Revolutionary Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1776 to 1800

Revolutionary Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1776 to 1800

by Carol Sue Humphrey
     
 

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From 1776 to 1800, the United States ceased to be a fantastic dream and became a stable reality. Newspapers were increasingly the public's major source of information about people and events outside of their community. The press reflected the issues of the day. Its foremost concern was naturally the armed struggle with Britain. The press covered the conflict,

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Overview

From 1776 to 1800, the United States ceased to be a fantastic dream and became a stable reality. Newspapers were increasingly the public's major source of information about people and events outside of their community. The press reflected the issues of the day. Its foremost concern was naturally the armed struggle with Britain. The press covered the conflict, providing both patriot and loyalist interpretations of the battles and personalities. Yet after the British withdrew, a host of new challenges confronted the United States, including the Articles of Confederation, Shay's Rebellion, the Bill of the Rights, the Whiskey Rebellion, slavery, women's roles, the French Revolution, the XYZ Affair, the Sedition Act, and more.

Again, the press not only purveyed the facts. It became a political tool trumpeting the viewpoint of Republicans and Federalists, ushering in a new era of American journalism. Beginning with an extensive overview essay of the period, this book focuses on 26 pressing issues of the war and the early republic. Each issue is presented with an introductory essay and multiple primary documents from the newspapers of the day, which illustrate both sides of the debate. This is a perfect resource for students interested in the Revolutionary War, the birth of the new nation, and the actual opinions and words of those involved.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-These collections feature excerpts from contemporary newspapers-opinion pieces, essays, letters, interviews, and poems-in addition to straightforward reporting. Each covers 26 to 30 key events and issues, with 4 to 12 excerpts for each presented in a pro/con format. Each chapter begins with an overview of the issue/event and brief summary of the documents, and concludes with discussion questions. A few black-and-white illustrations are included. Unfortunately, there are no maps or descriptive lists of persons and incidents mentioned. The absence of glossaries or annotations is a crucial omission. While a few difficult and/or unusual terms, archaic spellings, foreign phrases, and numerous allusions are defined, the vast majority are not and will stymie readers, e.g., phrenzy; "So mote it be!"; Volumnia; "a tournament with windmills"; Sylla; "the pas qui conte"; "-ye fustian declaimers for liberty!" Not all the chapters are balanced. Finally, there is little attempt to identify misinformation in the excerpts. Although no other titles use only newspapers, a few focus on primary documents. Brenda Stalcup's Reconstruction (Greenhaven, 1995) uses a similar format and is thoughtful and readable, with pertinent documents, discussion questions, a chronology, an annotated bibliography, and political cartoons. David F. Burg's The American Revolution (2001) and Joe H. Kirchberger's The Civil War and Reconstruction (1990, both Facts On File) contain historical data, detailed chronologies, and short "eyewitness testimony" arranged chronologically, as well as maps and biographies. Any of these books will be more useful to students than these series titles.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313320835
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
12/30/2003
Series:
Debating Historical Issues in the Media of the Time
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.88(d)
Lexile:
1400L (what's this?)

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