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Free E-book History of the United States

Free E-book History of the United States
As things now stand, the course of instruction in American history in our public schools embraces three distinct treatments of the subject. Three separate books are used. First, there is the primary book, which is usually a very condensed narrative with emphasis on biographies and anecdotes. Second, there is the advanced text for the seventh or eighth grade, generally speaking, an expansion of the elementary book by the addition of forty or fifty thousand words. Finally, there is the high school manual. This, too, ordinarily follows the beaten path, giving fuller accounts of the same events and characters. To put it bluntly, we do not assume that our children obtain permanent possessions from their study of history in the lower grades. If mathematicians followed the same method, high school texts on algebra and geometry would include the multiplication table and fractions.

There is, of course, a ready answer to the criticism advanced above. It is that teachers have learned from bitter experience how little history their pupils retain as they pass along the regular route. No teacher of history will deny this. Still it is a standing challenge to existing methods of historical instruction. If the study of history cannot be made truly progressive like the study of mathematics, science, and languages, then the historians assume a grave responsibility in adding their subject to the already overloaded curriculum. If the successive historical texts are only enlarged editions of the first text—more facts, more dates, more words—then history deserves most of the sharp criticism which it is receiving from teachers of science, civics, and economics.

In this condition of affairs we find our justification for offering a new high school text in American history. Our first contribution is one of omission. The time-honored stories of exploration and the biographies of heroes are left out. We frankly hold that, if pupils know little or nothing about Columbus, Cortes, Magellan, or Captain John Smith by the time they reach the high school, it is useless to tell the same stories for perhaps the fourth time. It is worse than useless. It is an offense against the teachers of those subjects that are demonstrated to be progressive in character.
In the next place we have omitted all descriptions of battles. Our reasons for this are simple. The strategy of a campaign or of a single battle is a highly technical, and usually a highly controversial, matter about which experts differ widely. In the field of military and naval operations most writers and teachers of history are mere novices. To dispose of Gettysburg or the Wilderness in ten lines or ten pages is equally absurd to the serious student of military affairs. Any one who compares the ordinary textbook account of a single Civil War campaign with the account given by Ropes, for instance, will ask for no further comment. No youth called upon to serve our country in arms would think of turning to a high school manual for information about the art of warfare. The dramatic scene or episode, so useful in arousing the interest of the immature pupil, seems out of place in a book that deliberately appeals to boys and girls on the very threshold of life's serious responsibilities.

It is not upon negative features, however, that we rest our case. It is rather upon constructive features.

First. We have written a topical, not a narrative, history. We have tried to set forth the important aspects, problems, and movements of each period, bringing in the narrative rather by way of illustration.

Second. We have emphasized those historical topics which help to explain how our nation has come to be what it is to-day.

Third. We have dwelt fully upon the social and economic aspects of our history, especially in relation to the politics of each period.

Fourth. We have treated the causes and results of wars, the problems of financing and sustaining armed forces, rather than military strategy. These are the subjects which belong to a history for civilians. These are matters which civilians can understand—matters which they must understand, if they are to play well their part in war and peace.

Fifth. By omitting the period of exploration, we have been able to enlarge the treatment of our own time. We have given special attention to the history of those current questions which must form the subject matter of sound instruction in citizenship.

Sixth. We have borne in mind that America, with all her unique characteristics, is a part of a general civilization. Accordingly we have given diplomacy, foreign affairs, world relations, and the reciprocal influences of nations their appropriate place.

Seventh. We have deliberately aimed at standards of maturity. The study of a mere narrative calls mainly for the use of the memory. We have aimed to stimulate habits of analysis, comparison, association, reflection, and generalization—habits calculated to enlarge as well as inform the mind. We have been at great pains to make our text clear, simple, and direct; but we have earnestly sought to stretch the intellects of our readers—to put them upon their mettle. Most of them will receive the last of their formal instruction in the high school. The world will soon expect maturity from them.

Their achievements will depend upon the possession of other powers than memory alone. The effectiveness of their citizenship in our republic will be measured by the excellence of their judgment as well as the fullness of their information.


