American History: Pre-Colonial Through Reconstruction

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  • Edition: 16th
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  • Copyright: 2000-08-01
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill College
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This nineteenth of ANNUAL EDITIONS: AMERICAN HISTORY, VOLUME 1 provides convenient, inexpensive access to current articles selected from the best of the public press. Organizational features include: an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites; an annotated table of contents; a topic guide; a general introduction; brief overviews for each section; a topical index; and an instructor's resource guide with testing materials. USING ANNUAL EDITIONS IN THE CLASSROOM is offered as a practical guide for instructors. ANNUAL EDITIONS titles are supported by our student website, www.dushkin.com/online.

Table of Contents

To the Reader iv
Topic Guide 2(2)
Selected World Wide Web Sites 4(2)
UNIT 1 The New Land
Eight selections discuss the beginnings of America---the new land---from pre-Columbian times, early life of the colonists, and religious intolerance, to the stirrings of liberty and independence.
The Americas
Lewis Lord
In its twelfth-century heyday, the first American town, Cahokia, may have had as many residents as contemporary London. A thriving commercial center along the Mississippi River, Cahokia presided over a trade network that extended the length of the river and reached as far east as the Atlantic Ocean. Yet, by the time French explorers reached the area, Cahokia had long since been a ghost town.
Columbus Meets Pocahontas in the American South
Theda Perdue
In the popular mind, Christopher Columbus represents European discovery and conquest, while Pocahontas has become the embodiment of New World hospitality and opportunity. The two never actually met, but Theda Perdue argues that their ``symbolic encounter involved a sexual dynamic that was inherent to the whole process of European colonization, particularly of the American South.''
A ``Newfounde Lande,''
Alan Williams
For Europeans, 1992 marked the 500th anniversary of Columbus's ``discovery'' of the New World. Columbus first explored islands in the Caribbean, then the coast of South America. The year 1997 saw the quincentennial of what is generally regarded as the first European expedition to land in North America, led by John Cabot. Author Alan Williams tells what is known of John Cabot's explorations.
Laboring in the Fields of the Lord
Jerald T. Milanich
Beginning in the late sixteenth century, Spanish Franciscan friars established dozens of missions in what is now southern Georgia and northern Florida. By the time Spain ceded the area to Great Britain in 1763, only two missions remained. Although many of the friars acted from the highest motives, the net effect of the Spanish presence among native peoples was catastrophic.
The Missing Women of Martin's Hundred
J. Frederick Fausz
The ``Powhatan Uprising'' of 1622 killed 350 colonists and almost destroyed the settlements along the James River in Virginia. A year later the colonists retaliated against the Indians, slaughtering many under the pretext of peace talks. Almost overlooked was the fate of nearly 20 women who had been taken captive during the uprising and who were not well received when they returned to their villages.
Bearing the Burden? Puritan Wives
Martha Saxton
Puritan women were expected to view their husbands as ``God's representative in the family'' and to defer to their authority. Martha Saxton describes how women attained moral and spiritual authority despite their subordination to men in secular matters.
Penning a Legacy
Patricia Hudson
In 1680, William Penn, who earlier had become a Quaker, petitioned King Charles II for a grant of land in what would become known as Pennsylvania. Penn created a constitution that provided for religious freedom, voting rights, and penal reform. He also addressed Native Americans in the region, asking them to permit colonists to live among them ``with your love and consent.''
The Right to Marry: Loving v. Virginia
Peter Wallenstein
In 1691, the Virginia House of Burgesses sought to reduce the number of mixed-race children born in the colony by passing a law providing for the banishment of any white partner in an inter-racial marriage. Peter Wallenstein discusses the history of this and subsequent legislation designed to prevent racial mixing.
UNIT 2 Revolutionary America
Seven article examine the start of the American Revolution. The new land offered opportunities for new ideas that led to the creation of an independent nation.
Flora MacDonald
Jean Creznic
Flora MacDonald was a Scottish heroine who had helped ``Bonnie Prince Charlie'' escape the British in 1746. She moved to North Carolina in 1774, where she was received with great fanfare. When the revolution came, however, she helped recruit men of Scottish descent to fight for the British.
