Major Problems in American History: Documents and Essays, Volume I: To 1877 / Edition 1

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Designed to encourage critical thinking about history, the Major Problems in American History Series introduces students to both primary sources and analytical essays. This volume presents a carefully selected group of readings that requires students to evaluate primary sources, test the interpretations of distinguished historians, and draw their own conclusions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618061334
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 12/17/2001
  • Series: Major Problems in American History Series
  • Edition description: Illustrated edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 485
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Cobbs, Professor and Dwight E. Stanford Chair of American Foreign Relations at San Diego State University, received her Ph.D. from Stanford University. Her areas of expertise include American diplomatic, economic, and cultural history. Her book, ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE: THE PEACE CORPS AND THE SPIRIT OF THE 1960S (Harvard University Press, 1998), earned rave reviews from academic and popular readers alike. Professor Cobbs has received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Organization of American States, and served for six years as a member of the Historical Advisory Council to the U.S. Department of State. In 2004, she held the Mary Ball Washington Chair at University College Dublin through the Fulbright Program. She writes for both scholarly and popular periodicals and is currently authoring a new synthesis of American foreign relations for Harvard University Press.

Jon Gjerde died in October 2008. He was Alexander F. and May T. Morrison professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1982. His areas of expertise included nineteenth-century America with particular reference to immigration and religion, and he published some thirty articles on these subjects. He also published FROM PEASANTS TO FARMERS: THE MIGRATION FROM BALESTRAND, NORWAY, TO THE UPPER MIDDLE WEST (1985) and THE MINDS OF THE WEST: THE ETHNOCULTURAL EVOLUTION OF THE RURAL MIDDLE WEST, 1830-1917 (1997), both of which won the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Book Award of the Immigration History Society for the best book in agricultural history.

Thomas G. Paterson, professor emeritus of history at the University of Connecticut, graduated from the University of New Hampshire (B.A., 1963) and the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D., 1968). He is the author of Soviet-American Confrontation (1973), Meeting the Communist Threat (1988), On Every Front (1992), Contesting Castro (1994), America Ascendant (with J. Garry Clifford, 1995), and A People and a Nation (with Mary Beth Norton et al., 2001). Tom is also the editor of Cold War Critics (1971), Kennedy's Quest for Victory (1989), Imperial Surge (with Stephen G. Rabe, 1992), The Origins of the Cold War (with Robert McMahon, 1999), Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations (with Michael J. Hogan, 2004), and Major Problems in American Foreign Relations (with Dennis Merrill, 2010). With Bruce Jentleson, he served as senior editor for the Encyclopedia of American Foreign Relations (1997). A microfilm edition of The United States and Castro's Cuba, 1950s-1970s: The Paterson Collection appeared in 1999. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of American History and Diplomatic History. A recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, he has directed National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminars for College Teachers. In 2000 the New England History Teachers Association recognized his excellence in teaching and mentoring with the Kidger Award. Besides visits to many American campuses, Tom has lectured in Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Russia, and Venezuela. He is a past president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, which in 2008 honored him with the Laura and Norman Graebner Award for "lifetime achievement" in scholarship, service, and teaching. A native of Oregon, Tom is now informally associated with Southern Oregon University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to Students: How to Read Primary and Secondary Sources 1. Conquest and