TEXTBOOK EVALUATION OF:

 
America-PathtoPresent-1995c.jpg

AMERICA -

PATHWAYS TO THE PRESENT

1995 Edition

by Andrew Cayton, Elisabeth Israels Perry and Allan Winkler
Published by Prentice Hall, Needham, Massachusetts, 1995

This textbook is a monument to revisionist history. It is full of factual errors and half truths from cover to cover. This is an incomplete review of this textbook. There is so much propaganda in this textbook you would literally have to write a book to expose it all.

Quotes from this textbook are in RED. 
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Page 25,26 - “Christianity Under Pressure."
"Another long term event that Christians interpreted as a bad sign was an invasion by believers in a rival faith, Islam.  Starting around 700, followers of Islam had taken over(1) much of the Mediterranean world, from the holy city of Jerusalem to large parts of Spain.

Islam had originally arisen between 622 and 632 in Arabia, inspired by the teachings of the prophet(2) Muhammad.  The prophet’s(2) followers, called Muslims, united by their new shared religion, then expanded(3) their empire from Arabia to new lands in Asia, Europe, and Africa in a prolonged series of invasions.  This was painful to Christians because their religion, too, taught them it was their obligation to spread Christianity throughout the world.”(4)

CORRECTIONS:
(1) ”taken over” is not accurate.  The correct word is “conquered”.

(2) “prophet” is not a verifiable fact.  Should read “...teachings of a man named Mohammad, who believed he was a prophet from God.”  (On page 203, in describing the new Mormon religion, says “The Mormons took root in upstate New York. The Book of Mormon, which founder Joseph Smith claimed to have translated from gold plates he had found......”)

(3) “expanded” is not correct.  Should read “Muslims conquered country after country and forcibly converted the native population to Islam.  People who refused to convert were either executed or forced to pay a special tax for refusing to convert to Islam.”

(4) This sentence makes it appear that Islam and Christianity spread by the same violent methods which is not true.  With some notable exceptions, Christianity spread by voluntary conversions while Islam nearly always forced people to convert under threat of execution.

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Page 29 - (discussing the Songhai Government of West Africa)
 “The major curriculum at the university at Tombouctou was the Koran, which was and remains today the holy book of Islam.  Islam had reached Songhai by trade and by invasion from the north; with the new religion came knowledge of Arabic, the original language of the Koran. Thousands of African Muslims found that practicing the rituals of Islam gave great meaning to their lives.(5)

CORRECTIONS:
(5) This sentence does not belong in a history book.  But if the authors want to make this statement, the following statement should also be in this book: “No religion has peaceably converted more people than Christianity because of the great meaning it brings to peoples lives.”

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Page 116 - (Discussing British disadvantages in defeating the Colonies during the Revolutionary War)
“The war was not popular in Great Britain. Many of the British resented paying taxes to fight the war and sympathized with the Americans. In addition, the British had to fight against an enemy that was thousands of miles away across an ocean, spread out over a huge territory, difficult to identify, and without any visible organization that could be attacked.(6) As Americans would discover two centuries later in Vietnam, winning battles and having superiority in training are not enough when your opponent constantly shifts ground - and will not give up.”(7)

CORRECTIONS:  
(6) NOT true. The Revolutionary Army was a standing army that fought the British Army many times in conventional warfare. There were many visible organizations - cities and factories - that the British would have attacked if they had been able to.

(7) Again, NOT true. There are no similarities between the Vietnam War and the American Revolution.  The US got involved in Vietnam to defend the South from Communist North Vietnam. The American Revolution was based on a belief in freedom and self rule. North Vietnam wanted to impose a communist dictatorship on the south. The guerrillas in South Vietnam (Viet Cong) had been largely defeated but the North then sent hundreds of thousands of troops to fight in the south. The North kept the war going and had we bombed all the important targets in North Vietnam (which we didn’t) we could have won the war.

