What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848

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What Hath God Wrought: the Transformation of America, 1815–1848
What Hath God Wrought - The Transformation of America.jpg
First edition cover
Author Daniel Walker Howe
Series Oxford History of the United States
Subject U.S. history
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication date
October 29, 2007
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 928
ISBN 0-19-507894-2
OCLC 122701433

What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book written in 2007 by historian Daniel Walker Howe.[1] The book is part of the Oxford History of the United States.[2] The book provides an intellectual, religious, social, and political history of the United States at the time when America’s founders were handing the leadership of the nation to a new generation.

Howe demonstrates that Americans during this period considered their country an example of Democracy for the rest of the world. He argues that the most important forces that made American Democracy meaningful during this period were (1) the growth of the market economy, (2) the awakened vigor of democratically organized Protestant churches and other voluntary associations, (3) the emergence of mass political parties. The impact of these three factors was magnified by developments in communications (mails, newspaper, books, and telegraph) and transportation (trains, steamboats, canals, and roads). The book's title comes from both the Bible and Samuel Morse’s first telegraph message. Although there was much to admire about America during this period, Howe argues that the admiration was diminished by the continuation and expansion of slavery, the removal of Native Americans, and Imperialist actions, especially those against Mexico.

Some of the major individuals and groups of the period were: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, James Monroe, DeWitt Clinton, Thomas Hart Benton, James Polk, Democratic Party, Whigs, abolitionists, evangelical Protestant sects, and slaveholders.

In 2008, What Hath God Wrought received the Pulitzer Prize for History. Other prizes it won include the American History Book Prize.


  1. ^ Howe, Daniel Walker. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848. Oxford University Press. p. 928. ISBN 0-19-507894-2. 
  2. ^ "Pulitzer Prizes Awards". The New York Times. April 8, 2008.  Retrieved on April 15, 2009.