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The American Promise, Volume 2 : A History of the United States

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2019-09-18
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


The American Promise has long been a course favorite for its readability, clear chronology, and the voices of Americans that animate the book. Now with new co-authors, the eighth edition continues to deliver a strong narrative with political backbone and offers a new pedagogical design that reinforces that history is a discipline rooted in debate and inquiry. The American Promise has primary sources in each chapter, a full-color map and art program, and comprehensive supplement options, including LaunchPad and a free companion sourcebook.

Available for free when packaged with the print book, the popular digital assignment and assessment options for this text bring skill building and assessment to a more highly effective level. The greatest active learning options come in LaunchPad, which combines an accessible e-book with LearningCurve, an adaptive and automatically graded learning tool that—when assigned—helps ensure students read the book; the complete companion reader with comparative questions that help students build arguments from those sources; and many other study and assessment tools. For instructors who want the easiest and most affordable way to ensure students come to class prepared Achieve Read & Practice pairs LearningCurve, adaptive quizzing and our mobile, accessible Value Edition e-book, in one easy-to-use product.

Table of Contents

Please Note: The Combined Volume includes all chapters. Volume 1 includes Chapters 1-16 and Volume 2 includes Chapters 16-31.


Versions and Supplements

Maps, Figures, and Tables

Special Features

16. Reconstruction, 1863-1877

An American Story: James T. Rapier emerges as Alabama’s most prominent black leader

Why did Congress object to Lincoln’s wartime plan for reconstruction?

"To Bind Up the Nation’s Wounds"

Land and Labor

The African American Quest for Autonomy


How did the North respond to the passage of black codes in the southern states?

Johnson’s Program of Reconciliation

White Southern Resistance and Black Codes

Expansion of Federal Authority and Black Rights

How radical was congressional reconstruction?

The Fourteenth Amendment and Escalating Violence

Radical Reconstruction and Military Rule

Impeaching a President

The Fifteenth Amendment and Women’s Demands

What brought the elements of the South’s Republican coalition together?

Freedmen, Yankees, and Yeomen

SPOTLIGHT: What Did the Ku Klux Klan Really Want?

Republican Rule

White Landlords, Black Sharecroppers

Why did Reconstruction collapse?

Grant’s Troubled Presidency

Northern Resolve Withers

White Supremacy Triumphs

An Election and a Compromise

Conclusion: Was Reconstruction "a revolution but half accomplished"?

Chapter 16 Study Guide

17. The Contested West, 1865-1900

An American Story: Frederick Jackson Turner delivers his "frontier thesis"

What did U.S. expansion mean for Native Americans?

Indian Removal and the Reservation System

The Decimation of the Great Bison Herds

The Santee Uprising and the Collapse of Comanchería

Red Cloud’s War and the Fight for the Black Hills


In what ways did different Indian groups defy and resist colonial rule?

Indian Schools and the War on Indian Culture

The Dawes Act and Indian Land Allotment

Indian Resistance and Survival

How did mining shape American expansion?

Life on the Comstock Lode

SPOTLIGHT: Mining Technology and the Environment

The Diverse Peoples of the West

How did the fight for land and resources in the West unfold?

Moving West: Homesteaders and Speculators

Tenants, Sharecroppers, and Migrants

Commercial Farming and Industrial Cowboys

Territorial Government

Conclusion: How did the West set the tone for the Gilded Age?

Chapter 17 Study Guide

18. The Gilded Age, 1865-1900

An American Story: The Big Four build the transcontinental railroad

How did the railroads stimulate big business?

Railroads: America’s First Big Business

Andrew Carnegie, Steel, and Vertical Integration

John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil, and the Trust

New Inventions: The Telephone and the Telegraph

SPOTLIGHT: Electrifying America: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the War of the Currents

Why did the ideas of social Darwinism appeal to many Americans in the late nineteenth century?

J. P. Morgan and Finance Capitalism

Social Darwinism, Laissez-Faire, and the Supreme Court

What factors influenced political life in the late nineteenth century?

Political Participation and Party Loyalty

Sectionalism and the New South

Gender, Race, and Politics

ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: Ida B. Wells and Her Campaign to Stop Lynching

Women’s Activism

What issues shaped party politics in the late nineteenth century?

Corruption and Party Strife

Garfield’s Assassination and Civil Service Reform

Reform and Scandal: The Campaign of 1884

Henry George and the Politics of Inequality

What role did economic issues play in party realignment?

The Tariff and the Politics of Protection

Railroads, Trusts, and the Federal Government

The Fight for Free Silver

Panic and Depression

Conclusion: Why did business dominate the Gilded Age?

