The American Promise, Volume I: To 1877 A History of the United States

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-01-09
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
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The American Promiseappeals to all types of students and provides the right resources and tools to support any classroom environment. A clear political framework supports a vibrant social and cultural story that embraces the voices of hundreds of Americans from presidents to pipefitters and sharecroppers to suffragettes who help students connect with history and grasp important concepts. Now in its fifth edition, The American Promisedoes even more to increase historical analysis skills and facilitate active learning, and its robust array of multimedia supplements make it the perfect choice for traditional face-to-face classrooms, hybrid courses, and distance learning.

Author Biography

Born in Eunice, Louisiana, and raised in the West, James L. Roark received his B.A. from the University of California, Davis, and his Ph.D. from Stanford University. His dissertation won the Allan Nevins Prize. Since 1983, he has taught at Emory University, where he is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of American History. In 1993, he received the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2001–2002 he was Pitt Professor of American Institutions at Cambridge University. He has written Masters without Slaves: Southern Planters in the Civil War and Reconstruction (1977). With Michael P. Johnson, he is author of Black Masters: A Free Family of Color in the Old South (1984) and editor of No Chariot Let Down: Charleston’s Free People of Color on the Eve of the Civil War (1984).
Born and raised in Ponca City, Oklahoma, Michael P. Johnson studied at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he received a B.A., and at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, where he earned  his Ph.D.  He is currently professor of history at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is the author, co-author, or editor of six books, including Reading the American Past, the documents reader designed to accompany The American Promise.  His research has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanties, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavoral Sciences, and the Huntington Library, and with prizes from the Organization of American Historians and the Omohundro Insttute of Early American History and Culture.  He is also the recipient of university prizes for outstanding undergraduate teaching.
Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and raised in Palo Alto, California, Patricia Cline Cohen earned a B.A. at the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1976, she joined the history faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2005–2006 she received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Cohen has written A Calculating People: The Spread of Numeracy in Early America (1982; reissued 1999) and The Murder of Helen Jewett: The Life and Death of a Prostitute in Nineteenth-Century New York (1998). She is coauthor of The Flash Press: Sporting Male Weeklies in 1840s New York (2008). In 2001–2002 she was the Distinguished Senior Mellon Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society.
Sarah Stage was born in Davenport, Iowa, and received a B.A. from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. She has taught U.S. history for more than twenty-five years at Williams College and the University of California, Riverside. Currently she is professor of Women’s Studies at Arizona State University at the West campus in Phoenix. Her books include Female Complaints: Lydia Pinkham and the Business of Women’s Medicine (1979) and Rethinking Home Economics: Women and the History of a Profession (1997). She recently returned from China where she had an appointment as visiting scholar at Peking University and Sichuan University.
Susan M. Hartmann received her B.A. from Washington University and her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. A specialist in modern U.S. history and women’s history, she has published many articles and four books: Truman and the 80th Congress (1971); The Home Front and Beyond: American Women in the 1940s (1982); From Margin to Mainstream: American Women and Politics since 1960 (1989); and The Other Feminists: Activists in the Liberal Establishment (1998). She is currently Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio State University and recently was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Table of Contents

1. Ancient America, Before 1492

Archaeology and History

The First Americans

     African and Asian Origins

     Paleo-Indian Hunters

Archaic Hunters and Gatherers

     Great Plains Bison Hunters

     Great Basin Cultures

     Pacific Coast Cultures

     Eastern Woodland Cultures

HISTORICAL QUESTION: "Who Were the First Americans?"

Agricultural Settlements and Chiefdoms

     Southwestern Cultures

     Woodland Burial Mounds and Chiefdoms

VISUALIZING HISTORY: "Daily Life in Chaco Canyon"

Native Americans in the 1490s

     Eastern and Great Plains Peoples

     Southwestern and Western Peoples

     Cultural Similarities

The Mexica: A Mesoamerican Culture

Conclusion: The World of Ancient Americans


2. Europeans Encounter the New World, 1492-1600

Europe in the Age of Exploration

     Mediterranean Trade and European Expansion

     A Century of Portuguese Exploration

A Surprising New World in the Western Atlantic

     The Explorations of Columbus

     The Geographic Revolution and the Columbian Exchange

Spanish Exploration and Conquest

     The Conquest of Mexico

     The Search for Other Mexicos

     Spanish Outposts in Florida and New Mexico

     New Spain in the Sixteenth Century

     The Toll of Spanish Conquest and Colonization

VISUALIZING HISTORY: "Weapons of Conquest"


SEEKING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "Spreading Christianity in New Spain"

