The Foundations of American Nationality

By Evarts Boutell Greene | Go to book overview

GENERAL PREFACE

The authors hope that this "Short History of the American People" may serve the purposes of two classes of readers. They aimed, in the first instance, to provide for college undergraduates pursuing an introductory course in American history, a general manual which will embody, in some meas­ ure at least, the enlarged knowledge and the new points of view made possible by the results of research in recent years. They believe also that this history will meet the requirements of the general reader who desires a comprehensive view of the subject within reasonable compass. For the student and the general reader alike, it is hoped that the bibliographical notes may point the way to more extended studies.

The aim of the authors is not so much to present a balanced narrative events, as to described those movements and forces which have left their permanent impress upon the national character and institutions. The first volume (The Foundations of American Nationality, before 1789) deals with the molding of the varied European elements and the several detached colonies into an independent and untied nation; the second ( The Development of American Nationality, 1783 to the Present Time) deals with the development of the nations so formed. While any division of the subject matter of history occasions perplexity and disagreement, the authors believe that the character of the problems confronting the people of the time, and the characters of the materials which the historian must employ, permanently differentiate the colonial period from the national, and that the two can best be treated by different men. In order, however, that each author might have full liberty to express his views, the volumes overlap for the period 1783 to 1789.

-v-

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