Please Note: The Combined Volume includes all chapters. Volume 1 includes Chapters 1-16 and Volume 2 includes Chapters 16-31.
Versions and Supplements
Maps, Figures, and Tables
1. Ancient America, Before 1492
An American Story: An archaeological dig uncovers ancient North Americans traditions
Why do historians rely on the work of archaeologists?
When and how did humans migrate into North America?
African and Asian Origins
When and why did Archaic hunter-gatherers inhabit ancient America?
Great Plains Bison Hunters
Great Basin Cultures
Pacific Coast Cultures
Eastern Woodland Cultures
How did agriculture influence ancient American cultures?
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: "Artifacts of Daily Life in Chaco Canyon"
Woodland Burial Mounds and Chiefdoms
What ancient American cultures inhabited North America in the 1490s?
Eastern and Great Plains Peoples
Southwestern and Western Peoples
How did the Mexican empire amass power and riches?
Conclusion: How did ancient Americans shape their world and ours?
2. Europeans Encounter the New World, 1492–1600
An American Story: Queen Isabella of Spain supports Columbus’s risky plan to sail west across the Atlantic
Why did Europeans launch explorations in the fifteenth century?
Mediterranean Trade and European Expansion
A Century of Portuguese Exploration
What did Spaniards discover in the western Atlantic?
The Explorations of Columbus
The Geographic Revolution and the Columbian Exchange
How did Spaniards conquer and colonize New Spain?
The Conquest of Mexico
The Search for Other Mexicos
Spanish Outposts in Florida and New Mexico
New Spain in the Sixteenth Century
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: "Justifying Conquest"
The Toll of Spanish Conquest and Colonization
How did New Spain influence Europe?
The Protestant Reformation and the Spanish Response
Europe and The Spanish Example
Conclusion: What did the New World Promise Europeans?
3. The Southern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, 1601–1700
An American Story: A young woman from England travels to America as a servant
How did settlers encounters with Native Americans and the Chesapeake environment shape the colony of Virginia?
The Fragile Jamestown Settlement
Cooperation and Conflict between Natives and Newcomers
From Private Company to Royal Government
How did tobacco influence Chesapeake society?
A Servant Labor System
The Rigors of Servitude
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: "ENSLAVEMENT BY MARRIAGE"
Cultivating Land and Faith
Why did Chesapeake society change by the 1670s?
Social and Economic Polarization
Government Policies and Political Conflict
Why did a slave labor system develop in England’s southern colonies?
Indians Revolt in New Mexico and Florida
Religion and Revolt in the Spanish Borderland
The West Indies: Sugar and Slavery
Carolina: A West Indian Frontier
Slave Labor Emerges in the Chesapeake
Conclusion: How did export crops contribute to the growth of the southern colonies?
4. The Northern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, 1601–1700
An American Story: Roger Williams is banished from Puritan Massachusetts
Why did Puritans emigrate to North America?
Puritan Origins: The English Reformation
The Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony
The Founding of Massachusetts Bay Colony
How did New England society change during the seventeenth century?
Church, Covenant, and Conformity
Government by Puritans for Puritanism
The Splintering of Puritanism
Religious Controversies and Economic Changes
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: "Hunting Witches in Salem, Massachusetts"
How did the Middle Colonies differ from New England and the southern colonies?
From New Netherland to New York
New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Toleration and Diversity in Pennsylvania
How did the English empire influence the colonies?
Royal Regulation of Colonial Trade
King Philip’s War and the Consolidation of Royal Authority
Conclusion: Was there an English model of colonization in North America?
5. Colonial America in the Eighteenth Century, 1701–1770
An American Story: The Robin Johns’horrific turns of fortune in the Atlantic slave trade
How did the British North American colonies change during the eighteenth century?
What changed in New England life and culture?
Natural Increase and Land Distribution
Farms, Fish, and Atlantic Trade
Why did the Middle Colonies grow rapidly?
German and Scots-Irish Immigrants
"God Gives All Things to Industry": Urban and Rural Labor
Why did slavery come to define the Southern Colonies?
The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Growth of Slavery
Slave Labor and African American Culture
Tobacco, Rice, and Prosperity
What unified colonists in British North America during the eighteenth century?
Commerce and Consumption
Religion, Enlightenment, and Revival
Trade and Conflict in the North American Borderlands
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: "Spanish Priests Report on California Missions"
Colonial Politics in the British Empire
Conclusion: Why did British North American colonists develop a dual identity?
6. The British Empire and the Colonial Crisis, 1754-1775
An American Story: Loyalist governor Thomas Hutchinson stands his ground
How did the Seven Years’ War lay the groundwork for colonial crisis?
French-British Rivalry in the Ohio Country
The Albany Congress
The War and Its Consequences
Pontiac’s Rebellion War and the Proclamation of 1763
How did imperial authorities and British colonists differ in their views about the legitimacy of taxing the colonies?
Grenville’s Sugar Act
The Stamp Act
Resistance: From Colonial Assemblies to Crowd Politics
Liberty and Property
Why did the colonial crisis worsen after the repeal of the Stamp Act?
