Annual Editions: American History, Volume 1: Pre-Colonial Through Reconstruction


This nineteenth of ANNUAL EDITIONS: AMERICAN HISTORY, VOLUME 1 provides convenient, inexpensive access to current articles selected from the best of the public press. Organizational features include: an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites; an annotated table of contents; a topic guide; a general introduction; brief overviews for each section; a topical index; and an instructor’s resource guide with testing materials. USING ANNUAL EDITIONS IN THE CLASSROOM is offered as a practical guide for ...

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This nineteenth of ANNUAL EDITIONS: AMERICAN HISTORY, VOLUME 1 provides convenient, inexpensive access to current articles selected from the best of the public press. Organizational features include: an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites; an annotated table of contents; a topic guide; a general introduction; brief overviews for each section; a topical index; and an instructor’s resource guide with testing materials. USING ANNUAL EDITIONS IN THE CLASSROOM is offered as a practical guide for instructors. ANNUAL EDITIONS titles are supported by our student website,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780073516004
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 4/7/2006
  • Series: Annual Editions Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 19
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Table of Contents

UNIT 1. The New Land

America’s First Immigrants
, Evan Hadingham,
, November 2004

The conventional wisdom used to be that American Indians migrated to the New World via a now-submerged land bridge from Siberia. This view has been challenged by archaeologists who have found the remains of settlements dating at least 1,000 years before this supposed migration took place. What remains controversial is where these early peoples actually came from.

, Charles C. Mann,
The Atlantic Monthly
, March 2002
“Before it became the New World,” Charles Mann writes, “the Western Hemisphere was vastly more populous and sophisticated than has been thought.” He surveys new research that indicates


lived in this hemisphere much longer than previously assumed, and that they had a larger impact on the


Mystery Tribe
, Betsy Carpenter,
U.S. News & World Report
, October 4, 2004
A tribe known as the Fremont Indians flourished for 600 years in what is now the state of Utah. Their fairly sophisticated civilization began to disintegrate around AD 1250 and virtually disappeared within a century. Experts disagree as to the causes of this collapse.

Before New England
, Richard L. Pflederer,
History Today
, January 2005
In contrast with the English colony at Jamestown in Virginia, very little has been written about the short-lived Popham settlement in what is now the state of Maine. The very fact thatthe colony was abandoned after only a few years, coupled with the help of a map drawn at the time, has led to excavations that tell us much about the lives of these early colonists.

Instruments of Seduction: A Tale of Two Women
, Sandra F. VanBurkleo,
OAH Magazine of History
, Winter 1995
In the 1630’s,

Ann Hibben


Anne Hutchinson

were tried and convicted for committing crimes against the community and “entertaining diabolical religious ideas.” They had violated


teachings about the proper roles women should play in society.

Penning a Legacy
, Patricia Hudson,
American History
, February 1998
In 1680, William Penn, who earlier had become a Quaker, petitioned King Charles II for a grant of land in what would become known as


Penn created a constitution that provided for religious freedom, voting rights, and penal reform. He also addressed Native Americans in the region, asking them to permit colonists to live among them “with your love and consent.”

Blessed and Bedeviled: Tales of Remarkable Providences in Puritan New England
, Helen Mondloch,
The World & I
, May 2002
In 2001 the governor of Massachusetts signed a bill exonerating the last five individuals convicted in the

Salem Witch trials



. The author of this essay examines the attitudes and beliefs that led to the persecution of at least 150 people.

Were American Indians the Victims of Genocide?
, Guenter Lewy,
, September 2004
Everyone agrees that European exploration and the conquest had devastating consequences on the Indian population in the western hemisphere. Some have claimed that this process amounted to genocide, not much different from what the Nazis did to European Jews. Lewy argues that the largest cause of Indian mortality was the “spread of highly contagious diseases to which they had no immunity.” Given the state of medical knowledge at the time, the Europeans were unaware that they carried diseases with them.

UNIT 2. Revolutionary America

Flora MacDonald
, Jean Creznic,
American History
, May/June 1997
Flora MacDonald was

a Scottish heroine

who had helped “Bonnie Prince Charlie” escape the British in 1746. She moved to North Carolina in 1774, where she was received with great fanfare. When the revolution came, however, she helped recruit men of Scottish descent to fight for the British.