Chapter 18 Study Guide

19. The City and Its Workers, 1870-1900

An American Story: Workers build the Brooklyn Bridge

Why did American cities experience explosive growth in the late nineteenth century?

The Urban Explosion: A Global Migration

SPOTLIGHT: Seeking Refuge: A Russian Jew Comes to America

Racism and the Cry for Immigration Restriction

The Social Geography of the City

ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: Seeing How the Other Half Lives: Jacob Riis, the Flash, and the Birth of Photojournalism

What kinds of work did people do in industrial America?

America’s Diverse Workers

The Family Economy: Women and Children

White-Collar Workers: Managers, "Typewriters," and Salesclerks

Why did the fortunes of the Knights of Labor rise in the late 1870s and decline in the 1890s?

The Great Railroad Strike of 1877

The Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor

Haymarket and the Specter of Labor Radicalism

How did urban industrialism shape home life and the world of leisure?

Domesticity and "Domestics"

Cheap Amusements

How did municipal governments respond to the challenges of urban expansion?

Building Cities of Stone and Steel

City Government and the "Bosses"

New York and the Consolidation of the Capitalist Class

White City or City of Sin?

Conclusion: Who built the cities?

Chapter 19 Study Guide

20. Dissent, Depression, and War, 1890-1900

An American Story: Frances Willard helps create the Populist Party

Why did American farmers organize alliances in the late nineteenth century?

The Farmers’ Alliance

The Populist Movement

What led to the labor wars of the 1890s?

The Homestead Lockout

The Cripple Creek Miners’ Strike of 1894

Eugene V. Debs and the Pullman Strike

ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: The Press and the Pullman Strike: Framing Class Conflict

How were women involved in late-nineteenth-century politics?

Frances Willard and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and the Movement for Woman Suffrage

How did economic problems affect American politics in the 1890s?

Coxey’s Army

The People’s Party and the Election of 1896

Why did the United States largely abandon its isolationist foreign policy in the 1890s?

Markets and Missionaries

The Monroe Doctrine and the Open Door Policy

"A Splendid Little War"

SPOTLIGHT: Did Terrorists Sink the Maine?

The Debate over American Imperialism

Conclusion: What was the connection between domestic strife and foreign policy?

Chapter 20 Study Guide

21. Progressive Reform, 1890-1916

An American Story: Jane Addams founds Hull House

How did grassroots progressives attack the problems of industrial America?

Civilizing the City

Progressives and the Working Class

What were the key tenets of progressive theory?

Reform Darwinism and Social Engineering

Progressive Government: City and State

How did Theodore Roosevelt advance the progressive agenda?

The Square Deal

Roosevelt the Reformer

Roosevelt and Conservation

The Big Stick

The Troubled Presidency of William Howard Taft

How did progressivism evolve during Woodrow Wilson’s first term?

Progressive Insurgency and the Election of 1912

Wilson’s Reforms: Tariff, Banking, and the Trusts

Wilson, Reluctant Progressive


What were the limits of progressive reform?

Radical Alternatives

Progressivism for White Men Only

SPOTLIGHT: Alice Hamilton Explores the Dangerous Trades

Conclusion: How did the Progressive Era give rise to the liberal state?

Chapter 21 Study Guide

22. World War I: The Progressive Crusade at Home and Abroad, 1914-1920

An American Story:George Browne sees combat on the front lines in France

What was Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy agenda?

Taming the Americas

The European Crisis

The Ordeal of American Neutrality

The United States Enters the War

What role did the United States play in World War I?

The Call to Arms

The War in France

What impact did the war have on the home front?

The Progressive Stake in the War

Women, War, and the Battle for Suffrage

ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: The Final Push for Woman Suffrage

Rally around the Flag—or Else

What part did Woodrow Wilson play at the Paris peace conference?

Wilson’s Fourteen Points

The Paris Peace Conference

The Fight for the Treaty

Why was America’s transition from war to peace so turbulent?

Economic Hardship and Labor Upheaval

The Red Scare

SPOTLIGHT: Bolshevism

The Great Migrations of African Americans and Mexicans

Postwar Politics and the Election of 1920

Conclusion: Victory, but at what cost?

Chapter 22 Study Guide

23. From New Era to Great Depression, 1920-1932

An American Story: Henry Ford puts America on wheels

How did big business shape the "New Era" of the 1920s?

A Business Government

Promoting Prosperity and Peace Abroad

Automobiles, Mass Production, and Assembly-Line Progress

Consumer Culture

ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: Advertising in a Consumer Age

In what ways did the Roaring Twenties challenge traditional values?


The New Woman

SPOTLIGHT: Was There a Sexual Revolution in the 1920s?

The New Negro

Entertaining the Masses

The Lost Generation

Why did the relationship between urban and rural America deteriorate in the 1920s?

