History and Politics Trips to Washington
For students of politics there is so much to savour in Washington DC. The 3 pillars of the US government; the President, Congress and Supreme Court are here. Grand buildings and iconic monuments make the city beautiful but it is the power, at the city’s core, that gives it an unmistakable buzz.
There is a lot of history concentrated within a relatively small space. In a single day, you could see the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives; stand where Martin Luther King Jr gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech on the Lincoln Memorial’s steps; prowl around the Watergate building that brought Nixon down; and be an arm’s length from where Lincoln was assassinated in Ford’s Theatre. Whatever the discipline your students are sure to feel inspired and humbled by the corridors of power.
Curriculum Topics Key Stage 4
- America 1920-1973: Opportunity and inequality
Curriculum Topics Key Stage 5
- The American Dream: Reality and Illusion 1945-1980
- The making of a Superpower: 1865-1975
- The Politics and Government of the USA
- Representative Processes in the USA
Our sample itinerary provides you with an idea of the visits you can cover during your trip. We can tailor-make an itinerary to support your specific learning outcomes.
|1||Check in to UK airport for flight to Washington||Arrive and transfer to your accommodation||Evening meal followed by a Guided walking tour of Washington|
|2||Guided Tour of US Capitol||Visit to Supreme Court||Evening meal in a local restaurant|
|3||Visit to National Archives||Visit to White House Visitors Centre||Evening meal in a local restaurant and visit to Washington Memorial|
|4||Free time to explore||Self guided visit to Newseum||Transfer to Airport. Overnight flight back to UK|
|5||Arrive UK Airport, onward return travel to school|
|Morning||Check in to UK airport for flight to Washington|
|Afternoon||Arrive and transfer to your accommodation|
|Evening||Evening meal followed by a Guided walking tour of Washington|
|Morning||Guided Tour of US Capitol|
|Afternoon||Visit to Supreme Court|
|Evening||Evening meal in a local restaurant|
|Morning||Visit to National Archives|
|Afternoon||Visit to White House Visitors Centre|
|Evening||Evening meal in a local restaurant and visit to Washington Memorial|
|Morning||Free time to explore|
|Afternoon||Self guided visit to Newseum|
|Evening||Transfer to Airport. Overnight flight back to UK|
|Morning||Arrive UK Airport, onward return travel to school|
Price Shown includes
- Return Air Travel
- 3 nights Room Only Accommodation on a Bedshare basis
- Specialist Group Travel Insurance
- Bespoke itinerary planning service
- Free Place Ratios
- Live Trip Tracking
- Online trip organiser & Travel App
- 24/7 support whilst you are away
Reasons to Visit
The White House Visitor Centre
The White House Visitor Centre weaves together the stories of the White House as a home, office, stage and ceremonial space, museum, and park. More than 90 White House artefacts, many of which have never been on public display, give a glimpse into life and work inside the Executive Mansion.
The Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority in the United States. Nine court justices decide whether actions of Congress, the President, the states and the lower courts follow the principles of the Constitution. Only about 100 of the 7000 cases submitted each year are heard. Visitors can explore exhibits, see a 25-minute film, and see the court in session.
The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., has housed the meeting chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives for almost two centuries. Begun in 1793, the Capitol has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored; today, it stands as a monument not only to its builders but also to the American people and their government.
National Archives Experience
A vast collection of America’s document, maps, photos, recordings, film and objects taking you on a journey through time highlighting America's struggles and triumphs. Famous items include the gun that shot JFK, the Watergate Tapes and the Declaration of Independence.
Ford's Theatre Museum
Made famous as the place President Lincoln was shot whilst watching the comedy 'Our American Cousin’, the theatre is decorated in the style of that day. The Lincoln museum’s permanent exhibit highlights Lincoln’s role in preserving America’s pioneering effort in self-government. Exhibits include a 5 minute film, letters from the period, and artefacts which trace his growth to his presidential election.
The Newseum is a six-level, high-tech and interactive museum tracing the history of news reporting from the 16th century to the present day. It houses 15 theatres, 14 major galleries, two broadcast studios and a 4-D time-travel experience. The exhibition galleries explore news history, electronic news, photojournalism, world news and how the media have covered major historical events.
Woodrow Wilson House Museum
Washington, DC's only presidential museum. The former home of President Woodrow Wilson and Edith Wilson following their White House years features original furnishings, presidential memorabilia and changing special exhibits.
Memorials and Monuments
Washington DC is a city of monuments and memorials honouring the generals, politicians, poets and statesmen who helped shape the United States. Among the highlights are memorials to Lincoln, FDR, Martin Luther King as well as the veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Holocaust Memorial Museum
This sombre and moving museum presents a narrative history of the Holocaust. Through artefacts, films, photos and oral histories the permanent exhibition reminds visitors of this dark period in our history which saw the death of 6 million European Jews from 1933 – 1945. There is also a Hall of Remembrance and Wall of Remembrance and special exhibits.