The Townshend Duties
Nonconsumption and the Daughters of Liberty
Military Occupation and "Massacre" in Boston
How did British policy and colonial response interact after the repeal of the Townshend Duties to lead to open rebellion?
The Calm before the Storm
Tea in Boston Harbor
The Coercive Acts
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: "Reactions to the Boston Port Act outside of Massachusetts"
Beyond Boston: Rural New England
The First Continental Congress
How did enslaved people in the colonies react to the stirrings of revolution?
Lexington and Concord
Rebelling against Slavery
Conclusion: What changes did the American colonists want in 1775?
7. The War for America, 1775-1783
An American Story: Deborah Sampson masquerades as a man to join the Continental army
What eventually persuaded British North American colonists to support independence?
Assuming Political and Military Authority
Pursuing Both War and Peace
Thomas Paine, Abigail Adams, and the Case for Independence
The Declaration of Independence
How did the military objectives of each side shape the course of the war’s early years?
The American Military Forces
The British Strategy
Quebec, New York, and New Jersey
How did the war transform the home front?
Patriotism at the Local Level
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: "Families Divide over the Revolution"
Who Is a Traitor?
Financial Instability and Corruption
From Rebellion to Revolution
How did the American Revolution expand to become a war among continental and global powers?
Burgoyne’s Army and the Battle of Saratoga
The War in the West: Indian Country
The French Alliance
What were the principal causes of the British defeat?
Georgia and South Carolina
Treason and Guerrilla Warfare
Surrender at Yorktown
The Losers and the Winners
Conclusion: Why did the British lose the American Revolution?
8. Building a Republic, 1775-1789
An American Story: James Madison comes of age in the midst of revolution
What kind of government did the Articles of Confederation create?
Confederation and Taxation
The Problem of Western Lands
Running the New Government
How was republican government implemented?
The State Constitutions
Who Are "the People"?
Equality and Slavery
Why did the Articles of Confederation fail?
The War Debt and the Newburgh Conspiracy
The Treaty of Fort Stanwix
The Northwest Territory
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: "The Northwest Ordinance’s Slavery Clause"
The Requisition of 1785 and Shays’s Rebellion, 1786–1787
How did the Constitution change the nation’s form of government?
From Annapolis to Philadelphia
The Virginia and New Jersey Plans
Checks and Balances
Why did so many Americans object to the Constitution?
The Federalist Persuasion
Conclusion: What was the "republican remedy"?
9. The New Nation Takes Form, 1789–1800
An American Story: Alexander Hamilton becomes a polarizing figure in the 1790s
What were the sources of political stability in the 1790s?
Washington Inaugurates the Government
The Bill of Rights
The Republican Wife and Mother
Why did Hamilton’s economic policies provoke such controversy?
Agriculture, Transportation, and Banking
The Public Debt and Taxes
The First Bank of the United States and the Report on Manufactures
What threats did the United States face in the West?
Western Discontent and the Whiskey Rebellion
Creeks in the Southwest
Ohio Indians in the Northwest
What threats did the United States face in the Atlantic World?
France and Britain: Toward Neutrality
The Jay Treaty
The Haitian Revolution
How did partisan rivalries shape the politics of the late 1790s?
Federalists and Republicans
The XYZ Affair
The Alien and Sedition Acts
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: "The Crisis of 1798: Sedition"
Conclusion: Why did the United States form political parties in a decade when it achieved political stability?
10. Republicans in Power, 1800-1828
An American Story: Tecumseh attempts to forge a pan-Indian confederacy
What was the Revolution of 1800?
Turbulent Times: Election and Rebellion
The Jeffersonian Vision of Republican Government
Dangers Overseas: The Barbary Wars
How did the Louisiana Purchase affect the United States?
The Louisiana Purchase
The Lewis and Clark Expedition
Osage and Comanche Indians
What led to the War of 1812?
Impressment and Embargo
Tecumseh and Tippecanoe
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: "The Nation’s First Formal Declaration of War"
Washington City Burns: The British Offensive
How did the civil status of free American women and men differ in the early Republic?
Dolley Madison and Social Politics
Women and the Law
Women and Church Governance
Why did partisan conflict increase during the administrations of Monroe and Adams?
From Property to Democracy
The Missouri Compromise
The Monroe Doctrine
The Election of 1824
The Adams Administration
Conclusion: How did republican simplicity become complex?
11. The Expanding Republic, 1815-1840
An American Story: The Grimké sisters speak out against slavery
What Economic Developments Reshaped the U.S. Economy after 1815?
Improvements in Transportation
Factories, Workingwomen, and Wage Labor
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: "Mill Girls Stand Up to Factory owners, 1834"
Bankers and Lawyers
Booms and Busts
How did new practices of party politics shape Andrew Jackson’s election and agenda?
Popular Politics and Partisan Identity
The Election of 1828 and the Character Issue
Jackson’s Democratic Agenda
What was Andrew Jackson’s impact on the presidency?
