What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 (Oxford History of the United States)

What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 (Oxford History of the United States)

Daniel Walker Howe

Language: English

Pages: 1203

ISBN: 0195392434

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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













interpret it. The sovereignty of these parties was indivisible and could not be shared. The federal government could perform functions of sovereignty, but only acting as an agent of the states. When the federal authority abused its trust, a state could “interpose” its sovereignty and arrest the enforcement of the offending law. What happened if, in the end, the Constitution was amended to give the federal government the power the aggrieved state had challenged? By the logic of Calhoun’s position,

accompanied and followed by gradual changes in the nature of private corporations facilitating their use to mobilize capital. Corporations could be either civic (such as municipalities with rights to self-government conferred by their state), philanthropic (such as universities), or for business purposes. Defined as a “legal person,” a corporation could own property, make contracts, borrow money, and file suit in court. The principle of limited liability for the stockholders of a business

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1980) and Elisabeth Griffith, In Her Own Right (1984). Ann Gordon has edited Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (1997). For the larger picture, see Ellen DuBois, Woman Suffrage and Women’s Rights (1998). The international dimension of the women’s rights movement is emphasized in Margaret McFadden, Golden Cables of Sympathy: Transatlantic Sources of Nineteenth-Century Feminism (1999) and Bonnie Anderson, Joyous Greetings: The First International

intervene in European wars or “internal concerns.” (4) In Adams’s version of the doctrine, the United States also forbade Spain to transfer any of its New World possessions to any other European power. This “no-transfer principle,” as it has been called, was not included in the president’s speech, but it has been treated by U.S. policymakers as being of equal importance with the other components of the doctrine.61 In terms of international power politics, the Monroe Doctrine represented the

Baptist background; Campbell, from a Scottish Presbyterian one. Since doctrinal disputes had led to such bigotry and cruelty over the centuries, these leaders reached the conclusion that all theological and creedal formulations must be wrong; Christians should confine themselves to the language of the New Testament and affirm or deny no religious doctrines beyond that. They hoped by this means to transcend and indeed eliminate denominationalism altogether. For this reason, they rejected

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