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With voices ranging from those of presidents to slaves, from both men and women, and from Native Americans and white settlers, tells the story of the first half-century of the United States by focusing on primary documents from that period.
Learn More about the Book
With voices ranging from those of presidents to slaves, from both men and women, and from Native Americans and white settlers, this book tells the story of the first half-century of the United States.
On the Back Cover
The first five decades of the United States of America, was a particularly rich time in the development of American politics, society, and culture. In the period from 1789 to 1848, the United States fought two wars, witnessed several pivotal elections, and saw its population swell and its boundaries stretch.
This reader includes over 50 documentary sources that highlight key topics during this period, such as the creation of the American state, Indian Removal, and the rise of American slavery and abolition. The voices of familiar historical figures, such as George Washington and Tecumseh, are heard alongside the testimonies of ordinary people participating in the extraordinary events of their time. Each document alone provides a significant commentary on the period; put together they present a rich and diverse tapestry of the history of the Early Republic.
Sean Patrick Adams' introduction and headnotes to each document vividly provide the historical context to these documents and encourages students to engage with the material in critical and creative ways making this reader a valuable text for students and teachers of the Early Republic.
1. "Selected with imagination and wisdom, these incisive and wide-ranging texts will indeed ... provide a 'road map' for students of the first sixty years of American independence." --Daniel Walker Howe, author of What hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (winner, 2008 Pulitzer Prize for History)
"[A] nice blend of comprehensiveness and coherence. The selections are individually interesting, they relate well to each other, and ... provide a wide-ranging, imaginative, and disciplined conversation about the Early Republic." --Paul E. Johnson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina, author of A Shopkeeper's Millennium and Sam Patch, the famous jumper; and coauthor (with Sean Wilentz) of The Kingdom of Matthias
"This handy collection of speeches, documents, private letters, and pieces of literature, complete with context-setting prefaces, will be invaluable in any course covering major themes in the history of early national America." --Joanne Freeman, Yale University
"Expertly edited [and] chock-full of enlightening and telling primary documents, this reader conveys a beautifully textured sense of the past and attends to all of the key issues during the formative years of the United States." --Mark M. Smith, Carolina Distinguished Professor of History, University of South Carolina
"Finally, a primary sources reader that includes the full breadth of voices (both familiar and lesser known) that characterized the early American republic. Sean Adams's informative introduction ties these voices together well, making this book a helpful teaching tool for conveying the rich variety of social and political issues that the young nation faced." --Steven Deyle, University of Houston
"Provides an exciting variety of primary sources and perspectives on the nation's first sixty years. Adams has drawn together voices from across the early American republic to illuminate the complexities of the era." --Craig Friend, North Carolina State University
"Students will marvel at the fifty-year struggle to forge a nation in the decades following the American Revolution." --Seth Rockman, Brown University
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