Info Highwayman
, Walter Isaacson,
, March/April 1995
When he was Vice President, Al Gore used to refer to the nation’s emerging “information superhighway.” Alluding to Ben Franklin’s consolidation of the colonial postal system, Gore contended that “open access” has been a basic principle of the way we have distributed information ever since. Isaacson’s essay shows that Franklin actually had a mixed record on that score. He used his powers to help friends and relatives, and to line his own pockets, as well as to disseminate information freely.

Midnight Riders
, Charles J. Caes,
American History
, December 2004
Paul Revere, and to a lesser extent, William Dawes, became famous because of their heroic efforts to warn the colonials that the Redcoats were coming. But it was a virtually unknown third rider, Samual Prescott, who actually completed the mission to rouse the Sons of Liberty and to warn the Americans at Concord.

The Rocky Road to Revolution
, John Ferling,
, July 2004
“While most members of Congress sought a negotiated settlement with England,” Ferling writes, “independence advocates bided their time.” He analyzes the hopes and fears of both sides, and the manner in which the struggle was decided.

Making Sense of the Fourth of July
, Pauline Maier,
American Heritage
, July/August 1997
On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress resolved that “these United Colonies are, and, of right ought to be” independent of Great Britain. Two days later, the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

Celebrating the Fourth of July,

Pauline Maier writes, “makes no sense at all”—unless we celebrate not just independence but the Declaration of Independence. She explains how the meaning and function of the Declaration have changed over time.

Hamilton Takes Command
, January 2003
A 20 year old

Alexander Hamilton

formed his own militia company in 1775. His brilliance and courage brought him rapid advancement and, more importantly, he attracted the attention of

George Washington

. Hamilton went on to become one of the least appreciated founding fathers.

Winter of Discontent
, Norman Gelb,
, May 2003

George Washington

generally is regarded as one of the nation’s greatest presidents. During the

Revolutionary War

however, his leadership of the army came under bitter criticism and the

Conway Cabal

nearly led to his resignation.

Your Constitution Is Killing You
, Daniel Lazare,
Harper’s Magazine
, October 1999
Some people passionately believe that the

Second Amendment

to the Constitution guarantees Americans the untrammeled

right to bear arms.

Others just as passionately believe that the amendment must be read within the context of membership in the various state militias. Daniel Lazare examines the changing interpretations of this vexing question.

UNIT 3. National Consolidation and Expansion

The Best of Enemies
, Ron Chernow,
, July 5, 2004
The two most influential members of President George Washington’s first cabinet were Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson’s vision for the United States was a nation of small, independent farmers. Hamilton understood that agriculture would be the nation’s backbone in the foreseeable future, but he also wanted to foster commerce, manufacturing, and financial institutions. Their differences over the proper future of the nation led to a struggle that reverberates to this day.

, John Ferling,
, November 2004
Because the Constitution did not provide for the emergence of political parties, Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson tied in the electoral college even though both were Republicans. People at the time feared the possibility of violence and the threat of some states to secede if the issue were not resolved satisfactorily. Ferling analyzes the course of this crisis, including the possibility that Jefferson struck a deal with the Federalists to secure the presidency.

The Revolution of 1803
, Peter S. Onuf,
The Wilson Quarterly
, Winter 2003

The Louisiana Purchase

in 1803 more than doubled the size of the United States, which some Americans already believed was too large. This acquisition had enormous ramifications at the time and changed the course of the nation’s history.

Paddle a Mile in Their Canoes
, Gregory M. Lamb,
The Christian Science Monitor
, December 3, 2002
Beginning in 2003 and continuing until 2006, a number of organizations and cities have and will commemorate the bicentennial of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition of 1803. Those involved in the bicentennial, Lamb writes, are determined to do more than celebrate the courage of the expedition members. Heavy emphasis will be placed on the impact of the venture on Native Americans and environmental issues will top many of the agendas.

African Americans in the Early Republic
, Gary B. Nash,
OAH Magazine of History
, Winter 2000
Although coverage of

African Americans

in history textbooks is far more comprehensive than it was a few decades ago, Nash discusses five areas that still receive short shrift. Among these are topics such as the

rise of free black communities


early abolitionism


, Lewis Lord,
U.S. News & World Report
, February 25/March 4, 2002
For centuries the Barbary Pirates from the rogue states along the northern coast of North Africa highjacked ships and cargoes, and enslaved crews in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. To minimize such depredations, most European nations paid bribes to the pirates. The United States did so as well until Thomas Jefferson and James Madison mounted expeditions against the predators. “On the Shores of Tripoli,” Lord writes, “America becomes a world power.”