Jefferson's Secret Life
Barbara Murray
Brian Duffy
The long-denied allegations that Thomas Jefferson fathered a number of children with a slave mistress appear to have been confirmed by DNA tests. Barbra Murray and Brian Duffy discuss what these tests show, and Joseph Ellis analyzes the probable impact of this revelation on the reputation of the author of the Declaration of Independence.
Making Sense of the Fourth of July
Pauline Maier
On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress resolved that ``these United Colonies are, and, of right ought to be'' independent of Great Britain. Two days later, the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. Celebrating the Fourth of July, Pauline Maier writes, ``makes no sense at all''-unless we celebrate not just independence but the Declaration of Independence. She explains how the meaning and function of the Declaration have changed over time.
George Washington, Spymaster
Thomas Fleming
That George Washington was a towering figure during the American Revolution is common knowledge. Thomas Fleming, writing about a lesser known aspect of Washington's career, claims that ``without his brilliance at espionage the Revolution could not have been won.''
The Canton War
Robert W. Drexler
In 1784 a group of merchants commissioned Samuel Shaw to sail the first American ship to China. The voyage helped open trade with China but almost immediately became involved in a human rights struggle that became known as the ``Canton War.''
...by the Unanimous Consent of the States
Ezra Bowen
The Founders avoided the collapse of the Constitutional Convention by accepting numerous compromises. Tight security was enforced to keep the proceedings secret. ``If the debates had been public,'' James Madison later wrote, ``no constitution would ever have been adopted.''
The Founding Fathers, Conditional Antislavery, and the Nonradicalism of the American Revolution
William W. Freehling
In a revision of his earlier views on the Founding Fathers and slavery, William Freehling argues that although they did not intend to bring about a true social revolution, they did ``a most nonrevolutionary something to weaken slaveholders' defenses.'' Their actions set this nation on its ``meandering'' path toward emancipation.
UNIT 3 National Consolidation and Expansion
Eleven selections examine the developing United States, the westward movement of people seeking a new life, and the realities of living in early nineteenth-century America.
The Greatness of George Washington
Gordon S. Wood
George Washington virtually created the American presidency, for which there was no precedent. He also established the standard by which subsequent presidents have ultimately been regarded---``their moral character.''
Order vs. Liberty
Larry Gragg
A Federalist-dominated Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 in part to stifle dissent in the press. Over the next 2 years, 17 people were indicted for libel and 10 were convicted. Larry Gress examines this conflict between the limits of free speech and freedom of the press.
Lewis and Clark: Trailblazers Who Opened the Continent
Gerald F. Kreyche
By 1800 Americans knew little about what lay west of the Mississippi River. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark changed all that in 1804 when they led an expedition that eventually reached the Pacific Ocean. Gerald Kreyche describes the explorations of these two intrepid men and the group they led, designated the Corps of Discovery.
Chief Justice Marshall Takes the Law in Hand
Robert Wernick
When the Constitution was ratified, no one quite knew what would result. Some predicted that there would be little more than a cluster of minirepublics. The fourth chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, John Marshall, contributed more than anyone to the creation of a nation in which federal law prevailed over states' rights.
The Florida Quagmire
Floyd B. Largent Jr.
The Second Seminole war began in 1835 and, before it was over, nearly 4,000 Seminoles and 1,500 U.S. soldiers lost their lives. The conflict petered out when the United States simply gave up trying to remove Seminoles from the Florida Everglades.
``All We Want Is Make Us Free!''
Howard Jones
Recently the subject of a popular motion picture, a slave mutiny on board the Spanish ship Amistad on July 2, 1839, set in motion a remarkable series of events that ultimately led to the case being heard by the Supreme Court of the United States. Howard Jones describes the individuals and groups that worked to bring the issue before the American people and government.
``All Men & Women Are Created Equal,''
Constance Rynder
One hundred fifty years ago, 300 women and men met in Seneca Falls, New York, for the first women's rights convention. The resolution that called for equal pay for equal work passed handily, but the one that demanded voting rights for women proved hotly controversial. Press coverage of the event at times was downright nasty.
