American Issues A Primary Source Reader in United States History, Volume 1

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-08-02
  • Publisher: Pearson

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The first of a two-volume anthology of primary documents, letters, and articles through which participants and contemporary observers express their opinions, make observations, and reach conclusions about events and issues that affected the nation and American society.

Author Biography

Pulitzer Prize winning historian Irwin Unger has been teaching American history for over forty years on both coasts. Born and largely educated in New York, he has lived in California, Virginia, and Washington State. He is married to Debi Unger and they have five children, now all safely past their college years. Professor Unger formerly taught at California State University at Long Beach, the University of California at Davis, and New York University. He is now professor emeritus at NYU.  Professor Unger’s professional interests have ranged widely within American history. He has written on Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, and on the 1960s. His first book, The Greenback Era, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1965. Since then he has written The Movement: The New Left and (with Debi Unger) The Vulnerable Years, Turning Point: 1968, The Best of Intentions (about the Great Society), LBJ: A Life, The Guggenheims, A Family History. He has just completed a book on the 1960s and he and Debi Unger are working on a biography of General George C. Marshall.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1    The Settlement Enterprise

1.1   Richard Hakluyt on the Colonizing of North America

         Richard Hakluyt, Why England Should Settle North America ((1584)

1.2   John Winthrop Advises Puritans to Emigrate

         John Winthrop, Why We Should Leave England (1629)

1.3   A Cavalier Goes into Exile

         Colonel Norwood, A Voyage to Virginia (1649)

1.4   The Common Folk Come to America

         William Penn, Who Should Go to Pennsylvania? (1683)

1.5   Indentured Servants: Upward Mobility or Deeper Bondage

         Servant’s Indenture for Transportation to Virginia (1622)

1.6   Coercion: The West African Slave

         Venture Smith, An Eighteenth-Century African Describes His Enslavement  (1729)

Chapter 2    The British Colonies of North America

2.1   Paradise or Hell: Economic Survival and Opportunity

         John Smith, The Generall Historie of Virginia (1609)

         Richard Ffrethorne, A Virginia Settler Regrets Coming

         Gabriel Thomas, An Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and

                        Country of Pensilvania etc.

         John Josselyn, An Account of Two Voyages to New England  

         Reverend Andrew Burnaby, New-York City  

2.2   The Political Economy: Old Regime or Innovation?

         Ordinance for Virginia (1621)

         Massachusetts Bay Company (1629)

         Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions to Patroons (1629)

         The Navigation Act of 1663

2.3   Religious Toleration

         John Cotton, God Did Not Ordain Democracy Fit for Church or Commonwealth (1636)

         Massachusetts Proscribes Quakers (1677)

         Royal Order to Send Accused Quakers to England (1661)

         Roger Williams Responds to John Cotton (1644)

         Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, American Diversity: American Tolerance (1782)

2.4   Class Tensions and Slavery in Colonial America

         Jaspar Danckaerts, A Traveler Disapproves of the Chesapeake Planters (1679)

         William Eddis, The Wretchedness of White Servants (1770)

         Reverend R. Walsh, The Inspection of a Slave Ship

         Maryland Statue on Negroes and Other Slaves (1664)

         Runaway Slaves (1745, 1749)

         George Oglethorpe on the Stono Rebellion (1739)

         The Diary of Samuel Sewall

Chapter 3  Native Americans

3.1   A British Officer Describes Native Americans

         Captain Jonathan Carver, A Concise Character of the Indians (1767)

3.2   A Pennsylvanian Calls the Native Americans "Devils"

         Hugh Henry Brackenridge, The Indians Have No Exclusive Claim to America  (1782)

3.3   William Penn Urges Kindness Toward Native Americans

         William Penn Admires the Indians (1683)

3.4   A Moravian Missionary Praises Native American Values

         John Heckewelder,  Indians and Nature (1777)

       The Little Mohee (c. 1725)

3.5   Treaties and Alliances

         Iroquois Chiefs Address the Governors of New York and Virginia (1684)

         An Iroquois Chief Discusses the Treaty of Rights (1742)

3.6   The Paxton Boys and Native American Extermination

          Benjamin Franklin, A Narrative of the Late Massacres, in Lancaster County, of a

                    Number of Indians, Friends of This Province, by Persons Unknown. With

                    Some Observations on the Same.  (1764)

          Professor Peter Kalm, Small Pox and Brandy Among the Indians (1749)

Chapter 4   Patriot versus Loyalist

4.1    The Stamp Act:  Congress Denounces Taxation without Representation

         The Stamp Act (1765)  

          Declarations of the Stamp Act Congress (1765)

          Francis Bennard Describes Stamp Act Riots in Boston (1765)

4.2    A Constitutional Crisis: Virtual and Actual Representation

          Benjamin Franklin, Invectives Against the Americans (1765)

4.3    The Boston Town Meeting Presents the Patriot Case

          Joseph Warren, A List of Infringements and Violations of Rights (1772)

4.4    An American Radical Reevaluates the English Constitution

          Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)

