A History of the People of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War: 1803-1812

D. Appleton

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Publisher
D. Appleton
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Published on
Dec 31, 1915
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Pages
616
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Language
English
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John Bach McMaster
For the first time in the history of the country the office of President was open to competition. Twice had Washington been chosen by the unanimous vote of the electoral college, and twice inaugurated with the warmest approbation of the whole people. But the times had greatly changed. In 1789 and 1792 every man was for him. In 1796, in every town and city of the land were men who denounced him as an aristocrat, as a monocrat, as an Anglomaniac, and who never mentioned his name without rage in their hearts and curses on their lips. -from "The British Treaty of 1794" A bestseller when it was first published in 1883, this second volume of historian John Bach McMaster's magnum opus is a lively history of the United States that is as entertaining as it is informative. Eventually stretching to eight volumes, McMaster's epic was original in its emphasis on social and economic conditions as deciding factors in shaping a nation's culture: in addition to the words and actions of great men and the outcomes of significant skirmishes and battles, McMaster indulges his obsession with fascinating trivia, from the positively European cleanliness of New England inns to the uncouth rudeness of theatergoers in American playhouses. Volume 2, covering the rise of the South in the immediate postwar period to the embarkation of Lewis and Clark on their legendary expedition, is a compulsively readable account of the early years of the new nation, and covers such intriguing and unlikely topics as how the new nation's postal laws impacted the readership of newspapers, the furious arguments of the federal government's relationship with France, the difficulties in introducing U.S. currency, and more. OF INTERESTTO: readers of American history AUTHOR BIO: American historian JOHN BACH MCMASTER (1852-1932) taught at the Wharton School of Finance and Economy at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, from 1883 to 1919. He also wrote Benjamin Franklin as a Man of Letters (1887) and A School History of the United States (1897), which became a definitive textbook.
John Bach McMaster
Feeling in Spain.—America, at this time, was to the Spaniard a land of vague, but magnificent promise, where the simple natives wore unconsciously the costliest gems, and the sands of the rivers sparkled with gold. Every returning ship brought fresh news to quicken the pulse of Spanish enthusiasm. Now, Cortez had taken Mexico, and reveled in the wealth of the Montezumas; now, Pizarro had conquered Peru, and captured the riches of the Incas; now, Magellan, sailing through the straits which bear his name, had crossed the Pacific, and his vessel returning home by the Cape of Good Hope, had circumnavigated the globe. Men of the highest rank and culture, warriors, adventurers, all flocked to the new world. Soon Cuba, Hispaniola, Porto Rico, and Jamaica were settled, and ruled by Spanish governors. Among the Spanish explorers of the sixteenth century we notice the following:

PONCE DE LEON (pon’-tha-da-la-on’) was a gallant soldier, but an old man, and in disgrace. He coveted the glory of conquest to restore his tarnished reputation, and, besides, he had heard of a magical fountain in this fairy land, where one might bathe and be young again. Accordingly he equipped an expedition, and sailed in search of this fabled treasure. On Easter Sunday (Pascua Florida, in Spanish), 1512, he came in sight of a land gay with spring flowers. In honor of the day, he called it Florida. He sailed along the coast, and landed here and there, but returned home at last, an old man still, haying found neither youth, gold, nor glory.

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