How American Slavery Led to the Birth of Liberia
, Sean Price,
The New York Times Upfront
, September 22, 2003
In 1820, the American Colonization Society established the state of Liberia on Africa’s west coast. Supporters hoped that Liberia would provide a haven from American racism for freed blacks. Detractors claimed it was a way of perpetuating slavery. The experiment was doomed from the start: first by disease, then by conflict between “Americo-Liberians” and the native peoples. Liberia never became what the Colonization society hoped would be the promised land for millions of American blacks.

Andrew Jackson Versus the Cherokee Nation
, Robert V. Remini,
American History
, August 2001
As president, former Indian fighter Andrew Jackson in 1836 used his office to bring about the

removal of the Cherokees from Georgia

to west of the Mississippi. When the great removal began several years later, the tribe suffered grievously on what became known as “the trail of tears.”

Storm Over Mexico
, Godfrey Hodgson,
History Today
, March 2005
The phrase “Manifest Destiny” became popular during the 1840s. Those who supported the idea believed that the United States was destined to rule over Mexico and the Caribbean. There was no greater advocate of this notion than Jane McManus, a remarkable woman who was a political journalist, a land speculator, and a pioneer settler in Texas. She was, Hodgson writes, “Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in one.”

UNIT 4. The Civil War and Reconstruction

Free at Last
, Fergus M. Bordewich,
, December 2004
What became known as the “underground railroad” provided escape routes for thousands of slaves fleeing to freedom. Among other things, its existence convinced white Southerners that the North meant to abolish slavery if it could. Bordewich describes how the system functioned, and tells the more recent story of how the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (which opened in the summer of 2005) was created.

The Volume of History: Listening to 19th Century America
, Mark M. Smith,
The Chronicle of Higher Education
, December 14, 2001
Northeners “listened” to the South and heard the “shrieks of slavery,” and the “awful silence of oppression.” Southerners listened to the North and heard the “disquieting throb of a mob made reckless” by the forces of industrialization and urbanization. Smith argues that we must pay attention to aural as well as visual senses in understanding the sectional conflict that led to the Civil War.

Richmond’s Bread Riot
, Alan Pell Crawford,
American History
, June 2002
In 1863, thousands of


marched through the streets of Richmond demanding food. Confederate President

Jefferson Davis

confronted the protesters, who warned them they might be shot if they did not disperse. The incident passed without bloodshed, but indicates how badly off the South really was.

Jefferson Davis and the Jews
, Peggy Robbins,
Civil War Times Illustrated
, March 2000
Who was to blame for

the South’s military and financial woes?

Confederate congressman Henry S. Foote blamed the Jews in President Davis’s administration. “If the present state of things were to continue, Foote said in 1863, the end of the war would probably find nearly all the property of the Confederacy in the hands of Jewish Shylocks.”

A Gallant Rush for Glory
, William C. Kashatus,
American History
, October 2000
On July 18, 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, consisting of 600 black men launched an assault on the Southern stronghold of Fort Wagner, just outside Charleston, South Carolina. The attackers fought gallantly, but were repulsed with heavy losses. William Kashatus examines

how black units came to be formed

during the war and describes the battle itself.

Lincoln as Statesman
, Dinesh D’Souza,
American History
, April 2005
In recent years, D’Souza writes, “powerful movements have gathered on both the political right and the left to condemn Lincoln as a flawed and even wicked man.” This article is critical of both camps and praises Abraham Lincoln for his ability to seek the “meeting point between what was right in theory and what could be achieved in practice.”

America’s Birth at Appomattox
, Anne Wortham,
The World & I
, May 1999
Wortham argues that ties of “friendship, battlefield comradeship, and shared nationality” helped to further

reconciliation between the North and South

after the fighting stopped.

Death of John Wilkes Booth
American History
, April 2005
Following his escape after assassinating Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth spent several days hiding out with sympathizers. He was finally cornered in a barn by detectives and a troop of cavalry. This article provides an eyewitness account of Booth’s capture and death.

The New View of Reconstruction
, Eric Foner,
American Heritage
, October/November 1983
Prior to the 1960s, according to Eric Foner,


was portrayed in history books as “just about the darkest page in the American saga.” He presents a balanced view of the era and suggests that, even though Reconstruction failed to achieve its objectives, its “animating vision” still has relevance.
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