The Early American Republic: A Documentary Reader / Edition 1

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"This reader includes over 50 documentary sources that highlight key topics during this period, such as the creation of the American state, Indian Removal, and the rise of American slavery and abolition. The voices of familiar historical figures, such as George Washington and Tecumseh, are heard alongside the testimonies of ordinary people participating in the extraordinary events of their time. Each document alone provides a significant commentary on the period; together they present a rich and diverse tapestry of the history of the Early Republic." Adams's introduction vividly provides historical context and the headnotes to each document encourage students to engage with the material in critical and creative ways, making this reader a valuable text for students and teachers of the Early Republic.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Selected with imagination and wisdom, these incisive and wide-ranging texts will indeed ... provide a 'road map' for students of the first sixty years of American independence." —Daniel Walker Howe, author of What hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (winner, 2008 Pulitzer Prize for History)

"[A] nice blend of comprehensiveness and coherence. The selections are individually interesting, they relate well to each other, and ... provide a wide-ranging, imaginative, and disciplined conversation about the Early Republic." —Paul E. Johnson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina, author of A Shopkeeper's Millennium and Sam Patch, the famous jumper; and coauthor (with Sean Wilentz) of The Kingdom of Matthias

"This handy collection of speeches, documents, private letters, and pieces of literature, complete with context-setting prefaces, will be invaluable in any course covering major themes in the history of early national America." —Joanne Freeman, Yale University

"Expertly edited [and] chock-full of enlightening and telling primary documents, this reader conveys a beautifully textured sense of the past and attends to all of the key issues during the formative years of the United States." —Mark M. Smith, Carolina Distinguished Professor of History, University of South Carolina

“Finally, a primary sources reader that includes the full breadth of voices (both familiar and lesser known) that characterized the early American republic. Sean Adams’s informative introduction ties these voices together well, making this book a helpful teaching tool for conveying the rich variety of social and political issues that the young nation faced.” —Steven Deyle, University of Houston

"Provides an exciting variety of primary sources and perspectives on the nation’s first sixty years. Adams has drawn together voices from across the early American republic to illuminate the complexities of the era." —Craig Friend, North Carolina State University

"Students will marvel at the fifty-year struggle to forge a nation in the decades following the American Revolution." —Seth Rockman, Brown University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Sean Patrick Adams is Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida, where he teaches courses in Nineteenth-Century U.S. History. He is the author of numerous publications, most notably Old Dominion, Industrial Commonwealth: Coal, Politics, and Economy in Antebellum America (2004).

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Table of Contents

List of Figures

Introduction Traveling the Early American Republic 1

Pt. I Building the United States 11

Ch. 1 Origins 13

Ch. 2 The First American Party System 21

Ch. 3 Recasting the American Nation 29

Pt. II Clashes East and West 39

Ch. 4 Whose Land? 41

Ch. 5 Conflict on Many Fronts 47

Pt. III The Postwar Nation Looks Forward 59

Ch. 6 The Year 1819 in Image and Verse 61

Ch. 7 The Future Course of the Republic? 67

Pt. IV The Work of a New Republic 75

Ch. 8 A Nation on the Move 77

Ch. 9 Work at Home, Factory, and Field 91

Ch. 10 A New Urban America 102

Pt. V Renewal and Reform 113

Ch. 11 The Soul of the Republic 115

Ch. 12 Improvement of Body and Soul 122

Ch. 13 Anti-Slavery to Abolition 131

Pt. VI Jackson's America 145

Ch. 14 The Rise of the "Common Man" 147

Ch. 15 Native Americans and the Common Man 159

Ch. 16 The Second American Party System 167

Pt. VII The American Continent 175

Ch. 17 The Mississippi and Beyond 177

Ch. 18 The Era of Manifest Destiny 185

Ch. 19 War with Mexico 195

Epilogue: The President and the Ex-Slave 208

Bibliography 214

Index 219

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