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Twentieth-Century America, 2nd Edition

By David Goldfield, Carl Abbott, Jo Ann E. Argersinger, Peter H. Argersinger

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Dec 27, 2012


A compelling story of 20th century events and people, including those familiar and unfamiliar to students.


The goal of this book is to emphasize what students need to know about America’s past to function best in the society that emerged from the 20th century. The authors accomplish this by using a strong, clear narrative as well as integrating political and social history.


Twentieth Century America fits the experiences of particular groups into the broader perspective of the American past while giving voice to minor and major players alike. The text is organized chronologically, so students can understand the sequence of events in history. 


Upon completing this book readers will be able to:

  • Recall the events and people that shaped 20th century American history
  • Understand how 20th century America fits into the whole of American history
  • Apply what they have learned to their own lives


Table of Contents

Found in this Section:

1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents





Chapter 1: The American Journey in 1900           

Chapter 2: Toward a Progressive Society

Chapter 3: Progressive Politics: 1900—1916       

Chapter 4: Creating an Empire: 1898—1917        

Chapter 5: America and the Great War: 1914—1920      

Chapter 6: Toward a Modern America: The 1920s         

Chapter 7: Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression: 1929—1933

Chapter 8: Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Great Depression, and the New Deal: 1933—1939     

Chapter 9: World War II: 1939—1945         

Chapter 10: The Cold War at Home and Abroad: 1946—1952  

Chapter 11: The Confident Years: 1953—1964    

Chapter 12: Shaken to the Roots: 1965—1980    

Chapter 13: The Reagan Revolution and a Changing World: 1981—1992

Chapter 14: Peace, Prosperity, Complacency:1993—2000

Chapter 15: An Uneasy New Century



Glossary of Key Terms and Concepts







Chapter 1: The American Journey in 1900     

New Industry

Inventing Technology: The Electric Age

The Corporation and Its Impact

The Changing Nature of Work

Out on the Farm

Government Responds

New Immigrants

Cultural Connections in a New World

The Job


Settling the Race Issue

Black Aspirations and White Backlash

Lynch Law

Segregation By Law


A National Consensus on Race

Response of the Black Community

Roots of the Great Migration

New Cities

Centers and Suburbs

The New Middle Class

A Consumer Society

The Growth of Leisure Activities

The Ideal City

Attacking the American Indian Problem

AMERICAN VIEWS  Zitkala-Sa’s View of Americanization

An Emerging World Power


Thomas Edison, The Success of the Electric Light (1880)

The People's Party Platform (1892)

Lee Chew, "Life of a Chinese Immigrant" (1903)

Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)

Ida B. Wells-Barnett, False Accusations (1895)

Opinion of the Supreme Court for Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

Richard K. Fox, Coney Island Frolics (1883).

Accounts of the Wounded Knee Massacre (1890s).


Lynch Law in Georgia

A Republican Textbook for Colored Voters


The Great Migration

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 2: Toward a Progressive Society     

The Ferment of Reform 

The Context of Reform: Industrial and Urban Tensions

Church and Campus


The Gospel of Efficiency

Labor Demands Its Rights

Extending the Woman’s Sphere

Trans-Atlantic Influences


Opponents of Reform

Reforming Industrial Society 

Settlement Houses and Urban Reform

Protective Legislation for Women and Children

AMERICAN VIEWS   Mother Jones and the Meaning of Child Labor in America

Social Insurance

Making the State a Parent

Reshaping Public Education

Challenging Gender Restrictions

Reforming Country Life

Moral Crusades and Social Control

Controlling Immigrants

Prohibition The Devil’s Toothpicks

Suppressing Prostitution

Regulating Entertainment

For Whites Only?

Black Activism



Personal Journey: Washington Gladden, "The World Is Beginning to See" (1909)

Lincoln Steffens, from The Shame of the Cities (0000)

Eugene V. Debs, The Outlook for Socialism in America (0000)

Profile:   Margaret Sanger

The Niagara Movement, Declaration of Principles (1905)

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 3: Progressive Politics: 1900—1916 

Reforming Politics and Government

Woman Suffrage

AMERICAN VIEWS  The Need for Woman Suffrage

Electoral Reform

Municipal Reform

Progressive State Government

Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Presidency

TR and the Modern Presidency

Roosevelt and Labor

Managing Natural Resources

Corporate Regulation

Lurching to the Left?

Taft and the Tensions of Progressive Politics

The Election of 1908

The Blundering President

Woodrow Wilson and Progressive Reform

The Election of 1912

Implementing the New Freedom

The Expansion of Reform



National Woman Suffrage Association, Mother's Day Letter (0000)

Gifford Pinchot, The Fight for Conservation (1910).

Theodore Roosevelt, "The New Nationalism," (1910).

