The Antebellum Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1820 to 1860

Overview

Firsthand accounts offer students, scholars, or anyone interested in the pivotal period preceding the Civil War a look at how America's press covered important national issues and events of the day, from the passage of the Missouri Compromise through John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. Using editorials, letters, essays, and news reports that appeared throughout the country, Copeland reveals how editors, politicians, and other Americans used the press to influence opinion. These are the primary documents that ...

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Overview

Firsthand accounts offer students, scholars, or anyone interested in the pivotal period preceding the Civil War a look at how America's press covered important national issues and events of the day, from the passage of the Missouri Compromise through John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. Using editorials, letters, essays, and news reports that appeared throughout the country, Copeland reveals how editors, politicians, and other Americans used the press to influence opinion. These are the primary documents that displayed the pulse of the nation.

Issues such as abolition, education, and women's rights are discussed along with important events such as the nullification crisis of 1832, the Mexican War, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Each of the 29 chapters introduces an event or issue and includes news articles that represented various American opinions. These introductory essays and primary-source documents illustrate how newspapers and magazines presented matters of great national import, in an age when the opinions of the press frequently in influenced broad American sentiment and action.

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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.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

DAVID A. COPELAND is the A. J. Fletcher Professor of Communication at Elon University. He is the author Debating the Issues in Colonial Newspapers (Greenwood, 2000), Colonial Newspapers: Character and Content (1997), and Benjamin Keach and the Development of Baptist Traditions in Seventeenth-Century England (2001). A past president of the American Journalism Historians Association, he was named Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Virginia Professor of the Year in 1998.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Acknowledgments
Chronology of Events
Introduction: Newspapers and Antebellum America 1
Ch. 1 The Missouri Compromise, 1820 21
Ch. 2 The Back-to-Africa Movement, 1822 33
Ch. 3 The Monroe Doctrine, 1823 47
Ch. 4 The Elections of 1824 and 1828 57
Ch. 5 The Massachusetts Public School Act, 1827 69
Ch. 6 The South Carolina Tariff Conflict, 1828 81
Ch. 7 The Indian Removal Act, 1830 93
Ch. 8 William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolitionist Movement, 1831 107
Ch. 9 Nat Turner and Slave Insurrections, 1831 123
Ch. 10 The Nullification Act, 1832 139
Ch. 11 The Bank of the United States, 1832 149
Ch. 12 The Penny Press and the Moral War, 1833 163
Ch. 13 The Alamo and Texas Annexation, 1836 179
Ch. 14 The Trail of Tears, 1838 195
Ch. 15 The Amistad and Cinque, 1839 207
Ch. 16 The Dorr Rebellion, 1842 223
Ch. 17 Joseph Smith and the Mormons, 1844 235
Ch. 18 Manifest Destiny, 1845 255
Ch. 19 The War with Mexico, 1846 267
Ch. 20 The Wilmot Proviso, 1846 281
Ch. 21 Seneca Falls and Women's Rights, 1848 295
Ch. 22 The California Gold Rush, 1848 311
Ch. 23 The Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Act, 1850 325
Ch. 24 Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852 339
Ch. 25 The Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854 349
Ch. 26 The Caning of Charles Sumner, 1856 359
Ch. 27 The Dred Scott Decision, 1857 369
Ch. 28 The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 1858 383
Ch. 29 John Brown's Raid, 1859 397
Selected Bibliography 411
Index 415
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