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American Passages places a unique emphasis on cause-and-effect relationships over time, offering students a complete, compelling narrative, and providing balanced coverage of political, economic, social, cultural, military, religious, and intellectual history. Rather than grouping facets of historical change into "themes" or "topics," the authors focus on the intertwined nature of three characteristics of time: sequence, simultaneity, and contingency. The Third Edition includes four new Passages features that use visuals and narratives to illustrate the passage of time and act as both a summary of previous material and a bridge to new chapters. These essays are accompanied by maps that indicate political boundaries, settlements, and geographical changes; charts of population growth; a comprehensive timeline; and photographs.