Each chapter ends with "Conclusion," "Sites to Visit," and "For Further Reading."
I. NORTH AMERICAN FOUNDERS.
1. First Founders.
A Thousand Years of Change: 500 to 1500.
Linking the Continents.
Spain Enters the Americas.
The Protestant Reformation Plays Out in America.
Interpreting History: “These Gods That We Worship Give Us Everything We Need.”
2. European Footholds in North America, 1600-1660.
Spain's Ocean-Spanning Reach.
France and Holland: Overseas Competition for Spain.
English Beginnings on the Atlantic Coast.
The Puritan Experiment.
The Chesapeake Bay Colonies.
Interpreting History: Anne Bradstreet: “The Tenth Muse, Lately Sprung Up in America.”
3. Controlling the Edges of the Continent, 1660-1715.
France and the American Interior.
The Spanish Empire on the Defensive.
England's American Empire Takes Shape.
Bloodshed in the English Colonies: 1670-1690.
Consequences of War and Growth: 1690-1715.
Interpreting History: “Marry or Do Not Marry.”
II. A CENTURY OF COLONIAL EXPANSION TO 1775.
4. African Enslavement: The Terrible Transformation.
The Descent into Race Slavery.
The Growth of Slave Labor Camps.
England Enters the Atlantic Slave Trade.
Survival in a Strange New Land.
The Transformation Completed.
Interpreting History: “Releese Us out of This Cruell Bondegg.”
5. An American Babel, 1713-1763.
New Cultures on the Western Plains.
Britain's Mainland Colonies: A New Abundance of People.
The Varied Economic Landscape.
Matters of Faith: The Great Awakening.
The French Lose a North American Empire.
Interpreting History: “Pastures Can Be Found Almost Everywhere.” Joshua Von Kochertal Recruits Germans to Carolina.
6. The Limits of Imperial Control, 1763-1775.
New Challenges to Spain's Expanded Empire.
New Challenges to Britain's Expanded Empire.
“The Unconquerable Rage of the People.”
A Conspiracy of Corrupt Ministers?
Launching a Revolution.
Interpreting History: “Squeez’d and Oppressed.” A 1768 Petition by 30 Regulators.
III. THE UNFINISHED REVOLUTION, 1775-1803.
7. Revolutionaries at War, 1775-1783.
“Things Are Now Come to That Crisis.”
The Struggle to Win French Support.
Legitimate States, a Respectable Military.
The Long Road to Yorktown.
Interpreting History: “Revoking Those Sacred Trusts Which Are Violated.”
8. New Beginnings: The 1780s
Beating Swords into Plowshares.
Competing for Control of the Mississippi Valley.
Creditors and Debtors.
Drafting a New Constitution.
Ratification and the Bill of Rights.
Interpreting History: Demobilization: “Turned Adrift Like Old Worn-Out Horses.”
9. Revolutionary Legacies, 1789-1803.
Competing Political Visions in the New Nation.
People of Color: New Freedoms, New Struggles.
Continuity and Change in the West.
Shifting Social Identities in the Post-Revolutionary Era.
The Election of 1800: Revolution or Reversal?
Interpreting History: A Sailmaker Discusses “Means for the Preservation of Liberty” on the Fourth of July, 1797.
IV. EXPANDING THE BOUNDARIES OF FREEDOM AND SLAVERY, 1803-1848.
10. Defending and Expanding the New Nation, 1803-1818.
The British Menace.
The War of 1812.
The “Era of Good Feelings”?
The Rise of the Cotton Plantation Economy.
11. Expanding Westward: Society and Politics in the “Age of the Common Man,” 1819-1832.
The Politics Behind Western Expansion.
Federal Authority and Its Opponents.
Real People in the “Age of the Common Man.”
Ties That Bound a Growing Population.
Interpreting History: Jose Agustin de Escudero Describes New Mexico as a Land of Opportunity.
12. Peoples in Motion, 1832-1848.
A Multitude of Voices in the National Political Arena.
The United States Extends Its Reach.
Interpreting History:Senator John C. Calhoun Warns Against Incorporating Mexico into the United States.
V. DISUNION AND REUNION.
13. The Crisis over Slavery, 1848-1860.
Regional Economies and Conflicts.
Individualism vs. Group Identity.
The Paradox of Southern Political Power.
The Deepening Conflict over Slavery.
Interpreting History:Professor Howe on the Subordination of Women.
14. “To Fight to Gain a Country”: The Civil War.
Mobilization for War, 1861-1862.
The Course of War, 1862-1864.
The Other War: African American Struggles for Liberation.
Battle Fronts and Home Fronts in 1863.
The Prolonged Defeat of the Confederacy, 1864-1865.
Interpreting History: A Virginia Slaveholder Objects to the Impressment of Slaves.
15. In the Wake of War: Consolidating a Triumphant Union, 1865-1877.
The Struggle over the South.
Claiming Territory for the Union.
The Republican Vision and Its Limits.
Interpreting History: A Southern Labor Contract.
The Declaration of Independence.
The Articles of Confederation.
The Constitution of the United States of America.
Amendments to the Constitution.
Present Day United States.
Present Day World.