Modern history

What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848

What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848

The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. In this Pulitzer prize-winning, critically acclaimed addition to the series, historian Daniel Walker Howe illuminates the period from the battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era when the United States expanded to the Pacific and won control over the richest part of the North American continent.

A panoramic narrative, What Hath God Wrought portrays revolutionary improvements in transportation and communications that accelerated the extension of the American empire. Railroads, canals, newspapers, and the telegraph dramatically lowered travel times and spurred the spread of information. These innovations prompted the emergence of mass political parties and stimulated America's economic development from an overwhelmingly rural country to a diversified economy in which commerce and industry took their place alongside agriculture. In his story, the author weaves together political and military events with social, economic, and cultural history. Howe examines the rise of Andrew Jackson and his Democratic party, but contends that John Quincy Adams and other Whigs--advocates of public education and economic integration, defenders of the rights of Indians, women, and African-Americans--were the true prophets of America's future. In addition, Howe reveals the power of religion to shape many aspects of American life during this period, including slavery and antislavery, women's rights and other reform movements, politics, education, and literature. Howe's story of American expansion culminates in the bitterly controversial but brilliantly executed war waged against Mexico to gain California and Texas for the United States.

Winner of the New-York Historical Society American History Book Prize

Finalist, 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

The Oxford History of the United States
The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. The Atlantic Monthly has praised it as "the most distinguished series in American historical scholarship," a series that "synthesizes a generation's worth of historical inquiry and knowledge into one literally state-of-the-art book." Conceived under the general editorship of C. Vann Woodward and Richard Hofstadter, and now under the editorship of David M. Kennedy, this renowned series blends social, political, economic, cultural, diplomatic, and military history into coherent and vividly written narrative.

Editor’s Introduction

Abbreviations Used in Citations


Prologue: The Defeat of the Past

Chapter 1: The Continental Setting

Chapter 2: From the Jaws of Defeat

Chapter 3: An Era of Good and Bad Feelings

Chapter 4: The World That Cotton Made

Chapter 5: Awakenings of Religion

Chapter 6: Overthrowing the Tyranny of Distance

Chapter 7: The Improvers

Chapter 8: Pursuing the Millennium

Chapter 9: Andrew Jackson and His Age

Chapter 10: Battles over Sovereignty

Chapter 11: Jacksonian Democracy and the Rule of Law

Chapter 12: Reason and Revelation

Chapter 13: Jackson’s Third Term

Chapter 14: The New Economy

Chapter 15: The Whigs and Their Age

Chapter 16: American Renaissance

Chapter 17: Texas, Tyler, and the Telegraph

Chapter 18: Westward the Star of Empire

Chapter 19: The War Against Mexico

Chapter 20: The Revolutions of 1848

Finale: A Vision of the Future

Bibliographical Essay

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