Constructing the American Past A Sourcebook of a People's History, Volume 1 to 1877

by ; ; ;
  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-10-25
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • eCampus.com Logo Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • Buyback Icon We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $15.75
    Check/Direct Deposit: $15.00
    PayPal: $15.00
List Price: $63.99 Save up to $33.76
  • Rent Book $32.00
    Add to Cart Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping

    *This item is part of an exclusive publisher rental program and requires an additional convenience fee. This fee will be reflected in the shopping cart.

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Now published by Oxford University Press, Constructing the American Past: A Source Book of a People's History, Eighth Edition, presents an innovative combination of case studies and primary source documents that allow students to discover, analyze, and construct history from the actors'

Beginning with Christopher Columbus and his interaction with the Spanish crown in 1492, and ending in the Reconstruction-era United States, Constructing the American Past provides eyewitness accounts of historical events, legal documents that helped shape the lives of citizens, and excerpts from
diaries that show history through an intimate perspective. The authors expand upon past scholarship and include new material regarding gender, race, and immigration in order to provide a more complete picture of the past.

Author Biography

Elliott J. Gorn is Joseph A. Gagliano Chair in American Urban History at Loyola University Chicago.

Randy Roberts is Distinguished Professor of History at Purdue University.

Susan Schulten is Professor of History at the University of Denver.

Terry D. Bilhartz was Professor of History at Sam Houston State University.

Table of Contents

Each chapter ends with Questions and Additional Reading.

Preface and Introduction

Chapter 1: Contact and Conquest: the Meeting of Old and New Worlds
Historical Context
The Documents
1. Privileges and Prerogatives Granted by Their Catholic Majesties to Christopher Columbus: 1492
2. Journal of Christopher Columbus's First Voyage, 1492
3. Bartolome de Las Casas, from The Cruelties of the Spaniards Committed in America, 1589
4. From The Aztec Account of the Spanish Conquest, Florentine Codex, as Collected by Bernadino de Sahagun

Chapter 2: The Founding of Virginia and Massachusetts Bay Colonies
Historical Context
Dying and Surviving in Virginia
The Documents
1. Arthur Barlowe, From "Narrative of the 1584 Voyage"
2. Thomas Harriot, From "A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia," 1588
3. George Percy, "Discourse," 1607
4. John Smith, "The Starving Time," from Journal, 1609
5. John Smith's map of Virginia, 1624
6. From Laws Divine, Moral and Martial, 1611
7. Richard Frethorne, A letter to his parents, 1623
8. An Act by the Virginia General Assembly, "Negro Women's Children to Serve According to the Condition of the Mother," 1662
9. An Act by the Virginia General Assembly, "Declaring that the Baptism of Slaves Doth Not Exempt them from Bondage," 1667
10. Virginia General Assembly, "An Act Concerning Servants and Slaves," 1705
The Puritans of Massachusetts Bay
The Documents
11. John Winthrop, "A Model of Christian Charity," 1630
12. Excerpts from the Trial of Anne Hutchinson, 1637
13. From The Apologia of Robert Keayne, 1653
14. Mary Rowlandson, From The Sovereignty and Goodness of God, 1682

Chapter 3: Eighteenth-Century Voices
Historical Context
The Documents
1. The Diaries of William Byrd
2. From Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1790)
3. From The Memoirs of Jonathan Edwards
4. From Memoirs of the Life of Mrs. Sarah Osborn
5. From The Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin

Chapter 4: What Kind of Revolution? Justifications for Rebellion
Historical Context
The Documents
1. Joseph Galloway, From "Plan of Union," 1774
2. "A Society of Patriotic Ladies," 1775
3. Samuel Seabury, "An Alarm to the Legislature," 1775
4. Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Galloway, 1775
5. Thomas Paine, From Common Sense, 1776
6. John Wesley, "A Sermon Preached at St. Matthew's," 1775
7. A Proclamation by the Earle of Dunmore, 1775
8. Letter Regarding Dunmore's Proclamation, Virginia Gazette, 1775
9. By the Representatives of the People of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia
10. Abraham Keteltas, "God Arising and Pleading His People's Cause," 1775
11. Correspondence of John and Abigail Adams, 1776
12. The Declaration of Independence, 1776

