Front Page Titles (by Subject) Organization of the Work - The American Nation: Primary Sources
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Organization of the Work - Bruce Frohnen, The American Nation: Primary Sources 
The American Nation: Primary Sources, ed. Bruce Frohnen (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2008).
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Organization of the Work
This work is in seven parts. As in the previous volume, each part is composed of selections of public writings intended to illustrate the major philosophical, cultural, and policy positions at issue during crucial eras of American political and cultural development.
The first part, “The Civil War,” provides documentary evidence of the positions of both sides as to the causes of that war, as well as the intentions behind eventual emancipation of African Americans and the impact of the war itself on American public life. The second part, “Reconstruction,” provides materials illustrating the nature and purpose of the programs initiated by the victorious states at the end of the Civil War, as well as reactions to that program in the Southern states that were these programs’ target. The third part, “Consolidating Markets,” includes materials showing the contested nature of the government’s role in American economic expansion and the growth of national markets for goods and services. The fourth part, “Consolidating Culture?” includes materials illustrating the various cultural conflicts—regarding race, religion, ethnicity, ideology, and culture—that characterized the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The fifth part, “Reform Movements,” provides materials on the various reform movements that influenced public life and policy during this era, focusing on the constitutional changes they sought and achieved. The sixth part, “Consolidating Government,” traces the development of the federal administrative and welfare state through various legal, constitutional, and intellectual crises and developments. The seventh part, “America in the World,” provides materials tracing developments in America’s public position regarding the role it can and should take in international affairs.
This volume ends with the opening of the Second World War. While it would, perhaps, be helpful to include documents from beyond this era, it was judged prudent to stop there. Reasons for this decision include the need to keep the volume to some kind of manageable length, the existence of many courses in contemporary American history that begin at or immediately following World War II, and the general recognition that America’s participation in that war significantly altered its role in the world and the nature of debates regarding the nature of its people and the proper role of its government.
As with the previous volume, the placement of specific selections within this work is intended to answer two pedagogical needs: that of chronological consistency and that of issue focus, so that readers may see particular topics of importance in sufficient depth to give them serious examination. Given the increased complexity and prevalence of public debates, particularly concerning the role of government, during the era covered in this second volume, it proved more difficult to maintain chronological consistency than in the first. Consequently, in this work there is somewhat greater overlap of eras among the documents. Moreover, in a very few cases it was necessary to present documents from eras before that which is the focus of this volume. For example, it would be confusing to readers to avoid presentation of the original statement of the Monroe Doctrine in “America in the World,” despite its dating from well before the Civil War, because that doctrine has been central to debates concerning America’s proper attitude toward international affairs and conflicts. In addition, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s “Address to the Woman’s State Temperance Society” is presented, despite its having been delivered before the Civil War. This is because Stanton and that speech had influence beyond the Civil War era, because they presented arguably the most lucid and powerful statement of prohibition assumptions and ideology, and because Stanton herself embodied an important element in reform movements—the ties between abolitionism, prohibition, and the struggle for women’s rights.
Thanks are owed to the members of this volume’s editorial board, especially to Dr. Danton Kostandarithes, whose assistance went well beyond the call of duty. I also wish to thank the following for their assistance: Amy Ruark, Raymond McAuliffe, and Michael Thiefels. As always, my greatest thanks and my greatest debts belong to my wife, Gloria Antonia Frohnen, for reasons that include but go far beyond the many ways in which she made possible the completion of this work.