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A Nation is Born: The Age of Reason (1750-1800) American Literature Ms. Oliveira.

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Presentation on theme: "A Nation is Born: The Age of Reason (1750-1800) American Literature Ms. Oliveira."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Nation is Born: The Age of Reason ( ) American Literature Ms. Oliveira

2 Comparison Enlightenment Reason and science over faith People by nature are good Sought to draw on the new scientific knowledge of the Renaissance to improve the human condition by improving man's institutions, government Writing was public writing- newspapers, magazines, almanacs- Political writing most important Puritans Main concern was the hereafter Man sinning was inevitable Government was a theocracy Theological Studies, hymns, histories, diaries and histories- purpose was to provide spiritual insight and instruction or self- examination

3 Age of Reason or The Enlightenment Writers and thinkers valued reason over faith Provided the philosophical basis of the American Revolution = a blueprint for the organization of a democratic society. Started in Europe with Voltaire, Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Rousseau, John Locke In America, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson – Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution

4 Cultural Identity During this period, America began to establish a cultural identity of its own Theaters built Colleges established: University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and Blount College (UT) Painters and music writers emerged

5 Benjamin Franklin: The Rationalist One of 17 children 1722 become vegetarian to save money for books Left school early to work, and by the age of 24, he was a prosperous merchant, owner of a print shop, and published a newspaper (Silence Dogood- satirize daily life in politics) Moved to Philly at 17- promoted paved streets, sewer line, street lights Inventor (42 retired from printing)- lightening rod, bifocals, Franklin stove, odometer Started Autobiography in 1771 (65 yrs.) added 3 more sections- never completed


7 Franklin Funnies

8 Phillis Wheatley 1753?-Born in west Africa; brought to America when 8 yrs. old Given her name by owners and converted to Christianity Native language was not English Owners recognized her intelligence and taught her Latin and Greek classics, English poetry and Bible 13- first poem published Freed in last yrs of life filled with sorrow: 3 children died, husband jailed for debt, lost recognition as poet Died alone and impoverished in 1784 First writer of African descent to gain a voice in America

9 Patrick Henry Give me liberty or give me death! 1765-elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses Opposed the Stamp Act on all printed paper Delivered most famous speech t the Virginia Provincial Convention-urged armed resistance to Britain (unlike many others) Speech had a powerful impact on the audience- revolutionary spirit that led to the Declaration of Independence

10 Revolutionary Romps

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