The New World and Sixteenth-Century Europe

     The Protestant Reformation and the Spanish Response

     Europe and The Spanish Example

Conclusion: The promise of the new world for europeans


3. The Southern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, 1601-1700

An English Colony on Chesapeake Bay

     The Fragile Jamestown Settlement

     Cooperation and Conflict between Natives and Newcomers

     From Private Company to Royal Government

A Tobacco Society

     Tobacco Agriculture

     A Servant Labor System

     The Rigors of Servitude

     Cultivating Land and Faith

BEYOND AMERICA'S BORDERS: "American Tobacco and European Consumers"

SEEKING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "The Gamble of Indentured Servitude"

Hierarchy and Inequality in the Chesapeake

     Social and Economic Polarization

     Government Policies and Political Conflict

     Bacon's Rebellion

HISTORICAL QUESTION: "Why Did English Colonists Consider Themselves Superior to Indians and Africans?"

Toward a Slave Labor System

     Religion and Revolt in the Spanish Borderland

     The West Indies: Sugar and Slavery

     Carolina: A West Indian Frontier

     Slave Labor Emerges in the Chesapeake

Conclusion: The Growth of English Colonies Based on Export Crops and Slave Labor


4. The Northern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, 1601-1700

Puritans and the Settlement of New England

     Puritan Origins: The English Reformation

     The Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony

     The Founding of Massachusetts Bay Colony

The Evolution of New England Society

     Church, Covenant, and Conformity

     Government by Puritans for Puritanism

     The Splintering of Puritanism

     Religious Controversies and Economic Changes


DOCUMENTING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "Hunting Witches in Salem, Massachusetts"

The Founding of the Middle Colonies

     From New Netherland to New York

     New Jersey and Pennsylvania

     Toleration and Diversity in Pennsylvania

The Colonies and the English Empire

     Royal Regulation of Colonial Trade

     King Philip's War and the Consolidation of Royal Authority

BEYOND AMERICA'S BORDERS: "New France and the Indians: The English Colonies' Northern Borderlands"

Conclusion: An English Model of Colonization in North America


5. Colonial America in the Eighteenth Century, 1701-1770

A Growing Population and Expanding Economy in British North America

New England: From Puritan Settlers to Yankee Traders

     Natural Increase and Land Distribution

     Farms, Fish, and Atlantic Trade

The Middle Colonies: Immigrants, Wheat, and Work

     German and Scots-Irish Immigrants

     "God Gives All Things to Industry": Urban and Rural Labor

SEEKING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "A Sailor's Life in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World"

The Southern Colonies: Land of Slavery

     The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Growth of Slavery

     Slave Labor and African American Culture

     Tobacco, Rice, and Prosperity

Unifying Experiences

     Commerce and Consumption

     Religion, Enlightenment, and Revival

     Trade and Conflict in the North American Borderlands

     Colonial Politics in the British Empire

DOCUMENTING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "Spanish Priests Report on California Missions"

Conclusion: The Dual Identity of British North American Colonists


6. The British Empire and the Colonial Crisis, 1754-1775

The Seven Years' War, 1754-1763

     French-British Rivalry in the Ohio Country

     The Albany Congress

     The War and Its Consequences

     Pontiac's Rebellion and the Proclamation of 1763

VISUALIZING HISTORY: "Cultural Cross-Dressing in Eighteenth-Century Portraits"

The Sugar and Stamp Acts, 1763-1765

     Grenville's Sugar Act

     The Stamp Act

     Resistance Strategies and Crowd Politics

     Liberty and Property

SEEKING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "Pursuing Liberty, Protesting Tyranny"

The Townshend Acts and Economic Retaliation, 1767-1770

     The Townshend Duties

     Nonconsumption and the Daughters of Liberty

     Military Occupation and "Massacre" in Boston

The Destruction of the Tea and the Coercive Acts, 1770-1774

     The Calm before the Storm

     Tea in Boston Harbor

     The Coercive Acts

     Beyond Boston: Rural New England

     The First Continental Congress

Domestic Insurrections, 1774-1775

     Lexington and Concord

     Rebelling against Slavery

Conclusion: The Long Road to Revolution


7. The War for America, 1775-1783

The Second Continental Congress

     Assuming Political and Military Authority

     Pursuing Both War and Peace

     Thomas Paine, Abigail Adams, and the Case for Independence

     The Declaration of Independence

The First Year of War, 1775-1776

     The American Military Forces

     The British Strategy

     Quebec, New York, and New Jersey

The Home Front

     Patriotism at the Local Level

     The Loyalists

     Who Is a Traitor?

