American Stories enhances the accessibility of United States history by concentrating on the most commonly taught topics while retaining a strong narrative emphasis and chronological organization. The text goes beyond the major events that have shaped America by using significant incidents to reflect historical dilemmas and the decisions made by the American people and their leaders. The authors stress themes and ideas that continue to affect Americans, as they believe the impact of change on human lives adds an essential layer to understanding history.
Table of Contents
Maps, Figures, and Tables
A Note to My Fellow Teachers
A Personal Welcome to Students
About the Authors
CHAPTER 1: NEW WORLD ENCOUNTERS, PRECONQUEST-1608.
Diverse Cultures: De Vaca’s Journey Through Native America
Native Americans Before the Conquest.
Conditions of Conquest.
West Africa: Ancient and Complex Societies.
Europe on the Eve of Conquest.
Spain in the Americas.
The French Claim Canada.
The English Take Up the Challenge.
Conclusion: Campaign to Sell America.
CHAPTER 2: ENGLAND’S NEW WORLD EXPERIMENTS 1607-1732.
Profit and Piety: Competing Visions for English Settlement.
Breaking Away: Decisions to Move to America
A “New” England in America.
Diversity in the Middle Colonies.
Planting the Southern Colonies.
Conclusion: Living with Diversity.
CHAPTER 3: PUTTING DOWN ROOTS: OPPORTUNITY AND OPPRESSION IN COLONIAL SOCIETY, 1619-1692.
Families in an Atlantic Empire.
Social Stability: New England Colonies of the Seventeenth Century.
The Challenge of the Chesapeake Environment.
Race and Freedom in British America.
Blueprint for Empire.
Colonial Political Revolt.
Conclusion: Foundations of an Atlantic Empire.
CHAPTER 4: EXPERIENCE OF EMPIRE: EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY AMERICA, 1680-1763.
Constructing an Anglo-American Identity: The Journal of William Byrd.
Tensions in the Backcountry.
Spanish Borderlands of the Eighteenth Century.
The Impact of European Ideas on American Culture.
Religious Revivals in Provincial Societies.
Clash of Political Cultures.
Century of Imperial War.
Conclusion: Rule Britannia?
CHAPTER 5: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION: FROM ELITE PROTEST TO POPULAR REVOLT, 1763-1783.
Moment of Decision: Commitment and Sacrifice.
Structure of Colonial Society.
Eroding the Bonds of Empire.
Steps Toward Independence.
Fighting for Independence.
Conclusion: Preserving Independence.
CHAPTER 6: THE REPUBLICAN EXPERIMENT, 1783-1788.
A New Political Morality.
Defining Republican Culture.
Stumbling Toward a New National Government.
“Have We Fought for This?”
Whose Constitution? Struggle for Ratification.
Conclusion: Success Depends on the People.
CHAPTER 7: DEMOCRACY AND DISSENT: THE VIOLENCE OF PARTY POLITICS, 1788-1800.
Force of Public Opinion.
Principle and Pragmatism: Establishing a New Government.
Hamilton's Plan for Prosperity and Security.
Charges of Treason: The Battle over Foreign Affairs.
Popular Political Culture.
The Adams Presidency: Politics of Mistrust.
Conclusion: Danger of Political Extremism.
CHAPTER 8: REPUBLICAN ASCENDANCY: THE JEFFERSONIAN VISION, 1800-1814.
Limits of Equality.
The Republic Expands.
Jefferson as President.
Race and Dissent Under Jefferson.
The Strange War of 1812.
Conclusion: The “Second War of Independence.”
CHAPTER 9: NATION BUILDING AND NATIONALISM, 1815-1825.
A Revolutionary War Hero Revisits America in 1824.
Expansion and Migration.
Transportation and the Market Economy.
The Politics of Nation Building after the War of 1812.
Conclusion: The End of the Era of Good Feeling.
CHAPTER 10: THE TRIUMPH OF WHITE MEN'S DEMOCRACY, 1824-1840.
Democratic Space: The New Hotels.
Democracy in Theory and Practice.
Jackson and the Politics of Democracy.
The Bank War and the Second Party System.
Heyday of the Second Party System.
Conclusion: Tocqueville's Wisdom.
CHAPTER 11: SLAVES AND MASTERS, 1793-1861.
Nat Turner's Rebellion: A Turning Point in the Slave South.
The World of Southern Blacks.
White Society in the Antebellum South.
Slavery and the Southern Economy.
Conclusion: Worlds in Conflict.
CHAPTER 12: THE PURSUIT OF PERFECTION, 1800-1861.
Redeeming the Middle Class.
The Rise of Evangelicalism.
Domesticity and Changes in the American Family.
Reform Turns Radical.
Conclusion: Counterpoint on Reform.
CHAPTER 13: AN AGE OF EXPANSIONISM, 1830-1861.
The Spirit of Young America.
Texas, Manifest Destiny, and the Mexican-American War.
Internal Expansionism and the Industrial Revolution.
Conclusion: The Costs of Expansion.
CHAPTER 14: THE SECTIONAL CRISIS, 1846-1861.
Brooks Assaults Sumner in Congress.
The Compromise of 1850.
Political Upheaval, 1852-1856.
The House Divided, 1857-1860.
Conclusion: Explaining the Crisis.
CHAPTER 15: SECESSION AND THE CIVIL WAR, 1860-1865.
The Emergence of Lincoln.
The Storm Gathers.
Adjusting to Total War.
Fight to the Finish.
Effects of the War.
Conclusion: An Organizational Revolution.
CHAPTER 16: THE AGONY OF RECONSTRUCTION, 1863-1877.
Robert Smalls and Black Politicians During Reconstruction.
The President versus Congress.
Reconstructing Southern Society.
Retreat from Reconstruction.
Reunion and the New South.
Conclusion: Henry McNeal Turner and the “Unfinished Revolution.”