America Firsthand: From Reconstruction to the Present, Volume II (3rd edition)

Robert D. Marcus, David Burner
America Firsthand provides a refreshing new way for students of American history to explore the important themes and events of our nations past. It presents 47 readings in this Volume, all drawn from original documents that offer eyewitness accounts of life in America. Part one discusses the completion of the transcontinental railroad link in 1869, and the movement westward. The destruction of western buffalo herds, meant the collapse of the Indian culture based on hunting the buffalo. By the 1880's, sharecropping, governed by instruments like the Grimes Sharecrop contract, had emerged as the replacement for slavery. The tragedy of the Wounded Knee massacre. The late nineteenth century marked the final shunting of Indians to reservations often far distant from their ancestral homes. A selection containing Indian testimony and the ballad of a cavalry soldier shows contrasting views of what stands as one of the most dismal event in Indian white relations. The second part of this Volume goes over the age of economic expansion. Sharpening the tension of American society were the massive surges of immigration in the 1880s and the early years of the twentieth century. The first victims of nativist resentment were the Chinese (they supposedly took railroad and other jobs away from white Americans) through legislation enacted in 1882 led to a ten year prohibition of new immigrants from China. The readings in the third part of Volume II are on the Progressive Era (1901-1917) are found many descriptions of social ills and problems that have been recurrent concern in recent history. The First World War brought major domestic changes and the Second World War helped pull the economy out of the depression. The fourth part America since 1945, goes over American ideological quarrels with the Soviet Union, new lifestyles for young people dissatisfied with the suburban dream, the Civil Rights movement through to the administration of Ronald Regan.

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