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ELEANOR E. RIGGS, M.A.
VICE-PRINCIPAL OF THE SOPHIE B. WRIGHT HIGH SCHOOL
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
All rights reserved
Educ T 709.16.745
HARYARD COFLEGE LIBRARY
GINN & COMPANY
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
Set up and electrotyped. Published February, 1916.
J. S. Cushing Co. - Berwick & Smith Co.
THE history of the United States is unique in that it relates definitely to the growth of the American nation, and to the ability of this people to subdue and control the forces of natural environment. It is not a chronicle of the political and military development of a country. For this reason, it has been necessary to note specifically in this text the forces that have brought into existence this new nation.
These forces are: First, the many nationalities that have helped to form this composite people; second, the European influences that have molded a tolerant and liberal-minded state; and third, the adjustment of oldworld civilization upon new-world environment.
To this end, we find that the study of American history must include: First, the land itself; second, the relation of the European background to American history; third, the adjustment of ideals of religion, government, education, and industry to a primitive country; and fourth, the relations of this country in international questions.
Both economic and social forces have been more active in the growth of the American people than either conquest or militarism. Hence, the study of American history refers to these interests more than to wars or intrigues.
The faith of the American people has been unbounded, and a study of their history must include a survey of that faith which has caused them to remove mountains that they might control the possibilities of their lands and oceans; a faith that has caused them to uncover the wealth
of their mines; a faith that believes that their deserts may be converted into pleasant gardens.
Because each epoch in American history is fraught with events whose causes and effects definitely bear upon the development of our national life, it is difficult to compress into an average textbook the entire history without omitting interesting details that seemingly have a pertinent value, but whose relation to the whole is not necessary to the continuity of subject matter. For instance, picturesque stories of the early pioneers give dramatic interest and are valuable in that they reflect the struggles and hardships of the people to possess the land, and their self-sacrifice seems worthy of note; but space will not permit extensive biography. There are, however, biographical studies in print that serve as supplementary references. Quotations from song and story are helpful also in vivifying certain events, but these too must, perforce, be limited.
In the preparation of this text the author has endeavored to arrange the work so as to secure a consecutive story of the United States history. The subject matter has been organized into chapters and accompanying these are blackboard outlines for convenient study. Topical questions and important facts are also given at the end of each chapter. Brief reference lists have been suggested. The text has been composed with the idea of grading the subject matter so that it will meet the development of the students.
ELEANOR E. RIGGS.
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