This addition to the Defining Documents series profiles the formative years in modern American history (from 1910-1919), providing careful, close analysis of nearly 40 important documents from the era.
Defining Documents in American History: The 1910s explores the second decade of the 20th century in America, offering in-depth critical and analytical essays of various documents created during this time. Articles begin by introducing readers to the document's historical context, followed by a description of the author's life and circumstances in which the document was written. A document analysis, written by professional writers and historians, guides the readers in understanding the key elements of language, rhetoric, and social and political meaning that define the significance of the author and document in the context of the time.
This period in American History was a tumultuous one with such important figures as Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jane Addams, and Billy Sunday. Pivotal Supreme Court decisions like Schenk vs. United States, Guinn vs. United States, and Hammer vs. Dagenhart are also analyzed. The most important and memorable event of the decade, World War I, is analyzed closely, including President Woodrow Wilson's address to Congress declaring war against Germany. Domestically, the Prohibition movement and general push for woman's rights are also examined.
This title is organized under six broad categories, including:
- Domestic Developments
- The War Front
- International Affairs
- Labor and Immigration
- Women's Rights
- African American Affairs
The 1910s contains 38 primary source documents - many in their entirety. Each document is supported by a critical essay, written by historians and teachers, that includes a Summary Overview, Defining Moment, Author Biography, Document Analysis, and Essential Themes. Readers will appreciate the diversity of the collected text, including treaties, letters, speeches, political and religious sermons, laws, pamphlets, diplomatic communications, government reports, and trial notes, among other genres.
An important feature of each essay is a close reading of the primary source that develops evidence of broader themes, such as the author's rhetorical purpose, social or class position, point of view, and other relevant issues. In addition, essays are organized by section themes, listed above, highlighting major issues of the period, many of which extend across eras and continue to shape life as we know it around the world.
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 historical timeline and a bibliography of related supplemental reading are also included.