Words That Make New Jersey History is a book-length collection of documents that spans the history of New Jersey, from the arrival of Dutch traders in the 1600s to the present. The materials touch on a range of subjects such as factories and farms, cities and suburbs, slavery and abolitionism, the temperance and woman suffrage campaigns, race and ethnic relations, the labor movement, and economic and environmental issues. The documents include letters, journals, pamphlets, petitions, artwork, and songs created not only by those who exercised power, but also by men and women of more humble station--immigrants, workers, slaves, foreign travelers, and civil servants. Their lively accounts range from descriptions of Native Americans in the seventeenth century to Bruce Springsteen's recent lament about a declining factory town.
New to this expanded edition is the text of James McGreevey's "I am a Gay American" speech, as well as entries about the Abbott v. Burke court ruling mandating that New Jersey equalize funding of urban and suburban schools districts, sprawl and its effects on water supply, and the state's economic boom in the 1990s.
A balanced survey of New Jersey's history presented in the context of a changing nation, this volume is well suited to general readers who want to explore the primary sources of the state's past, and to U.S. history students at the high school and college levels.