Chapter 5: Forming a More Perfect Union: The Constitution and the Bill of Rights
Historical Context
The Documents
1. Patrick Henry, Speeches to the Virginia State Ratifying Convention, 1788
2. Mercy Otis Warren, "Observations on the New Constitution," 1788
3. George Washington to Henry Knox and the Marquis de Lafayette, 1787 and 1788
4. From The Federalist Papers, 1788
5. From The Federalist Papers, 1788
6. The Bill of Rights, 1791
7. Report of the Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave Trade, 1789
8. John Brown, "To the Citizens of Rhode Island," 1789
9. Thomas Jefferson, From Notes on the State of Virginia, 1787
10. Benjamin Bannecker, letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1791
11. Thomas Jefferson, letter to Benjamin Banneker, 1791

Chapter 6: Religious Revivals and Social Reform in the Early Republic
Historical Context
The Documents
1. John Leland, "The Excess of Civil Power Exploded"
2. Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, 1802
3. Lyman Beecher on Disestablishment in Connecticut
4. Fanny Lewis, Letter to her father, 1803
5. Portrait of a Camp Meeting
6. Martin J. Spalding, "A Fanaticism as Absurd as it was Blasphemous," 1844
7. "Camp Meetings and Agricultural Fairs," 1820
8. Charles G. Finney, On Revivals, 1835
9. William Otter, Tales of a "Jolly Fellow"
10. Lyman beecher, "The National Remedy for Intemperance," 1828
11. "The Cold Water Army Pledge for Children," c.1845
12. The Drunkard's Progress
13. Harriet Livermore, letter to James Madison, 1829
14. Charles G. Finney, letter to Theodore Dwight Weld, 1836

Chapter 7: The Ambitions and Limitations of Jacksonian Democracy
Historical Context
The Documents
1. Portion of a Coffin Handbill, 1828
2. Satirizing the Coffin Handbills, 1828
3. From The Democratic Republican, 1829
4. Andrew Jackson, Message from the President on the Veto of the Bank, 1832
5. Daniel Webster, Response to the President's Veto, 1832
6. "King Andrew," 1832
7. "Ten Reasons for Advocating the Re-Election of General Jackson," 1832
8. "Why, What Evil Hath He Wrought," 1832
9. Jackson's Farewell Address, 1837
10. Memorial of the Cherokee Nation, 1829
11. Memorial from the Ladies of Steubenville, Ohio, 1830
12. President Jackson's Message to Congress, 1830
13. From a map of Cherokee lands, 1831
14. President Jackson, to the Cherokee tribe of Indians, 1835
15. Chief John Ross, to the Senate and House of Representatives, 1836

Chapter 8: The Upheaval of Westward Expansion
Historical Context
The Documents
1. Manuel Mier y Teran on the borderlands, 1828 and 1829
2. Petition from the Committee of Vigilance and Public Safety, 1835
3. Texas Declaration of Independence, 1836
4. Public Meeting in Nashville, 1836
5. Texas Forever! Broadside, 1836
6. The Eagle of Liberty, c.1836
7. Moral Map of the U.S., 1837
8. Mexican Secretary of War Jose Maria Tornel y Mendivil, 1837
9. John L. O'Sullivan, "The Great Nation of Futurity," 1839
10. "John L. O'Sullivan, "Annexation," 1845
11. President James Polk, First Annual Message, 1845
12. David Wilmot, Speech to Congress, 1847
13. The Legislature of Massachusetts Resolution on Slavery, 1847
14. Virginia Resolution Against the Wilmot Proviso, 1847
15. The Texas Legislature Defends Slavery and the War against Mexico, 1848
16. From the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848
17. Emma Willard, Map of United States History, 1853