Rejecting the Undesirables

The Rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan

The Scopes Trial

Al Smith and the Election of 1928

How did President Hoover respond to the economic crash of 1929?

Herbert Hoover: The Great Engineer

The Distorted Economy

The Crash of 1929

Hoover and the Limits of Individualism

What impact did the economic depression have on everyday life?

The Human Toll

Denial and Escape

Working-Class Militancy

Conclusion: Why did the hope of the 1920s turn to despair?

Chapter 23 Study Guide

24. The New Deal Experiment, 1932-1939

An American Story: Florence Owens struggles to survive in the Great Depression

Why was Franklin D. Roosevelt elected president in 1932?

The Making of a Politician

The Election of 1932

What were the goals and achievements of the first New Deal?

The New Dealers

Banking and Finance Reform

Relief and Conservation Programs

Agricultural Initiatives

Industrial Recovery

SPOTLIGHT: How Did Textile Workers Try to Improve Their Wages and Working Conditions?

Who opposed the New Deal?

Resistance to Business Reform

Casualties in the Countryside

Politics on the Fringes

Why did the New Deal begin to create a welfare state?

Relief for the Unemployed

ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: Americans Encounter the New Deal

Empowering Labor

Social Security and Tax Reform

Neglected Americans and the New Deal

What did the New Deal lose support during Roosevelt’s second term as president?

The Election of 1936

Court Packing

Reaction and Recession

The Last of the New Deal Reforms

Conclusion: What were the achievements and limitations of the New Deal?

Chapter 24 Study Guide

25. The United States and the Second World War, 1939-1945

An American Story: Colonel Paul Tibbets drops the atomic bomb on Hiroshima

How did isolationism shape American foreign policy in the 1930s?

Roosevelt and Reluctant Isolation

The Good Neighbor Policy

The Price of Isolation

How did war in Europe and Asia influence U.S. foreign policy?

Nazi Aggression and War in Europe

From Neutrality to the Arsenal of Democracy

Japan Attacks America

How did the United States mobilize for war?

Home-Front Security


Building a Citizen Army

Conversion to a War Economy

How did the Allies reverse Axis advances in Europe and the Pacific?

Turning the Tide in the Pacific

The Campaign in Europe

How did war change the American home front?

Women and Families, Guns and Butter

The Double V Campaign

Wartime Politics and the 1944 Election

Reaction to the Holocaust

How did the Allies win the war?

From Bombing Raids to Berlin

SPOTLIGHT: Why Did the Allies Win World War II?

The Defeat of Japan

Atomic Warfare

Conclusion: Why did the United States emerge as a superpower at the end of the war?

Chapter 25 Study Guide

26. The New World of the Cold War, 1945–1960

An American Story: Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas becomes loyal Truman ally

How did the Cold War begin?

U.S.-Soviet Tensions Emerge


The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan

SPOTLIGHT: Why Did the United States Launch the European Recovery Program?

Building a National Security State

In what ways did anti-Communism drive policy at home and abroad?

Superpower Rivalry around the Globe

The Domestic Chill: McCarthyism

Why did the U.S. go to war in Korea?

Military Implementation of Containment

From Containment to Rollback to Containment

Korea’s Political Fallout

An Armistice and the War’s Costs

How did Truman’s and Eisenhower’s approaches to the superpower struggle differ?

The "New Look" in Foreign Policy

Applying Containment to Vietnam

Interventions in Latin America and the Middle East

The Nuclear Arms Race

Conclusion: What were the costs and consequences of the Cold War?

Chapter 26 Study Guide

27. Postwar Culture and Politics, 1945-1960

An American Story: Vice President Richard Nixon debates Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev

What were the prospects for domestic reform in the Truman years?

Reconverting to a Peacetime Economy

The Fair Deal Falters

Race and Rights in the 1940s

To what extent did Eisenhower dismantle the New Deal?

A Republican "Middle Way"

A Shifting Indian Policy

What fueled the prosperity of the 1950s?

Technology Transforms Agriculture and Industry

SPOTLIGHT: What Role Did the Government Play in the Prosperity of the Post–World War II Years?

Suburban Migrations

The Rise of the Sun Belt

The Democratization of Higher Education

How did economic growth affect American society, politics, and culture?

A Consumer Culture

The Revival of Domesticity and Religion

Television Transforms Culture and Politics


What mobilized African Americans to fight for civil rights in the 1950s?

African Americans Challenge the Supreme Court and the President


Montgomery and Mass Protest

Conclusion: What unmet challenges did peace and prosperity mask?

Chapter 27 Study Guide

28. Rights, Rebellion, and Reaction, 1960-1974

An American Story: Pauli Murray breaks barriers to fight for civil rights

What were the achievements of JFK’s New Frontier and LBJ’s Great Society?

