Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Contending Voices, Volume I: To 1877, 4th Edition

  • John Hollitz
  • ISBN-10: 1305655931
  • ISBN-13: 9781305655935
  • 288 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2011, 2007, 2003
  • COPYRIGHT: 2017 Published
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About the Product

Each chapter in CONTENDING VOICES examines the lives of two individuals, some of them familiar historical figures and some of them lesser known, who took opposing positions on important issues in American history. The “paired biographies” in the text are followed by a set of four to six related primary sources, many in the individuals’ own voices; a “Questions to Consider” section; and an annotated bibliography. This unique format promotes critical thinking and engages students in enlightening historical debates.


  • Each chapter features a biographical essay focusing on two individuals who stood on different sides of important issues, while also providing students the opportunity to analyze primary sources related to the chapter’s topic.

  • A running glossary of important historical terms, events, and people appears at the bottom of selected pages in every chapter.

  • Each of the two volumes of CONTENDING VOICES contains 15 chapters to parallel the coverage in most survey texts.

  • Each biographical essay features prompts for students to refer to relevant primary sources, which follow the essay in each chapter.

  • Each chapter offers interested students a Further Reading section, including biographies, monographs, and primary works.

About the Author

John Hollitz

John Hollitz received his Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin in 1981 and has been professor of history at the Community College of Southern Nevada since 1992. Previously, he taught at California State University, Chico. In addition to CONTENDING VOICES, he has also authored a critical thinking reader, THINKING THROUGH THE PAST, 5th Edition (Cengage, 2014). Dr. Hollitz is a dedicated teacher of the U.S. History survey course.

Table of Contents

1. The Cross and the Sword in Spain’s New World: Bartolomé de Las Casas and Hernán Cortés.
2. Revolt on the Virginia Frontier: Nathaniel Bacon and William Berkeley.
3. Faith and Reason in the Enlightenment: Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin.
4. The Price of Patriotism: Jonathan Sewall and John Adams.
5. The Conflict over the Constitution: Patrick Henry and James Madison.
6. Political Conflict in the Early Republic: Benjamin Franklin Bache and Alexander Hamilton
7. Resistance and Western Expansion: Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison.
8. The Fruits of the Factory System: Sarah Bagley and Nathan Appleton.
9. Politics, Morality, and Race in the Abolitionist Crusade: William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass.
10. The Feminine Sphere in Antebellum Society: Catharine Beecher and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
11. Manifest Destiny and Conquest: Thomas Larkin and Juan Bautista Alvarado.
12. The South and the Slavery Debate: Hinton Rowan Helper and George Fitzhugh.
13. Yankees and “Border Ruffians” in “Bleeding Kansas”: Sara Robinson and David Atchison.
14. Mr. Lincoln’s War: Clement Vallandigham and Benjamin Wade.
15. Race and Redemption in the Reconstructed South: Robert Smalls and Wade Hampton.

New to this edition

  • New to the fourth edition is a revised collection of source introduction questions, which encourage readers to think more critically about the sources and consider connections and differences between them, where relevant.
  • A revised collection of Questions to Consider at the end of each chapter encourages readers to think critically about the individuals and issues raised in the chapter.
  • A new Chapter 3 focuses on Benjamin Franklin and Jonathan Edwards, who highlight the Great Awakening, the Enlightenment, and the conflict between faith and reason in the American colonies.
  • Several chapters feature new primary sources selected to reflect the issues and conflicts presented in the chapters.