4.5    The Declaration of Independence

          Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence (1776)

4.6    The Radicalism of the American Revolution

          The Virginia Bill of Rights (1776)

4.7    Parliament's Official View

          The Declaratory Act (1766)

4.8    A British Official Argues for Taxing Americans

          Samuel Johnson,  A Diatribe on the American Arguments (1766)

4.9    A British View of "No Taxation without Representation"

          Soame Jenyns, “No Taxation with Representation” Is an Invalid Argument (1765)

4.9    American Loyalists Defend Britain

          Josiah Quincy, Jr., The Hutchinson Riot (1775)

          Samuel Seabury, Anglican Ministers Defends Britain’s Position (1774)

4.10  The American Revolution as a Social Movement

          Abigail Adams on Women’s Rights (1776)

          Prince Hall, a Former Slave (1777)

Chapter 5  The Constitution

5.1    Drafting the Constitution

          George Washington, Letter from the Constitutional Convention to the President of

                        Congress (1787)

          Resolutions of the Convention Concerning the Ratification and Implementation of

                        the Constitution (1787)

          The Constitution

5.2    Patrick Henry Denounces the Constitution

          Patrick Henry, Virginia Should Reject the Constitution (1788)

5.3    The Constitution as a Usurpation

          Richard Henry Lee,  The Constitution Will Encourage Aristocracy (1787)

5.4    "The Father of the Constitution" Defends His Offspring

          James Madison, The Constitution Should Be Ratified (1787)

          James Madison, Regulating the Violence of Faction Federalist Paper #10 (1788)

5.5    Alexander Hamilton on Pro- and Anti-Constitution Forces

          Alexander Hamilton, On the Expediency of Adopting the Federal Constitution (1787)

Chapter 6   Federalist versus Republican

6.1   Alexander Hamilton's Economic Reports

         Alexander Hamilton, The First Report on Public Credit (1790)

         Alexander Hamilton, The Second Report on Public Credit  (1790)

         Alexander Hamilton, The Report on Manufactures (1791)

6.2   Thomas Jefferson and the American Arcadia

         Thomas Jefferson, Query XIX: Manufactures (1784)

6.3   Thomas Jefferson Attacks the Hamiltonian System

         Thomas Jefferson, The Vile Hamiltonian System (1790)

6.4   The Jeffersonians Embrace the French

         Thomas Jefferson, In Praise of the French Jacobins  (1793)

6. 5   The Federalists Denounce the French Revolution

          Gouverneur Morris, Deploring the Excesses of the French Revolution  (1793)

6.6    Freedom of Expression: The Press

          The Alien and Sedition Acts (1798)

          Edward Livingston Opposes the Alien Act (1798)

6.7    Washington and the Success of the Great Experiment

          From Washington’s First Inaugural Address  (1789)

          James Madison Embraces Political Parties

          From Washington’s Farewell Address  (1796)

Chapter 7  Pioneers and Native Americans

7.1    Opening the Great American Desert: The Lewis and Clark Expedition

          John Filson, The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boon (1784))

          Frederick Jackson Turner, Report to the American Historical Association (1893)

7.2    The Pioneer Experience

          The Diary of Elias Pym Fordham (1818)

          Journal of Zerah Hawley (1821)

7.3    Indian Removal

          Timothy Flint,  The Indians Are Savages 

          The Indian Removal Act  (1830)

          Memorial to Congress by Inhabitants of the Territory (1832)

          John C. Calhoun, Justification for “Removal”

          The Indians Protest Against Removal

Chapter 8   Capital versus Labor

8.1    The Lowell System

          Charles Dickens, A Positive View of the Lowell Girls (1842)

          The “Factory Girls” Tell Their Own Story (1845-1846)

8.2    An Economist Defends Capitalism

          Henry C. Carey, Worker Benefit from High Profits (1835)

8.3    The Workingmen's Party Indicts Capitalism

          The Workingmen’s Party, Workers Are Exploited and Oppressed (1840)

8.4    Popular Songs of American Workers

          Low Bridge , Everybody Down


          No Irish Need Apply 

          Pat Works on the Railway  

Chapter 9  Jacksonian Democracy

9.1    Andrew Jackson:  Man of the People or Autocrat?

         Mrs. Smith Observes the Inauguration of Andrew Jackson (1829)

         Andrew Jackson Protests to the Senate (1834)

9.2   Andrew Jackson Vetoes the Bank Bill

         Andrew Jackson, Why I Vetoed the BUS Recharter (1832)

9.3   Daniel Webster Replies to the Veto

         Daniel Webster Defends the BUS (1832)

9.4   Democratic Egalitarianism

         Isaac S. Smith, The Positions of the Loco Focos (1836)

9.5   A "Knickerbocker" Gentleman Flays the "Rabble"

         Philip Hone, A Whig Gentleman’s View of the Working Class

Chapter 10  The Ferment of Reform

10.1   Women's Rights

          The Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions (1848)

