Cover image for The Revolutionary era : primary documents on events from 1776 to 1800
The Revolutionary era : primary documents on events from 1776 to 1800
Humphrey, Carol Sue.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 359 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Reading Level:
1400 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E203 .H88 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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From 1776 to 1800, the United States ceased to be a fantastic dream and became a stable reality. Newspapers were increasingly the public's major source of information about people and events outside of their community. The press reflected the issues of the day. Its foremost concern was naturally the armed struggle with Britain. The press covered the conflict, providing both patriot and loyalist interpretations of the battles and personalities. Yet after the British withdrew, a host of new challenges confronted the United States, including the Articles of Confederation, Shay's Rebellion, the Bill of the Rights, the Whiskey Rebellion, slavery, women's roles, the French Revolution, the XYZ Affair, the Sedition Act, and more.

Again, the press not only purveyed the facts. It became a political tool trumpeting the viewpoint of Republicans and Federalists, ushering in a new era of American journalism. Beginning with an extensive overview essay of the period, this book focuses on 26 pressing issues of the war and the early republic. Each issue is presented with an introductory essay and multiple primary documents from the newspapers of the day, which illustrate both sides of the debate. This is a perfect resource for students interested in the Revolutionary War, the birth of the new nation, and the actual opinions and words of those involved.

Author Notes

CAROL SUE HUMPHREY is Professor of History at Oklahoma Baptist University. She is the author of This Popular Engine: The Role of New England Newspapers During the American Revolution and The Press of the Young Republic, 1783-1833 (Greenwood, 1996).

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-These collections feature excerpts from contemporary newspapers-opinion pieces, essays, letters, interviews, and poems-in addition to straightforward reporting. Each covers 26 to 30 key events and issues, with 4 to 12 excerpts for each presented in a pro/con format. Each chapter begins with an overview of the issue/event and brief summary of the documents, and concludes with discussion questions. A few black-and-white illustrations are included. Unfortunately, there are no maps or descriptive lists of persons and incidents mentioned. The absence of glossaries or annotations is a crucial omission. While a few difficult and/or unusual terms, archaic spellings, foreign phrases, and numerous allusions are defined, the vast majority are not and will stymie readers, e.g., phrenzy; "So mote it be!"; Volumnia; "a tournament with windmills"; Sylla; "the pas qui conte"; "-ye fustian declaimers for liberty!" Not all the chapters are balanced. Finally, there is little attempt to identify misinformation in the excerpts. Although no other titles use only newspapers, a few focus on primary documents. Brenda Stalcup's Reconstruction (Greenhaven, 1995) uses a similar format and is thoughtful and readable, with pertinent documents, discussion questions, a chronology, an annotated bibliography, and political cartoons. David F. Burg's The American Revolution (2001) and Joe H. Kirchberger's The Civil War and Reconstruction (1990, both Facts On File) contain historical data, detailed chronologies, and short "eyewitness testimony" arranged chronologically, as well as maps and biographies. Any of these books will be more useful to students than these series titles.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Series Forewordp. vii
Introductionp. ix
Chronology of Eventsp. xix
Chapter 1p. 1
Chapter 2p. 33
Chapter 3p. 49
Chapter 4p. 67
Notep. 79
Chapter 5p. 81
Chapter 6p. 93
Chapter 7p. 105
Chapter 8p. 119
Chapter 9p. 127
Chapter 10p. 137
Chapter 11p. 161
Chapter 12p. 181
Chapter 13p. 189
Chapter 14p. 201
Notep. 210
Chapter 15p. 211
Chapter 16p. 223
Chapter 17p. 233
Chapter 18p. 243
Chapter 19p. 253
Chapter 20p. 263
Chapter 21p. 277
Chapter 22p. 295
Chapter 23p. 303
Chapter 24p. 313
Chapter 25p. 323
Notesp. 335
Chapter 26p. 337
Selected Bibliographyp. 349
Indexp. 353
About the Authorp. 359