Woodrow Wilson, from The New Freedom (1913).

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 4: Creating an Empire: 1898—1917   

The Roots of Imperialism

Ideological Arguments

Strategic Concerns

Economic Designs

First Steps

The Spanish-American War

The Cuban Revolution

Growing Tensions

War and Empire

The Treaty of Paris

AMERICAN VIEWS  A Southern Senator Opposes Annexation

Imperial Ambitions: The United States and East Asia, 1899—1917

The Filipino-American War

Rivalry with Japan and Russia

Imperial Power: The United States and Latin America, 1899—1917 

U.S. Rule in Puerto Rico

Cuba as a U.S. Protectorate

The Panama Canal

Dollar Diplomacy

Wilsonian Interventions

Playing “An Ever Growing Part:” The United States and Europe, 1900—1914



Rudyard Kipling, Imperialism and the White Man's Burden (1899)

Personal Journey: Josiah Strong, Our Country (1885)

Alfred Thayer Mahan, The Interest of America in Sea Power (1897)

Theodore Roosevelt, An Imperialist Views the World (0000)

The Teller Amendment (1898)

Liliuokalani, Hawaii's Story (0000)

William McKinley, "Decision on the Philippines" (1899)

Platform for the American Anti-Imperialist League (1899)

Ernest Howard Crosby, "The Real 'White Man's Burden'" (1899)

Theodore Roosevelt, from the Third Annual Message to Congress (1903)

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 5: America and the Great War: 1914—1920 

Waging Neutrality

The Origins of Conflict

American Attitudes

The Economy of War

The Diplomacy of Neutrality

The Battle over Preparedness

The Election of 1916

Descent into War

Waging War in America

Managing the War Economy

Women and Minorities: New Opportunities, Old Inequities

Financing the War

Conquering Minds

Suppressing Dissent

AMERICAN VIEWS  Mobilizing America for Liberty

Waging War and Peace Abroad

The War to End All Wars

The Fourteen Points

The Paris Peace Conference

Waging Peace at Home

Battle over the League

Economic Readjustment and Social Conflict

The Red Scare

The Election of 1920



Boy Scouts of America “Support the War Effort” (1917)

Newton D. Baker, Treatment of German-Americans (1918)

Woodrow Wilson, The Fourteen Points (1918)

A. Mitchell Palmer on the Menace of Communism (1920)


Closer Look:  Mobilizing the Home Front

Closer Look: African American Soldiers Return Home

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 6: Toward a Modern America: The 1920s  

The Economy That Roared

Boom Industries

Corporate Consolidation

Open Shops and Welfare Capitalism

Sick Industries

The Business of Government

Republican Ascendancy

Government Corruption

Coolidge Prosperity

The Fate of Reform

Cities and Suburbs

Expanding Cities

The Great Black Migration


The Road to Suburbia

Mass Culture in the Jazz Age

Advertising the Consumer Society

Leisure and Entertainment

The New Morality

The Searching Twenties

Culture Wars 

Nativism and Immigration Restriction

The Ku Klux Klan

Prohibition and Crime

Old-Time Religion and the Scopes Trial

AMERICAN VIEWS   Evangelism and the Search for Salvation

A New Era in the World?

War Debts and Economic Expansion

Rejecting War

Managing the Hemisphere

Herbert Hoover and the Final Triumph of the New Era 



Edward Earle Purinton, Big Ideas from Big Business (1921)

Robert and Helen Lynd, The Automobile Comes to Middletown (1924)


Closer Look:  Mobilizing the Home Front

Closer Look: African American Soldiers Return Home


1920’s Media

The Great Migration

The Harlem Renaissance

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 7: Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression: 1929—1933


From Panic to Depression

The Global Collapse

Hard Times in Hooverville

“Women’s Jobs” and “Men’s Jobs”

Families in the Depression

“Last Hired, First Fired”

Deportation and Discrimination

Discontent in the Depression

Herbert Hoover and the Depression

Self-Help, Popular Culture, and the Community

Businesses and Bankers: Rejecting Voluntary Remedies

The Failure of Voluntarism

AMERICAN VIEWS  An Ohio Mayor on Unemployment and Relief

Repudiating Hoover: The Election of 1932

The Bonus Army

The Election of 1932

Waiting for Roosevelt

The Worsening Depression

Financial Collapse



Exploring America–The Dust Bowl

Caroline Manning, The Immigrant Woman and Her Job (1930)


Interactive Map–The Great Depression

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 8: Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Great Depression, and the New Deal: 1933—1939     

Launching the New Deal

“Action Now!”

