Presentation on theme: "The Age of Reason The Revolutionary Period in American Literature 1750-1800."— Presentation transcript:
The Age of Reason The Revolutionary Period in American Literature
Background: The Age of Reason By the mid to late 1700’s, the Puritan influence began to wane Time of American Enlightenment Materialists not idealists Reality is perceived by senses God is not present all the time Self-Determinism! Desire to improve life for everyone
The Focus on “Reason” Definition: The Age of Reason is a movement that was marked by emphasis on rationality rather than tradition, scientific inquiry rather than unquestioning religious dogma, and representative government instead of monarchy.
What’s the Context? People come from Europe to American colonies Colonies were NOT HAPPY with situation
Troubles with British Rule Defending colonies Stamp Act of 1765 Boston Tea Party in 1773 Declaration of Independence in 1776 British Surrendered on October 19, 1781
Characteristics Patriotism grows Instills pride Create a common agreement about issues American character
How does this Influence Literature? Nonfiction is far more influential than fiction Most important pieces of literature: Speeches Political Documents Pamphlets
Major Literature and Authors of the Time Literature The Declaration of Independence Patrick Henry’s Speech to the Virginia Convention Thomas Paine’s The Crisis The Federalist Papers Works of Benjamin Franklin Authors Thomas Jefferson Patrick Henry Thomas Paine Benjamin Franklin Any “Founding Fathers”
Who is Benjamin Franklin?
Benjamin Franklin Born in Boston in1706 No formal education Became a printer's apprentice in his brother's print shop Wrote under “Silence Dogood” At 17 moved to Philadelphia Bought and revitalized The Philadelphia Gazette
Political Career Spokesman for colonies before war Member of 2 nd Continental Congress Enlisted support of French during Revolutionary war Helped negotiate The Treaty of Paris Helped draft Declaration of Independence Present of commonwealth of PA Helped draft constitution
Franklin’s Writing Career Purpose: to be clear and persuasive Goals as a journalist: fought for human rights, freedom of the press Significant works: The Autobiography, Poor Richard’s Almanac Style: Sophisticated language, moralizing tone, humor Characters: “Slience Dogood”, “Poor Richard,” and Franklin himself
Poor Richard’s Almanac Almanac contained practical information Bestseller Annual publication from Moral messages while entertaining Best known for use of: Maxim: A SHORT saying with a serious moral lesson Aphorism: A SHORT saying with a humorous moral lesson
The Autobiography Wrote the first section in 1771 at age 65 Only goes from early life to year 1759 Filled with opinions and advice Record of achievement and character First great American success story
Franklin and the American Dream Self-made Self-taught Generous Ingenious Thrifty Self-deprecating Good-humored Hard working Helpful Confident And of course…..HUMBLE