9780131825505: The American Journey, Vol. 2, Third Edition

Written in a clear, engaging style with a straightforward chronological organization, The American Journey introduces readers to the key features of American political, social, and economic history. This new edition focuses more closely on the theme of the American journey, showing that our attempt to live up to and with our ideals is an ongoing process that has become ever more inclusive of different groups and ideas. Covering the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War to the present, and including the events of 9/11/2001, prominent coverage is given to politics, religion and the Great Wars. Hundreds of maps, graphs, and illustrations help readers absorb history and bring it to life. For those interested in a comprehensive study of post-Civil War U.S. history that is presented in a flowing, lively narrative.

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About the Author:

David Goldfield received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Maryland. Since 1982 he has been Robert Lee Bailey Professor of History at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. He is the author or editor of thirteen books on various aspects of southern and urban history. Two of his works—Cotton Fields and Skyscrapers: Southern City and Region, 1607-1980 (1982) and Black, White, and Southern: Race Relations and Southern Culture, 1940 to the Present (1990)—received the Mayflower Award for non-fiction and were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in history. His most recent book is Still Fighting the Civil War: The American South and Southern History (2002). When he is not writing history, Goldfield applies his historical craft to history museum exhibits, voting rights cases, and local planning and policy issues.

Carl Abbott is a professor of Urban Studies and planning at Portland State University. He taught previously in the history departments at the University of Denver and Old Dominion University, and held visiting appointments at Mesa College in Colorado and George Washington University. He holds degrees in history from Swarthmore College and the University of Chicago. He specializes in the history of cities and the American West and serves as co-editor of the Pacific Historical Review. His books include The New Urban America: Growth and Politics in Sunbelt Cities (1981, 1987), The Metropolitan Frontier: Cities in the Modern American West (1993), Planning a New West: The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (1997), and Political Terrain: Washington, D. C. from Tidewater Town to Global Metropolis (1999). He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the role of urbanization and urban culture in the history of western North America.

Virginia DeJohn Anderson is Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She received her B.A. from the University of Connecticut. As the recipient of a Marshall Scholarship, she earned an M.A. degree at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Returning to the United States, she received her A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. She is the author of New England's Generation: The Great Migration and the Formation of Society and Culture in the Seventeenth Century (1991) and several articles on colonial history, which have appeared in such journals as the William and Mary Quarterly and the New England Quarterly. She is currently finishing a book entitled Creatures of Empire: People and Animals in Early America.

Jo Ann E. Argersinger received her Ph.D. from George Washington University and is Professor of History at Southern Illinois University. A recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, she is a historian of social, labor, and business policy. Her publications include Toward a New Deal in Baltimore: People and Government in the Great Depression (1988) and Making the Amalgamated: Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in the Baltimore Clothing Industry (1999).

Peter H. Argersinger received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and is Professor of History at Southern Illinois University. He has won several fellowships as well as the Binkley-Stephenson Award from the Organization of American Historians. Among his books on American political and rural history are Populism and Politics (1974), Structure, Process, and Party (1992), and The Limits of Agrarian Radicalism (1995). His current research focuses on the political crisis of the 1890s.

William L. Barney is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A native of Pennsylvania, he received his B.A. from Cornell University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He has published extensively on nineteenth century U.S. history and has a particular interest in the Old South and the coming of the Civil War. Among his publications are The Road to Secession (1972), The Secessionist Impulse (1974), Flawed Victory (1975), The Passage of the Republic (1987), and Battleground for the Union (1989). He is currently finishing an edited collection of essays on nineteenth-century America and a book on the Civil War. Most recently, he has edited A Companion to 19th-Century America (2001) and finished The Civil War and Reconstruction: A Student Companion (2001).

Robert M. Weir is Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University of South Carolina. He received his B.A. from Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. He has taught at the University of Houston and, as a visiting professor, at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. His articles have won prizes from the Southeastern Society for the Study of the Eighteenth Century and the William and Mary Quarterly. Among his publications are Colonial South Carolina: A History, "The Last of American Freemen": Studies in the Political Culture of the Colonial and Revolutionary South, and, most recently, a chapter on the Carolinas in the new Oxford History of the British Empire (1998).

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The path that led us to The American Journey began in the classroom with our students. Our goal is to make American history accessible to students. The key to that goal—the core of the book—is a strong clear narrative. American history is a compelling story and we seek to tell it in an engaging, forthright way. But we also provide students with an abundance of tools to help them absorb that story and put it in context. We introduce them to the concerns of the participants in America's history with primary source documents. The voices of contemporaries open each chapter, describing their own personal journeys toward fulfilling their dreams, hopes, and ambitions as part of the broader American journey. These voices provide a personal window on our nation's history, and the themes they express resonate throughout the narrative.

But if we wrote this book to appeal to our students, we also wrote it to engage their minds. We wanted to avoid academic trendiness, particularly the restricting categories that have divided the discipline of history over the last twenty years or so. We believe that the distinctions involved in the debates about multiculturalism and identity, between social and political history, between the history of the common people and the history of the elite, are unnecessarily confusing.

What we seek is integration—to combine political and social history, to fit the experience of particular groups into the broader perspective of the American past, to give voice to minor and major players alike because of their role in the story we have to tell.


In telling our story, we had some definite ideas about what we might include and emphasize that other texts do not—information we felt that the current and next generations of students will need to know about our past to function best in a new society.

CHRONOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION. A strong chronological backbone supports the book. We have found that the jumping back and forth in time characteristic of some American history textbooks confuses students. They abhor dates but need to know the sequence of events in history. A chronological presentation is the best way to be sure they do.

