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35 Lesson Plans
35 Primary Source Documents
Complete List of Contents
List of Online Resources
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The following titles make up the entire Defining Documents series:
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December 2013 · 2 volumes · 350 pages · 8"x10"
with Print Purchase
Defining Documents in American History:
The Civil War: 1860-1865
Defining Documents offers a broad range of historical documents on important authors and subjects in American history, with primary source documents, in-depth analysis, and comprehensive lesson plans.
Edited by James M. McPherson, PhD a preeminent civil war scholar and historian, George Henry Davis 1886 Professor Emeritus of United States History, Princeton University and Pulitzer Prize winner in History for Battle Cry Freedom, Defining Documents in American History: Civil War (1860-1865) surveys key documents produced during the Civil War with special attention devoted to the war-time policies of President Abraham Lincoln and the 37th US Congress. A special feature of the volumes is the inclusion of letters and diaries by soldiers and civilians writing about their experiences. The two volumes are organized into several chapters that cover the progress of the war beginning with early debates on secession, through wartime events on the political and battle fronts and concludes with a look toward the issues of race and reconstruction.
Defining Documents offers a broad range of historical documents on important authors and subjects in American history. Each two-volume title, designed in consultation with an expert in the field, contains approximately 80 primary source documents with an in-depth critical analysis. Articles begin by introducing readers to the historical context, followed by a description of the author’s life and circumstances in which the document is written. A document analysis, written by professional writers and historians, guides readers in understanding key elements of language, rhetoric, and social and political meaning that define the significance of the author and document in American history. Each title is organized by chapter themes, highlighting major ideas in the period. The series begins with a collection of exploration and colonial documents, and continues to cover every time period in American history.
This collection will introduce students and educators to a diverse range of genres, including journals, letters, speeches, government legislation, and court opinions. Documents represent the diversity of ideas and contexts that define social, political and cultural subjects throughout American history.
An important supplement to each historical document is a carefully designed lesson plan, which follows national history standards for learning, to guide students and educators in document analysis and historical comprehension. Study questions, activities, and suggested author pairings will establish the legacy of documents and authorship for readers today. In addition, comparative analysis highlights how every document emerges from a myriad of social and political influences.
A historical timeline and bibliography of important supplemental readings will support readers in understanding the broader historical events and subjects in the period. An introduction for each of the major subjects covered in the title considers the significance of document analysis for students and educators.
The set is centered on the following themes:
Disunion: The Sectional Crisis
The Politics of War
The Home Front
The Destruction of Slavery
Post War: The Politics of Race