History of the United States, Vol I, Charles and Mary Beard, 1921

In summary, Charles and Mary Beard were influential historians in the early 20th century, known for their collaboration in writing books on history and political science. Their work, including their 1921 book "History of the United States," aimed to help readers understand American society and its connection to the world. Personal connections to historical events, such as the Mayflower voyage, serve as a reminder of the lasting impact of these events on individuals and society.
  • #1
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I just happened to hear this one night last week. It is a history of the US from the perspective of two historians from the early 20th century.

Charles Austin Beard was the most influential American historian of the early 20th century. He published hundreds of monographs, textbooks and interpretive studies in both history and political science. He graduated from DePauw University in 1898, where he met and eventually married Mary Ritter Beard, one of the founders of the first greek-letter society for women, Kappa Alpha Theta. Many of his books were written in collaboration with his wife, whose own interests lay in feminism and the labor union movement (Woman as a Force in History, 1946).

In 1921, Charles and Mary Beard published their History of the United States. A contemporaneous review stated: The authors… assume enough maturity in high school students to justify a topical rather than a chronological treatment. They have dealt with movements, have sketched large backgrounds, have traced causes, and have discussed the interrelation of social and economic forces and politics. All this has been directed to the large purpose of helping the student to understand American today in all its national characteristics and as part of world civilization as well…The literary style is exceptionally clear and crisp, and the whole approach…is thought producing. As a textbook or handbook for the average citizen it ranks with very best.


I was listening to this around the time that my wife informed me that one of her ancestors, an 8th great grandmother, was a passenger on the 1st Mayflower in 1620; the 8th great grandmother was the sole survivor of her family. Another ancestor arrived in Massachusetts on the 2nd Mayflower in 1629, and another on a subsequent voyage in 1634.
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  • #2

Thank you for sharing this interesting piece of history. It is always fascinating to learn about the different perspectives and interpretations of American history, especially from influential figures like Charles and Mary Beard. I will definitely check out their book and the resources you provided.

It is amazing to think about the personal connections we have to significant events in history, such as your wife's ancestors on the Mayflower. It serves as a reminder of the impact that these events have had on individuals and their families, and how they continue to shape our society today. Thank you again for sharing.

Related to History of the United States, Vol I, Charles and Mary Beard, 1921

1. What is the main focus of "History of the United States, Vol I" by Charles and Mary Beard?

The main focus of this book is the political and economic history of the United States from the colonial period to the Civil War.

2. Who are the authors of "History of the United States, Vol I"?

The authors of this book are husband and wife team, Charles and Mary Beard. They were both prominent historians and educators in the early 20th century.

3. When was "History of the United States, Vol I" first published?

This book was first published in 1921, making it almost 100 years old.

4. Is "History of the United States, Vol I" still considered a relevant and accurate source?

While some of the information and interpretations in this book may be outdated, it is still considered a significant and influential work in the field of American history.

5. What makes "History of the United States, Vol I" stand out from other history books?

This book is known for its unique approach to history, focusing on the economic and social factors that have shaped the development of the United States rather than just political events and figures.