The American Promise Concise History Volume 1

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Edition: 8th
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2019-10-28
Publisher(s): Bedford/St. Martin's
List Price: $100.25

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The American Promise, Concise Edition is a brief, affordable text that makes history relatable. Now with new co-authors, the eighth edition continues to deliver a strong narrative with political backbone and offers a new pedagogical design that reinforces that history is a discipline rooted in debate and inquiry. The American Promise, Concise Edition, includes the unabridged narrative, primary sources in each chapter, a full-color map and art program, and comprehensive supplement options, including LaunchPad and a free companion sourcebook.

Available for free when packaged with the print book, the popular digital assignment and assessment options for this text bring skill building and assessment to a more highly effective level. The greatest active learning options come in LaunchPad, which combines an accessible e-book with LearningCurve, an adaptive and automatically graded learning tool that—when assigned—helps ensure students read the book; the complete companion reader with comparative questions that help students build arguments from those sources; and many other study and assessment tools. For instructors who want the easiest and most affordable way to ensure students come to class prepared Achieve Read & Practice pairs LearningCurve, adaptive quizzing and our mobile, accessible Value Edition e-book, in one easy-to-use product.

Table of Contents

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

Special Features

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

Paleo-Indian Hunters

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?

Southwestern 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

Cultural Similarities

How did the Mexican empire amass power and riches?

Conclusion: How did ancient Americans shape their world and ours?

Chapter Review

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


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?

Chapter Review

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?

Tobacco Agriculture

A Servant Labor System

The Rigors of Servitude


Cultivating Land and Faith

Why did Chesapeake society change by the 1670s?

Social and Economic Polarization

Government Policies and Political Conflict

Bacon’s Rebellion

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?

Chapter Review

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?

Chapter Review

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?

Chapter Review

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?

Chapter Review

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

The Loyalists

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?

Chapter Review

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 Federalists

The Antifederalists

The Federalist Persuasion

Conclusion: What was the "republican remedy"?

Chapter Review

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?

Chapter Review

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

Female Education

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?

Chapter Review

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?

Separate Spheres

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?

Chapter Review

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

Economic Inequality

Immigrants and the Free-Labor Ladder

What spurred westward expansion?

Manifest Destiny

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

Golden California


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?

Chapter Review

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


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?

Plantation-Belt Yeomen

Upcountry Yeomen

Poor Whites

The Culture of the Plain Folk

What place did free blacks occupy in the South?

Precarious Freedom

Achievement despite Restrictions

How did slavery shape southern politics?

The Democratization of the Political Arena

Planter Power

Conclusion: How did slavery come to define the South?

Chapter Review

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?

"Bleeding Kansas"

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

Secession Winter


Conclusion: Why did political compromise fail?

Chapter Review

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

International Diplomacy

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

Hardship Below


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"?

Chapter Review

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


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

Republican Rule

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"?

Chapter Review



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