North America : An Introduction

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Historians have traditionally approached North America through the lens of the nation-state rather than from a continental perspective. While acknowledging that the geographic vastness and historical complexity of North America make it difficult to study as a whole, authors Michael Brescia and John Super build on the premise that the experiences of each country can be better understood when evaluated as a whole rather than as unique and discrete units. Employing a thematic approach, the authors investigate the North American past to explain the similarities and differences in the political, diplomatic, economic, social, and cultural experiences of Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Five maps provide visual reference to such phenomena as population densities, pre-Columbian civilizations, physical features, and military conflict. A comprehensive bibliography includes general works, monographs, reference matter, and web resources.

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Editorial Reviews

The Canadian Historical Review
How does one even begin to write a survey of the history of North America? Not only does any large unit of analysis contain local patterns that defy generalization, but there are also three strong 'exceptionalist' national historiographies to contend with. [...] However, the authors were not daunted, and neither was their Canadian publisher. The result is a good starting point for what may one day become a new trend in the teaching of history in three different countries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802096753
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division
  • Publication date: 8/20/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 247
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael M. Brescia is Assistant Curator of Ethnohistory at the Arizona State Museum and Assistant Professor of History at the University of Arizona. His research has been published in such journals as the Colonial Latin American Historical Review and The Catholic Historical Review.

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Table of Contents


A Note on Terminology

List of Maps

I. Convergence and Divergence

II. Contours of the Past

III. Regions and Resources

IV. Politics and Power

V. Continental Diplomacy

VI. Indians and Europeans

VII. Immigration

VIII. Labor and Class

IX. Trade and Tariffs

X. Church, State, and Society

XI. Structures of the Past



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