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U.S. History For Dummies
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 About This Book 1 Conventions Used in This Book 2 What Not to Read 3 Foolish Assumptions 3 Beyond the Book 3 Icons Used in This Book 4 Where to Go from Here 4 Part 1: Getting Started With U.S History 5 Chapter 1: America: A Short Biography 7 They Came, They Saw, They Stayed 8 Putting America on the Map 9 Struggling with Greatness 13 A Cold War and a Brave New World 15 America in the 21st Century 18 Chapter 2: Native Americans and Explorers: 14,000 BC (?)-1607 21 Coming to America 21 Exploring Early Civilizations 22 Many Tribes, Not Many People 24 De-stereotyping the Native Americans 26 Visiting by the Vikings 27 Spicing Up Life - and Other Reasons for Exploring 28 Dropping Names of Others Who Dropped By 31 The Sword, the Cross, and the Measles 33 Arriving Late for the Party 35 Chapter 3: Pilgrims' Progress: The English Colonies, 1607-1700 39 Seeing Potential in the New World 39 Settling in Jamestown 40 Instituting Slavery 42 Colonizing: Pilgrims and Puritans 43 Bringing Religious Freedom: Dissidents, Catholics, and Quakers 47 Dealings of the Dutch 49 Coping with Native American Troubles 50 Chapter 4: You Say You Want a Revolution: 1700-1775 53 Looking at America in 1700 53 Colonizing New France 54 Fighting the First True World Wars 55 Awakening to Greater Religious Freedom 57 The French and Indian War 58 Growing like a Weed 60 Heading Toward Divorce with Britain 62 Congressing for the First Time 67 Mr Revere, Your Horse Is Ready 68 Chapter 5: Yankee Doodlin': 1775-1783 71 In This Corner, the Brits 71 In This Corner, the Yanks 72 Mr Washington Goes to War 74 Declaring Independence 75 Cozying Up to the French 77 Undergoing Life Changes: The Loyalists and the Slaves 78 Winning a War 79 Chapter 6: Blueprints and Birth Pains: 1783-1800 85 Making the Rules 85 Dishing Up Politics, American Style 89 Raising the Dough 91 Earning Respect 92 Finding Foreign Friction 95 Part 2: Growing Pains 97 Chapter 7: "Long Tom" and One Weird War: 1800-1815 99 Jefferson Gets a Job 99 Disorder in the Court 101 Growing by Leaps and Bounds 103 Fighting Pirates, and a "Dambargo" 107 "Little Jemmy" Takes the Helm 109 Why Not Invade Canada This Year? 111 Three Strikes and the Brits Are Out 113 Calling It Even 115 Chapter 8: Pulling Together to Keep from Falling Apart: 1815-1844 117 Embracing Nationalism Sort Of 118 The Slavery Cancer Grows 121 Mud-Wrestling to the White House 125 Nullify This 128 Inventing a Better Life 131 Staking Out New Land 133 Chapter 9: War, Gold, and a Gathering Storm: 1845-1860 139 Wrenching Land from Mexico 139 Rushing for Gold 142 Coming Over and Spreading Out 145 The Beginning of the End 148 Squaring Off for a Showdown: The Lincoln-Douglas Debate 152 Chapter 10: A Most Uncivil War: 1861-1865 155 Introducing Abraham Lincoln 155 North versus South: Comparing Advantages and Action Plans 159 Freeing the Slaves 161 Reviewing the Troops, the Generals, and the Major Battles 163 Two More Reasons Why the North Won 167 Losing a Leader 169 Chapter 11: Putting the Country Back Together: 1865-1876 171 A Southern-Fried Mess: Life in the South after the Civil War 171 Piecing the Union Back Together 174 The Tailor-Made President: Andrew Johnson 177 Growing Corruption in Politics 180 Part 3: Coming of Age 185 Chapter 12: Growing Up: 1876-1898 187 Heading West in a Quest for Wealth 187 Ousting "Undesirables" 190 Cramming into Cities 194 Inventing Big Business 196 Electing a String of Forgettable Presidents 201 The Rise of Populism 202 "A Splendid Little War" 202 Chapter 13: Growing into the 20th Century: 1899-1918 205 Here Today, Guam Tomorrow: Colonizing Spain's Lands 206 Making a Lot of Noise and Carrying a Big Stick: Roosevelt Takes Office 208 Progressing toward Political and Social Reform 210 Contracting Labor Pains 212 Transporting America 214 Suffering for Suffrage 