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Pages 286-288 - The War with Mexico
Years before the United States annexed Texas, the steady influx of Americans into Mexico’s northern territories had led to growing friction between the two nations. When Congress approved annexation in early 1845, Mexico immediately broke off diplomatic relations with the United States. Continuing disagreements about the southern border of Texas signaled further trouble ahead.(8)

President Polk and other southern Democrats wanted much more from Mexico than Texas. Polk had dreams of acquiring the entire territory stretching from Texas to the Pacific.(9) In a final attempt to avoid war, he sent Ambassador John Slidell to Mexico City in November 1845 with an offer to buy California and New Mexico for $30 million. But the Mexican government refused even to receive Slidell, let alone consider his offer.(10)
 
Determined to have his way, the aggressive Polk sent two thousand American troops under General Zachary Taylor into southern Texas to support the American claim that the Rio Grande was the official American-Mexican border.(11) Since the Mexican government claimed that the Nueces River, located quite a few miles further north, was the border, it considered Taylor’s movements an invasion of Mexican territory.
(12) Tensions between the two nations escalated rapidly. Meanwhile, an American expedition under the command of Captain John C. Fremont moved into California, probably under orders from the President to stir up trouble.(13)

When Mexican troops engaged in a skirmish with Taylor’s forces in early May 1846, Polk had the excuse for which he had long been waiting.(14) Expressing outrage at the loss of “American blood on American soil,” the President pushed for an immediate declaration of war. Despite some opposition, Congress gave it to him on May 13, 1846.

CORRECTIONS:
(9) The Rio Grande River became the border on May 14, 1836, when Santa Anna, the head of Mexico’s government, signed the Treaties of Velasco, which resulted in Texas becoming an independent nation. Santa Anna had been captured by the Texas Army after they crushed the Mexican Army at the battle of San Jacinto. He was treated with tremendous respect as a prisoner and didn’t have to sign anything. 
      
If Mexico wanted the boundary to be the Nueces River, they had 10 years to bring it up with Texas, and later the US and negotiate a deal. Texas from 1839 on had attempted to negotiate with Mexico over the southern boundary, but Mexico refused to negotiate. But the issue was really not about the border. The reason Mexico refused to negotiate was clear to all: Mexican pride could not accept the fact that they lost to Texas. A bunch of out numbered farmers, ranchers, businessmen and adventurous young men from the US had defeated the Army of Mexico. Mexico considered Texas a breakaway province and wanted it back. Mexico was NEVER going to resolve the border impasse as that would be an admission that Texas was separate from Mexico.

(10) Wanting to buy something is not proof you intend to start a war over it. The US had every reason to believe Mexico would sell this land as they were on the verge of bankruptcy with a staggering national debt, had scarcely any citizens on the land and in fact had very little control over the area. Had Mexico not started a war with the US, Mexico wouldn’t have lost the southwest US, or if they did, there could be no denying that the US stole it.

(11) This is a lie. The Mexican president, Herrera was a man who wanted peace between the US and Mexico. He REQUESTED that the US send a representative (John Slidell) to Mexico City in the hopes that all the differences between the two countries could be resolved. By the time Slidell got there, Herrera was about to be overthrown by the war mongers, led by General Mariano Paredes, whose sole objective in taking power was to start a war with the US. Hererra refused to meet with Slidell because he was trying to save his government from being overthrown, but it didn’t help. Paredes overthrew Herrera in January, 1846 and began planning to invade Texas. 
    
Slidell summed up his experiences with Mexico: “We shall never be able to treat with her on fair terms until she has been taught to respect us... here all amicable advances are considered as indicative either of weakness or treachery.” 
    
Polk had every reason to seek a diplomatic solution with Mexico. The US Army was untested against a conventional army. The last time the US Army faced off against a regular Army was the War of 1812, when they were routed by the British. Why would Polk fight a country with an untried army far from home over unfamiliar territory? He risked blundering into a stalemate like that which France faced in trying to set up Maximilian as emperor of Mexico during the 1860s. 
    
