Defining Documents in American History
American Citizenship
In-depth analysis of 84 primary source documents, tracing the definition and role of citizenship throughout the history of the United States, from the American Revolution to the current immigration debate.
In-Depth & Thoughtful Document Analysis Helps Students Explore:
  • The Development of American Citizenship
  • Native Americans and Citizenship
  • African Americans and Citizenship
  • Latinos/as and Citizenship
  • Asians, Asian Americans, and Citizenship
  • Women and Citizenship
  • Twentieth-Century Formulations
  • Controversies in Recent Years
  • Special Topics in Citizenship
Enhance Your American History & Primary Source Documents Collections with the Newest Titles from Salem's Defining Documents Series.

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Praise From Your Colleagues
"I thought you would like to know that I am very impressed with Salem's Defining Documents series. Initially, I was hesitant to purchase so many primary source volumes because students generally do not like to use primary sources. Apparently, they think the language is archaic, and they don't like that the information is presented in paragraphs rather than in bulleted lists. Students' reading stamina has really declined in the last two decades. This is what makes your Defining Documents books so perfect. For each entry, background information, a summary, and the significance is provided. This helps students understand what they are reading in the document."
J.M., Virginia
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Defining Documents in American History:
American Citizenship
Pub. Date: May 2021
ISBN: 978-1-64265-760-9
List Price: $295
This two-volume set examines how today's U.S. citizen was first imagined, how citizenship was established and codified, and how it has been refined over time. Essays also consider barriers to full citizenship, including voting rights, civil rights, prisoner's rights, immigration quotas, and the process of becoming a naturalized citizen. Slavery is also discussed, as slaves were not considered citizens at all and in fact only counted as three-fifths of a person.

Constitutional amendments, civil rights legislation, and a parade of court cases both advanced and prevented individuals from achieving citizenship. White women were considered citizens from the nation's earliest days, but they could not vote, hold office, or serve on juries until the determined efforts of suffragists began the process of making all women full citizens with all of its attendant rights, including the right to vote. Native Americans were not officially U.S. citizens until the passage of the Indian Citizenship Act in 1924.
Readers will gain an in-depth understanding of American citizenship. The documents analyzed in this set include:

  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The United States Constitution
  • The Bill of Rights
  • The Compromise of 1850
  • The Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-fourth, and Twenty-fifth Amendments 
  • David Walker's Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World
  • Susan B. Anthony's "Is It a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?" 
  • Voting Rights Act of 1975

Each in-depth chapter provides a thorough commentary and analysis of each primary source document, often reprinted in its entirety. Commentary includes a Summary, Overview, Defining Moment, Author Biography, Detailed Document Analysis, and discussion of Essential Themes. Many of these chapters are bolstered through the inclusion of Supplemental Historical Documents, which broaden the scope of the book and offer additional context. 


Reviews of the Defining Documents Series
"Recommended for all types of libraries but especially for high school, where it would make a suitable resource for honors or AP history courses."
 - Booklist on Defining Documents in American History: American West

"This reference will find utility in public and
school libraries." 
- ARBA on Defining Documents in American History: Native Americans

"Well written, exhibits solid scholarship, and presents an engaging read...strongly recommended." 
- ARBA on Defining Documents in American History: The 1960s
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