James K. Polk and the Expansionist Spirit
Harlan Hague
During the election of 1844, Polk had campaigned calling for the annexation of Texas and the Oregon country. As president, he compromised with the British over Oregon but went to war with Mexico over Texas. He left to his successors the question of slavery in the newly acquired territories.
The Lives of Slave Women
Deborah Gray White
Slave women in the American South were worked as hard as men. They did the same field work, either with men or in segregated gangs. Deborah Gray White examines some of the social dynamics of Southern slave women.
Eden Ravished
Harlan Hague
The threat of exhausting our natural resources has become obvious in recent decades. Harlan Hague shows that some voices were raised on this issue even before the Civil War. Despite these warnings, however, the belief in the inexhaustibility of resources in the West generated the unique American acceptance of waste as the fundamental tenet of a lifestyle.
Assault in the Senate
David E. Johnson
On May 19, 1856, abolitionist senator Charles Sumner took the floor to give a bitterly anti-Southern speech, insulting some individuals by name. A few days later, the nephew of one of the men that Summer had maligned entered the Senate and beat him senseless with a walking stick. ``Bully'' Brooks's violent act raised the emotions of the sectional rivalry to a new level and helped convince Northerners of Southern depravity.
UNIT 4 The Civil War and Reconstruction
Eight articles discuss the tremendous effects of the Civil War on America. With the abolishment of slavery, the United States had to reconstruct society.
``The Doom of Slavery'': Ulysses S. Grant, War Aims, and Emancipation, 1861-1863
Brooks D. Simpson
The nature of the Civil War changed in 1863 from a limited conflict to total war against Southern morale and resources as well as manpower. General U. S. Grant, of the Union army, realized that at bottom the dispute was about slavery.
Pride and Prejudice in the American Civil War
Susan-Mary Grant
The traditional view of the Civil War is that of a struggle between white men fought at least in part over the question of slavery. Susan-Mary Grant examines the experience and legacy of black Americans in the conflict.
The Struggle for Black Freedom before Emancipation
Wayne K. Durrill
In most accounts of the Civil War, African Americans received their freedom by way of the Emancipation Proclamation and advancing Northern troops. Wayne Durrill emphasizes the role that black people played in gaining their own emancipation.
Lee's Greatest Victory
Robert K. Krick
During 3 days in May 1863, General Robert E. Lee conducted a risky and skillful battle that ended in victory. The cost was high, as his able subordinate General ``Stonewall'' Jackson was killed by his own men while returning to the Confederate lines.
A Yankee Scarlett O'Hara in Atlanta
Thomas G. Dyer
Cyrena Bailey Stone was an ardent Unionist who lived in Atlanta, Georgia. The recent appearance of a secret diary that she kept before and during the battle of Atlanta sheds new light on conditions on the home front of the Confederacy as the Civil War neared its end.
Sherman's War
Victor Davis Hanson
General William T. Sherman's march through Georgia usually is viewed as a ruthless campaign of terror and destruction. Victor Hanson argues to the contrary. He believes it was ``brilliant, effective, and, above all, humane.''
Bats, Balls, and Bullets: Baseball and the Civil War
George B. Kirsch
Legand has it that baseball was invented in 1839 by Abner Doubleday, who went on to become a major general in the Union Army. The truth is that the sport had evolved from a number of bat-and-ball games over the decades. George Kirsch shows that it was being widely played, especially in the North, during the Civil War. After the war, Kirsch writes, ``Northern and Southern journalists believed the tours of the great Eastern ball clubs would help heal the bitter wounds of war.''
The New View of Reconstruction
Eric Foner
Prior to the 1960s, according to Eric Foner, Reconstruction was portrayed in history books as ``just about the darkest page in the American saga.'' He presents a balanced view of the era and suggests that, even though Reconstruction failed to achieve its objectives, its ``animating vision'' still has relevance.
Index 209(3)
Test Your Knowledge Form 212(1)
Article Rating Form 213

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