APUSH: Influential Literature List

A Model of Christian Charity, By John Winthrop 1630
Defines Puritanical ideology for “city upon a hill”–utopian commitment to Christian morals and community-shapes New England culture and politics

Common Sense, By Thomas Paine 1776
Concise criticisms of monarchy while promoting natural liberty-written for the common people-helped incite rebellion, independence, and revolution more than any other single document

The Age of Reason, By Thomas Paine 1794
Explains deistic beliefs/criticizes institutionalized Christianity as too political-not atheistic, promotes God as creator-leads to rise of Deism and Second Great Awakening

The Last of the Mohicans, By James Fennimore Cooper 1826
Fictional account of divided loyalties during French and Indian War is first historical novel unique to America-demonstrates growing cultural nationalism of the new republic

The South Carolina Exposition and Protest, By John Calhoun 1828
Rationalizes theory of nullification (belief that states are the final arbiters of acts of Congress) and helps bring about crisis over South Carolina’s nullification of the tariff of “abominations”

Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, By David Walker 1829
Strong denouncement of slavery while endorsing resistance by any means including violence-also calls for universal and immediate emancipation-Walker received a $10,000 bounty on his head

Godey’s Lady’s Book, By Louis A. Godey 1830-1878
Most popular monthly journal of the 19th century, included poetry, illustrations, fashion and short stories from the most influential 19th century writers and artists

Democracy of America, By Alexis de Tocqueville 1835
Popular in Europe as well as the U.S., the French visitor to the U.S. believed American democracy was threatened by slavery and injustice as well as the possible tyranny of the masses

Nature, By Ralph Waldo Emerson 1836
Lays the foundation for transcendentalism-espouses that nature is instinctual unless unduly influenced by outside forces—opposes Puritanical view of God controlled impulses

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, By Frederick Douglass 1845
Autobiographical account of escaped slave turned abolitionist helps promote anti-slavery movement in the north—south claimed it was grossly exaggerated

The Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments, By Elizabeth Cady Stanton 1848
Framed in the context of the Declaration of Independence, men and women interested in women’s suffrage began the long road of equality by publishing grievances towards “man.”

On Civil Disobedience, By Henry David Thoreau 1849
Transcendentalist protests slavery and Mexican War by claiming people shouldn’t support governments ruling contrary to human conscience-used to justify refusal to pay taxes-later used by Martin Luther King to promote non-violent protest