National Expansion and Reform, 1815–1860

An introduction by Joyce Appleby

A good way to understand the men and women who created America’s reform tradition and carried it across the Mississippi in the years before the Civil War is to look at the political heritage their parents and grandparents left to them. The very idea of generations resonated with new meaning after independence. The conveyance of social responsibility from one generation to another is always a fascinating interplay of the inherited and the novel, but the American Revolution was a social and political rupture that clouded the future for young Americans. Together they faced a new way of life in a new nation.More »

Sub Eras

Slavery and Anti-Slavery

With an introduction by David Brion Davis, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus, Yale University, and Director Emeritus, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and AbolitionMore »

The First Age of Reform

With an introduction by Ronald G. Walters, Professor of History, John Hopkins UniversityMore »

The Age of Jackson

With an introduction by Ted Widmer, Director, John Carter Brown LibraryMore »


With an introduction by Allen C. Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era, and Director, Civil War Era Studies Program, Gettysburg College.More »