Mount Vernon and Monticello
Mount Vernon was the beloved home of George and Martha Washington from the time of their marriage in 1759 until General Washington’s death in 1799. Stretching over 500 open acres overlooking the Potomac River, just 16 miles from Washington D.C, the mansion houses the tomb of George Washington, 2 museums, gift shop & gardens. Monticello is a domed hill-top mansion located approximately 130 miles south-west of Washington and was the home of the third president Thomas Jefferson. Monticello is the autobiographical masterpiece of the author of the Declaration of Independence. He is buried in the nearby family cemetery.
Arlington National Cemetery
America’s largest national burial ground which was built during the Civil War. Among the thousands of white headstones are the graves of President John F Kennedy and the Tomb of the Unknowns. The site still averages 5000 funerals a year and attracts 4 million visitors.
Museum of African American History & Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture will explore the richness and diversity of the African American experience and how it has shaped the nation. Areas of interest will focus on the history of the Civil Rights Movement and places it within the wider context of African-American history and experience.
The monument is one of the iconic structures and most popular attractions in the nation's capital. The memorial to George Washington, the nation's first president, has recently been refurbished to its original splendour. Take the elevator to the top and see a wonderful view of the city.
National Museum of American History
The Museum offers three floors of exhibitions that explore the rich diversity of American history, from "First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image" to "Information Age: People, Information, and Technology".
Sightseeing Tour of Washington
A sightseeing tour of Washington will offer your group the opportunity to see the city's main attractions. A professional, experienced, English-speaking guide will give an insight into the history and culture of the city and will be able to answer any questions you may have.
The Smithsonian Institute was established in 1846 and is a group of museums and research centres. It includes the Air and Space Museum, Free Gallery of Art, American History Museum and the American Art Museum. Please consult the website for the museum most relevant to your subject area.
National Air and Space Museum
The world’s most visited museum houses the Wright Brother’s 1903 Flyer, Lindbergh’s Spirit of St Louis, Apollo 11 lunar command module and an incredible collection of aviation and space technology treasures. You can even buy freeze-dried space food in the gift shop!
Union Station Tour
Today Union Station is one of Washington’s busiest and best known places, visited by 40 million people each year. The tour itself can be customised to cover the great history of this building, it’s architecture and how it has been restored to preserve it as a national treasure.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
As the U.S. Government's security printer, the BEP is responsible for the design, engraving and printing of all U.S. paper currency. A world leader in printing technology, the Bureau also produces postage stamps, White House invitations, Treasury obligations and other U.S. securities. During a tour you will see millions of dollars being printed, beginning with large, blank sheets of paper, and ending with wallet-ready bills!
National Museum of Natural History
Recognized as on e of the world's great centers for the study of humankind and our natural surroundings, this museum incorporates a total floor area of more than 20 acres. Permanent exhibitions span two floors in halls radiating from a cavernous central rotunda where a record eight-ton (*,128-kg) African bush elephant is displayed.
Day trip to New York
Only three and a half hours drive away it is possible to visit New York during your stay. A day trip to the Big Apple will give groups the chance to take in some of the major sights and attractions including the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty as well as some of the best museums and art galleries in the world.
International Spy Museum
Enter the shadow-world of spying where all is not what it seems. Through interactive exhibits, spy artefacts and first-hand accounts from intelligence officers and experts, The International Spy Museum brings the shadowy world of espionage into reality. It museum offers workshops and resources to educate students about espionage and provide an understanding of its important role in and impact on current and historic events. Workshops focus on multi- disciplinary topics from Cold War History, US Government and Politics to Science and Technology.
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What You Say
Outstanding tour guide (Andrew) at the US Capitol, recommend that you go to the Courtroom lectures at the Supreme Court as this was an excellent find! We would love to work with you again and I have recommended you as a tour company to other members of staff in school who are planning trips. Park House School
The team could not possibly be better. I have spoken to them so often and they are always willing to give me help. Could not fault them! LOVE the Hotel Harrington. Great staff. Perfect location. Rooms were all great. Excellent service. Just perfect as it is! Sarah always responds to emails very quickly. Phone calls taken immediately. Perfect support. I would never consider using another tour company now. Clyst Vale Community College
Helpful and supportive staff - even after question 100!! The Chauncy School
I have used EST on five separate trips to America - two in Alabama and three for Washington and have always been happy with the company. Happy to recommend the company to other members of staff. Queenswood School
All of the museums and talks we attended were perfect. We were generally really pleased with the tour and the range of activities. Students enjoyed the mix of history and culture with some shopping thrown in. They loved meeting Mark Levy and the Centre for Social Innovation allowed us to walk on the High Line and the offices were very cool. Windsor Girls School