What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
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What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848

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by Daniel Walker Howe
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0195078942

ISBN-13: 9780195078947

Pub. Date: 10/29/2007

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. In this Pulitzer prize-winning, critically acclaimed addition to the series, historian Daniel Walker Howe illuminates the period from the battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era when the United States expanded to the Pacific and won

Overview

The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. In this Pulitzer prize-winning, critically acclaimed addition to the series, historian Daniel Walker Howe illuminates the period from the battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era when the United States expanded to the Pacific and won control over the richest part of the North American continent.

A panoramic narrative, What Hath God Wrought portrays revolutionary improvements in transportation and communications that accelerated the extension of the American empire. Railroads, canals, newspapers, and the telegraph dramatically lowered travel times and spurred the spread of information. These innovations prompted the emergence of mass political parties and stimulated America's economic development from an overwhelmingly rural country to a diversified economy in which commerce and industry took their place alongside agriculture. In his story, the author weaves together political and military events with social, economic, and cultural history. Howe examines the rise of Andrew Jackson and his Democratic party, but contends that John Quincy Adams and other Whigs—advocates of public education and economic integration, defenders of the rights of Indians, women, and African-Americans—were the true prophets of America's future. In addition, Howe reveals the power of religion to shape many aspects of American life during this period, including slavery and antislavery, women's rights and other reform movements, politics, education, and literature. Howe's story of American expansion culminates in the bitterly controversial but brilliantly executed war waged against Mexico to gain California and Texas for the United States.

Winner of the New-York Historical Society American History Book Prize

Finalist, 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

The Oxford History of the United States
The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. The Atlantic Monthly has praised it as "the most distinguished series in American historical scholarship," a series that "synthesizes a generation's worth of historical inquiry and knowledge into one literally state-of-the-art book." Conceived under the general editorship of C. Vann Woodward and Richard Hofstadter, and now under the editorship of David M. Kennedy, this renowned series blends social, political, economic, cultural, diplomatic, and military history into coherent and vividly written narrative.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195078947
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
10/29/2007
Series:
Oxford History of the United States Series
Pages:
928
Sales rank:
191,327
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 2.20(d)

Table of Contents

Maps
Editor's Introduction
Abbreviations Used in Citations

Introduction
Prologue: The Defeat of the Past
1. The Continental Setting
2. From the Jaws of Defeat
3. An Era of Good and Bad Feelings
4. The World That Cotton Made
5. Awakenings of Religion
6. Overthrowing the Tyranny of Distance
7. The Improvers
8. Pursuing the Millennium
9. Andrew Jackson and His Age
10. Battles over Sovereignty
11. Jacksonian Democracy and the Rule of Law
12. Reason and Revelation
13. Jackson's Third Term
14. The New Economy
15. The Whigs and Their Age
16. American Renaissance
17. Texas, Tyler, and the Telegraph
18. Westward the Star of Empire
19. The War Against Mexico
20. The Revolutions of 1848
Finale: A Vision of the Future

Bibliographical Essay
Index

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What Hath God Wrought : The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
rjpRP More than 1 year ago
This may be the single best political and cultural history of any American period that I've ever read, with emphasis on "cultural." The writing provides wonderful insight into the mood of America, into the religious, feminist and abolitionist movements of our country. The book dwells at length on the telling influence of new technology and the pivotal role that transportation and communication played in the development of the United States and ultimately the world. Most importantly, this is an honest story--it tells not only of our triumphs, but of America's greatest sins, our treatment of both Native Americans and African Americans. THis is a mnust read for anyone interested in American history.
gleyshull More than 1 year ago
A wealth of knowledge and insight about a period of time few people (including me) know much about. A worthy member of the Oxford American History series (although this is the only one I've read.)
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Braslow More than 1 year ago
Howe does a credible job of summarizing the history of the period. However, his knowledge and presentation of the Mexican War and Polk's goals is flawed, and misleading. In short, cutting throught all the political rhetoric of the time, and it was pretty partisan, one irreducable fact remains: Polk had the absolute duty as President to protect and defend the entire US. The Texian claim to the Rio Grande in fact did have a rational historical basis, no matter the current political correctness thinking to the contrary. It might not have been convincing beyond all reasonable doubt, but it was not an invention. Mexico did not contol the territory north of the Rio Grande, and was repulsed several times in attempts to re-take Texas. Once Texas was US territory, no matter the nature of the claim to the Rio Grande as the border, Polk had the consititutional duty to defend it. California is another issue, and can be justified under several sound international law doctrines in effect at the time. Howe ignores all this, and falls into the seductive historical trap of "presentism" as many historians do. The Texas border and California/New Mexico conquests illustrate that at an abstract purely historical level. Howe's presentism is far more blatant, and misleading, in his treatment of race--he repeatedly refers to actions by political parties and groups as "racist". What Howe forgets, or simply ignores as uncomfortable, is that the vast majority of Whites did not consider the Blacks as truely the equel of the whites, genetically or otherwise. It was an assumption of the time taken as an immutable fact of nature, and that was that. It was not racism as we think of it today, an unreasnonable and unjustified concept of discrimination. This distinction is critical, in that Howe makes our ancestors out to be unreasonable and immoral--which they were most certainly not. The subject deserves better treatment, and Howe does not come through with credit here. Otherwise, I did enjoy the book, but I could not suggest that it be used as a reliable secondary source. Howe simply does not present any new understanding or interpretation of the period such as to warrant its inclusion as a secondary source. However, Howe's bibliographical essay is very valuable in that Howe cites many original and seminal sources that can be used most profitably by the serious student. Norman T Braslow, J.D., Ph.D.
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