The fact is the US didn’t have to go to war to acquire California or New Mexico. The US had thousands of immigrants moving west each year. Within a few years, California would have had a heavy majority of Americans and New Mexico would only be a few years behind. So why go to war, if population growth could accomplish the same thing without all the bloodshed of a war? In addition, many Mexicans in California and New Mexico favored being annexed by the US because they realized their own government was dysfunctional.  
     
Most people don't know this, but Texas was NOT the first state to secede from Mexico. Because of the dysfunctional state of Mexican politics - and only 2 years after independence, five states in central America declared themselves independent from Mexico - Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Central Americans chafed at Mexican rule, and there were several battles with Mexican forces. On July 1, 1823, the United Provinces of Central America was formally established in Guatemala City. Like leaders in Mexico, they thought they would have a prosperous future, but constant infighting and wars resulted in the Union falling apart in 1838. The five provinces became independent nations. So why hasn’t Mexico made an issue out of this over the past 190 years? Is it because they are fellow Spanish, whereas the northern territories came under control of those evil Anglo Americans? Just wondering.

(11) The Rio Grande River became the border on May 14, 1836, when Santa Anna signed the Treaties of Velasco. On Jan 12, 1846, Polk received word that negotiations had failed. President Polk realized that war with Mexico was inevitable and prepared to ask congress for a declaration of war. After all, Mexico had been taken over by General Paredes who stated - repeatedly - that he  would invade Texas. On Jan. 13, 1846, He ordered General Zachary Taylor to move his army from Corpus Christi to the north side of the Rio Grande River and prepare to defend Texas from the Mexican invasion. Taylor received these orders on Feb. 3. Taylor informed Mexican officials that he was moving to the Rio Grande but that it was purely for defensive purposes. 
    
Historical revisionists have said that the US intended to provoke a war with Mexico by stationing troops on the north side of the Rio Grande River. This is bogus reasoning and ignores facts. Who was provoking who? How could the US be responsible for starting a war with a country that had repeatedly declared war on the US, refused to negotiate, put an invasion force on the border and declared they would conquer Texas again? Polk had a moral obligation to defend Texas from Mexico.

(12)
Mexico NEVER said they merely wanted to conquer the land up to the Nueces River. Mexico’s obsession for 10 years was with conquering Texas, which they still considered a breakaway province. Polk was aware of this Mexican scam. If Mexico wanted the boundary to be the Nueces, they had 10 years to bring it up with Texas, and later the US and negotiate a deal. But the issue was really not about the border. Mexico owned all of Texas and intended to conquer it.     
      
Apparently Mexico accepted the Rio Grande as the border, since they placed their army south of the river from 1836 on after Santa Anna signed the peace treaty with Texas that made the Rio Grande the southern border. When Taylor moved south of the Neuces to the Rio Grande, this was the perfect excuse Paredes was looking for to start a war with the US while claiming he was defending Mexico.

(13) John Fremont arrived in California on December, 1845. Despite orders to “conciliate the feelings of the Californians. . .” Fremont instigated numerous confrontations with authorities. Convinced authorities were about to forcibly expel him and his men and believing war between the US and Mexico was imminent, about 3 dozen men started what became known as the Bear Flag Revolt on June 10, 1845. Incredibly, the Bears took General Vallejo and other pro American Californios prisoner, took control of Sonoma and declared the Republic of California.

John D. Sloat, commander of the US Navy ’s Pacific Squadron, was instructed to land in California and claim it for the US if war broke out. After hostilities broke out, some 160 settlers and US soldiers plus sailors and Marines from Sloat’s ships had seized all of northern California by the end of July. Fremont met Sloat aboard the Navy ship Savannah and Sloat demanded to see his orders that authorized Fremont to take up arms against the Californians. Learning Fremont had no such orders, Sloat unleashed a blistering tirade against Fremont.(A) On July 29, Sloat ordered Vallejo released and the others prisoners were released soon afterwords. Most residents of northern California were elated and General Vallejo put his old Mexican military uniforms in a pile and set them on fire.
(A) General Vallejo by Alan Rosenus (1995) p161
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(14) On April 25, 1846, Mexican troops under General Arista crossed the Rio Grande and ambushed American troops, starting the war they were anxious to start. Historians later uncovered a letter dated Apr 18, 1846 from Paredes to General Arista “It is indispensable that hostilities begin, yourself taking the initiative.”

