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From the Earliest Days (Prehistory - 1750) to A New Nation (1750 1850)

Lic. Patricia Claure R. LAEL / UMSS 2013

History of the Time


Land is sacred. Lives organized around cycles of nature. Folktales, fables, sacred stories. Speechmaking, storytelling. Age of exploration (Spanish, Portuguese, Europeans) 1st successful English settlement in Jamestown Virginia in 1607. Puritans settled in Plymouth Massachusetts in 1620.

History of the Time


American colonists angry. Fought with British to defeat France. Boston tea party in 1773. Intolerable Acts of 1774 to punish colonies. British opened fire in 1775. Declaration of Independence in 1776. Constitution of the United States in 1787. George Washington 1st president in 1789.

Life of the Time


Colonists in Virginia bought slaves. In Pennsylvania 1st antislavery protest. Puritans believed that the Universe was God- centered. Favored plain, dark clothing. Native Americans and slaves practiced their own beliefs.

Life of the Time


Andrew Jackson (7th president) the peoples president. Democracy was hot topic, didnt appy to all Americans. 1st womens rights convention. Roads were still primitive, but developed trails, bridges, steamboats, railroads. Wealthy Americans influenced by English and French styles.

Literature of the Time


Fliers and pamphlets advertising the New World. Religious books like translation of the Bible and hymn book Bay Psalm Book. 1st colonial newspaper in 1704. Journals and diaries were kept by puritans to reflect and examine own spiritual development.

Literature of the Time


Sarah Josepha Hale was editor of LadiesMagazine in 1828 and of Godeys Ladys Book in 1837. Poems for our children in 1830. Broadside were sheets of paper containing various kinds of writing.

Literary Trends: Plain Style


Plain Style refers to a writing style and literary genre of Puritan Americans. Poetry and prose was very straightforward and direct and mostly revolved around religious themes. The style was focused on directly addressing subjects and speaking directly to theological ideas and morals.

Plain Style vs. Ornate Style


Ornate Style Plain Style

Shabby but beloved, my My shoes are old and shoes house my feet as brown, worn out but they carry me from place comfortable for walking. to place.
Plain Style vs. Ornate Style

My pen spills its blood The pen with which I as it brings words to life. write often leaks ink.

Literary Trends: Romanticism


Romanticism emerged as movement, focused on individualism,nationalism, a love of nature and the supernatural. Found in poetry and prose. The essay has three major divisions: the importance of selfreliance (paragraphs 1-17), selfreliance and the individual (paragraphs 18-32), and selfreliance and society (paragraphs 33-50). As a whole, it promotes self-reliance as an ideal, even a virtue, and contrasts it with various modes of dependence or conformity.

Literary Trends: Dark Romanticism


The grotesque, the gloomy, the morbid, the fantastic were embraced and shaped into the most popular sub-genre of American literature. Dark Romantics acknowledged the evil of man and the horror of evil. Like the Romantics the Dark Romantics valued intuition and emotion over logic and reason and saw symbols, spiritual truths, and signs in nature and everyday events.

Literary Trends: Transcendentalists


Less fictional and more focused on the author. Protest against politics and culture. Encouraged a break from all of societal norms and conveniences. Reliance on self and nature. Individual can transform the world.

Interesting Facts
Approximate number of Native Americans living in New England when the Pilgrims first arrived: 100,000

Native Americans taught Pilgrims how to plant wheat, Indian corn, and peas. Soon, settlement was growing lots of food. Later that year, in the fall, Pilgrims celebrated the harvest. They invited Native American friends to join them. This has become known as the first Thanksgiving.

Interesting Facts
In colonial America, troublemakers were punished in the center of town for all to see. Estimated number of sermons the average Puritan listened to in his or her lifetime: 7,000 Average length of each sermon: two hours or more. Average age at which women in colonial New England first married: 22 Average number of children born to each woman: 7.

Interesting Facts about American Revolution


The first shot fired in the American is called the "shot heard round the world". George Washington, the first President, only attended school until he was 14 years old. He became Commander of the Virginia Militia when he was just 23. Although the war was between the colonies and Great Britain, other countries got involved as well. The French were a major ally to the colonies and there were French, German, and Spanish soldiers who fought in the war. The United States didn't exist until after the Declaration of Independence was signed!

Conclusion
American literature began with the orally transmitted myths, legends, tales, and lyrics (always songs) of Indian cultures. There was no written literature among the more than 500 different Indian languages and tribal cultures that existed in North America before the first Europeans arrived. American writing began with the work of English adventurers and colonists in the New World. From the beginning, however, the literature of New England was also directed to the edification and instruction of the colonists themselves, intended to direct them in the ways of the godly.