Tuesday 30 July 2013

Reading list for AMER10211 American History, 1607-1877

Preliminary Reading Suggestions for AMER10211: American History, 1607-1877

University of Manchester

Dr Natalie Zacek

Autumn 2013



Dear American Studies First-Year Students,


Welcome to the University of Manchester! and to the first half of the required first-year course in American history from 1607 to 1877. The reading list below is intended to allow you, if you choose, to get a head-start on preparing for this module. You are not required, or expected, to have read all, or any, of the texts listed below, and indeed may find it a challenge to locate some of them at your local library, but previous incoming classes have indicated that they would have found a list such as this helpful, so we are including it in your welcome pack.


The principal text which we will use in this course is volume 1 of Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty. You will be able to purchase this text from Blackwell’s Bookshop in Manchester upon arrival at the University, but you may wish to get it earlier by ordering a new or used copy from Amazon ( Be sure to order ONLY the paperback Seagull edition of 2011 (ISBN-10: 039391190X; ISBN-13: 978-0393911909). If you intend to read only one book in preparation for the course, I recommend this.

Below are suggested readings on the various topics we will study over the course of the autumn term.


England on the eve of expansion to the “New World”: Bernard Bailyn, The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction, particularly the essay titled “Worlds in Motion”


Puritans and adventurers: the beginnings of Anglo-American settlement: David Hall, “Understanding the Puritans,” and Sigmund Diamond, “From Organization to Society: Virginia in the Seventeenth Century,” in Stanley N. Katz, ed., Colonial America: Essays in Politics and Social Development; Karen Ordahl Kupperman, Indians and English: Facing Off in Early America


The rising generation: towards the Revolution: Edmund Morgan, The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89; Jon Butler, Becoming America: The Revolution Before 1776; Alan Taylor, American Colonies: The Settling of North America


Winning the war, winning the peace: The Constitution and the birth of the American political nation: Stephen Botein, et al., eds., Beyond Confederation: Origins of the Constitution and American National Identity, particularly John Murrin’s essay, “A Roof Without Walls”; Edward Countryman, What Did the Constitution Mean to Early Americans; Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution


Native Americans and westward expansion: John Mack Faragher, Sugar Creek: Life on the Illinois Prairie; Gregory Evans Dowd, A Spirited Resistance: North American Indian Struggles for Unity, 1745-1815; Greg O’Brien, “The Conqueror Meets the Unconquered: Negotiating Boundaries on the Post-Revolutionary Southern Frontier,” Journal of Southern History 67 (February 2001): 502-524


The rise of “Jacksonian democracy”: Harry L. Watson, Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America; Daniel Feller, The Jacksonian Promise: America, 1815-1840; Charles Sellers, The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846


Gender and class in industrializing America: Mary P. Ryan, Cradle of the Middle Class: The Family in Oneida County, New York, 1790-1865; Karen Halttunen, Confidence Men and Painted Women: A Study of Middle-Class Culture in America, 1830-1870; Sean Wilentz, Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788-1850


The “peculiar institution”: American slavery: Peter Kolchin, American Slavery; Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave; David Brown and Clive Webb, Race in the American South: From Slavery to Civil Rights, chapter 5


The house dividing; sectional conflict: Robert Cook, Civil War America: Making a Nation, 1848-1877; Eric Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men; Michael F. Holt, The Political Crisis of the 1850s


The house divided: the American Civil War: James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era; Drew Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War; Catherine Clinton and Nina Silber, eds., Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War


The unfinished revolution: Reconstruction, 1865-1877: Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution: C. Vann Woodward, The Origins of the New South; William Gillette, Retreat from Reconstruction, 1869-1879



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