For complete information on this war, go to: 
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Page 347 - “The Lasting Impact of the Siege of Vicksburg.”
“Americans Wage Total War. American troops in the twentieth century would repeatedly find themselves in situations similar to the siege of Vicksburg. In later wars, too, their mission would be to bring the superior numbers and resources of the United States to bear on a well-entrenched enemy. These wars included World War II (1941-1945), the War in Vietnam (1965-1973) and the Persian Gulf War (1991). The United States and other nations would find new technologies for this purpose that would make the horror of Grant’s cannons and gunboats seem puny. And more often than not, this warfare would leave in its wake a massive loss of civilian life and destruction of property.”

“The purpose of this destruction was to persuade the enemy that the struggle was simply not worth the cost. After Vicksburg, civilians were as much a part of war as soldiers, starvation as much of a weapon as the rifle; and victory required not just the surrender of a few troops but the complete demoralization and destruction of vast civilian populations.”(15)

“The success of Grant at Vicksburg was due to his use of modern warfare - a combination of technology and total war.  The people of Vicksburg would not be the last to have to decide whether it was worth losing everything just to hold on to the hope of a later victory.”

CORRECTIONS
15. First, the authors claim that Total War is a recent occurrence is not true. Laying siege to a city and starving them into surrender was a common tactic in the ancient world. The Old Testament in the Bible has many accounts of armies starving a city into surrendering. The Roman Empire destroyed Carthage in the Third Punic War in 146 BC and sold 50,000 civilians into slavery.
     
The US engaged in total war against Japan and Germany in WW2 and defeated the 2 strongest military powers in the world in only three and a half years. The US fought a limited war against North Vietnam for 9 years. We lost over 40,000 men and then lost the war. We fought a limited war against Iraq during the Persian Gulf War that kicked Iraq out of Kuwait but left Saddam in power. He then went on to commit massive crimes against the civilians of his own country.
    
Second, the authors do not distinguish between Just Wars and Unjust Wars. Some examples of countries engaged in immoral, imperialistic wars of aggression would be Japan in World War 2, Germany in World Wars 1 and 2 and the Soviet Union during the Cold War and in the 1930s. The United States went to war to defeat countries fighting unjust, immoral wars. 
      
Third, the authors don’t differentiate between civilians being killed in the course of defeating an immoral aggressor nation in order to win a war and bring about peace versus an army which is intent on brutalizing the conquered population just because they can.  
        
For instance, once the Civil War ended, civilians returned to their usual life. Once Japan and Germany surrendered, their civilian populations were respected and in fact the US spent billions to rebuild what they had destroyed. As the precision of weapons has improved, the US has gone to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties. 
        
Brutalizing the civilian population of a defeated country was common throughout ancient times as well as modern times. During World War Two the Japanese were extremely brutal in the countries they conquered. Look up Rape of Nanking in 1937. Nazi extermination of millions of Jews and other civilians is another example. The Soviet Union’s enslavement of the countries of eastern Europe after World War two is another example. Muslim terrorists deliberately target civilians in Iraq, Nigeria and Israel.
        
In recent times, evil rulers have put military installations in civilian areas, hoping to get as many civilians as possible killed so they can claim war crimes were committed. In reality, the war crimes were committed by the nation’s leader who put his people in harms way. Saddam Hussein did this. The Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations does this.

The picture below (pages 346, 347) is misleading because it places the aggressor nations and the defender nations on the same moral level. The authors ignore the fact that in all these wars depicted below, US forces were the good guys out to defeat the bad guys.

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Total Warfare has been around for thousands of years
 
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Germany was the aggressor nation in WW2.
 
Not true. Napalm was primarily used to clear dense jungle communist troops were hiding in. Napalm killed thousands of enemy troops and saved thousands of American lives.
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Hussein killed Kurds because they opposed his dictatorship. 
 