     Prisoners of War

     Financial Instability and Corruption

DOCUMENTING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "Families Divide over the Revolution"

The Campaigns of 1777-1779: The North and West

     Burgoyne's Army and the Battle of Saratoga

     The War in the West: Indian Country

     The French Alliance

The Southern Strategy and the End of the War

     Georgia and South Carolina

     Treason and Guerrilla Warfare

     Surrender at Yorktown

     The Losers and the Winners

BEYOND AMERICA'S BORDERS: "European Nations and the Peace of Paris, 1783"

Conclusion: Why the British Lost


8. Building a Republic, 1775-1789

The Articles of Confederation

     Congress and Confederation

     The Problem of Western Lands

     Running the New Government

The Sovereign States

     The State Constitutions

     Who Are "the People"?

     Equality and Slavery

SEEKING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "A Slave Sues for Her Freedom"

The Confederation's Problems

     The War Debt and the Newburgh Conspiracy

     The Treaty of Fort Stanwix

     Land Ordinances and the Northwest Territory

     The Requisition of 1785 and Shays's Rebellion, 1786-1787

The United States Constitution

     From Annapolis to Philadelphia

     The Virginia and New Jersey Plans

     Democracy versus Republicanism

Ratification of the Constitution

     The Federalists

     The Antifederalists

     The Big Holdouts: Virginia and New York

HISTORICAL QUESTION: "Was the New United States a Christian Country?"

Conclusion: The "Republican Remedy"


9. The New Nation Takes Form, 1789-1800

The Search for Stability

     Washington Inaugurates the Government

     The Bill of Rights

     The Republican Wife and Mother

HISTORICAL QUESTION: "How Did America's First Congress Address the Question of Slavery?"

Hamilton's Economic Policies

     Agriculture, Transportation, and Banking

     The Public Debt and Taxes

     The First Bank of the United States and the Report on Manufactures

     The Whiskey Rebellion

Conflicts on America's Borders and Beyond

     Creeks in the Southwest

     Ohio Indians in the Northwest

     France and Britain

     The Haitian Revolution

BEYOND AMERICA'S BORDERS: "France, Britain, and Woman's Rights in the 1790s"

Federalists and Republicans

     The Election of 1796

     The XYZ Affair

     The Alien and Sedition Acts

DOCUMETING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "The Crisis of 1798: Sedition"

Conclusion: Parties Nonetheless


10. Republicans in Power, 1800-1824

Jefferson's Presidency

     Turbulent Times: Election and Rebellion

     The Jeffersonian Vision of Republican Simplicity

     Dangers Overseas: The Barbary Wars

Opportunities and Challenges in the West

     The Louisiana Purchase

     The Lewis and Clark Expedition

     Osage and Comanche Indians

VISUALIZING HISTORY: "Cultural Exchange on the Lewis and Clark Trail"

Jefferson, the Madisons, and the War of 1812

     Impressment and Embargo

     Dolley Madison and Social Politics

     Tecumseh and Tippecanoe

     The War of 1812

     Washington City Burns: The British Offensive

Women's Status in the Early Republic

     Women and the Law

     Women and Church Governance

     Female Education

SEEKING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "One Woman's Quest to Provide Higher Education for Women"

Monroe and Adams

     From Property to Democracy

     The Missouri Compromise

     The Monroe Doctrine

     The Election of 1824

     The Adams Administration

Conclusion: Republican Simplicity Becomes Complex


11. The Expanding Republic, 1815-1840

The Market Revolution

     Improvements in Transportation

     Factories, Workingwomen, and Wage Labor

     Bankers and Lawyers

     Booms and Busts

DOCUMENTING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "Mill Girls Stand Up to Factory Owners, 1834"

The Spread of Democracy

     Popular Politics and Partisan Identity

     The Election of 1828 and the Character Issue

     Jackson's Democratic Agenda

Jackson Defines the Democratic Party

     Indian Policy and the Trail of Tears

     The Tariff of Abominations and Nullification

     The Bank War and Economic Boom

Cultural Shifts, Religion, and Reform

     The Family and Separate Spheres

     The Education and Training of Youths

     The Second Great Awakening

     The Temperance Movement and the Campaign for Moral Reform

     Organizing against Slavery

BEYOND AMERICA'S BORDERS: "Transatlantic Abolition"

Van Buren's One-Term Presidency

     The Politics of Slavery

     Elections and Panics

SEEKING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "Going Ahead or Gone to Smash: An Entrepreneur Struggles in the 1830s"

Conclusion: The Age of Jackson or the Era of Reform?