Indian Policy and the Trail of Tears
The Tariff of Abominations and Nullification
The Bank War and Economic Boom
How did social and cultural life change in the 1830s?
The Second Great Awakening and Moral Reform
Organizing against Slavery
What political and economic events dominated Martin Van Buren’s Presidency?
The Politics of Slavery
Elections and Panics
Conclusion: The Age of Jackson or the era of reform?
12. The North and West, 1840-1860
An American Story: Abraham Lincoln struggles to survive in antebellum America
Why did "industrial evolution" occur?
Agriculture and Land Policy
Manufacturing and Mechanization
Railroads: Breaking the Bonds of Nature
How did the free-labor ideal explain economic inequality?
The Free-Labor Ideal
Immigrants and the Free-Labor Ladder
What spurred westward expansion?
Oregon and the Overland Trail
The Mormon Exodus
The Mexican Borderlands
Why did the United States go to war with Mexico?
The Politics of Expansion
The Mexican-American War, 1846–1848
Victory in Mexico
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: "The Gold Rush"
What changes did social reformers seek in the 1840s and 1850s?
The Pursuit of Perfection: Transcendentalists and Utopians
Woman’s Rights Activists
Abolitionists and the American Ideal
Conclusion: How did the free labor ideal contribute to economic growth and territorial expansion of the North and West?
13. The Slave South, 1820-1860
An American Story: Slave Nat Turner leads a revolt to end slavery
Why did the South become so different from the North?
Cotton Kingdom, Slave Empire
The South in Black and White
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: Defending Slavery
The Plantation Economy
What was plantation life like for slave masters and mistresses?
Paternalism and Male Honor
The Southern Lady and Feminine Virtues
What was plantation life like for slaves?
Family and Religion
Resistance and Rebellion
How did nonslaveholding southern whites work and live?
The Culture of the Plain Folk
What place did free blacks occupy in the South?
Achievement despite Restrictions
How did slavery shape southern politics?
The Democratization of the Political Arena
Conclusion: How did slavery come to define the South?
14. The House Divided, 1846-1861
An American Story: Abolitionist John Brown takes his war against slavery to Harpers Ferry
Why did the acquisition of land from Mexico contribute to sectional tensions?
The Wilmot Proviso and the Expansion of Slavery
The Election of 1848
Debate and Compromise
What upset the balance between slave and free states?
The Fugitive Slave Act
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The Kansas-Nebraska Act
How did the party system change in the 1850s?
The Old Parties: Whigs and Democrats
The New Parties: Know-Nothings and Republicans
The Election of 1856
Why did northern fear of the "Slave Power" intensify in the 1850s?
The Dred Scott Decision
Prairie Republican: Abraham Lincoln
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Why did some southern states secede immediately after Lincoln’s election?
The Aftermath of John Brown’s Raid
Republican Victory in 1860
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: Southerners Debate Secession
Conclusion: Why did political compromise fail?
15. The Crucible of War, 1861-1865
An American Story: Robert Smalls liberates slaves and fights for freedom
Why did both the Union and the Confederacy consider control of the border states crucial?
Attack on Fort Sumter
The Upper South Chooses Sides
Why did each side expect to win?
How They Expected to Win
Lincoln and Davis Mobilize
How did each side fare in the early years of the war?
Stalemate in the Eastern Theater
Union Victories in the Western Theater
The Atlantic Theater
How did the war for union become a fight for black freedom?
From Slaves to Contraband
From Contraband to Free People
The War of Black Liberation
What problems did the Confederacy face at home?
Revolution from Above
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: Home and Country
The Disintegration of Slavery
How did the war affect the economy and politics of the North?
The Government and the Economy
Women and Work at Home and at War
Politics and Dissent
How did the Union finally win the war?
Vicksburg and Gettysburg
Grant Takes Command
The Confederacy Collapses
The War’s Bloody Toll
Conclusion: In what ways was the Civil War a "Second American Revolution"?
16. Reconstruction, 1863-1877
An American Story: James T. Rapier emerges as Alabama’s most prominent black leader
Why did Congress object to Lincoln’s wartime plan for reconstruction?
"To Bind Up the Nation’s Wounds"
Land and Labor
The African American Quest for Autonomy
ANALYZING HISTORICAL EVIDENCE: The Meaning of Freedom
How did the North respond to the passage of black codes in the southern states?
Johnson’s Program of Reconciliation
White Southern Resistance and Black Codes
Expansion of Federal Authority and Black Rights
How radical was congressional reconstruction?
The Fourteenth Amendment and Escalating Violence
Radical Reconstruction and Military Rule
Impeaching a President
The Fifteenth Amendment and Women’s Demands
What brought the elements of the South’s Republican coalition together?
Freedmen, Yankees, and Yeomen
White Landlords, Black Sharecroppers
Why did Reconstruction collapse?
Grant’s Troubled Presidency
Northern Resolve Withers
White Supremacy Triumphs
An Election and a Compromise
Conclusion: Was Reconstruction "a revolution but half accomplished"?
About the Authors