This is a major survey of the American past from the earliest colonial settlements to the present day. It traces the political, intellectual, economic and cultural development of a distinctive American society, without losing sight of its continued connections with the Old World. Swelled by a continuous flux of immigration, the population of the United States spread with astonishing rapidity over a vast continent, evolving a new system of government and creating extraordinary wealth. Maldwyn A Jones assesses not only the epic achievements of the nation, but also the tensions and limitations of the society behind the 'American Dream'. In this second edition Professor Jones has continued his study to the present, with a new chapter examining the conservative revival of the 1980s and the presidential elections of 1992. He has included an additional map, incorporated the most recently available statistics into the population tables, and completely revised and updated the Bibliography.