Creating Jobs

Helping Some Farmers

The Flight of the Blue Eagle

Critics Right and Left

Consolidating the New Deal

Weeding Out and Lifting Up

Expanding Relief

The Roosevelt Coalition and the Election of 1936

The New Deal and American Life

Labor on the March

Women and the New Deal

Minorities and the New Deal

The New Deal: North, South, East, and West

AMERICAN VIEWS  The Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the New Deal for Native Americans

The New Deal and Public Activism

Ebbing of the New Deal

Challenging the Court

More Hard Times

Political Stalemate

Good Neighbors and Hostile Forces

Neutrality and Fascism

Edging Toward Involvement



Luther C. Wandall, A Negro in the CCC (1935)

E.E. Lewis, Black Cotton Farmers and the AAA (1935)

Profile:  John Lewis

Frances Perkins, Social Insurance for U.S. (1936)

Tennessee Valley Authority Act (1933)


Closer Look:  Homeless Shantytown, Seattle, 1937


Dorothea Lange and Migrant Mother

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 9: World War II: 1939—1945     

The Dilemmas of Neutrality

The Roots of War

Hitler’s War in Europe

Trying to Keep Out

Edging Toward Intervention

December 7, 1941

Holding the Line

Stopping Germany

The Survival of Britain

Retreat and Stabilization in the Pacific

Mobilizing for Victory

Organizing the Economy

The Enlistment of Science

Men and Women in the Military

The Home Front

Women in the Workforce

Ethnic Minorities in the War Effort

Clashing Cultures

Internment of Japanese Americans

AMERICAN VIEWS The Internment of Japanese Americans in 1942

The End of the New Deal

War and Peace

Turning the Tide in Europe

Operation OVERLORD

Victory and Tragedy in Europe

The Pacific War

Searching for Peace

How the Allies Won



Charles Lindberg, Radio Address, 1941

Manhattan Project Notebook (1945)


Obey the Ration laws


World War II, Pacific Theater


Hitler and Roosevelt

The Desegregation of the Military and Blacks in Combat

Truman on the End of World War II

Atomic Bomb at Hiroshima

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 10: The Cold War at Home and Abroad: 1946—1952       

Launching the Great Boom

Reconversion Chaos

Economic Policy

The GI Bill

Assembly-Line Neighborhoods

Consumer Boom and Baby Boom

Truman, Republicans, and the Fair Deal

Truman’s Opposition

Whistle-Stopping Across America

Truman’s Fair Deal

Confronting the Soviet Union

The End of the Grand Alliance

The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan

Soviet Reactions

American Rearmament

Cold War and Hot War

The Nuclear Shadow

AMERICAN VIEWS  Deciding on a Nuclear Arms Race

The Cold War in Asia

NSC-68 and Aggressive Containment

War in Korea, 1950—1953

The Politics of War

The Second Red Scare 303

The Communist Party and the Loyalty Program

Naming Names to Congress

Subversion Trials

Senator McCarthy on Stage

Understanding McCarthyism



Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (1944)

“The Legal Attack to Secure Civil Rights” (1942)

George Marshall, The Marshall Plan (1947)

 National Security Council Memorandum 68 (1950)

Ronald Reagan, Testimony before House Un-American Activities Committee (1947)

Joseph P. McCarthy speech

Senate Resolution 301: Censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy (1954)


The Desegregation of the Military and Blacks in Combat

President Truman and the Threat of Communism

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 11: The Confident Years: 1953—1964          

A Decade of Affluence

What’s Good for General Motors

Beating Polio

Reshaping Urban America

Comfort on Credit

The New 1950s Family

Inventing Teenagers

Turning to Religion

The Gospel of Prosperity

Facing Off with the Soviet Union

Why We Liked Ike

A Balance of Terror

Containment in Action

Global Standoff

John F. Kennedy and the Cold War

The Kennedy Mystique

Kennedy’s Mistakes

Getting into Vietnam

Missile Crisis: A Line Drawn in the Waves

Science and Foreign Affairs

Righteousness Like a Mighty Stream: The Struggle for Civil Rights

Getting to the Supreme Court

Deliberate Speed

Public Accommodations

The March on Washington, 1963

Religious Belief and Civil Rights

AMERICAN VIEWS  Dwight D. Eisenhower and Billy Graham   Consider Desegregation

“Let Us Continue”

Dallas, 1963

War on Poverty

Civil Rights, 1964—1965

War, Peace, and the Landslide of 1964

War on Poverty



Exploring America: The Consumer Society, 1950-1960

Ladies Home Journal, “Young Mother” (1956)

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954)

Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, Bus Boycott (0000)

Julian Bond, Sit-ins and the Origins of SNCC (1960)

Lyndon Johnson, “The War on Poverty” (1964)

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Fannie Lou Hamer, Voting Rights in Mississippi (1962-1964)


