you know, this may be free, and I’ve tried to correct some errors I’ve seen on a brief survey of the early chapters, but it reads like what it is, a collectively written basic summary. There is little here to hold a student’s interest, I regret to say. I wouldn’t use it.
That’s a fair comment. I think that its value will depend on how one intends to use it. For an instructor whose survey course does not follow a textbook but still feels their students should have access to concise background information (without having to spend a lot of money on a textbook that would be incidental to the course), then I think this could prove useful. On the other hand, I don’t think it could/should serve as a replacement for textbook-structured survey courses, since textbooks can treat these topics and periods at greater length, in more depth, and with more breadth than these chapters are intended to do.
I am using this as a background/resource text for my Early American Literature course at a community college. I love the book, but I wish it had a search function on the front page. I wanted to find a quick rundown on King Phillip’s War for when it’s time to read Rowlandson, but I had to guess the likely chapter and click. Many of my students won’t have any idea which chapter is likely. If they could type a phrase into a search box, that would be ideal. Not sure how hard that is to implement on the web, so I just offer it as a wishlist suggestion. I really admire all you’ve done here. It’s by far the most attractive and accessible of the 3 or 4 online American history surveys I considered.
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June 2, 2018 at 6:50 pm
While Edison’s contributions were critical to commercializing electric power, his focus was on direct current. Today, thanks to the work of George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla, we use mostly alternating current.
I think a paragraph discussing the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago should be inserted. This was a turning point for our history. Westinghouse, Tesla, and Edison came together to showcase AC versus DC.
Edison believed direct current was more efficient because it runs in a single direction. However, Tesla (using Michael Faraday’s Laws of Electromagnetism) believed that changing the current’s direction a certain amount of times per second allowed for the current to be easily converted from high and low voltages. This was important because you did not want a power plant close the town and you did not want high voltages at the plant or close to homes due to increased dangers. With alternating current, the voltages can be low at the plant, converted to high for transport and then converted back down to low in the town, all without loss of power. Edison did not agree with Westinghouse and Tesla. Alternating current resulted in reduced power loss over time allowing Westinghouse to secure the winning bids for the Fair and also the Niagara Falls Company that year.
You may not want all of that information in your text since this is history book after all. It was more for your information. I just wanted to stress the importance of Westinghouse and Tesla. Please consider adding some information.
See in context
July 25, 2016 at 9:54 pm
April 28, 2016 at 8:58 pm
Simply in the interest of accuracy, I’d suggest changing the language quoted from the Declaration of Independence to reflect what actually is written: “All men ARE created equal.” If it’s important to put the section in past tense, I’d suggest, “All men [were] created equal.” It indicates that a word was changed though the context remains the same.
March 14, 2016 at 7:06 pm
Subsections should be numbered with Roman, not Arabic, numerals to stay consistent with subsequent chapters.
October 24, 2015 at 5:26 pm
Black Kettle was not killed at the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 as stated in this paragraph. He was killed in 1868 at the Battle of the Washita.
August 13, 2015 at 2:35 pm
Perhaps this is a pedantic point, but Indian removals started in 1831, which is also the origin of the term Trail of Tears. This is referencing specifically Cherokee removal.
July 22, 2015 at 6:54 pm
There are a number of problems with the suffrage section. It uses the pejorative “suffragette.” It refers to Rose Schneiderman as “Ruth.” And it refers to the National American Suffrage Association rather than the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
July 21, 2015 at 9:49 pm
Adams is not pictured.
July 21, 2015 at 3:26 pm
I would highly recommend mentioning French-Canadian immigration as well. Rough estimates indicate that approximately 900,000 Canadians, most of them from Quebec, settled in the United States from the Civil War to the Great Depression. The vast majority settled in New England, though some went to New York and to the Midwest. These French Canadians, soon to be Franco-Americans, altered the cultural and religious landscape of New England and supplied a convenient, often docile labor force in budding industrial towns and cities. This group’s migration experience was in many respects different from that of European or Asian immigrants.
July 21, 2015 at 3:18 pm
The vice president of the Confederacy was Alexander Stephens.
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