Chapter 9: Ideals and Realities for Antebellum Women
Historical Context
The Documents
1. Lydia Maria Child, From The Mother's Book, 1831
2. A.J. Graves, from Women in America, 1843
3. Catherine Beecher, From Treatise on Domestic Economy for Young Ladies, 1847
4. Sarah Grimke, letter to her sister, 1837
5. Harriet Jacobs, From Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, 1861
6. Declaration of Sentiments, 1848
7. Lucy Larcom, From A New England Girlhood
8. Letters from Malenda Edwards and Mary Paul, 1849-1848

Chapter 10: Immigration and Nativism in the Antebellum Era
Historical Context
The Documents
1. "Poor Pat Must Emigrate"
2. Letters from the Curtis Family to John Curtis in Philadelphia, 1845-1847
3. Harriet Martineau, From Letters from Ireland, 1852
4. "Old Skibbereen," c.1850
5. Frederick Bogen, Advice to German Immigrants, 1851
6. Map of Main Routes for Immigrants in North America, 1853
7. Carl Schurz, Reminiscences of a German Immigrant to Wisconsin, 1854
8. "See Our Torn Flag Still Waving," 1844
9. From the Know-Nothing initiation, "The Examiner's Duty," c.1855
10. "American Citizens!" 1852
11. Thomas Colley Grattan, From The Irish in America, 1859
12. "The Funeral of Poole," From The New York Daily Times, 1855
13. "Lessons from a Murder," from The New York Observer and Chronicle, 1855
14. From "The Life of William Poole," 1855
15. Hinton Helper, From The Chinese in California, 1855

Chapter 11: A House Divided: Free Labor, Slave Labor
Historical Context
The Documents
1. Frederick Douglass, Open letter to his owner Thomas Auld, 1848
2. The New "Democratic" Doctrine, 1856
3. "Forcing Slavery down the Throat of a Freesoiler" 1856
4. Chief Justice Robert Taney, Majority Opinion in Dred Scott v. John Sandford, 1857
5. Dissenting Opinion, Justice John McClean, 1857
6. George Fitzhugh, From Cannibals All!, 1857
7. Hinton Helper, From The Impending Crisis of the South, 1857
8. From The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 1858
9. Harriet Beecher Stowe, From Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852
10. Republican Party Campaign Broadside, 1860
11. Who Endorsed the Helper Book!, 1861

Chapter 12: How Did American Slavery End?
Historical Context
The Documents
1. Jackson Whitney, letter to his former master, 1859
2. General Benjamin Butler on the confiscated slaves, 1861
3. Map of slavery in the Southern States, 1861
4. Lydia Maria Child, letter to George Julian, 1862
5. Photograph of confiscated slaves, 1862
6. Horace Greeley, open letter to President Abraham Lincoln, 1862
7. President Lincoln responds to Horace Greeley, 1862
8. President Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863
9. Francis Bicknell Carpenter, "First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation," 1864
10. "Waiting for the Hour," 1863
11. A Gift from the Abolitionists to the President, 1864-1865
12. Republican James Ashley on the Fifteenth Amendment, 1865
13. Democrat Fernando Wood on the Fifteenth Amendment, 1865
14. Frederick Douglass, "The Need for Continuing Anti-Slavery Work," 1865

Chapter 13: Reconstruction and the Rise of the Ku Klux Klan
Historical Context
The Documents
1. Initiation Oath of the Knights of the White Camelia
2. Testimony of Victims of the Ku Klux Klan
3. Congressional Inquiry into Klan Activities, 1871
4. Jeb Stevenson, speech to the House of Representatives, 1872
5. Benjamin Bryant, From Experience of a Northern Man among the Ku-Klux, 1872
6. W.H. Gannon, From The Grand Army of the Republic versus the Ku Klux Klan, 1872
7. Mississippi Governor Adelbert Ames to President Grant, 1875
8. Attorney-General Pierrepont to Adelbert Ames, 1875

Rewards Program

Reviews for Constructing the American Past A Sourcebook of a People's History, Volume 1 to 1877 (9780190280956)