12. The New West and the Free North, 1840-1860

Economic and Industrial Evolution

     Agriculture and Land Policy

     Manufacturing and Mechanization

     Railroads: Breaking the Bonds of Nature

Free Labor: Promise and Reality

     The Free-Labor Ideal

     Economic Inequality

     Immigrants and the Free-Labor Ladder

VISUALIZING HISTORY: "The Path of Progress"

BEYOND AMERICA'S BORDERS: "Global Prosperity in the 1850s"

The Westward Movement

     Manifest Destiny

     Oregon and the Overland Trail

     The Mormon Exodus

     The Mexican Borderlands

Expansion and the Mexican-American War

     The Politics of Expansion

     The Mexican-American War, 1846-1848

     Victory in Mexico

     Golden California

Reforming Self and Society

     The Pursuit of Perfection: Transcendentalists and Utopians

     Woman's Rights Activists

     Abolitionists and the American Ideal

Conclusion: Free Labor, Free Men


13. The Slave South, 1820-1860

The Growing Distinctiveness of the South

     Cotton Kingdom, Slave Empire

     The South in Black and White

     The Plantation Economy


Masters and Mistresses in the Big House

     Paternalism and Male Honor

     The Southern Lady and Feminine Virtues

HISTORICAL QUESTION: "How Often Were Slaves Whipped?"

Slaves in the Quarter


     Family and Religion

     Resistance and Rebellion

The Plain Folk

     Plantation Belt Yeomen

     Upcountry Yeomen

     Poor Whites

     The Culture of the Plain Folk

Black and Free: On the Middle Ground

     Precarious Freedom

     Achievement despite Restrictions

The Politics of Slavery

     The Democratization of the Political Arena

     Planter Power

Conclusion: A Slave Society


14. The House Divided, 1846-1861

The Bitter Fruits of War

     The Wilmot Proviso and the Expansion of Slavery

     The Election of 1848

     Debate and Compromise

The Sectional Balance Undone

     The Fugitive Slave Act

     Uncle Tom's Cabin

     The Kansas-Nebraska Act

Realignment of the Party System

     The Old Parties: Whigs and Democrats

     The New Parties: Know-Nothings and Republicans

     The Election of 1856

BEYOND AMERICA'S BORDERS: "Filibusters: The Underside of Manifest Destiny"

Freedom under Siege

     "Bleeding Kansas"

     The Dred Scott Decision

     Prairie Republican: Abraham Lincoln

     The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

SEEKING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "A Purse of Her Own: Petitioning for the Right to Own Propert"

The Union Collapses

     The Aftermath of John Brown's Raid

     Republican Victory in 1860

     Secession Winter

Conclusion: Slavery, Free Labor, and the Failure of Political Compromise


15. The Crucible of War, 1861-1865

"And the War Came"

     Attack on Fort Sumter

     The Upper South Chooses Sides

The Combatants

     How They Expected to Win

     Lincoln and Davis Mobilize

Battling It Out, 1861-1862

     Stalemate in the Eastern Theater

     Union Victories in the Western Theater

     The Atlantic Theater

     International Diplomacy

Union and Freedom

     From Slaves to Contraband

     From Contraband to Free People

     The War of Black Liberation

SEEKING THE AMERICAN PROMISE: "The Right to Fight: Black Soldiers in the Civil War"

The South at War

     Revolution from Above

     Hardship Below

     The Disintegration of Slavery

The North at War

     The Government and the Economy

     Women and Work at Home and at War

     Politics and Dissent

Grinding Out Victory, 1863-1865

     Vicksburg and Gettysburg

     Grant Takes Command

     The Election of 1864

     The Confederacy Collapses

HISTORICAL QUESTION: "Why Did So Many Soldiers Die?"

Conclusion: The Second American Revolution


16. Reconstruction, 1863-1877

Wartime Reconstruction

     "To Bind Up the Nation's Wounds"

     Land and Labor

     The African American Quest for Autonomy


Presidential Reconstruction

     Johnson's Program of Reconciliation

     White Southern Resistance and Black Codes

     Expansion of Federal Authority and Black Rights

Congressional Reconstruction

     The Fourteenth Amendment and Escalating Violence

     Radical Reconstruction and Military Rule

     Impeaching a President

     The Fifteenth Amendment and Women's Demands

The Struggle in the South

     Freedmen, Yankees, and Yeomen

     Republican Rule

     White Landlords, Black Sharecroppers

HISTORICAL QUESTION: "What Did the Ku Klux Klan Really Want?"

VISUALIZING HISTORY: "A Post-Slavery Encounter"

Reconstruction Collapses

     Grant's Troubled Presidency

     Northern Resolve Withers

     White Supremacy Triumphs

     An Election and a Compromise

Conclusion: "A Revolution But Half Accomplished"

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