U.S. Regions: West, Midwest, South, and Northeast (Present-day)
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
Map of US Regions: US Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau States Region Map
Reading:A House Divided: Sectionalism and Civil War, 1848-1865 (The American Moment).
Reviews: "The best short treatment of the sectional conflict
and Civil War available... Sewell convincingly demonstrates that the conflict was a revolutionary experience that fundamentally
transformed the Republic and its people, and left a racial heritage that still confronts America today. The result is a poignant discussion of the central tragedy of American
history and its legacy for the nation." -- William E. Gienapp, Georgia
Historical Quarterly. "A provocative starting point for discussion, further study, and independent assessment." -- William
H. Pease, History. "Sewell's style is fast moving and very readable... An excellent volume summarizing the stormy period prior
to the war as well as a look at the military and home fronts." -- Civil War Book Exchange and Collector's Newsletter. Continued
traditional, and brief narrative of the period from the end of the Mexican War to the conclusion of the Civil War... Shows
the value of traditional political history which is too often ignored in our rush to reconstruct the social texture of society."
-- Thomas D. Morris, Civil War History. "Tailored for adoption in college courses. Students will find that the author has
a keen eye for vivid quotations, giving his prose welcome immediacy." -- Daniel W. Crofts, Journal of Southern History.
Reading:Manifest Destiny: American Expansion and the Empire of Right (Critical Issue Book). From Booklist:
In this concise essay, Stephanson explores the religious antecedents to America's
quest to control a continent and then an empire. He interprets the two competing definitions of destiny that sprang from the
Puritans' millenarian view toward the wilderness they settled (and natives they expelled). Here was the God-given chance to
redeem the Christian world, and that sense of a special world-historical role and opportunity has never deserted the American
national self-regard. But would that role be realized in an exemplary fashion, with America
a model for liberty, or through expansionist means to create what Jefferson called "the empire
of liberty"? Continued below…
bubbles in two periods Stephanson examines closely, the 1840s and 1890s. In those times, the journalists, intellectuals, and
presidents he quotes wrestled with America's purpose in fighting each decade's war, which added
territory and peoples that somehow had to be reconciled with the predestined future. …A sophisticated analysis of American
exceptionalism for ruminators on the country's purpose in the world.
Recommended Reading: Seizing Destiny: The Relentless Expansion of AmericanTerritory. From Publishers Weekly: In an admirable and important addition to his distinguished oeuvre, Pulitzer Prize–winner
Kluger (Ashes to Ashes, a history of the tobacco wars) focuses on the darker side of America's rapid expansion westward. He
begins with European settlement of the so-called New World, explaining that Britain's
successful colonization depended not so much on conquest of or friendship with the Indians, but on encouraging emigration.
Kluger then fruitfully situates the American Revolution as part of the story of expansion: the Founding Fathers based their
bid for independence on assertions about the expanse of American virgin earth and after the war that very land became the
new country's main economic resource. Continued below...
The heart of
the book, not surprisingly, covers the 19th century, lingering in detail over such well-known episodes as the Louisiana Purchase
and William Seward's acquisition of Alaska. The final chapter looks at expansion in the 20th century. Kluger
provocatively suggests that, compared with western European powers, the United States
engaged in relatively little global colonization, because the closing of the western frontier sated America's expansionist hunger. Each chapter of this long, absorbing book is rewarding
as Kluger meets the high standard set by his earlier work. Includes 10 detailed maps.
Reading: CAUSES OF THE CIVIL WAR: The Political, Cultural, Economic and Territorial Disputes Between the North
and South. Description: While South Carolina s preemptive strike on FortSumter and Lincoln's subsequent call to arms started
the Civil War, South Carolina's secession and Lincoln's
military actions were simply the last in a chain of events stretching as far back as 1619. Increasing moral conflicts and
political debates over slavery-exacerbated by the inequities inherent between an established agricultural society and a growing
industrial one-led to a fierce sectionalism which manifested itself through cultural, economic, political and territorial
disputes. This historical study reduces sectionalism to its most fundamental form, examining the underlying source of this
antagonistic climate. From protective tariffs to the expansionist agenda, it illustrates the ways in which the foremost issues
of the time influenced relations between the North and the South.
Recommended Reading: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.
Description: 1491 is not so much the story of a year,
as of what that year stands for: the long-debated (and often-dismissed) question of what human civilization in the Americas was like before the Europeans crashed the party.
