Empire, Capitalism, and Democracy

The Early American Experience (First Edition)
Edited by Kyle G. Volk and Patrick Mulford O'Connor
©2020, 136 pages

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Empire, Capitalism, and Democracy

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Summary
    Empire, Capitalism, and Democracy: The Early American Experience documents the history of the United States from the opening of the Atlantic World to the post-Civil War era. The primary sources included were created by women and men who lived during this time and illustrate three interdependent forces that animated the history of early America: empire, capitalism, and democracy.

    Part I of the anthology explores the origins of European contact with America, “new world” civilizations, and the Atlantic slave trade. In Part II, students read sources that address American independence from British rule, early ideas of liberty and equality, the creation of the U.S. Constitution, and the first years of American government. The final part speaks to key issues that divided Americans in the nineteenth century, including market revolution, slavery, western expansion, and ideas of freedom and democracy after the Civil War.

    With accessible introductions to each primary source and insightful questions to guide students’ reading, Empire, Capitalism, and Democracy is an ideal collection for foundational courses in U.S. history.

    Kyle G. Volk is a history professor at the University of Montana. His research and teaching focus on the political, intellectual, legal, and economic history of the United States. His first book, Moral Minorities and the Making of American Democracy, won the Organization of American Historians’ Merle Curti Award for Intellectual History.
    Patrick Mulford O’Connor is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Montana. His research and teaching explore the intersections of democracy, capitalism, and state development during the nineteenth century. His dissertation is titled “The Health of the State: Tobacco and the Reconstruction of American Governance, 1862-1933.”
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