Kennedy and a New Frontier in the 1960s

Johnson and the War on Poverty

Liberalism at High Tide

Legacies of the Great Society

The Judicial Revolution

How did the black freedom movement evolve?

The Flowering of Civil Rights

The Response in Washington

SPOTLIGHT: What Difference Did the Voting Rights Act Make?

Black Power and Urban Rebellions

What other social movements emerged in the 1960s?

Native American Protest

Latino Struggles for Justice

Youth Rebellions, the New Left, and the Counterculture


Gay Men and Lesbians Organize

Environmental Activists Mobilize

What were the goals of the new wave of feminism?

A Multifaceted Movement Emerges

Feminist Gains Spark a Countermovement

Why and where did the conservative movement gain ground?

A Grassroots Right

Nixon and the Election of 1968

Conclusion: What were the lasting effects of sixties-era reform?

Chapter 28 Study Guide

29. Confronting Limits, 1961-1979

An American Story: Lieutenant Frederick Downs Jr. returns home wounded to a divided country

What led to the United States’ deepening involvement in Vietnam?

Anti-Communism in the Kennedy Years

A Growing War in Southeast Asia

An All-Out Commitment in Vietnam

Those Who Served

How did a war abroad provoke a war at home?

The Antiwar Movement

The Tet Offensive and Steps Toward Peace

SPOTLIGHT: 1968: A Year of Global Unrest

The Tumultuous Election of 1968

How did U.S. foreign policy change under Nixon?

Détente with the Soviet Union and China

U.S. Interventions around the World

Nixon’s War in Vietnam


Peace Accords

The Legacy of Defeat

What accounted for the growth of conservatism in the 1970s?

The End of the Boom

Nixon Courts the Right

The Election of 1972

The Watergate Scandal

The Ford Presidency and the 1976 Election

What challenges did the Carter Administration face?

A Retreat from Liberalism

Energy and Environmental Reform

Promoting Human Rights Abroad

New Foreign Crises

Conclusion: How did the constraints of the 1970s reshape U.S. policy and politics?

Chapter 29 Study Guide

30. Divisions At Home and Abroad in a Conservative Era, 1980-2000

An American Story: Phyllis Schlafly promotes conservatism

What conservative goals were realized during Reagan’s presidency?

Appealing to the New Right and Beyond

Unleashing Free Enterprise

Winners and Losers in a Flourishing Economy

What strategies did liberals use to fight the rightward turn?

Battles in the Courts and Congress

Feminism on the Defensive

SPOTLIGHT: Why Did the ERA Fail?

The Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement

ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: Protecting Gay and Lesbian Rights

Why did the Cold War intensify and how did it end?

Militarization and Interventions Abroad

The Iran-Contra Scandal

Soviet-American Relations Transformed

A "New World Order"

War in Central America and the Persian Gulf

What led to increased political polarization in the 1990s?

Gridlock in Government

The 1992 Election

Clinton’s Reforms

Accommodating the Right

Impeaching the President

How did Clinton respond to the challenges of globalization?

The Booming Economy of the 1990s

Debates over Free Trade

Defining America’s Place in a New World Order

Conclusion: What were the legacies of the "Reagan Revolution"?

Chapter 30 Study Guide

31. America in a New Century, Since 2000

An American Story: Jose Antonio Vargas faces anti-immigrant sentiments in the U.S.

How did George W. Bush alter the focus of U.S. foreign and domestic policy?

The Disputed Election of 2000

The 9/11 Attacks

Security and Civil Liberties

Unilateralism and the "War on Terror"

Domestic Achievements—and Disasters

What were the strengths and weaknesses of the American economy?

Globalized Labor and Production

Immigration and its Discontents

The New Economy and the Old

What obstacles stood in the way of Obama’s reform agenda?

A Post-Racial America?

Governing with Resistance

Multilateralism in Foreign Policy

How did new social movements change politics?

Progressives Mobilize

Civil Rights and Black Lives

SPOTLIGHT: The Incarceration Crisis

Social Media and Activism

What was the significance of the 2016 election?

Platforms, Polls, and Protests


Right-wing Populism on the Rise

A Retreat from U.S. Global Leadership

Conclusion: In a deeply polarized America, was there any common ground?

Chapter 31 Study Guide


I. Documents

The Declaration of Independence

The Constitution of the United States

Amendments to the Constitution with Annotations (including the six unratified amendments)

II. Government and Demographics

Presidential Elections

Supreme Court Justices

Admission of States to the Union

Population Growth, 1630–2010

Major Trends in Immigration, 1820-2010

Selected Bibliography



About the Authors

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