Designed to encourage critical thinking about history, the Major Problems in American History Series introduces students to both primary sources and analytical essays. This volume presents a carefully selected group of readings that requires students to evaluate primary sources, test the interpretations of distinguished historians, and draw their own conclusions.
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Elizabeth Cobbs, Professor and Dwight E. Stanford Chair of American Foreign Relations at San Diego State University, received her Ph.D. from Stanford University. Her areas of expertise include American diplomatic, economic, and cultural history. Her book, ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE: THE PEACE CORPS AND THE SPIRIT OF THE 1960S (Harvard University Press, 1998), earned rave reviews from academic and popular readers alike. Professor Cobbs has received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Organization of American States, and served for six years as a member of the Historical Advisory Council to the U.S. Department of State. In 2004, she held the Mary Ball Washington Chair at University College Dublin through the Fulbright Program. She writes for both scholarly and popular periodicals and is currently authoring a new synthesis of American foreign relations for Harvard University Press.Review:
Introduction to Students: How to Read Primary and Secondary Sources 1. Reconstruction, 1865-1877 DOCUMENTS 1. African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Newfound Freedom, c. 1865 2. Louisiana Black Codes Reinstate Provisions of the Slave Era, 1865 3. President Andrew Johnson Denounces Changes in His Program of Reconstruction, 1868 4. Congressman Thaddeus Stevens Demands a Radical Reconstruction, 1867 5. Elizabeth Cady Stanton Questions Abolitionist Support for Female Enfranchisement, 1868 6. The Fourteenth Amendment Grants Citizenship and Due Process of Law to African Americans, 1868 7. Elias Hill, an African American Man, Recounts a Nighttime Visit from the Ku Klux Klan, 1871 8. Missouri Senator Carl Schurz Admits the Failures of Reconstruction, 1872 9. Mississippi Congressman L.Q.C. Lamar Denounces Reconstruction, 1874 ESSAYS Thomas Holt, Social Class Divides Negro State Legislators in South Carolina, Impeding Reconstruction Eric Foner, The Odds Against the Success of Reconstruction Were Great 2. Western Settlement and the Frontier in American History DOCUMENTS 1. The Homestead Act Provides Free Land to Settlers, 1862 2. Pioneer Mary Barnard Aguirre Marries into the Spanish West, 1863 3. The Federal Government Punishes Confederate Indians, 1865 4. Katie Bighead (Cheyenne) Remembers Custer and the Battle of Little Big Horn, 1876 5. Chief Joseph (Nez Perce) Surrenders, 1877 6. The Dawes Severalty Act Further Reduces Indian Landholdings, 1887 7. Wyoming Gunfight: An Attack on Chinatown, 1885 8. Southern Freedmen Resolve to Move West, 1879 9. The Jorgensens Long for Other Danes, 1906 10. Frederick Jackson Turner Articulates the Frontier Thesis, 1893 ESSAYS Ray Allen Billington, Frontier Democracy Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: America's Conflicted Frontier 3. Industrialization, Workers, and the New Immigration DOCUMENTS 1. Poet Emma Lazurus Praises the New Colossus, 1883 2. A Slovenian Boy Remembers Tales of the Golden Country, 1909 3. Immigrant Thomas O'Donnell Laments the Plight of the Worker, 1883 4. The Knights of Labor Demand Reform, 1878 5. Unionist Samuel Gompers Asks "What Does the Working Man Want?" 1890 6. Steel Magnate Andrew Carnegie Preaches a Gospel of Wealth, 1889 7. Engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor Fashions the Ideal Worker, 1910 8. Jurgis Rudkus Discovers the Saloon in The Jungle, 1905 ESSAYS: Oscar Handlin, The Uprooted Roy Rosenzweig, Ethnic Enclaves and The Workers' Saloon 4. Imperialism and World Power DOCUMENTS 1. Governor Theodore Roosevelt Praises the Strenuous Life, 1899 2. Filipino Leader Emilio Aguinaldo Rallies His People to Arms, 1899 3. The American Anti-Imperialist League Denounces U.S. Policy, 1899 4. Mark Twain Satirizes the Battle Hymn of the Republic, 1900 5. A Soldier Criticizes American Racism in the Philippines, 1902 6 The Platt Amendment Limits Cuban Independence, 1903 7. The Roosevelt Corollary Makes the United States the Police of Latin America, 1904 8. President Woodrow Wilson Disavows Territorial Conquest, 1913 ESSAY Gail Bederman, Gendering Imperialism: Theodore Roosevelt's Quest for Manhood and Empire Emily S. Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream: American Economic and Cultural Expansion, 1890-1945 5. The Progressive Movement DOCUMENTS 1. Journalist Lincoln Steffens Exposes the Shame of Corruption, 1904 2. Political Boss George Washington Plunkitt Defends "Honest" Graft, 1905 3. Social Worker Jane Addams Advocates Civic Housekeeping, 1906 4. President Theodore Roosevelt Preaches Conservation and Efficiency, 1908 5. Prohibition Poem Castigates the Tyranny of Alcohol, 1910 6. Industrialist Henry Ford Lectures Against Cigarettes, 1914 7. Sociologist William Graham Sumner Denounces Reformers' Fanaticism, 1913 8. Rewriting the Constitution: Amendments on Income Tax, Election of Senators, Prohibition, and the Vote for Women, 1913-1920 9. Black Leader Booker T. Washington Advocates Compromise, 1895 10. NAACP Founder W.E.B. DuBois Counters Booker T. Washington, 1903 ESSAYS: Richard Hofstadter, The Status Revolution and Progressive Leaders Gerald Woods, Fighting the Good Fight (Against the Disreputable Pleasures) in San Francisco and Los Angeles 6. America in World War I DOCUMENTS 1. President Woodrow Wilson Asks Congress to Declare War, 1917 2. Senator Robert M. La Follette Voices His Dissent, 1917 3. A Union Organizer Testifies to Vigilante Attack, 1917 4. The U.S. Government Punishes War Protestors: The Espionage Act, 1918 5. Wilson Proposes a New World Order in the "Fourteen Points," 1918 6. George M. Cohan Sings About Patriotism in "Over There," 1918 7. Novelist John Dos Passos: "Remembering the Gray Crooked Fingers," 1919 8. George Creel Recalls Selling the War, 1920 9. Cartoons for and Against the League of Nations, 1920 ESSAYS: Jan Wilhelm Schulte-Nordholt, Wilson as a Peace Advocate Out of Touch with Reality Tony Smith, Wilson as Father and Foreteller of a New World Order 7. Crossing a Cultural Divide: The Twenties DOCUMENTS: 1. The Governor of California Tells of the "Oriental Problem," 1920 2. The Ku Klux Klan Defines Americanism, 1926 3. Author Richard Wright Recalls "Living Jim Crow" in the Twenties, 1937 4. Langston Hughes: Poet of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance 5. Clarence Darrow Interrogates William Jennings Bryan in the Monkey Trial, 1925 6. Bruce Barton Sees Jesus as an Advertising Man, 1925 7. The Automobile Comes to Middletown, U.S.A, 1929 8. A Survey Examines the Morals of High School Students, 1924 9. F. Scott Fitzgerald Reveals Attitudes About Gender and Race in The Great Gatsby, 1925 ESSAYS Paula S. Fass, Sex and Youth in the Jazz Age Edward J. Larson, Fundamentalists vs. Modernists in the Scopes Monkey Trial 8. The Depression, the New Deal, and Franklin D. Roosevelt DOCUMENTS 1. President Herbert Hoover Applauds Limited Government, 1931 2. The Nation Asks "Is It to Be Murder, Mr. Hoover?" 1932 3. Business Leader Henry Ford Advocates Self-Help, 1932 4. John Steinbeck Portrays the Outcast Poor in The Grapes of Wrath, 1939 5. Woody Guthrie Sings "This Land Is Your Land," 1940 6. President Franklin Roosevelt Seeks Justice for "One-Third of a Nation," 1937 7. An Architect of Social Security Recalls the Southern Concession, 1935 8. Social Security Advisers Consider Male and Female Pensioners, 1938 9. The Wagner Act Allows Workers to Unionize, 1935 10. Nelson Rockefeller Lectures Standard Oil on Social Responsibility, 1937 ESSAYS David M. Kennedy, FDR: Advocate for the American People Barton J. Bernstein, FDR: Savior of Capitalism 9. The Ordeal of World War II DOCUMENTS 1. Nazi Leader Adolf Hitler Links Race and Nationality, 1927 2. Japan Announces a 'New Order' in Asia, 1938 3. President Franklin D. Roosevelt Asks Congress to Declare War, 1941 4. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill Reacts to Pearl Harbor, 1941 5. President Franklin D. Roosevelt Identifies the "Four Freedoms" at Stake in the War, 1941 6. An African American Soldier Notes the 'Strange Paradox' of the War, 1944 7. Stanford Professor Yamato Ichihashi Writes of His Internment, 1942 8. Roosevelt and Soviet Premier Josef Stalin Plan the United Nations, 1943 9. Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr Warns of American Naivete, 1944 10. General Dwight Eisenhower Reports to General George Marshall on the German Concentration Camps, 1945 ESSAYS Stephen E. Ambrose, Visitors to Hell: Omaha Beach on D-Day Alan Brinkley, Over Here: World War II and American Liberalism 10. The Cold War and the Nuclear Age DOCUMENTS 1. Secretary of War Henry Stimson Appeals for Atomic Talks with the Soviets, 1945 2. Diplomat George F. Kennan Advocates Containment, 1946 3. Democrat Henry A. Wallace Questions the "Get Tough" Policy, 1946 4. Soviet Ambassador Nikolai Novikov Sees a U.S. Bid for World Supremacy, 1946 5. The Truman Doctrine Calls for the United States to Become the World's Police, 1947 6. The Marshall Plan Seeks to Rebuild Europe, 1948 7. National