The Story of Americaby DK Publishing, Dorling Kindersley Publishing Staff, David Rubel
An insightful, informative, and entertaining volume with contributions by Pulitzer Prize winning authors. The Story of America presents the history of the United States not as a parade of facts and dates but as a story with twists and turns, heroes and villains, lovers, saints and even some comic relief. With the help of more than two dozen eminent
An insightful, informative, and entertaining volume with contributions by Pulitzer Prize winning authors. The Story of America presents the history of the United States not as a parade of facts and dates but as a story with twists and turns, heroes and villains, lovers, saints and even some comic relief. With the help of more than two dozen eminent colleagues, many of them Pulitzer Prize-winners, Allen Weinstein and David Rubel give you American history from Columbus to the present not as you've studied it before, but as Americans lived it at the time. It's a fascinating way to understand how America became a world power and the ways in which the nation's past continue to impact its present. With hundreds of brilliant images, and prose as captivating as that of any good novel, The Story of America fills in the blanks in your education with tales and observations that delight as they inform.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1 AMER ED
- Product dimensions:
- 7.40(w) x 9.52(h) x 2.00(d)
Read an Excerpt
The last of the four wars fought during this period was the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years' War, which began late in the spring of 1754-not in Europe, but in North America itself. During the previous winter, acting on behalf of Virginia governor Robert Dinwiddie, twenty-one-year-old militia major George Washington had delivered this ultimatum to the French living in the Ohio River Valley: Leave the land, which Great Britain claimed (and colonial speculators coveted), or face the military consequences. When theFrench refused to leave, Washington (now promoted to lieutenant colonel) returned the following May with 160 armed Virginians. Near Fort Duquesne, a French stronghold on the site of present-day Pittsburgh, he built a crude stockade named Fort Necessity. Shortly thereafter, the French and Indian War began when Washington ordered the capture of a French reconnaissance party, and the French responded with an overwhelming assault on Fort Necessity. After losing a third of his men, Washington surrendered, yielding-at least temporarily-the entire region to the French.
Great Britain's primary concern during this period of salutary neglect was its traditional enemy, France. Between 1689 and 1763, the two nations fought four long wars. The first three of these took place largely in Europe, but they affected North America as well. The Puritans in Massachusetts had long been suspicious of their French Catholic neighbors to the north, and the presence of French settlements in the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys also troubled American colonial authorities. Other causes for concern were the strong alliances the French had made with several powerful Indian tribes-among them the Hurons, with whom they traded furs. Indeed, when the War of the Grand Alliance broke out in Europe in 1689, New France began mobilizing its forces; and a year later, the fighting spread to North America.
In the meantime, with so many British ships patrolling the coast of America in support of the troops, it finally became possible for royal customs inspectors to enforce the Navigation Acts-and they did so vigorously, much to the colonists' chagrin. Customs agents on land made particularly effective use of writs of assistance, general warrants that allowed them to enter and search any premises suspected of containing smuggled goods. Because these writs were valid for the entire term of a monarch's reign, Boston merchants hired James Otis in 1760 following the death of George II to challenge the legality of the writs before George III renewed them. Otis lost his case, and the searches continued, but so did the smuggling.
Pitt had hoped that enforcement of the Navigation Acts would produce additional tax revenue that would, in turn, help reduce the government's huge war debt. To the authorities in London, it seemed rather obvious that the American colonies should pay a fair share of the cost of their own defense. That's why, when enforcement of the Navigation Acts failed as a revenue-generating policy, Pitt's successor, George Grenville, proposed another means of achieving the same end
Meet the Author
Allen Weinstein is the president of The Center for Democracy, a winner of the United Nations Peace Medal, and the author of several books, including the American Book Award nominee Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case. He has held professorships at Smith College, Georgetown, and Boston University. David Rubel is the president of Agincourt Press and the author of many books on American history, including The Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Presidents and Their Times.
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