10.2   Abolitionism and Human Rights

           Angelina Grimké, Human Rights Not Founded On Sex (1837)

           Sojourner Truth, When Woman Gets Her Rights Man Will Be Right (1867)

10.3   Women and Divorce

           Elizabeth Cady Stanton Questions the Laws of Marriage and Divorce (1861)

10.4   Sarah Josepha Hale On Women and Peace Societies

           Sarah Josepha Hale, Ought Ladies To Form Peace Societies? (1840)

10.5   Dorothea L. Dix and the Plight of the Mentally Ill

           Dorothea L. Dix, Memorial to the Legislature of Massachusetts (1843)

Chapter 11  The Mexican War

11.1   Manifest Destiny

           John L. O’Sullivan, Manifest Destiny (1845)

11.1   James K. Polk Calls For War against Mexico

          Polk’s War Message (1846)

11.3   The Mexican View

           Ramon Alcaraz, The Mexican View of the War (1850)

11.4   Dissent At Home

           James Russell Lowell, The Mexican War Is on Behalf of Slavery

          Charles Sumner, Senator from Massachusetts (1847)

          Thomas Corwin, The War With Mexico Is Morally Wrong (1847)

          Frederick Douglass Opposes the War (1848)

Chapter 12  Slavery and the "Old South"

12. 1   Slavery from the Victim's Viewpoint

            William Brown, My Life as a Slave

            Harriet Jacobs,The Trials of Girlhood

12.2   A Southern Apologist Views Slavery

           Edward A. Pollard, Happy “Darkies” (1859)

12.3   The Southern Plantation Idyll vs. Northern Experiments

            John Pendleton Kennedy, The Southern Plantation Idyll 

            George Fitzhugh, In What Slavery Ends 

12. 4   A Nonslaveholding Southerner Attacks the "Peculiar Institution"

            Hinton Rowan Helper, Slavery Hurts Non-Slaveholding Whites (1857)

12.5   Abolitionism

            William Lloyd Garrison, Manifesto of a New Antislavery Movement 

12.6   A Northerner Describes the Old South

           Frederick Law Olmstead, A Northern Traveler Views Southern Slavery (1854)

12.7   The World the Slaves Made

           Go Down, Moses (c. 1850)

12.8   Resistance and Rebellion

           James W. C. Pennington, The Escape of a Fugitive Slave 

           Rebellion: The Confessions of Nat Turner (1831)

13  The Clash of Sections.

13.1    A Southern Champion Demands Equal Rights for the South

            John C. Calhoun, The South Defended (1850)

13.2    A Northern Unionist Supports the Compromise of 1850

            Daniel Webster, Webster’s Seventh of March Speech Favoring the Compromise

                        Measures (1850)

13.3    Antislavery Leaders Respond to the Kansas-Nebraska Act

            The Kansas–Nebraska Act: A Plot against the North (1854)

13.4    John Brown and the Remission of Sins by Blood

            John Brown’s Last Speech (1859)

13.5   The Victory of the Republican Party

           The Republican Party Platform of 1860

13.6   The South Secedes

           South Carolina Secession Convention (1860)

           Why South Carolina Is Leaving the Union (1860)

Chapter 14 The Civil War

14.1    The War Is About Slavery

            Alexander H. Stephens, Slavery Is the Cornerstone of the Confederacy (1861)

           The War Will Destroy Slavery (1861)

14.2   The War Is Over Constitutional Issues

            Jefferson Davis, Inaugural Address (1861)

            Abraham Lincoln, Inaugural Address (1861)

14.3   The War Is a Clash of Economic Interests

            The North Opposed the South Economically (1860)

            Edward Everett, The North’s Economic Grievances Against the South (1861)

14.4   The Union's Advance Undermines Slavery

             Abraham Lincoln, The Emancipation Proclamation (1863)

             Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address (1863)

             James Henry Gooding, An African American Soldier Appeals for Equality (1863)

            The New York City Draft Riots (1863)

             Mrs. Burton Harrison, A Lady of the Old South Describes the Fall of Richmond (1865)

14.5   The Experience of Civil War Soldiers

            Frank Wilkeson, Death in Battle (1864)

            Battle Cry of Freedom  

            The Bonnie Blue Flag  

            John Brown’s Body  


Chapter 15   Reconstruction

15. 1   Harsh Versus Lenient Victors

              Abraham Lincoln, Reconstruction Must Be Gradual and Careful (1865)

              Andrew Johnson, Amnesty Proclamation (1865)

             Thaddeus Stevens, We Must Have a Radical Reconstruction 

15.2   The White South Responds

             Mississippi Black Code (1865)

             James W. Hunnicutt, Johnson’s Policies Criticized (1866)

             White People Must Regain Control of Their States (1868)

             Organization and Principles of the Ku Klux Klan (1874)

15.3   The Black Response

            Frederick Douglass, What the Black Man Wants (1865)

            Ex-Slaves Should Have Land (1868)

            The Ex-Slaves Crave Education (1866)

            An Appeal for Protection from the KKK (1871)

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