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Contemporary American History, 1877-1913   By: (1874-1948)

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1877 1913

E text prepared by Barbara Kosker and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net) from page images generously made available by Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org)

Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive. See http://www.archive.org/details/contamerihist00bearrich

CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN HISTORY

1877 1913

by

CHARLES A. BEARD

Associate Professor Of Politics in Columbia University

New York The Macmillan Company 1914 All rights reserved

Copyright, 1914, By The Macmillan Company.

Set up and electrotyped. Published February, 1914.

Norwood Press J. S. Cushing Co. Berwick & Smith Co. Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

PREFACE

In teaching American government and politics, I constantly meet large numbers of students who have no knowledge of the most elementary facts of American history since the Civil War. When they are taken to task for their neglect, they reply that there is no textbook dealing with the period, and that the smaller histories are sadly deficient in their treatment of our age.

It is to supply the student and general reader with a handy guide to contemporary history that I have undertaken this volume. I have made no attempt to present an "artistically balanced" account of the last thirty five years, but have sought rather to furnish a background for the leading issues of current politics and to enlist the interest of the student in the history of the most wonderful period in American development. The book is necessarily somewhat "impressionistic" and in part it is based upon materials which have not been adequately sifted and evaluated. Nevertheless, I have endeavored to be accurate and fair, and at the same time to invite on the part of the student some of that free play of the mind which Matthew Arnold has shown to be so helpful in literary criticism.

Although the volume has been designed, in a way, as a textbook, I have thrown aside the methods of the almanac and chronicle, and, at the risk of displeasing the reader who expects a little about everything (including the Sioux war and the San Francisco earthquake), I have omitted with a light heart many of the staples of history in order to treat more fully the matters which seem important from the modern point of view. I have also refused to mar the pages with black type, paragraph numbers, and other "apparatus" which tradition has prescribed for "manuals." Detailed election statistics and the guide to additional reading I have placed in an appendix.

In the preparation of the book, I have made extensive use of the volumes by Professors Dunning, Sparks, Dewey, and Latané, in the American Nation Series, and I wish to acknowledge once for all my deep debt to them. My colleague, Mr. B. B. Kendrick, read all of the proofs and saved me from many an error. Professor R. L. Schuyler gave me the benefit of his criticisms on part of the proof. To Dr. Louis A. Mayers, of the College of the City of New York, I am under special obligations for valuable suggestions as to arrangement and for drafting a large portion of Chapter III. The shortcomings of the book fall to me, but I shall be recompensed for my indiscretions, if this volume is speedily followed by a number of texts, large and small, dealing with American history since the Civil War. It is showing no disrespect to our ancestors to be as much interested in our age as they were in theirs; and the doctrine that we can know more about Andrew Jackson whom we have not seen than about Theodore Roosevelt whom we have seen is a pernicious psychological error.

CHARLES A. BEARD.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, November, 1913.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE RESTORATION OF WHITE DOMINION IN THE SOUTH 1

II. THE ECONOMIC REVOLUTION 27

III... Continue reading book >>




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