Colliding Empires DOCUMENTS 1. Christopher Columbus Recounts His First Encounters with Native People, 1493 2. Fray Bernardino de Sahagun Relates an Aztec Chronicler's Account of the Spanish Conquest of the Aztecs, 1519 3. Father Bartolome de Las Casas Disparages the Treatment of the Indians, 1542 4. Reverend John Heckewelder Records a Native Oral Tradition of the First Arrival of Europeans on Manhattan Island (1610), Printed in 1818 5. Father Paul Le Jeune Reports on His Encounters with the Indians, 1634 6. William Wood Describes Indian Responses to the English, 1634 7. John Mason Gives a Puritan Account of the Pequot War, 1637 ESSAYS James H. Merrell, The Indians' New World Neal Salisbury, The Indians' Old World 2. The Southern Colonies in British America DOCUMENTS 1. Richard Frethorne, an Indentured Servant, Laments His Condition in Virginia, 1623 2. George Alsop Argues That Servants in Maryland Profit from Life in the Colonies, 1666 3. Nathaniel Bacon Recounts the Misdeeds of the Virginia Governor, 1676 4. Virginia's Statutes Illustrate the Declining Status of African American Slaves, 1660-1705 5. William Byrd Describes His Views Toward Learning and His Slaves, 1709-1710 6. Olaudah Equiano, an African, Depicts the Horrors of Enslavement, 1757 7. Reverand Charles Woodmason Complains About Life in the Carolina Backcountry, 1768 ESSAYS Kathleen M. Brown, The Anxious World of the Slaveowning Patriarch Philip D. Morgan, The Effects of Paternalism Among Whites and Blacks 3. Colonial New England and the Middle Colonies in British America DOCUMENTS 1. Governor John Winthrop Provides a Model of Christian Charity, 1630 2. Governor William Bradford Mourns a Wickedness That Breaks Forth, 1642 3. William Penn Promotes His Colony, 1681 4. Massachusetts Officials Describe the Outbreak of Witchcraft in Salem, 1692 5. Jonathan Edwards Pictures Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, 1741 6. Benjamin Franklin Celebrates a Life of Thrift and Industry (c. 1730-1750), 1793 7. Dr. Alexander Hamilton Depicts the Material Acquisitions of Northern Colonists, 1744 8. Gottlieb Mittelberger, a German, Portrays the Difficulties of Immigration, 1750 9. Mary Jemison Recounts Her Experience of Capture and Becoming Seneca, 1755 ESSAYS James A. Henretta, The Northern Colonies as a Family-Centered Society T.H. Breen, The Northern Colonies as an Empire of Goods 4. The American Revolution DOCUMENTS 1. Congress Condemns the Stamp Act, 1765 2. The Town of Boston Denounces the "Boston Massacre," 1770 3. Thomas Jefferson Specifies the Rights of British Americans, 1774 4. Patrick Henry Warns the British to Maintain American Liberties, 1775 5. Thomas Paine Advocates the "Common Sense" of Independence, 1776 6. German Americans Support the American Revolution, 1776 7. Abigail Adams Asks Her Husband to "Remember the Ladies," 1776 8. African Americans Petition for Freedom, 1777 9. Mohawk Leader Joseph Brant Commits the Loyalty of His People to Britain, 1776 10. Loyalists Plead Their Cause to the King, 1782 ESSAYS Bernard Bailyn, The American Revolution as a Response to British Corruption Gordon S. Wood, The American Revolution as a Radical Departure 5. The Making of the Constitution DOCUMENTS 1. Cato, an African American, Pleads for the Abolition of Slavery in Pennsylvania, 1781 2. Hector St. John Crèvecoeur Compares the Freedom in the North with Slavery in the South, 1782 3. Slaveholders in Virginia Argue Against the Abolition of Slavery, 1784-1785 4. Thomas Jefferson Proposes the Protection of Religious Freedom in Virginia, 1786 5. The Northwest Ordinance Lays Out the Method for New States Joining the Union, 1787 6. General William Shepard and Benjamin Lincoln Regret the Disorder That Characterized Shays's Rebellion, 1787 7. The Federalist Papers Illustrate the Advantages of Ratification of the Constitution, 1787-1788 8. Richard Henry Lee Opposes the Ratification of the Constitution, 1787 9. Patrick Henry Condemns the Centralization of Government if the Constitution Is Ratified, 1788 10. George Washington Declares Freedom of Religion for Jewish People, 1790 ESSAYS Alfred F. Young, The Pressure of the People on the Framers of the Constitution Jack N. Rakove, The Concern of the Framers to Recruit Citizens to Enter Public Life 6. Competing Visions of Empire in the Early National Period DOCUMENTS 1. Thomas Jefferson Celebrates the Virtue of the Yeoman Farmer, 1785 2. Congress Establishes Its First Policy for