9780131114524

Making a Nation: The United States and Its People, Prentice Hall Portfolio Edition, Volume One

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  • ISBN13:

    9780131114524

  • ISBN10:

    0131114522

  • Edition: CD
  • Format: Paperback w/CD
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

Political Economy framework. Role of the individual. Global approach. Making a Nation, Portfolio Edition focuses on the relationships that shape and define human identityculture, race, gender, class and sectional relations. The text shows that politics and the economy do not simply shape, but in turn are shaped by, the lives and cultural values of ordinary men and women. Automatically includes U.S. History Document CD-ROM with 300 primary source documents. Text-format is 2-color, smaller trim size and costs 60%less than comprehensive texts.

Excerpts

Every human life is shaped by a variety of different relationships. Cultural relations, diplomatic relations, race, gender, and class relations, all contribute to how an individual interacts with the larger global community. This was the theme of the full-length version ofMaking a Nation.For this concise edition, the authors have worked hard to retain the theme while reducing some of the illustrious material. This allows us to retain our emphasis on the relationships that have historically shaped and defined the identities of the American people. So, for example, to disentangle the identity of a Mexican American woman working in a factory in Los Angeles in the year 2000 is to confront the multiple and overlapping "identities" that define a single American life. There are many ways to explore these and similar relationships.Making a Nationviews them through the lens ofpolitical economy. In March of 1776, a few months before American colonists declared their independence from Great Britain, Adam Smith published his masterpiece,The Wealth of Nations.Smith had delayed publication of his work for a year so that he could perfect a lengthy chapter on Anglo-American relations. ThusThe Wealth of Nations,one of the most important documents in a new branch of knowledge known as political economy, was written with a close eye to events in the British colonies of North America, the colonies that were soon to become the United States. What did Smith and his many American followers mean by political economy? They meant, firstly, that the economy itself is much broader than the gross national product, the unemployment rate, or the twists and turns of the stock market. They understood that economies are tightly bound to politics, that they are therefore the products of history rather than nature or accident. And just as men and women make history, so too do they make economies--in the way they work and organize their families as much as in their fiscal policies and tax structures. Political economy is a way of thinking that is deeply embedded in American history. To this day we casually assume that different government policies create different "incentives" shaping everything from the way capital gains are invested to how parents raise their children, from how unmarried mothers on welfare can escape from poverty, to how automobile manufacturers design cars for fuel efficiency and pollution control. Political economy is the art and science that traces these connections between government, the economy, and the relationships that shape the daily lives of ordinary men and women. But that connection points in different directions. Politics and the economy do not simply shape, but are in turn shaped by, the lives and cultural values of ordinary men and women. Put differently, political economy establishes a context that allows students to see the links between the particular and the general, between large and seemingly abstract forces such as "globalization" and the struggles of working parents who find they need two incomes to provide for their children.Making a Nationshows that such relationships were as important in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as they are today. In a sense, globalization has been a theme in American history from its earliest beginnings. As the opening chapters demonstrate, Europe, Africa and the Americas were linked to each other in an Atlantic world across which everything was exchanged, deadly diseases along with diplomatic formalities, political structures and cultural assumptions, African slaves and Europeans servants, colonists and commodities. In subsequent chaptersMaking a Nationtraces the development of the newly formed United States by once again stressing the link between the lives of ordinary men and women to the grand political struggles of the day. Should the federal government create a centralized bank? Shoul

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