What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 (Oxford History of the United States)
Daniel Walker Howe
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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
published a pamphlet describing her Plan for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in the United States without Danger of Loss to the Citizens of the South, hoping to elicit federal aid and private contributions. With her own money she purchased a few second-rate acres at Nashoba, Tennessee. Leaving nine adult slaves and some children there under the direction of an untrained overseer, she departed for Britain to fund-raise. In 1827, Wright returned to Nashoba, bringing not money but a friend named
had been made an issue in the campaign. Her husband blamed her death on his political enemies, who had “maligned that blessed one who is now safe from suffering and sorrow, whom they tried to put to shame for my sake!”1 His resentment may well have been exacerbated by guilt, since Rachel had begged him to retire to private life. Unfashionably stout and self-conscious about her provincial manners, she had been dreading the role of White House first lady. Now she would not have to perform it. A
September 13, immortalized by Francis Scott Key in “The Star-Spangled Banner,” kept that city from sharing the fate of Washington. The British then evacuated as quickly as they had come, taking with them some twenty-four hundred African American men, women, and children who had seized the opportunity to escape from slavery. In all but a few cases the British kept their promise of freedom to these people, most of whom wound up settling in Nova Scotia. For eleven years after the war the United
Irish Diaspora (Toronto, 1996), esp. 219–30. 80. Terry Coleman, Going to America (New York, 1972), 23; Kenny, American Irish, 99–104; P. J. Drudy, “Introduction,” in The Irish in America (Cambridge, Eng., 1985), 16–19. The National School system had been introduced in 1831 with English as the sole language of instruction. 81. See Dierdre Mageean, “Nineteenth-Century Irish Emigration,” in Drudy, Irish in America, 39–61. 82. Tyler Anbinder, “From Famine to Five Points,” AHR 107 (2002):
disestablishment of religion, but also with the demise of the Federalist Party and New England’s shrinking political influence in a growing Union. They devised new means of influencing public opinion outside of politics: education, literature, magazines, religious revivals, and organized reform. They engaged the energies of people in all walks of life, not simply a privileged elite. As a result their evangelical movement exerted a powerful social, moral, and cultural influence over the United