Presentation on theme: "For review of the OG's: There are four main parts to this material in the following order. Traditionalism against which Romanticism revolted: 1. Puritanism."— Presentation transcript:
For review of the OG's: There are four main parts to this material in the following order. Traditionalism against which Romanticism revolted: 1. Puritanism 2. Work Ethic 3. Gender traditionalism Major points are in gray/black boxes The Romantic revolt comes under 3 headings: Authenticity Part One: INTUITION: Discover one's true self Major points are in green boxes Authenticity Part Two: EXPRESSIVISM: Express your true self Major Points are in red boxes Authenticity Part 3: INTEGRITY Have the integrity to maintain your true self Major points are in blue boxes:
The traditional culture 1. Puritanism 2. Protestant work ethic 3. Natural gender roles
PURITANISM Jonathan Edwards's fearsome "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"... defined the role of the individual: 1. to subordinate itself to the doctrine of the community, to conform to the values of the charter.” 2 to live for the future: salvation not present welfare 3. To accept the authority of others as one’s own truth
The work ethic: the self-made man 1. Work hard; do not waste time 2. Aim for worldly success:wealth 3. Delay gratification 4. Be practical. 5. Take responsibility for oneself: “rugged individualism”
Ben Franklin popularized and epitomized the legend of the Self-Made Man, and its corollary idea that America was the Land of Opportunity, where anyone who worked hard and used his (and sometimes her) head could get ahead in the world. Any boy could grow up to be President. Anyone could make the climb from Rags to Riches. Characteristically this climb was done alone, one stood on one's own two feet, and lifted oneself by the bootstraps. One's success (or failure) depended on oneself and oneself only. This typical American individualism is due largely to Franklin as well. More than any other single myth this idea that what America was about was the prospect of individual prosperity and wealth has governed our idea about who we are. If anything this preoccupation with wealth has intensified in the 200 years since Ben Franklin.
The maxims of Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack …celebrated the virtues of hard work, sobriety, moderation, thrift and self-improvement.
It was a production ethic. The great virtues it taught were industry, foresight, thrift and personal initiative. The workman should be industrious in order to produce more for his employer; he should look ahead to the future; he should save money in order to become a capitalist himself; Then he should exercise personal initiative and found new factories where other workmen would toil industriously, and save, and become capitalists in their turn.
In a famous lecture of the late 19c called "the Gospel of Wealth" Baptist minister Russell Crowell said Never in the history of the world did a poor man without capital have such an opportunity to get rich quickly and honestly as he has now. I say that you ought to get rich and it is your duty to get rich. How many of my pious brethren say to me, "Do you, a Christian minister, spend your time going up and down the country advising young people to get rich, to get money?”"Yes, of course I do." They say ”Isn't that awful! Why don't you preach the gospel instead of preaching about man's making money?" ” Because to make money honestly is to preach the gospel."
De Tocqueville reported at about this time: The American is devoured by the longing to make his fortune; it is the unique passion of his life; he has... no inveterate habits, no spirit of routine; he is the daily witness of the swiftest changes of fortune, and is less afraid than any other inhabitant of the globe to risk what he has gained in the hope of a better future, for he knows that he can without trouble create new resources again...Everybody here wants to grow rich and rise in the world, and there is no one but believes in his power to succeed in that. Democracy in America 2 vols 1835, 1840
Toward the end of the 19th century the name Horatio Alger became synonymous with the idea of “Rags-to-Riches”: anyone no matter how poor could rise to wealth and success in America. ( 1868)
Frances Trollope reported in the early 19c on Some of the results of the combination of the Puritan ethic and Franklin’s maxims, which Included “a penny saved is a penny earned.” I never saw a population so totally divested of gayety. They have no fetes, no fairs, no merrimaking, no music in the streets...If they see a comedy or a farce, they may laugh at it, but they can do very well without it; and the consciousness of the number of cents that must be paid to enter a theater, I am very sure turns more steps from its door than any religious feeling.
Edward Said says of his Palestinian father living in Cairo: My father was ruled by the practice of self-making... he came to represent...rationalistic discipline and repressed emotions, and all this had impinged on me my whole life...In me remains his relentless insistence on doing something useful, getting things done, never giving up, more or less all the time. I have no concept of leisure or relaxation, and more particularly, no sense of cumulative achievement.
We are being told that the people of our country have achieved unparalleled equality. Listen to some of the voices. Some months ago, a national periodical proclaimed the fact that the United States had recently achieved the "most truly classless society in history." A few weeks later, a publisher hailed the disappearance of the class system in America as "the biggest news of our era." Still later, the director of a market-research organization announced his discovery that America was becoming "one vast middle class." Meanwhile, a corporation in paid advertisements was assuring us that "there are more opportunities in this country than ever before." Whatever else we are, we certainly are the world's most self- proclaimed equalitarian people. The rank-and-file citizens of the nation have generally accepted this view of progress toward equality because it fits with what we would like to believe about ourselves. It coincides with the American Creed and the American Dream, and is deeply imbedded in our folklore. Vance Packard, The Status Seekers, 1959
Rugged individualism: The belief that all individuals, or nearly all individuals, can succeed on their own and that government help for people should be minimal. --The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. 2002
1. Women as lesser men 2. Difference 3. Separate spheres Gender traditionalism
“pre-industrial society set definite standards of gender... There was no sense of evolution in gender relationships. They seemed fixed by God and by history... Most people Believed that men and women had unalterable God-given roles. Model 1: Puritanism The relation of women to men was frequently explained on the Model of the Great Chain of Being, with woman appearing as A sort of inferior man, with similar but lesser abilities and Qualities. Women were also seen as innately evil, on the model Of Eve: tempting men into sin by their sexuality. Model 2: Difference Toward the end of the 18th century, understandings of gender Shifted, sharply, to stress the difference between men and Women.... Because of woman’s God-given “innate sexual Essence,” she had a “uniquely feminine” nature
By the end of the 19th century this had become Model 3: separate spheres Men and women each had their own natural sphere where they were properly dominant. Men’s sphere was the public World of work and politics. Women’s sphere was the private Sphere of the home and family. Women (and men) who tried to rebel against these “natural” roles were condemned as “unnatural,”not “true women” and so on.
1.Live for the future (sacred or secular); delay gratification 2.Subordinate oneself to one’s community 3.Women are different than men and should stay in their proper place 4. Accept the authority of others as one’s own truth 5.Aim for worldly success:wealth 6.Work hard; do not waste time: “nose to the grindstone 6. Be practical, not a dreamer: Rationalistic discipline 7. Repress emotions: they are not useful 8. Take responsibility for oneself: “rugged individualism ” Traditional Wisdom
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