As a nation, the United States of America has paid a heavy price for attaining civilization. This seems to be the basic premise upon which author T.H Breen has built the ideologies that shapes the nation, in his book titled, The Power of Words - Documents in American History.
What makes history so interesting and stimulating, however, are the debates that emerge over the facts. From an early stage, the middle passage inspired moral outrage among those opposed to the slave trade, who often treated it as the most horrific part of the whole slave experience. Recently some scholars have argued that such moral outrage has led to a "melodramatic" rather than a "historical" account of the middle passage. I have tried to present an argument that we need a more balanced and less moralistic account of the middle passage from the perspective of the changing values and challenges thrown up by industrialization. (Breen T. H; 1997)
In the course of this paper, I have examined a plethora of facts, chosen the ones that are important, and determined their meaning. In the study of history, one has to make choices, develop explanations, and find meaning in whatever records of the past they can find. One also evaluates and challenges the choices, explanation and meanings developed by other historians. Making and debating interpretations, finding new sources, deriving new meaning from documents that others have used, all make the reading and writing of history challenging and exciting.
The books used by me are in context of the documentation of various issues and acts pertaining to American history, especially in the timeframe spanning from the 1860s to the early 1900s. ...