Constructing the American Past, Volume I / Edition 6

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Constructing the American Past Volume I Sixth Edition By Elliott J. Gorn, Randy Roberts, Terry D. Bilhartz

Challenge your students to become historians with the hands-on history of letters, articles, journalistic sources, photographs and posters.

Constructing the American Past achieves a level of inclusion and depth rarely found in other source books. Each chapter focuses on a particular problem or moment in American history, providing students with several different sources and points of view. An array of written sources, photographs, posters and maps asks students to analyze the visual sources of American history. By exposing students to these “conversations” of primary sources, the building blocks of history, Constructing the American Past fosters a solid foundation and invites its readers to analyze and interpret American events as historians do.

New to the Sixth Edition

  • NEW! Chapter 9 on Andrew Jackson’s America explores the achievements of Jackson’s Presidency and how the “era of the common man” appeared to American Indians, Mexican-Americans, and African-Americans.
  • NEW! Increased coverage of women and minorities, as well as new material on the foundations of American legal and constitutional liberties. Controversial subjects like the Dred Scott decision and the role of women in the West have been expanded.
  • More visual sources appear throughout the volume, including a diverse selection of poetry and newspaper advertisements.
  • All of the “Additional Readings” sections have been updated to include the most recent scholarship.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321484741
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 8/8/2007
  • Series: Constructing the American past (Longman)
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.35 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Table of Contents

Volume 1.

(Each chapter begins with “Historical Context” and concludes with “Defining the Terms,” “Probing the Sources,” “Interpreting the Sources,” and “Additional Reading.”)


1. Contact and Conquest: The Meeting of Old and New Worlds.

Privileges and Prerogatives Granted by Their Catholic Majesties to Christopher Columbus.

Journal of Christopher Columbus' First Voyage.

Bartolomé de Las Casas, From The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account.

The Aztec Account of the Spanish Conquest, Florentine Codex, as Collected by Bernadino de Sahagún.

2. Dying and Surviving in Virginia.

Charter to Sir Walter Raleigh.

Arthur Barlowe, “Narrative of the 1584 Voyage.”

Thomas Harriot, From A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia.

John White, “Narrative of the 1590 Virginia Voyage.”

George Percy, “Discourse.”

John Smith, From Journal.

Powhatan's Speech to Captain John Smith.

From Nova Britannia, 1609.

From Laws Divine, Moral and Martial, 1611.

“The State of the Colony in Virginia,” 1622.

Richard Frethorne, An Indentured Servant Describes Life in Virginia in a Letter to His Parents.

3. The Puritan Experience in New England.

John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity.”

Excerpts from the Trial of Anne Hutchinson.

From The Apologia of Robert Keayne.

Massachusetts School Law 1647

The New England Primer, c. 1687

The Poetry of Anne Bradstreet

Increase Mather to Michael Wigglesworth

Mary Rowlandson, The Sovereignty and Goodness of God

Samuel Parris, “Christ Knows How Many Devils There Are,” 1692

Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases

Ann Putnam’s Deposition

Ann Putnam’s Confession

4. Eighteenth Century American Voices.

The Diaries of William Byrd.

Expanded excerpts from the Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.

The Memoirs of Jonathan Edwards.

Memoirs of the Life of Mrs. Sarah Osborn.

The Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin.

5. What Kind of Revolution? Justifications for Rebellion.

Joseph Galloway, “Plan of Union.”

Samuel Seabury, “An Alarm to the Legislature.”

Benjamin Franklin on the Galloway Plan and the North Resolution.

Thomas Paine, From Common Sense.

John Wesley's Sermon.

Lord Dunmore's Proclamation and Responses.

Revolutionary Battle Flag

“God Arising and Pleading His People’s Cause”

Correspondence of John and Abigail Adams.

The Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson, From Notes on the State of Virginia.

Letter from Benjamin Banneker to Thomas Jefferson.

Reply of Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Banneker.

6. Forming a More Perfect Union: The Constitution of 1787 versus Friends, Foes and the Disfranchised.

Selections from the Constitution of 1787.

Selections from the Speeches of Patrick Henry in the Virginia State Ratifying Convention.

Mercy Otis Warren, Observations on the New Constitution, and on the Federal and Conventions by a Columbian Patriot.

Selections from the Letters of George Washington.

Selections from The Federalist Papers.

7. Shouting for Glory: Camp Meeting Christianity Described, Decried, and Defended.

Fanny Lewis, “Glory! Glory! This Is the Happiest Day I Ever Saw.”

William Thatcher, “The Melting Power of God.”

Barton Stone, “The Smile of Heaven Shone.”

Martin J. Spalding, “A Fanaticism as Absurd as It Was Blasphemous.”

“Camp-Meetings, and Agricultural Fairs.”

From An Apology for Camp Meetings.

Plan of the camp.

8. Living and Dying in Bondage: The Slave Conspiracy of 1822.

The Trials.

“Gracious Heaven When I Think What I Have Escaped”: Anna Hayes Johnson's Letters to Her Cousin.

“The Conspiracy Had Spread Wider and Wider”: John Potter to Langdon Cheves.

“White Men, Too, Would Engender Plots”: Newspapers Report the Vesey Conspiracy.

David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World.

9. Leadership in the Age of the Common Man: The Scope and Limitations of a Jacksonian Democracy

Two Anti-Jackson Political Broadsides

Two Pro-Jackson Broadsides

“From the Democratic Republican,” The New Hampshire Patriot

“Ten Reasons,” The New Hampshire Patriot

Selections from George Bancroft’s The Office of the People in Art, Government and Religion

Selections from Jackson’s Farewell Address

“Rights of Women,” Republican Star and General Advertiser
“Virginia Convention,” Salem Gazette

“Why, What Evil Hath He Done?” Salem Gazette

Reasons for Not Supporting the Democrats: A Satire

Selections from “Radicalism” The New England Magazine

10. Women in Antebellum America.

A. J. Graves, “Religious Women.”

Catharine Beecher, “The Peculiar Responsibilities of American Women.”

Sarah M. Grimké, “On the Condition of Women in the United States.”

Harriet Jacobs, From Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

Words from a Native-American Female

Declaration of Sentiments.

Lucy Larcom, From A New England Girlhood.

Malenda Edwards and Mary Paul Letters.

11. A House Divided: Free Labor, Slave Labor.

Opinion of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, March 6, 1857, in the case of Dred Scott v. John Sandford

Dissenting Opinion, Justice John McLean, March 6, 1857

George Fitzhugh, From Cannibals All!

Hinton Rowan Helper, From The Impending Crisis of the South.

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, From Uncle Tom's Cabin; or Life Among the Lowly.

Frederick Douglass, Open Letter to Thomas Auld.

12. A War Within a War: The New York City Draft Riots

Enrollment Act of 1863.

Ellen Leonard, “Three Days of Terror.”

From The Diary of George Templeton Strong.

To The Laboring Men of New York.

Dearly Beloved!

“The Raging Riot– Its Character, and the True Attitude Toward It.”

A Letter from One of the Rioters.

The $300 Exemption.

Lincoln's Second Inaugural.

13. Reconstruction and the Rise of the Ku Klux Klan

Initiation Oath of the Knights of White Camelia.

Testimony of Victims of the Ku Klux Klan.

Congressional Inquiry into Klan Activities.

Hon. Job E. Stevenson of Ohio, Speech to the House of Representatives.

Benjamin Bryant, From Experience of a Northern Man Among the Ku-Klux.

W.H. Gannon, “How to Extirpate Ku-Kluxism from the South.”



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