The American Renaissance (1800 – 1870). European Renaissance (rebirth of arts and learning): 14 th, 15 th,and 16 th century American Renaissance (not.

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<ul><li> Slide 1 </li> <li> The American Renaissance (1800 1870) </li> <li> Slide 2 </li> <li> European Renaissance (rebirth of arts and learning): 14 th, 15 th,and 16 th century American Renaissance (not a rebirth but a first flowering): first half of 19 th century) Two major events: 1. capital moved to Washington, D.C. 2. foundation of the Library of Congress (first cultural institution in the capital) </li> <li> Slide 3 </li> <li> Events Thomas Jefferson Louisiana Purchase of 1803 (doubled the territory of the US) Improved transportation: canals, turnpikes, railroads, steamboats California became US territory (1848) Gold Rush of 1849 New industries, new kinds of jobs (more productive farming) Telegraph improved communication across the US </li> <li> Slide 4 </li> <li> Politics 1828 Andrew Jackson - The Peoples President The era of the common man no more property requirement for voting Only white males allowed to vote Little attention paid to women African-Americans still enslaved Native Americans tribal lands confiscated; forced to move to the West Texas becomes territory of the US (1845) Conflict over slavery leads to civil war </li> <li> Slide 5 </li> <li> What is the relationship between place (property) and literature? Vast land: open prairies in the Midwest deserts in the SE immense forests in the NW great canyons and mountains in the W Oceans on both sides Countless natural resources </li> <li> Slide 6 </li> <li> (Cont.) Spirit of acquisition, pride of ownership Exploration led to exploitation Limitless possibilities Literature: Explorers recorded facts of their expeditions in colorful words and drawings Fiction writers (Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper) - created an American mythology by setting stories in forests and towns of the American landscape Henry Wadsworth Longfellow narrative poems : colonial Americans, Native Americans, and Revolutionary War heroes within the American wilderness </li> <li> Slide 7 </li> <li> The American Masters Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville dark side of wilderness Transcendentalists: Ralph Emerson, Henry D. Thoreau emphasized natures sublimity </li> <li> Slide 8 </li> <li> How does literature shape or reflect society? Harriet Beecher Stowe - antislavery novel Uncle Toms Cabin (national and international phenomenon) Henry Wadsworth Longfellow best-selling poet in the English language </li> <li> Slide 9 </li> <li> What did the American writers want to achieve? (What is their purpose for writing?) The social vision: Lectures, essays, speeches, debates, pamphlets, editorials, songs womens rights, slavery, treatment of the Native Americans, land use, immigration, trade, taxes Americans to define their own self </li> <li> Slide 10 </li> <li> (cont.) The Romantic vision: Directly in contrast to the Age of Reason While rationalists saw the move to the big city a move toward success, romantics saw it as a place of moral decay, corruption, and death Individual freedom Individual quest for self-discovery Natures beauty as a path to spiritual and moral development Journey led to the countryside Youthful innocence vs. sophisticated education </li> <li> Slide 11 </li> <li> Is of Romanticism intuition imagination innocence inspiration from supernatural and from nature inner experience </li> <li> Slide 12 </li> <li> A Transcendental Vision: Thoreau and Emerson - 1830s and 1840s Individual - center of the universe, more powerful than any political or religious institution Thoreaus Walden </li> </ul>

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