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Germany was the aggressor nation in WW1.
 
Japan refused to surrender until the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
 
Iraq (1991) was the aggressor nation and bombing bridges was a way to harm Saddam Hussein’s war making abilities. It was also to let the civilian population know there is a price to pay for aggression.
 
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Page 666 - The German Empire Grows.  
“German aggression continued as the decade of the 1930s drew to a close.  Early in 1938 Hitler annexed Austria.  Later that year, he demanded possession of the Sudetenland, a section of Czechoslovakia inhabited by an ethnic German population. The League of Nations, which had been organized after World War I to try to maintain international peace, proved powerless to resist German aggression.  England and France, reluctant to become involved in another conflict after the devastation of World War I, adopted a policy know as appeasement.  To appease means to “keep the peace by giving in to someone’s demands.” Over and over England and France allowed Hitler to seize control of European territories, on the assumption that he finally would be satisfied.”

“Their assumption was wrong.  Hitler’s appetite proved insatiable, and he moved relentlessly to take over all of Czechoslovakia.  Then, in september 1939, after signing a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union so he would not have to fear a Soviet assault, Germany invaded Poland.(16)  Two days after this attack, leaders in England and France decided they would appease Hitler no longer.  Angry and frustrated over his steady encroachment on the European continent, they finally declared war on Germany.”

CORRECTIONS:
(16) NOT true. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany BOTH were imperialist nations conquering their neighbors. In August 1939, Hitler and Stalin signed a ten year non-aggression pact that included the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This Pact was an agreement by Germany and the Soviet Union on conquering and dividing up Eastern Europe. 
    
The Soviet Union invaded Finland on November 30, 1939 and forced Finland to sign the Moscow Peace Treaty on 13 March 1940. The League of Nations deemed the attack illegal and expelled the Soviet Union from the League on 14 December 1939.  The Soviet Union then took control of the small countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in 1940.
    
On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland from the west and on September 17, the Soviets invaded Poland from the east. Germany and the Soviet Union divided Poland in half.
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Page 669 - (Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941)
Anti-Japanese propaganda (right) kept the Pearl Harbor attack (above) fresh in Americans’ mind.(16)

CORECTION:
16. ‘Propaganda’ is giving partial or misleading information or outright lies to people with the intent of brainwashing people into believing a lie.

This poster is NOT propaganda. This is legitimate information reminding Americans not to forget the terrible attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

On page 719, however, the authors show a 1943 Hollywood poster supporting Soviet troops fighting the Germans at Stalingrad, but don’t call it propaganda.

PearlHarTxtbkRGB2.jpg

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Page 684
MAKING CONNECTIONS.
Do you think Truman would have been more reluctant to use the atomic bomb on Germany or Italy, if they had not yet surrendered in August 1945, then he was to use it on Japan? Why or why not?(17)

CORRECTIONS:
17. Why is this question even being asked? This is a deliberate attempt to make school kids believe the US was more interested in killing Japanese then Nazis and discredit the US war effort. The US decided to make the atomic bomb after they learned Hitler was trying to build one. The purpose of building the atomic bomb was to use it on any enemy still fighting after the Bomb was completed. Obviously, if Hitler got a nuclear bomb first, Nazi Germany would likely have won the war. The US goal, from Pearl Harbor on, was to destroy Germany and Japan as fast as possible and win the war. The allies - in effect - nuked Dresden, Germany in February 1945, by firebombing the city, causing 25,000 casualties. The atomic bomb wasn’t ready until July, 1945, after Germany had surrendered. The Japanese were still reluctant to surrender until after we nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The answer is Truman would have used the Bomb on whoever hadn’t surrendered by August 1945.
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Page 730 - “The Early War in Vietnam.” 
“Although Ho was sympathetic to the principles of communism, he was really more of a Vietnamese nationalist than a Soviet sympathizer. In his battle for Vietnamese independence, he used the American Revolutionary War as his model for independence.”(25)
“Ho Chi Minh sent this urgent telegram to President Truman in October 1945 asking for United States support of Vietnamese independence. Not wanting to jeopardize relations with France, Truman ignored Ho’s plea.”(26)