Naturalization, 1790 3. Alexander Hamilton Envisions a Developed American Economy, 1791 4. Thomas Jefferson Berates the Federalists, 1796 5. C. William Manning, a Republican, Fears for the Future of the Nation, 1798 6. Thomas Jefferson Advances the Power of the States, 1798 7. John Marshall Argues for the Primacy of the Federal Government, 1803 8. Parson Weems Romanticizes the Life of George Washington, 1808 ESSAYS Linda K. Kerber, The Fears of the Federalists Drew R. McCoy, The Fears of the Jeffersonian Republicans 7. Westward Movement, the Market Revolution, and Indian Removal DOCUMENTS 1. Joseph Brant Compares Indian and White Civilizations, 1789 2. Iroquois Chief Red Jacket Decries the Day When Whites Arrived, 1805 3. William Clark Enters into Diplomacy with Native People, 1806 4. Shawnee Chief Tecumseh Recounts the Misdeeds of Whites and Calls for Indian Unity, 1810 5. Tenskwatawa (the Shawnee Prophet) Relates His Journey to the World Above, 1810 6. Congressman Felix Grundy Advocates War with Britain, 1811 7. John Marshall Advances a Broad Construction of the Constitution, 1819 8. James Monroe Declares That European Powers May Not Interfere in the Americas, 1823 9. John Quincy Adams Urges Internal Improvements, 1825 10. The Cherokee Nation Pleads to Remain "on the Land of Our Fathers," 1830 ESSAYS Gregory Evans Dowd, Indians Utilizing a Strategy of Armed Resistance Theda Perdue, Indians Utilizing a Strategy of Accommodation 8. Nationalism, Sectionalism, and Expansionism in the Age of Jackson DOCUMENTS 1. John C. Calhoun Argues for Rights of States, 1828 2. Daniel Webster Lays Out His Nationalist Vision, 1830 3. Andrew Jackson Condemns the Rights of "Nullification" and Secession, 1832 4. Historian George Bancroft Asserts His Faith in the Wisdom of the People, 1835 5. Lieutenant-Colonel Jose Enrique de la Penna Defends Mexico's Actions Against the Texans, 1836 6. John L. O'Sullivan, a Democratic Newspaperman, Venerates Democracy and the "Democratic Principle," 1837 7. Michel Chevelier, a French Visitor, Marvels at the Pageantry of Politics, 1839 8. John L. O'Sullivan Defines "Manifest Destiny," 1845 9. Senator Thomas Hart Benton Justifies White Supremacy, 1846 10. Senator John Dix Advocates Expansion into Mexico, 1848 11. Walter Colton, a Californian, Describes the Excitement of the Gold Rush, 1848 ESSAYS Mary P. Ryan, Antebellum Politics as Raucous Democracy Glenn C. Altschuler and Stuart M. Blumin, Antebellum Politics as Political Manipulation 9. Reform and the Great Awakening in the Early Nineteenth Century DOCUMENTS 1. Peter Cartwritht, a Methodist Itinerant Preacher, Marvels at the Power of Religious Revivals, 1801 2. Frances Trollope, an Englishwoman, Views a Religious Meeting in Indiana, 1829 3. African American Abolitionist David Walker Castigates the United States for Its Slave System, 1829 4. William Loyd Garrison Calls for Immediate Abolition, 1831 5. Thomas Grimke, a Southerner, Advocates Temperance as a Form of Patriotism, 1833 6. Ralph Waldo Emerson Considers the United States as a Center of Reform, 1841 7. Elizabeth Peabody Explains the Benefits of Brook Farm, 1843 8. Dorthea Dix Depicts the Horrible Conditions Endured by the Mentally Ill, 1843 9. Horace Mann Explains the Significance of the Public School, 1849 ESSAYS Paul E. Johnson, Religious Reform as a Form of Social Control Nathan O. Hatch, Religious Revivalism as a Form of Democratization 10. Women, Men, and the Family at Midcentury DOCUMENTS 1. Alexis de Tocqueville Considers the Influence of Democracy on the Family, 1831 2. Harriet Martineau Remarks on Marriage and "True Love" in America, 1837 3. Catherine Beecher Sees Linkages Between Democracy and Women's Rights, 1841 4. A Guidebook Instructs Women on the Role of Mother, 1845 5. Elizabeth Cady Stanton Demands Women's Right To Vote, 1848 6. The Seneca Falls Convention Declares Women's Rights, 1848 7. Lydia Sigourney Sentimentalizes Women in the Home, 1850 8. Sojourner Truth Links Women's Rights to Antislavery, 1851, 1853 9. A Marriage Contract Protests the Contemporary Laws Relating to Marriage, 1855 ESSAYS Nancy F. Cott, Feminism and the Private World of Women Ellen Carol Dubois, Feminism and the Public Demands for Suffrage 11. Commercial Development and Immigration in the North at Midcentury DOCUMENTS 1. Harriet Hanson Robinson, "Lowell Girl," Describes Her Labor in a Textile Mill, 1831 2. Alexis de Tocqueville Considers the Mobile Northern