Security Council Paper No. 68 (NSC-68) Arms America, 1950 8. Senator Joseph McCarthy Describes the Internal Communist Menace, 1950 9. The Federal Loyalty-Security Program Questions a Postal Clerk, 1954 10. President Eisenhower Warns of the Military-Industrial Complex, 1961 ESSAYS Walter LaFeber, Truman's Hard-Line Policy John Lewis Gaddis, Two Cold War Empires: Friendly Persuasion vs. Brute Force 11. The 1950s "Boom": Affluence and Anxiety DOCUMENTS 1. Congress Passes the G.I. Bill of Rights, 1944 2. Science News Letter Reports a Baby Boom, 1954 3. Life Magazine Identifies the New Teen-age Market, 1959 4. A Young American Is "Born on the Fourth of July," 1946 5. Congress Adds God to the Pledge of Allegiance, 1954 6. Parental Indulgence Is Criticized in Rebel Without a Cause, 1955 7. Paul Goodman Describes Growing Up Absurd, 1956 8. Governor Adlai Stevenson Tells College Women About Their Place in Life, 1955 9. Feminist Betty Friedan Describes the Problem That Has No Name, 1959 ESSAYS John Patrick Diggins, A Decade to Make One Proud Stephanie Coontz, Families in the Fifties: The Way We Never Were 12. Making the Great Society: Civil Rights DOCUMENTS 1. The United Nations Approves a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 2. The Supreme Court Rules on Brown v. Board of Education, 1954 3. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Defends Seamstress Rosa Parks, 1955 4. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Remembers Civil Rights on TV, 1957 5. Congress Passes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 6. Black Muslim Malcolm X Warns: The Ballot or the Bullet, 1964 7. Congress Approves the Voting Rights Act, 1965 8. A National Organization for Women Calls for Equity, 1966 9. Mexican Americans Form "La Raza Unida," 1968 10. A Proclamation from the Indians of All Tribes, Alcatraz Island, 1969 11. Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990 ESSAYS Harvard Sitkoff, The Preconditions for Racial Change David J. Garrow, A Leader for His Time: Martin Luther King, Jr. 13. The Sixties: Left, Right, and the Culture Wars DOCUMENTS 1. President John Kennedy Tells Americans to Ask "What You Can Do," 1961 2. Bill Moyers Remembers Kennedy's Effect on His Generation (1961), 1988 3. President Lyndon B. Johnson Declares War on Poverty, 1964 4. Young Americans for Freedom Draft a Conservative Manifesto, 1960 5. Students for a Democratic Society Advance a Reform Agenda, 1962 6. Alabama Governor George Wallace Pledges "Segregation Forever," 1963 7. A Protester at Columbia University Speaks on Long Hair and Revolution, 1969 8. Vice-President Spiro Agnew Warns of the Threat to America, 1969 9. Folk Singer Malvina Reynolds Sees Young People in "Little Boxes," 1963 10. Carl Rogers Describes "What Really Goes On in an Encounter Group," 1970 ESSAYS Kenneth Cmiel, Sixties Liberalism and the Revolution in Manners Dan T. Carter, George Wallace, Richard Nixon, and the Triumph of the Right 14. Vietnam and the Downfall of Presidents DOCUMENTS 1. Independence Leader Ho Chi Minh Pleads with Harry Truman for Support, 1946 2. President Dwight Eisenhower Warns of Falling Dominoes, 1954 3. President Lyndon B. Johnson Explains Why America Must Fight, 1965 4. Defense Analyst John McNaughton Advises Robert McNamara on War Aims, 1965 5. Undersecretary of State George Ball Advocates Compromise with Hanoi, 1965 6. A Marine Remembers His Idealism (1965), 1977 7. Students for a Democratic Society Oppose the War, 1965 8. Martin Luther King, Jr., Takes a Stand, 1967 9. White House Counsel John W. Dean III Presents the "Enemies List," 1971 10. Senator Sam J. Ervin Explains the Watergate Crimes, 1974 ESSAYS Robert McNamara, James Blight, and Robert Brigham, Cold War Blinders and the Tragedy of Vietnam Michael Lind, Vietnam: A Necessary War 15. Ronald Reagan and the Conservative Resurgence DOCUMENTS 1. President Jimmy Carter Laments the Crisis of Confidence, 1979 2. President Ronald Reagan Sees a Stronger America, 1985 3. Reagan Calls for a Fight Against Sin, Evil, and Communism, 1983 4. National Review Explains Social Conservatism, 1988 5. Baptist Minister Jerry Falwell Condemns Feminism and the Equal Rights Amendment, 1980 6. Facts and Figures: Graphs on Earnings, Inequality, and Imports, 1986 7. A Unionist Blasts the Export of Jobs, 1987 8. The Secretary of Labor Applauds Deregulation of Home Work, 1988 9. Immigrants Do "Home Work" in Modern Sweatshops, 1988 10. Bill Clinton's 1992 Campaign: "It's the Economy, Stupid" ESSAYS Martin Anderson, The Reagan Revolution and the New Capitalism Benjamin Friedman, Mortgaging the Future and Bankrupting the Nation
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