information about current and former senators, legislative history, and even the Senate art collection.

United States House of Representatives

The official website for the U.S. House of Representatives contains information about current representatives, legislative activity, and House history.

Judicial Branch

United States Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s official website provides a wealth of information about the court and its cases.

Cabinet Departments

 U.S. Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues. Visit their official site, linked above, for information on these topics.

U.S. Department of Commerce
The Department of Commerce works with businesses, universities, communities, and the Nation’s workers to promote job creation, economic growth, sustainable development, and improved standards of living for Americans. For more information on Commerce’s work, please visit their official website.

U.S. Department of Defense
The Department of Defense provides the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of the United States. For more information about the Defense Department’s work as well as links to the individual military service branches, visit the DOD’s official site.

U.S. Department of Education
The Department of Education fosters educational excellence and ensures equal access to educational opportunity for all. Visit their official website for detailed information on federal education legislation and regulations such as Title IX and access to national data on topics like graduation and enrollment rates.

U.S. Department of Energy
The Department of Energy manages the United States’ nuclear infrastructure and administers the country’s energy policy. The Department of Energy also funds scientific research in the field. For more information, visit their official website.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The Department of Health and Human Services protects the health of all Americans and provides essential human services. For more information about how they contribute to American well-being, visit their official website for the most up-to-date information on current programs and initiatives.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security works to improve the security of the United States. The Department’s work includes customs, border, and immigration enforcement, emergency response to natural and manmade disasters, antiterrorism work, and cybersecurity. For more detailed information on these topics, visit the official DHS website, linked above.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The Department of Housing and Urban Development administers programs that provide housing and community development assistance. The Department also works to ensure fair and equal housing opportunity for all. Please visit their official site for further information on HUD programs.

U.S. Department of Justice
The Department of Justice enforces federal laws, seeks just punishment for the guilty, and ensures the fair and impartial administration of justice. For current DOJ news, resources connected to policy priorities like elder justice and human trafficking, and department history, visit the official site.

U.S. Department of Labor
The Department of Labor administers federal labor laws to guarantee workers’ rights to fair, safe, and healthy working conditions, including minimum hourly wage and overtime pay, protection against employment discrimination, and unemployment insurance. Find more information on these and other related topics by visiting the Department of Labor’s official website

U.S. Department of State
The Department of State advises the President and leads the nation in foreign policy issues. The State Department also negotiates treaties and agreements with foreign entities, represents the United States at the United Nations, and assists U.S. citizens abroad. For more information on policy issues, U.S. relations with countries around the world, and various State Department bureaus and offices, visit

U.S. Department of the Interior
The Department of the Interior manages public lands and minerals, national parks, and wildlife refuges and upholds Federal trust responsibilities to Indian tribes and Native Alaskans. Additionally, Interior is responsible for endangered species conservation and other environmental conservation efforts. For additional information on these topics, please visit the official site.

U.S. Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury manages Federal finances by collecting taxes and paying bills and by managing currency, government accounts, and public debt. The Department of the Treasury also enforces finance and tax laws. For access to Treasury data and information on tax and economic policy as well as financial sanctions, visit their official site.

U.S. Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation is responsible for planning and coordinating federal transportation projects. It also sets safety regulations for all major modes of transportation. For more information on the Department’s work on transportation safety, innovation, and infrastructure, see their official website.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs runs programs benefiting veterans and members of their families. It offers education opportunities and rehabilitation services and provides compensation payments for disabilities or death related to military service, home loan guaranties, pensions, burials, and health care that includes the services of nursing homes, clinics, and medical centers. For detailed information on all these topics, visit the VA’s official website.


The U.S. government-created websites and documents below provide a plethora of information and resources on U.S. history, culture, art, literature, science, and technology.


A partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Trust for the Humanities, EDSITEment offers free resources for teachers, students, and parents searching for high-quality K-12 humanities education materials in the subject areas of history and social studies, literature and language arts, foreign languages, arts, and culture.

GPA Publications

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Global Public Affairs provides access to government publications on a range of topics, including the Electoral College, U.S. pop culture, American holidays, entrepreneurship, and human rights.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world with more than 170 million items. Visit its website to peruse digital collections, subscribe to one of its podcasts, learn about one of its many programs, locate classroom materials linked to LOC primary sources, and much more.

Learn about the United States: Quick Civic Lessons (PDF 1.38 MB)

This preparation booklet for the U.S. Naturalization Test (from USCIS) offers short, paragraph-length lessons on important topics in U.S. history, government, and geography.

National Park Service

The United States National Park Service preserves the natural and cultural resources of the U.S. for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. To explore nature, discover history, or find resources for educators, visit the official site.


NASA’s official website provides information on tons of space-related topics as well as access to multiple image galleries, resources for students and teachers, and NASA TV.


The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo—shaping the future by preserving U.S. heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing resources with the world. For access to online events and digital collections on art & design, history & culture, and science & nature, explore the Smithsonian’s official site, linked above.