What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 (Oxford History of the United States)
Daniel Walker Howe
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
are to a two-party system, we seize upon labels that contemporaries hesitated to employ. By the time the new party names gained acceptance, the election was over. What came to be called the National Republicanism of Adams and Clay represented a continuation of the new Republican nationalism that had arisen out of the experience of the War of 1812. The Democratic Republicans of Jackson, Van Buren, and the recently transformed Calhoun recruited the proslavery Radicals of William H. Crawford and
the Mexican War; the crafting of the Monroe Doctrine and the clash with Britain over the Oregon country; the emergence of the Whig, Free Soil, and Republican Parties; the Lone Star revolution in Texas and the gold rush in California; the sectional differentiation of the American economy; the accelerating pace of both mechanical and cultural innovations, not least as they affected the organization of the household and the lives of women; and the emergence of a characteristic American literature in
Both sides were Federalist and Calvinist, but a majority of the trustees supported organized revivals and novel moral reforms like temperance. The president of the college had no sympathy with this program, and the trustees dismissed him. The Republican-controlled state legislature intervened on the side of the president, trying to make a mixed public-private institution more responsive to religious diversity. But the trustees resisted. Daniel Webster, a Dartmouth alumnus, took their case before
planning, since most matters could be left either to the marketplace or to state and local decisions. Jacksonians did, however, want a government strong enough to extend their agrarian empire across the continent, expelling or conquering any who stood in their way and protecting slaveowners from interference. Whigs had a different vision. They wanted to transform the United States into an economically developed nation, in which commerce and industry would take their places alongside agriculture.
that controlled the federal government most of the time until the Civil War.38 The boundary dispute between the United States and Canada, stemming from the vagueness of the Treaty of 1783 and the geographical ignorance of that time, required resolution in a formal treaty. The most hotly contested portion of the boundary lay between Maine and New Brunswick. One attempt to resolve it, through Dutch mediation in 1831, had already failed. In February 1839, the militias of Maine and New Brunswick had