Teacher's Guide to Changes in Third Edition

This page provides an account of the objectives of changes between the second and third editions to assist instructors to take full advantage of those changes.


Changes in the introduction were designed to broaden the possible approaches to reading the texts of the volume. In addition to the neo-Aristotelian emphasis in the second edition, other approaches to reading texts are introduced. The idea of choosing methods for reading texts is emphasized in the third edition.

The result may be a text that is a bit less self-sufficient and calls upon the instructor for elaboration of his/her choices in how s/he wants students to read texts.

Section 1. Puritan Preaching and the American Mission

No major changes have occurred in section 1. Slight changes in commentaries do not change the thrust of the section.

Section 2. Founding a Nation: Rhetoric of the American Revolution

Two substantive changes have been implemented in this section. First is the removal of the Seabury reading. The dissenting voice in the revolution remains present in the reading from Reverend William Smith. Second is the addition of the petition approved by the Pittsylvania County Committee on Safety censuring John Pigg. This addition acknowledges the argument of many that the revolution was not exclusively made by the Continental Congress but also by local citizens creating an alternative government to British rule. The petition represents the language of this citizen government. The commentary on the addition also explains the important place that petitioning had as a form of rhetorical expression in the late colonial and early national periods. The Committee's petition does not fully represent the form of the typical petition, however. That typical form was addressed by citizen meetings to their representatives.

Section 3. Founding a Nation: Establishing a Constitutional Government

Two substantive changes were also implemented in this section. First, the excerpt from the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention has been removed. The debate from the Virginia Convention remains to convey the character of the overall debate on the Constitution. The second change is to frame that debate as a single selection with a unified commentary.

As in the second edition, this section takes a broad perspective on the establishing of constitutional government, addressing the formative actions and debates of the Washington administration as well as the drafting and ratifying of the Constitution.

Section 4. Public Life, 1796-1850: The Democratic Experiment and the Role of Government

Several changes have been implemented in this section covering the early nineteenth century. As in the second edition, the focus is upon the tenuous nationalism of the period with its uncertainties about the role of the federal government. To better focus upon these issues, several selections previously in the anthology have been moved to different sections. The speeches of native Americans have been moved to a new section on the frontier and the material on the first stirrings of the crisis that became the Civil War have been removed to a section focusing on the deterioration marking the treatment of North-South relations during this period. The intent is to provide a section that permits greater focus on issues of the role of the government that marked this period.

The section begins with Washington's Farewell Address so that the anxieties of that speech can serve as a framework for exploring the issues of the era. Two of the key issues of the era -- the government's responsibility for internal improvements and the role of the tariff in the economy -- are treated in debate format pairing pro and con speeches with a single commentary. Jefferson's Inaugural Address and Webster's Bunker Hill Oration are also included to demonstrate the effort to transcend differences and celebrate the national achievement.

A subtext of the section is the changes in politics during the period. The campaign of 1800, the emergence of Jacksonian democracy and the campaign of 1840 are featured.

Section 5. Public Life, 1800-1850: The Frontier

This new section is designed to introduce the diversity of voices that were heard on the American frontier. The political flavor of the frontier speaking is provided by selections from David Crockett. Religious speaking is addressed in Peter Cartwright's description of an incident from his Autobiography.

The Native American discourse from the second edition is included, but with different selections. The Tecumseh-Pushmataha debate is included to provide a sample of the choices faced by Native Americans. Black Hawk's "Farewell to Black Hawk" has been added to illustrate the need to rhetorically address the erosion of the Native American's land and independence.

This section implements a commitment to capture the variety voices in American public discourse as well as the most influential.

Section 6. Public Life, 1800-1860: The Rhetoric of Reform and Counterreform

There were few changes in this section. Some commentaries were rewritten to emphasize the multi-issue nature of reformers during the period.

Section 7. The Rhetoric of Sectionalism and Civil War

The Webster-Hayne Debate was moved into this section to begin the road to Civil War. Other than this change little has been altered.

Section 8. Post Civil-War America: Reconstruction, Racial Conflict, and the New South

This section combines three sections of the second edition and treats the struggle to come to terms with the social changes both in terms of Civil Rights for African Americans and the destruction of the social structure of the South following the Civil War. The speeches contained in the previous sections on reconstruction, rights, and racial conflict have not changed; they have merely been combined in commentaries to weave their interrelationships.

Section 9. Civil War to World War I: Industrialization, Economic Justice and Progressive Change

This section focuses on the attempt to come to terms with the economic and social problems of industrialization. The section has been reorganized and the material on the labor movement has been moved to its own section. The result is a section that focuses upon the transformations brought about by the rhetoric dealing with economic disparities of the period. Andrew Carnegie's classic essay "Wealth" has been added to the readings. Otherwise all are retained. The section begins with Russell Conwell's "Acres of Diamonds" which, in so many ways, transformed the way the culture saw its identity as industrial and commercial rather than agricultural.

The section also traces the emergence of progressivism from the populists and the debate over immigration, poverty, and the great disparity of wealth.

Section 10. Civil War to the New Deal: The Struggle of American Labor

This new section focuses on the rhetoric through which leaders of American labor sought to organize workers to confront the organized power of the industrial corporations. Previous speeches have been retained except for a substitution of the speech by Samuel Gompers. A speech that more typically represents Gompers appeal to labor has been substituted for a speech addressing some of the internal conflicts within the labor movement. A speech has been added by Mary Harris "Mother" Jones. That speech represents an address by a labor organizer in the midst of an industrial action, a voice missing from the previous edition.

The new section offers an exposure to various voices with different strategies for uniting the labor movement.

Section 11. Civil War to 1920: Women Achieve Suffrage

This new section contains speeches from the post-Civil War efforts by women to achieve the vote. The differences between the effort to achieve equal rights for freed slaves and for women justify separating those two sections. Added to this section is Carrie Chapman Catt's speech to the 1916 Convention of the National American Women's Suffrage Association that began the final push resulting in the achievement of suffrage for the election of 1920.

Section 12. Turn of the Century to World War II: Empire, Isolationism, and World Power

This new section captures the rhetorical debate to redefine the world role of the newly powerful United States. The most dramatic change is to trace this debate in the commentaries. The League of Nations debate has been added, but all other speeches from the previous addition have been retained. The section runs through the Declaration of War speech in 1941.

Section 13. New Deal to Neo-Conservatism: The Role of the Government in the Economy

This new section frames the twentieth century debate about government's role in management of the economy. The section begins with Franklin Roosevelt's marshaling of the power of the government in addressing the Great Depression and runs through Ronald Reagan's attack on active government. A fireside chat has been added to previous material included in this section. Also added is Reagan's "First Inaugural Address" that pledged effort to replace government responsibility with free enterprise.

Section 14. World War II to the Present: Cold War and American Power

This new section focuses on American power in the post-World War II era. Most of the section is composed of speeches from the Cold War era including the addition of Churchill's famous "Iron Curtain Speech." Also added to an expanded section on Indo-China is John Foster Dulles' 1954 speech on that region that was the basis of the American commitment to Vietnam.

The section ends with George W. Bush's Congressional speech in response to the events of September 11, 2001, that declared the war on terror.

Section 15. Expanding Civil and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century

This new section presents the variety of voices in the twentieth century that have declared the importance of various rights and social injustices in the American experience. The focus is on the variety of voices represented.