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Cradle of America: Four Centuries of Virginia History / Edition 1

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Virginia is definitely for lovers—of history!

As the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America, the birthplace of a presidential dynasty, and the gateway to western growth in the nation's early years, Virginia can rightfully be called the "cradle of America." In this first single-authored history of Virginia since the 1970s, Peter Wallenstein traces major themes across four centuries in a brisk narrative that recalls the people and events that have shaped the Old Dominion.

Historical accounts of Virginia have often emphasized harmony and tradition, but Wallenstein focuses on the impact of conflict and change. From the beginning, Virginians have debated and challenged each other's visions of Virginia, and Wallenstein shows how these differences have influenced its sometimes turbulent development. Casting an eye on blacks as well as whites, and on people from both east and west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he traces such key themes as political power, racial identity, and education.

Bringing to bear his long experience teaching Virginia history, Wallenstein takes readers back, even before Jamestown, to the Elizabethan settlers at Roanoke Island and the inhabitants they encountered, as well as to Virginia's leaders of the American Revolution. He chronicles the state's dramatic journey through the Civil War era, a time that revealed how the nation's evolution sometimes took shape in opposition to the vision of many leading Virginians. He also examines the impact of the civil rights movement and considers controversies that accompany Virginia into its fifth century.

The text is copiously illustrated to depict not only such iconic figures as Pocahontas, George Washington, and Robert E. Lee, but also such other prominent native Virginians as Edgar Allan Poe, Carter G. Woodson, and Patsy Cline. Sidebars throughout the book offer further insight, while maps and appendixes of reference data make the volume a complete resource on Virginia's history.

As people in Virginia and elsewhere prepare to observe the 400th anniversary of Jamestown's settlement, Wallenstein's fresh interpretation marks a significant commemoration of that beginning of Virginia—and America—and shows us that the adventure of Virginia has in many ways been the adventure of America.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700615070
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 494
  • Sales rank: 619,673
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Sidebars

Prologue: Jamestown, Blacksburg, and the Return of Pangaea

Part I 1580s-1760s

Between Two Worlds

1. Elizabethan Virginia

2. Jamestown

3. Land and Labor

4. The West

Part II 1760s-1820s

Political Independence and Political Slavery

5. Conservative Revolutionaries: Virginians and Independence

6. Perfecting Independence (I): Power and Policy in Postrevolutionary Virginia

7. Virginia and a New Union

8. Mother of Presidents, Mother of States

Part III 1820s-1890s

After Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase

9. Perfecting Independence (II): Power and Policy in Early National Virginia

10. Collision of Three Virginias

11. Race and Slavery, 1820s-1850s

12. The Compromises of 1850-1851

13. Virginia's Road to Secession and War

14. Virginians at War

15. Reconstructing Virginia—After War and Emancipation

16. Railroads, Schools, and Readjusters

Part IV 1890s-1940s

The Politics of Migration and the Winds of Change

17. Southern Progressivism

18. Alternative Pasts—Preserved, Retrieved, Celebrated

19. Alternative Futures

20. Great Depression and New Deal

21. World War II

Part V 1948-2007

Cold War and Great Society

22. The Road to Brown v Board of Education

23. Massive Resistance to School Desegregation

24. Power and Policy—The Politics of the 1960s

25. Toward a New Dominion: Virginia since the 1970s

Epilogue: Into Virginia's Fifth Century—Controversy and Commemoration

Appendix 1: Governors of Virginia, 1776-2007

Appendix 2: U.S. Senators from Virginia, 1789-2007

Appendix 3: Members of the Virginia Supreme Court, 1789-2007

Appendix 4: Virginia and Presidential Elections, 1789-2004

Appendix 5: Virginia and the Census Returns, 1790-2000

For Further Learning about Virginia History



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