215 Leaving the South: African Americans Migrate to Northern Cities 217 The War to End All Chapters 218 Chapter 14: Gin, Jazz, and Lucky Lindy: 1919-1929 221 Wilson Goes Out of His League for Peace 222 Restricting Immigration and Challenging the Natives 223 Darwin versus God 225 Warren, Cal, and Herbert: Republicans in the White House 226 Good Times (or Were They?) 228 Ain't We Got Fun? 231 Drying Out America: Prohibition Begins 234 Changing Morals 235 An Age of Heroes 236 Chapter 15: Uncle Sam's Depressed: 1930-1940 239 The Great Depression: Causes and Consequences 239 FDR: Making Alphabet Soup 243 Shoving Aside Racial Minorities 248 Keeping Women at Home - or Work 249 Developing Organized Labor 250 Critics, Crooks, and Crime Fighters 251 Chapter 16: The World at War: 1941-1945 255 Trying to Avoid War - Again 255 Gearing Up for War 259 Dealing with the War in Europe 264 Dealing with the War in the Pacific 268 Dropping the Bomb 270 Part 4: America in Adulthood 273 Chapter 17: TV, Elvis, and Reds under the Bed: 1946-1960 275 A Cold War and a Hot "Police Action" 275 Finding Commies under the Bed 280 Having It All 283 Moving, Slowly, to the Front of the Bus 288 Chapter 18: Camelot to Watergate: 1961-1974 291 Electing an Icon 291 Sending Troops to Vietnam 294 Increasing Pressure in 'Nam and Escalating Fears at Home 296 Continuing the Fight for Civil Rights 298 Entering a Generation in Revolt 302 Weirdness in the White House 304 Chapter 19: Hold the Malaise, or, Ayatollah So: 1975-1992 307 Wearing Nixon's Shoes 307 Good Intentions, Bad Results 309 There's a First Time for Everything 312 Warming Up after the Cold War 317 Chapter 20: No Sex, Please, I'm the President: 1993-1999 323 Bill, Newt, and Monica 323 Homegrown Terrorism 327 Making Ourselves Sick 330 A World of Change 332 Part 5: Facing the New Millennium 335 Chapter 21: Terror Comes Home; America Goes to War(s) 337 Whew! A Squeaker: Bush and Gore, 2000 337 A Nation Stunned 340 That Damn Saddam 344 Meanwhile, in the Rest of the World 347 Winds and Losses 348 Chapter 22: Recessions Can Be Really Depressing 351 Ouch! The Economy Stubs Its Toe 352 Brother, Can You Spare a Job? 355 "We're from the Government; We're Here to Help " 357 Unspreading the Wealth 361 Chapter 23: Reforming Healthcare Is No Tea Party 365 The Great Presidential Race of 2008 365 Going to a Tea Party 368 Lurching Toward Healthcare 371 Reelecting Obama in 2012 375 Meanwhile, Back at the Budget 377 Chapter 24: America Disagrees with Itself 379 Trumped 379 With Friends Like These 383 Guns, Drugs, and #MeToo 387 Weathering the Weather 390 Chapter 25: This New America 393 The Techno Revolution 393 Surfing the "Silver Tsunami" 401 Stirring the Melting Pot 402 Redefining the American Family 405 Part 6: The Part of Tens 407 Chapter 26: Ten Innovations That Made It Easier to Be Lazy 409 The Escalator (1896) 409 Sliced Bread (1928) 410 Pizza Delivery (~1945) 410 Drive-Through Restaurants (1948) 411 TV Remote Controls (1950) 411 Pop-Top Cans (1963) 411 Microwave Ovens (1967) 412 Microwave Popcorn (1983) 412 Global Positioning System (1989) 413 Amazon (1995) 413 Chapter 27: Ten U.S Presidents Who Were, Well, Average 415 Bill Clinton 415 William McKinley 416 Grover Cleveland 416 John Quincy Adams 416 George H W Bush 417 William Howard Taft 417 Martin Van Buren 417 Rutherford B Hayes 418 Gerald Ford 418 Jimmy Carter 419 Part 7: The Appendixes 421 Appendix A: The Bill of Rights: Amendments 1-10 of the Constitution 423 Appendix B: The Declaration of Independence 425 Index 429

About the Author

Steve Wiegand is an award-winning political journalist and history writer. Over a 35-year career, he worked as a reporter and columnist at the San Diego Evening Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and Sacramento Bee. He is the author or coauthor of seven books dealing with various aspects of U.S. and world history.

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