American History

  • The American Democrat

    by James Fenimore Cooper

    When The American Democrat was first published in 1838, Cooper’s position as America’s first major novelist obscured his serious contribution to the discussion of American principles and politics. “Yet Cooper,” says H. L. Mencken, “was probably the first American to write about Americans in the really frank spirit . . . a simple, sound and sensible tract, moderate in tone…

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  • The American Nation

    by Bruce Frohnen

    The American Nation: Primary Sources resumes the narrative begun in its companion volume, The American Republic, which covered the first eight decades of U.S. history, ending at the onset of the Civil War. The American Nation continues the story through America’s entrance into World War II. The American Nation makes available, in one volume, many of the most crucial documents…

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  • American Political Writing During the Founding Era: 1760–1805

    by Charles S. Hyneman and Donald S. Lutz

    This selection of essays, pamphlets, speeches, and letters to newspapers written between 1760 and 1805 by American political and religious leaders illuminate the founding of the republic. Many selections are obscure pieces that were previously available only in larger research libraries, but all illuminate the founding of the American republic and are essential reading for students and teachers of American…

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  • The American Republic

    by Bruce Frohnen

    Many reference works offer compilations of critical documents covering individual liberty, local autonomy, constitutional order, and other issues that helped to shape the American political tradition. Yet few of these works are available in a form suitable for classroom use, and traditional textbooks give short shrift to these important issues. The American Republic overcomes that knowledge gap by providing, in…

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  • The Anti-Federalist Writings of the Melancton Smith Circle

    by Melancton Smith

    The Anti-Federalist Writings of the Melancton Smith Circle makes available for the first time a one-volume collection of Anti-Federalist writings that are commensurate in scope, significance, political brilliance, and depth with The Federalist. Included in this volume as an appendix is a computational and contextual analysis that addresses the question of the authorship of two of the most well-known pseudonymous…

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  • Collected Works of James Wilson

    by James Wilson

    This two-volume set brings together a collection of writings and speeches of James Wilson, one of only six signers of both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, and one of the most influential members of the federal Constitutional Convention in 1787. Wilson’s writings and speeches had a significant impact on the deliberations that produced the cornerstone documents…

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  • Collected Works of Roger Sherman

    by Roger Sherman

    Roger Sherman (1721–1793) was the only founder to sign the Articles of Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. He served 1,543 days in the Continental Congress and was a member of the five-man committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. At the Federal Convention of 1787 he spoke more times than all but three…

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  • Colonial Origins of the American Constitution

    by Donald S. Lutz

    This landmark collection of eighty documents created by the American colonists—and not English officials—is the genesis of American fundamental law and constitutionalism. Included are all documents attempting to unite the colonies, beginning with the New England Confederation of 1643. Donald S. Lutz is Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston.

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  • The Creation of the Presidency, 1775–1789

    by Charles C. Thach, Jr.

    Fresh from a battle against monarchy, the American Founders were wary of a strong executive, but they were equally conscious that unchecked legislative power risked all the excesses of democracy. Creating an effective executive who did not dominate the legislative body posed a significant challenge. In The Creation of the Presidency, 1775–1789, Charles Thach’s lucid analysis reveals how these conflicting…

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  • The Declaration of Independence in Historical Context

    by Barry Alan Shain

    An excellent addition to anyone’s primary source collection, the documents presented in this edition serve to understand the Declaration and the Revolutionary War against the backdrop provided by the hundreds of continental-level congressional state papers––declarations, petitions, resolutions, and proclamations––and the debates and correspondence of those in attendance at the first national congresses.

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  • Democracy, Liberty, and Property

    by Merrill D. Peterson

    In one volume, Democracy, Liberty, and Property provides an overview of the state constitutional conventions held in the 1820s. With topics as relevant today as they were then, this collection of essential primary sources sheds light on many of the enduring issues of liberty. Emphasizing the connection between federalism and liberty, the debates that took place at these conventions show…

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  • Democratick Editorials

    by William Leggett

    William Leggett (1801–1839) was the intellectual leader of the laissez-faire wing of Jacksonian democracy. His diverse writings applied the principle of equal rights to liberty and property. These editorials maintain a historical and contemporary relevance. Lawrence H. White is Professor of Economics at the University of Georgia.

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