    The Great Migration to America
    The Agencies of American Colonization
    The Colonial Peoples
    The Process of Colonization
    Colonial Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce
    The Land and the Westward Movement
    Industrial and Commercial Development
    Social and Political Progress
    The Leadership of the Churches
    Schools and Colleges
    The Colonial Press
    The Evolution in Political Institutions
    The Development of Colonial Nationalism
    Relations with the Indians and the French
    The Effects of Warfare on the Colonies
    Colonial Relations with the British Government
    Summary of Colonial Period


    The New Course in British Imperial Policy
    George III and His System
    George III's Ministers and Their Colonial Policies
    Colonial Resistance Forces Repeal
    Resumption of British Revenue and Commercial Policies
    Renewed Resistance in America
    Retaliation by the British Government
    From Reform to Revolution in America
    The American Revolution
    Resistance and Retaliation
    American Independence
    The Establishment of Government and the New Allegiance
    Military Affairs
    The Finances of the Revolution
    The Diplomacy of the Revolution
    Peace at Last
    Summary of the Revolutionary Period


    The Formation of the Constitution
    The Promise and the Difficulties of America
    The Calling of a Constitutional Convention
    The Framing of the Constitution
    The Struggle over Ratification
    The Clash of Political Parties
    The Men and Measures of the New Government
    The Rise of Political Parties
    Foreign Influences and Domestic Politics
    The Jeffersonian Republicans in Power
    Republican Principles and Policies
    The Republicans and the Great West
    The Republican War for Commercial Independence
    The Republicans Nationalized
    The National Decisions of Chief Justice Marshall
    Summary of Union and National Politics


    The Farmers beyond the Appalachians
    Preparation for Western Settlement
    The Western Migration and New States
    The Spirit of the Frontier
    The West and the East Meet
    Jacksonian Democracy
    The Democratic Movement in the East
    The New Democracy Enters the Arena
    The New Democracy at Washington
    The Rise of the Whigs
    The Interaction of American and European Opinion
    The Middle Border and the Great West
    The Advance of the Middle Border
    On to the Pacific—Texas and the Mexican War
    The Pacific Coast and Utah
    Summary of Western Development and National Politics


    The Rise of the Industrial System
    The Industrial Revolution
    The Industrial Revolution and National Politics
    The Planting System and National Politics
    Slavery—North and South
    Slavery in National Politics
    The Drift of Events toward the Irrepressible Conflict
    The Civil War and Reconstruction
    The Southern Confederacy
    The War Measures of the Federal Government
    The Results of the Civil War
    Reconstruction in the South
    Summary of the Sectional Conflict


    The Political and Economic Evolution of the South
    The South at the Close of the War
    The Restoration of White Supremacy
    The Economic Advance of the South
    Business Enterprise and the Republican Party
    Railways and Industry
    The Supremacy of the Republican Party (1861-1885)
    The Growth of Opposition to Republican Rule
    The Development of the Great West
    The Railways as Trail Blazers
    The Evolution of Grazing and Agriculture
    Mining and Manufacturing in the West
    The Admission of New States
    The Influence of the Far West on National Life
    Domestic Issues before the Country(1865-1897)
    The Currency Question
    The Protective Tariff and Taxation
    The Railways and Trusts
    The Minor Parties and Unrest
    The Sound Money Battle of 1896
    Republican Measures and Results
    America a World Power(1865-1900)
    American Foreign Relations (1865-1898)
    Cuba and the Spanish War
    American Policies in the Philippines and the Orient
    Summary of National Growth and World Politics


    The Evolution of Republican Policies(1901-1913)
    Foreign Affairs
    Colonial Administration
    The Roosevelt Domestic Policies
    Legislative and Executive Activities
    The Administration of President Taft
    Progressive Insurgency and the Election of 1912
    The Spirit of Reform in America
    An Age of Criticism
    Political Reforms
    Measures of Economic Reform
    The New Political Democracy
    The Rise of the Woman Movement
    The National Struggle for Woman Suffrage
    Industrial Democracy
    Coöperation between Employers and Employees
    The Rise and Growth of Organized Labor
    The Wider Relations of Organized Labor
    Immigration and Americanization
    President Wilson and the World War
    Domestic Legislation
    Colonial and Foreign Policies
    The United States and the European War
    The United States at War
    The Settlement at Paris
    Summary of Democracy and the World War

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