What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 (Oxford History of the United States)
Daniel Walker Howe
The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. In this Pulitzer prize-winning, critically acclaimed addition to the series, historian Daniel Walker Howe illuminates the period from the battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era when the United States expanded to the Pacific and won control over the richest part of the North American continent.
A panoramic narrative, What Hath God Wrought portrays revolutionary improvements in transportation and communications that accelerated the extension of the American empire. Railroads, canals, newspapers, and the telegraph dramatically lowered travel times and spurred the spread of information. These innovations prompted the emergence of mass political parties and stimulated America's economic development from an overwhelmingly rural country to a diversified economy in which commerce and industry took their place alongside agriculture. In his story, the author weaves together political and military events with social, economic, and cultural history. Howe examines the rise of Andrew Jackson and his Democratic party, but contends that John Quincy Adams and other Whigs—advocates of public education and economic integration, defenders of the rights of Indians, women, and African-Americans—were the true prophets of America's future. In addition, Howe reveals the power of religion to shape many aspects of American life during this period, including slavery and antislavery, women's rights and other reform movements, politics, education, and literature. Howe's story of American expansion culminates in the bitterly controversial but brilliantly executed war waged against Mexico to gain California and Texas for the United States.
Winner of the New-York Historical Society American History Book Prize
Finalist, 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
the New Northwest on the Pacific Coast took its place, with Americans, British, and Russians all competing to obtain beaver and sea otter furs. Furs from Oregon sold in China, Hawaii, South America, and Europe. No longer do historians believe that white traders laughingly obtained these pelts for a few trifling beads. On the contrary, Native people drove shrewd bargains and received items of use and value to them—even though, in the Pacific Northwest, they sometimes destroyed their profits in
in five years, a successful novel, Northwood, established her reputation and created the chance to edit the Ladies’ Magazine. In 1830 she published a book of verses for children aimed at the Sunday school market; it included the enduring classic, “Mary’s Lamb.” A profound irony characterized Sarah Hale’s career: this hardheaded successful businesswoman put out magazines that defined and celebrated female domesticity. A full participant in the market economy herself, she imagined a female world
on Scott’s behalf before the court of inquiry, Scott’s successor General Butler, following the president’s orders, arrested the former peace commissioner and sent him back to the United States in custody. There he was neither indicted nor rewarded for his great achievement. Trist lived out the rest of his life in obscurity and modest financial circumstances; in 1860 the Virginian voted for Lincoln and the following year opposed secession. The Polk administration had cut off his salary and expense
state rights as the Virginians understood them. Once again Spencer Roane took up the cudgels in the public press, this time writing under the pen name of a seventeenth-century defender of English liberty, Algernon Sidney.91 But in the hands of the Virginians of the 1820s, the strict construction of the Constitution, which Jefferson had originally conceived as a defense of liberty, was becoming identified with the defense of slavery. The transition can be observed in a volume called Construction
hardship of life on the circuit. (The circuit riders sometimes resembled Catholic priests in other ways too, addressed as “Father” and clothed in black.)37 Peter Cartwright, one of the most renowned of the Methodist itinerants in Tennessee and Illinois, described their life in his Autobiography: A Methodist preacher in those days, when he felt that God had called him to preach, instead of hunting up a college or Biblical institute, hunted up a hard pony of a horse, and some traveling apparatus,