Ike for President: Eisenhower Campaign Ad, 1952

Eisenhower’s Special Message to Congress on the Middle East,         1957

President John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Speech at the March on Washington (1963)

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 12: Shaken to the Roots: 1965—1980          

Deeper into Vietnam


Fighting in ‘Nam

Voices of Dissent

New Voices

New Left and Community Activism

Youth Culture and Counterculture

Sounds of Change


Grassroots Conservatism

The Feminist Critique

Coming Out

Diagnosing an Urban Crisis

Conflict in the Streets

Minority Self-Determination

Suburban Independence: The Outer City

The Year of the Gun, 1968

The Tet Offensive

LBJ’s Exit

Red Spring

Violence and Politics: King, Kennedy, and Chicago

Nixon and Watergate

Getting Out of Vietnam, 1969—1975

Coming to Terms with the Vietnam War

Nixon and the Wider World

Courting Middle America

Oil, OPEC, and Stagflation

Americans as Environmentalists

From Dirty Tricks to Watergate

The Ford Footnote

Jimmy Carter: Idealism and Frustration in the White House

Carter, Energy, and the Economy

Closed Factories and Failing Farms

Closed Factories and Failing Farms

New Crises Abroad



Students for a Democratic Society, The Port Huron Statement  (1962)

Donald Wheeldin, “The Situation in Watts Today” (1967)

Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton, from Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America (1967)

Cesar Chavez, “He Showed Us the Way” (1978)

Exploring America: American Indian Movement.


Malcolm X, Message to the Grassroots


Protests Against the Vietnam War

Richard Nixon, “I am not a crook.”

Jimmy Carter and the “Crisis of Confidence”

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 13: The Reagan Revolution and a Changing World: 1981—1992

Reagan’s Domestic Revolution

Reagan’s Majority

Conservatism Worldviews

Reaganomics: Deficits and Deregulation

Crisis for Organized Labor

An Acquisitive Society

Mass Media and Fragmented Culture

Poverty amid Prosperity

Consolidating the Revolution: George H. W. Bush

The Climax of the Cold War

Confronting the Soviet Union

Risky Business: Foreign-Policy Adventures

Embracing Perestroika

Crisis and Democracy in Eastern Europe

The Persian Gulf War

Growth in the Sunbelt

The Defense Economy

New Americans

Old Gateways and New

The Graying of America

Values in Collision

Women’s Rights and Public Policy

AIDS and Gay Activism

Churches in Change

Culture Wars

AMERICAN VIEWS  The Religious Imperative in Politics



T. Boone Pickens, “My Case for Reagan” (1984)

Riberts. The Supply-Side Revolution (1984)

Ronald Reagan, The Air Traffic Controllers Strike (1981)

Patricia Morrisroe, “Yuppies: The New Class” (1985)

Exploring America: Growing Poverty

The Middle East in the 1980s and 1990

Cecelia Rosa Avila, Third Generation Mexican-American (1988)

Jesse Jackson, Common Ground (1988)


America’s Move to the Sunbelt, 1970-1981


Ronald Reagan on the Wisdom of Tax Cuts

Oliver North Hearing

President Bush on the Gulf War

Evangelical Religion and Politics, Then and Now

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 14: Peace, Prosperity, Complacency:1993—2000

The Politics of the Center

The Election of 1992: A New Generation

Policing the World

Clinton’s Neoliberalism

Contract with America and the Election of 1996

The Dangers of Everyday Life

Morality and Partisanship

A New Economy?

The Prosperous 1990s

The Service Economy

The High-Tech Sector

AMERICAN VIEWS  Creating and Working in the New Economy

An Instant Society

In the World Market

Broadening Democracy

Women from the Grass Roots to Congress

Minorities at the Ballot Box

Rights and Opportunities

Americans in 2000


Clinton Health Care Reform Proposals (1983)

Republican Contract with America (1984)

U.S. v. Timothy McVeigh (1997)

Articles of Impeachment against William Jefferson Clinton (1998)


Bill Clinton Sells Himself to America, Presidential Campaign Ad, 1992

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings


Chapter 15: An Uneasy New Century

Edging into a New Century

The 2000 Election

Reaganomics Revisited

Downsized Diplomacy

Paradoxes of Power


Security and Conflict

Iraq and Conflicts in the Middle East

Turmoil at Home

Hurricane and Financial Storm

The Obama Phenomenon

Disengagement and Changes in the Middle East

Partisan Politics



Al Gore, Global Warming (2006)

George W. Bush, Address to Congress (2001)

George W. Bush, Address to the Nation on the Iraq Invasion (2003)


The Historical Significance of the 2008 Presidential Election


Present-day Africa and the Middle East

Research and Explore

Review Questions

Key Terms

Recommended Readings



Glossary of Key Terms and Concepts




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