The history books most Americans were (and still are) raised on describe the continents before Columbus as a vast, underused territory, sparsely populated by primitives whose cultures
would inevitably bow before the advanced technologies of the Europeans. For decades, though, among the archaeologists, anthropologists,
paleolinguists, and others whose discoveries Charles C. Mann brings together in 1491, different stories have been emerging.
Among the revelations: the first Americans may not have come over the Bering land bridge around 12,000 B.C. but by boat along
the Pacific coast 10 or even 20 thousand years earlier; the Americas were a far more urban, more populated, and more technologically
advanced region than generally assumed; and the Indians, rather than living in static harmony with nature, radically engineered
the landscape across the continents, to the point that even "timeless" natural features like the Amazon rainforest can be
seen as products of human intervention. Continued
Mann is well
aware that much of the history he relates is necessarily speculative, the product of
pot-shard interpretation and precise scientific measurements that often end up being radically revised in later decades. But
the most compelling of his eye-opening revisionist stories are among the best-founded: the stories of early American-European
contact. To many of those who were there, the earliest encounters felt more like a meeting of equals than one of natural domination.
And those who came later and found an emptied landscape that seemed ripe for the taking, Mann argues convincingly, encountered
not the natural and unchanging state of the native American, but the evidence of a sudden calamity: the ravages of what was
likely the greatest epidemic in human history, the smallpox and other diseases introduced inadvertently by Europeans to a
population without immunity, which swept through the Americas faster than the explorers who brought it, and left behind for
their discovery a land that held only a shadow of the thriving cultures that it had sustained for centuries before. Includes
outstanding photos and maps.
American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the
Founding of the Republic (Hardcover). Review: From the prizewinning author of the best-selling Founding Brothers
and American Sphinx, a masterly and highly ironic examination of the founding
years of our country. The last quarter of the eighteenth century remains the most politically creative era in American history,
when a dedicated and determined group of men undertook a bold experiment in political ideals. It was a time of triumphs; yet,
as Joseph J. Ellis makes clear, it was also a time of tragedies—all of which contributed to the shaping of our burgeoning
nation. Continued below...
From the first
shots fired at Lexington to the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase,
Ellis guides us through the decisive issues of the nation’s founding, and illuminates the emerging philosophies, shifting
alliances, and personal and political foibles of our now iconic leaders—Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and
Adams. He casts an incisive eye on the founders’ achievements, arguing that the American Revolution was, paradoxically,
an evolution—and that part of what made it so extraordinary was the gradual pace at which it occurred. He shows us why
the fact that it was brought about by a group, rather than by a single individual, distinguished it from the bloodier revolutions
of other countries, and ultimately played a key role in determining its success. He explains how the idea of a strong federal
government, championed by Washington, was eventually embraced by the American people, the majority of whom had to be won over,
as they feared an absolute power reminiscent of the British Empire. And he details the emergence of the two-party system—then
a political novelty—which today stands as the founders’ most enduring legacy. But Ellis is equally incisive about
their failures, and he makes clear how their inability to abolish slavery and to reach a just settlement with the Native Americans
has played an equally important role in shaping our national character. He demonstrates how these misjudgments, now so abundantly
evident, were not necessarily inevitable. We learn of the negotiations between Henry Knox and Alexander McGillivray, the most
talented Indian statesman of his time, which began in good faith and ended in disaster. And we come to understand how a political
solution to slavery required the kind of robust federal power that the Jeffersonians viewed as a betrayal of their most deeply
held principles. With eloquence and insight, Ellis strips the mythic veneer of the revolutionary generation to reveal men
both human and inspired, possessed of both brilliance and blindness. American Creation is a book that delineates an era of
flawed greatness, at a time when understanding our origins is more important than ever. About the Author: Joseph J. Ellis received the Pulitzer
Prize for Founding Brothers and the National Book
Award for his portrait of Thomas Jefferson, American Sphinx. He is the Ford Foundation Professor of History at MountHolyokeCollege. He lives in
Amherst, Massachusetts, with
his wife, Ellen, and their youngest son, Alex.
Recommended Reading and Viewing: Sectionalism and Southern Secession
US Regions Map of US Regions Maps, US Region Map, List of US Regions Map North South East West Maps,
Map US Regional Maps West Midwest South Northeast Maps, Sectionalism Map, Sectionalism Maps