Society, 1831 3. Orestes Brownson Condemns the Plight of "Wage Slaves," 1840 4. The United States Democratic Review Argues That "White Slavery" Threatens the Urban North, 1842 5. Gustof Unonius, a Swedish Immigrant, Reflects on Life in the United States, 1841-1842 6. Frederick Douglass Encounters Racist Animosity in a Northern City, 1845 7. George Templeton Strong Berates the Immigrants in His Midst, 1838-1857 8. James Bowlin, Congressman, Marvels at the Possibilities of Western Lands, 1846 ESSAYS David R. Roediger, White Slaves, Wage Slaves, and Free White Labor in the North John Ashworth, Free Labor and Wage Labor in the North 12. Agricultural Development and Slavery in the South at Midcentury DOCUMENTS 1. A North Carolina Law Prohibits Teaching Slaves to Read or Write, 1831 2. John Pendleton Kennedy, a Southern Man, Romanticizes Slavery and the Life of Slaves, 1832 3. A Southerner Observes the Life of Poor Whites in Georgia, 1849 4. Dr. Cartwright, a Southern Doctor, Theorizes About the Peculiar Diseases of Slaves, 1851 5. George Fitzhugh Argues That Slavery Is a Positive Good That Improves Society, 1854 6. Josiah Henson Portrays the Violence and Fears in Slave Life, 1858 7. Former Slaves Recall Their Lives in Slavery, 1850s 8. Harriet Jacobs Deplores Her Risks in Being a Female Slave, 1861 9. Mary Chestnut Describes Her Hatred of Slavery from a White Woman's View, 1861 10. Frederick Law Olmsted Depicts the Economic Costs of Slavery, 1861 ESSAYS Eugene D. Genovese, The Paternalist World of the Slave South James Oakes, The Liberal World of the Slave South 13. Careening Toward Civil War DOCUMENTS 1. Henry David Thoreau Protests Against Slavery and the Mexican War, 1846 2. Senator John C. Calhoun Proposes Ways to Preserve the Union, 1850 3. Frederick Douglass Asks How a Slave Can Celebrate the Fourth of July, 1852 4. Axalla John Hoole, a Southerner, Depicts the Situation in "Bleeding Kansas," 1856 5. Senator Charles Sumner Addresses the "Crime Against Kansas," 1856 6. Chief Justice Roger Taney Determines the Legal Status of Slaves, 1857 7. Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debate Their Positions on Slavery, 1858 8. William Seward Warns of an Irrepressible Conflict, 1858 9. John Brown Makes His Last Statement to the Court Before Execution, 1859 10. The Charleston Mercury Argues That Slavery Must Be Protected, 1860 ESSAYS David M. Potter, The Sectional Divisions That Led to Civil War Michael F. Holt, The Political Divisions That Contributed to Civil War 14. The Civil War DOCUMENTS 1. Senator Robert Toombs Compares Secession with the American Revolution, 1860 2. Frederick Douglass Calls for the Abolition of Slavery, 1862 3. Debow's Review, a Southern Journal, Condemns the Government and Army of the Union, 1862 4. James Henry Gooding, an African American Soldier, Pleads for Equal Treatment, 1863 5. Tally Simpson, a Confederate Soldier, Recounts the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863 6. Mary A. Livermore, a Northern Woman, Recalls Her Role in the Sanitary Commission, 1863 7. Abraham Lincoln Speaks About the Meaning of the War, 1863 8. Congressman Clement Vallandigham Denounces the Union War Effort, 1863 9. Sidney Andrews, a Northern Journalist, Reports on the Devastation of Georgia, 1866 ESSAYS James M. McPherson, The Role of Abraham Lincoln in the Abolition of Slavery Ira Berlin et al., The Role of African Americans in the Abolition of Slavery 15. Reconstruction, 1865-1877 DOCUMENTS 1. African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Newfound Freedom, c. 1865 2. Louisiana Black Codes Reinstate Provisions of the Slave Era, 1865 3. President Andrew Johnson Denounces Changes in His Program of Reconstruction, 1868 4. Congressman Thaddeus Stevens Demands a Radical Reconstruction, 1867 5. Elizabeth Cady Stanton Questions Abolitionist Support for Female Enfranchisement, 1868 6. The Fourteenth Amendment Grants Citizenship and Due Process of Law to African Americans, 1868 7. Elias Hill, an African American Man, Recounts a Nighttime Visit from the Ku Klux Klan, 1871 8. Missouri Senator Carl Schurz Admits the Failures of Reconstruction, 1872 9. Mississippi Congressman L.Q.C. Lamar Denounces Reconstruction, 1874 ESSAYS Thomas Holt, Social Class Divides Negro State Legislators in South Carolina, Impeding Reconstruction Eric Foner, The Odds Against the Success of Reconstruction Were Great

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