GEOGRAPHICAL LITERACY. We also want students to be geographically literate. We expect them not only to know what happened in American history, bur where it happened as well. Physical locations and spatial relationships were often important in shaping historical events. The abundant maps in The American Journey—all numbered and called out in the text—are an integral part of our story.

REGIONAL BALANCE. The American Journey presents balanced coverage of all regions of the country. In keeping with this balance, the South and the West receive more coverage in this text than in comparable books.

POINT OF VIEW. The American Journey presents a balanced overview of the American past. But "balanced" does not mean bland. We do not shy away from definite positions on controversial issues, such as the nature of early contacts between Native Americans and Europeans, why the political crisis of the 1850s ended in a bloody Civil War, and how Populism and its followers fit into the American political spectrum. If students and instructors disagree, that's great; discussion and dissent are important catalysts for understanding and learning.

RELIGION. Nor do we shy away from some topics that play relatively minor roles in other texts, like religion. Historians are often uncomfortable writing about religion and tend to slight its influence. This text stresses the importance of religion in American society both as a source of strength and a reflection of some its more troubling aspects.

Historians mostly write for each other. That's too bad. We need to reach out and expand our audience. An American history text is a good place to start. Our students are not only our future historians, but more important, our future. Let their American journey begin.


The American Journey includes an array of features designed to make American history accessible to students. It provides more learning tools than any other U.S. history text.

  • The Student Tool Kit that follows this preface helps students get the most out of the text and its features. It introduces students to key conventions of historical writing and it explains how to work with maps, graphs, tables, and other visuals.
  • A new feature, Voices from the American Journey, opens each chapter. Consisting of letters, diary entries, and other first-hand accounts, these voices highlight the personal dimension of the American journey and show students the wealth and variety of experiences that make up this country's history. From Olaudah Equiano's narrative of his forced journey to Virginia as a slave, to the ultimate journey Sullivan Ballou made during the Civil War defending the Union, to Cambodian refugee Celia Noup's harrowing journey to California where she took her place as one of the thousands of new immigrants who are reshaping the face of our nation, "Voices from the American journey" set the stage for the key themes that are explored in each chapter.
  • The American Views box in each chapter contains a relevant primary source document. Taken from letters, diaries, newspapers, government papers, and other sources, these bring the people of the past and their concerns vividly alive. An introduction and prereading questions relate the documents to the text and direct students' attention to important issues. New "American Views" include the internment of Japanese Americans in Chapter 26 and working in the New Economy in Chapter 31.
  • America's Journey: From Then to Now, found in more than half the chapters, relates important issues and events in each chapter to the issues and events of today, letting students see the relevance of history to their lives. Several are new to this edition. Examples include, "The Disappearance of Cod on the Grand Banks" (Chapter 1); "Medical Research on Polio and AIDS" (Chapter 28) and "Loyalty in 2001 and 1917" (Chapter 31).
  • An Outline and Key Topics list give students a succinct overview of each chapter.
  • Overview Tables in each chapter summarize complex issues.
  • Chapter Chronologies help students build a framework of key events.
  • Third-level subheads, new to the Third Edition, highlight key topics in the narrative and make them more accessible for study and review. In the sections on social history, for example, these headings help highlight the roles of women and minorities in the American journey.
  • Key Terms are highlighted within each chapter and defined in an end-of-book Glossary. The end of each chapter now includes a list of key terms and relevant page numbers.
  • Chapter Review Questions help students review the material in each chapter and relate it to broader themes.
  • A list of Key Readings and Additional Sources at the end of each chapter directs interested students to further information about the subject of the chapter.
  • Where To Learn More sections describe important historical sites students can visit to gain a deeper understanding of the events discussed in the chapter. Websites for the historical sites as well as other websites relevant to the chapter topics are now included.
  • Abundant maps, charts, and graphs help students understand important events and trends. The topographical detail in many of the maps helps students understand the influence of geography on history.
  • Illustrations and photographs—tied to the text with detailed captions—provide a visual dimension to history. Approximately ninety new photos have been added to the Third Edition.



  • To make the text even more accessible to students—and to better match the teaching calendars of many institutions-the number of chapters in the Third Edition has been reduced from thirty-three to thirty-one.
  • The chapters on urbanization and social change and reform movements in the antebellum period have been combined into a new chapter, "The Market Revolution and Social Reform" (Chapter 12) . The chapter focuses on economic changes and industrialization as well as the connections between these forces and reform movements. Chapter 11, "Slavery and the Old South," now precedes this chapter.
  • The Civil War is now treated in a single chapter (Chapter 15).
  • The Eighties is now examined in an entirely revamped Chapter 30, "The Reagan Revolution and a Changing World."
  • An all-new final chapter "Complacency and Crisis," examines America at the millennium and after September 11, 2001.

Taken together, these organizational changes make The American Journey an even more effective textbook for both students and instructors.


In the Third Edition of The American Journey, coverage of women, minorities, and Native Americans has been expanded. The active role of Native Americans in shaping the encounters with European settlers has been emphasized. Coverage of the institution of slavery and the Holocaust has also been expanded. Additional coverage of foreign policy during the 1980s and 1990s will help students understand the dilemmas our nation faces in the post-September 11th world. The following list highlights some of these additions:

  • Chapter 1. Coverage of Native American and West African societies has been expanded significantly.
  • Chapter 2. The Dutch mercantile empire, trade with West Africa, and the beginnings of the slave trade with the Portuguese and Dutch receive more discussion.
  • Chapter 3. Coverage of Native Americans has been consolidated and expanded; their role as actors in the encounter with Europeans is emphasized. ...

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