The Social Fabric, Volume I

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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: Longman
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This anthology of readings portrays the lives of ordinary Americans and examines the diversity of the American people, from the earliest settlement of America to Reconstruction. The Social Fabric acquaints students with important events in the nation's history and how these events were reflected in the everyday lives of ordinary people. A wide variety of essays deal with the experiences of all Americans men as well as women Native Americans and African-Americans as well as whites, the poor as well as the wealthy. These readings highlight the diversity of Americans' experiences based on differences in race, ethnicity, and gender and the way in which those differences have at times led to conflict. *Note: the author sequence has changed for this edition; Cary and Weinberg were the first authors on the previous editions.

Table of Contents

* reflects readings that are new to this edition.


1. New Ways: Indian and European.*

From Colin Calloway, New Worlds for All.

2. The Creation of a Slave Society in the Chesapeake.*

From Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: the First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America.

3. Husbands and Wives.

From Lyle Koehler, A Search for Power: The “Weaker Sex” in Seventeenth-Century New England.

4. The Witchcraft Scare.

From John C Miller, This New Man, the American.


5. Native American Women—from Princesses to Wenches.

From Larry D. Eldridge, ed., Women and Freedom in Early America.

6. Indentured Servants—Voyage, Sale, Service.

From Sharon V. Salinger, “To serve well and faithfully” : Labor and Indentured Servants in Pennsylvania, 1682-1800.

7. Building an Army.

From John E. Ferling, A Wilderness of Miseries: War and Warriors in Early America.

8. Social War.

From Wallace Brown, The Good Americans: Loyalists in the American Revolution.

9. Frontier Fighting: The Importance of Saving Face.

From Elliott J. Gorn, “Gouge and Bite, Pull Hair and Scratch” : The Social Significance of Fighting in the Southern Backcountry.


10. The Industrial Worker.

From Barbara M. Tucker, Samuel Slater and the Origins of the American Textile Industry, 1790-1860.

11. Trail of Tears.

From Dale Van Every, Disinherited: The Lost Birthright of the American Indian.

12. The Affectionate Family.

From Steven Mintz and Susan Kellogg, Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life.

13. Getting Rid of Demon Alcohol.*

From Ronald G. Walters, American Reformers, 1815-1869, Second Edition.


14. The Midwestern Farm.

From John M. Faragher, Women and Men on the Overland Trail.

15. The Black Family.

From Leslie H. Owens, This Species of Property: Slave Life and Culture in the Old South.

16. A Nation of Immigrants.

From David A. Gerber, The Making of an American Pluralism: Buffalo, New York, 1825-60.

17. Urban Problems.

From Michael Feldberg, The Turbulent Era: Riot and Disorder in Jacksonian America.


18. The Way West.

From John D. Unruh, Jr., The Plains Across: The Overland Emigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-1860.

19. Early Texans—the Common Ground Between Anglos and Tejanos in Republican Texas.*

From Jesus F. de la Teja, “Discovering the Tejano Community of 'Early' Texas” .

20. Why Soldiers Went to War.

From James M. McPherson, What They Fought For, 1861-1865.

21. When Yankees Came.*

From Stephen V. Ash, When the Yankees Came: Conflict and Chaos in the Occupied South, 1861-1865.

22. After Slavery.*

From Joel Williamson, After Slavery.

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