CORRECTIONS:
25. Not true. Ho was NOT a freedom fighter. Ho Chi Minh combined nationalism with communism. Ho was a dedicated communist dictatorship fighter. Communist Ho Chi Minh wanted to overthrow French colonial rule so he could establish his own dictatorship.  Ho gave lip service to believing in the principles of the American revolution. It was all a scam. Ho, like other communist “freedom fighters” used lofty rhetoric to brainwash people (like the authors of this textbook) into believing they wanted to free the people from oppression, when in reality, all communist dictators wanted to do was impose their own dictatorship on the people. He attended the Fifth Communist International Congress (Comintern) in June 1924. In 1930, Ho Chi Minh Founded the Indochinese Communist Party declaring: “The world [after WW1] was divided into two camps: one is the revolutionary camp which includes the oppressed colonial peoples and the exploited working class throughout the world. Its vanguard is the Soviet Union. The other is the counter-revolutionary camp of international capitalism and imperialism . . . .” Since the Soviets killed or starved MILLIONS of people to death, it was obvious Ho was not a  man of democratic principles.
Quote source: http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/ho-chi-minh/works/1930/02/18.htm

26. The telegram was received by Truman on Feb. 28, 1946. The telegram makes it appear the US supported French colonialism and had we supported Ho, we could have avoided the Vietnam War 2 decades later. The US supported Ho during WW2 when Japan occupied Indo China. However, this was one of those deals where ‘the enemy of our enemy is our friend.’ The US had the same relationship with the Soviet Union during WW2. Truman knew that Ho Chi Minh was a dedicated communist and the leader of the Indochina Communist Party. Ho Chi Minh supported the Communist revolution in China. Truman knew Ho Chi Minh was a liar. Not wanting to help a dedicated communist dictator, Truman ignored the telegram.
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Page - 733 to 737 The Cold War in the United States. (This Textbook spends 5 pages devoted to McCarthyism in the US and makes many false statements.)
page 733 - “The political left is made up of people who generally want to see the political system changed - sometimes radically - to benefit the common person.(19) The political right is composed of people who generally wish to preserve the current system. . . . The government’s loyalty program removed the left from power while effectively silencing any real political debate in the United States.”(20)
 
page 734 - “Singer Judy Garland urged Americans to “write your Congressman a letter” denouncing the campaign.(21)
 
page 736 - “The Hunt for Witches and Communists. Between June and September of 1692, fourteen women and five men were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, as witches(22). . . . Historians today compare Salem in 1692 to the United States in the 1950s.”(23) 
      “In 1954, after being condemned by the Senate for his activities, McCarthy’s reign of terror ended.”(24)

CORRECTIONS:
19. An incredibly misleading statement. Left wing economic programs have proven to be very corrupting to society not to mention they result in high taxes, economic decline and national bankruptcy. Communism killed millions of innocent people. Democracy has not.

20. Another lie. No one was silenced. No newspapers were shut down. No writers were arrested and thrown in jail. No politician with leftwing beliefs was forcibly removed from their office.

21. How is this possible? This book tells me political debate in the United States was silenced on the preceding page.

22. Comparing heated political debate where no one was killed with people being hanged is the ultimate in irresponsible writing. 

23. Who are the supposed historians who compare a political debate with hangings?

24. Another huge lie. There was NO “reign of terror.” A “reign of terror” happened in the Soviet Union under Communism where millions were executed or deliberately starved to death to achieve Stalin’s political aims. No one was executed or starved to death in the US to achieve political ends.
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Page 946 - (Judicial appointments by Reagan and Bush)
“As federal judges appointed by Reagan and Bush took office, the federal courts did less in the area of civil rights.”(25)

CORRECTIONS:
25. A very misleading statement. Many things the political left claims to be issues of civil rights are NOT civil rights issues at all.