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“Criticisn of Imperialism,” Imperialism  

John A. Hobson

John Atkinson Hobson (1858–1940) grew up during an economic depression in England that ultimately shifted his intellectual interests from literature to economics. One of his major ... More

First Inaugural Address  

Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), the Republican party candidate from Illinois, won the presidential election without carrying a single southern state. Although he had worked his way up ... More

On Nullification and the Force Bill  

John C. Calhoun

In the first half of the nineteenth century, the primary exponent of states’ rights and of the idea that ultimate sovereignty lay in the states and not with the federal government was John ... More

Our Country  

Josiah Strong

Josiah Strong (1847–1916) was an eminent Congregationalist minister, head of the influential American Evangelical Alliance, and a leading spokesman of a movement for social activism among ... More

The Principles of Scientific management  

Frederick Taylor

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856–1915) was a mechanical engineer (and champion tennis player) who aimed to increase industrial efficiency by training laborers to work with minimal movement ... More

“The Significance of the Frontier in American History”  

Frederick Jackson Turner

Frederick Jackson Turner’s “Frontier Thesis” is one of the most significant works in American historical writing. Turner (1861–1932) was born in Portage, Wisconsin, a region that had been ... More

“The White Man’s Burden”  

Rudyard Kipling

The phrase “the white man’s burden” and its association with the British writer Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) is well known today, but few realize that this exhortation was addressed to the ... More

The Theory of the Leisure Class  

Thorstein Veblen

During America’s Gilded Age (1865–1900), individuals and families who achieved great wealth celebrated it as never before. Elegant city townhouses, huge country manors, lavish parties, and ... More

“To the Person Sitting in Darkness”  

Mark Twain

To some extent, Kipling was wrong that “East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,” since the preeminent American man of letters Mark Twain (1835–1910) did meet the ... More


Andrew Carnegie

One of the great leaders of America’s industrial success was Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919), who rose from poverty to become one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the United States. ... More

“What to the Slave is the 4th of July?”  

Frederick Douglass

Born the son of an unknown white planter and a black slave mother Frederick Douglass (1817–1895) was one of the most exceptional human rights leaders in American history. His fiery speeches ... More