Print ISBN: 978-1-68217-185-1
# of Pages: 314
# of Volumes: 1
Print List Price: $175
e-ISBN: 978-1-68217-186-8
eBook User Price: $175
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Defining Documents in American History: The 1900s (1900-1909)

Editor: Michael Shally-Jensen, PhD
September 2016

Defining Documents in American History series, consists of a collection of essays on important historical documents by a diverse range of writers on a broad range of subjects in American history. This established series offers twenty-one titles ranging from Colonial America to the 1970s.

This volume, Defining Documents in American History: The 1900s (1900-1909), offers in-depth analysis of a broad range of historical documents and historic events that shaped the first decade of the twentieth century in American history. This text closely studies thirty primary source documents and delivers a thorough examination of events and movements in the U.S. from 1900 to 1909. The material is organized under five broad categories:

  • Politics and Reform
  • Foreign Challenges
  • African American Debates
  • Native American Life
  • Religion and Philosophy

Historical documents provide a compelling view of these important aspects of American history. Designed for high school and college students, the aim of the series is to advance historical document studies as an important activity in learning about history.

Essay Format
The 1900s contains 30 primary source documents— many in their entirety. Each document is supported by a critical essay, written by historians and teachers, that includes a Summary Overview, Defining Moment, Author Biography, Document Analysis, and Essential Themes. Readers will appreciate the diversity of the collected texts, including journal entries from James Audubon, pamphlets from political leaders such as Eugene V. Debs and Vladimir Lenin, speeches from activists such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington , religious and philosophical tracts from Rudolf Steiner and Rufus Jones, laws such as the American Antiquities Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act, editorials from writers such as Samuel Gompers, trial notes relating to decisions that pertained to labor laws and sex discrimination, and a turn-of-the-century photograph by Edward Curtis, among other genres. An important feature of each essay is a close reading of the primary source that develops evidence of broader themes, such as the author’s rhetorical purpose, social or class position, point of view, and other relevant issues. In addition, essays are organized by section themes, listed above, highlighting major issues of the period, many of which extend across eras and continue to shape life as we know it around the world. Each section begins with a brief introduction that defines questions and problems underlying the subjects in the historical documents. Each essay also includes a Bibliography and Additional Reading section for further research.


  • Chronological List arranges all documents by year.
  • Web Resources is an annotated list of websites that offer valuable supplemental resources.
  • Bibliography lists helpful articles and books for further study.

View a Full List of Defining Document Titles