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ENGLISH II AMERICAN LITERATURE FROM MCDOUGAL LITTELL AMERICAN LITERATURE (2008) PP.14-29 Early American Writing Historical Context 1600-1800.

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Presentation on theme: "ENGLISH II AMERICAN LITERATURE FROM MCDOUGAL LITTELL AMERICAN LITERATURE (2008) PP.14-29 Early American Writing Historical Context 1600-1800."— Presentation transcript:

1 ENGLISH II AMERICAN LITERATURE FROM MCDOUGAL LITTELL AMERICAN LITERATURE (2008) PP Early American Writing Historical Context

2 Essential Questions What factors shape our values and beliefs? What happens when belief systems of societies and individuals come into conflict? Is freedom ever free? What is the relationship between freedom and responsibility? How do authors use the resources of language to impact an audience? How does literature reveal the values of a given culture or time period? How does the study of fiction and nonfiction texts help individuals construct their understanding of reality?

3 Overview Historical Context Cultural Influences Ideas of the Age Early American Literature

4 Historical Context The Meeting of Two Worlds Early American writers concentrated on describing and trying to make sense of their challenging new environment and unfamiliar people with whom they shared it. Writers used letters, diaries, and reports back home to describe this historical turning point. Unknown to Europeans, Native American people had been living in the Americans for at least tens of thousands of years.

5 Historical Context The Meeting of Two Worlds (continued) Millions of people lived in the Americas on the eve of the arrival of the Europeans. Early writers wrote about how the Europeans and the Native Americans viewed each other and the Northern American land.

6 Historical Context From Colony to Colony First permanent colony was established in Jamestown in 1607 By 1733, English colonies stretched all along the Atlantic coast Colonies increasing became self reliant and developed their own local rules

7 Historical Context Loyalty to England The first colonists were loyal to Britain. They supported England economically by exporting raw materials to their homeland and importing Britain’s manufactured goods. Britain returned the favor by protecting its territories in America. For example, it sent soldiers to fight during the French and Indian War ( ), when France allied with Native American groups t send the British out of North America. After a long war, Britain claimed all of North America east of the Mississippi River.

8 Historical Context A Break with England The British tried to tax the colonist to recover some of the costs from the way. Colonists rejected this request crying “no taxation without representation.” In 1776, the colonist declared themselves to be free and independent of British control by defeating them in the Revolutionary War

9 Cultural Influences Religion was the most influential cultural force on writers of this time period. Puritan values and beliefs directed people’s everyday lives as well as the formation of an American society. Puritans: were a group of English Protestants who had sough to “purify” the Church of England and return to simpler ways of worshipping. Their efforts were not welcome in England. Many Puritans left the country to escape persecution.

10 The Puritans Puritan settlers believed themselves chosen by God to create new order in America. John Winthrop wrote in 1630 that “we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a hill. The eyes of people are upon us.” Puritan Values directed every aspect of their lives. They saw the human struggle with sin as a daily mission and believed that the Bible would help them through that sin. Hard work, thrift, and responsibility were seen as morally good.

11 Ideas of the Age The Enlightenment Burst of intellectual energy known as the Enlightenment Questioned previously accepted truths about who should hold power Writers: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson The Great Awakening People worried Puritan values were being lost Preachers such as Jonathan Edwards called for people to refocus on the Puritan vision People joined together to uphold Puritan beliefs

12 Early American Literature Native Americans 300 different Native American cultures when the Europeans arrived 200 different languages spoken Native American history, legends, and myths were entrusted to memory and passed from generation to generation through oral tradition Explorers and Early Settlers Settlers described the new land to those in Europe Accounts helped English readers visualize North America

13 Early American Literature The Puritan Tradition Believed writing should be used to help readers understand the Bible and guide them through their daily lives Logic, clarity, and order are often themes in Puritan works Direct, powerful, plain language

14 The Puritan Tradition Puritan Poetry Viewed poetry as a means of exploring the relationship between the individual and God Anne Bradstreet- learning, faith, love for husband and children Edward Taylor-poetry as aids and meditations, used nature Sermons and Other Writings Jonathan Edwards- wrote about the dangers of sinful ways “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

15 Writers of the Revolution Pamphlets and Propaganda: political writings that became the “fuel” for the revolution. Between 1763 and 1783 about 2000 pamphlets were published (Thomas Paine) Writings that Launched the Nation Declaration of Independence, The Constitution Voices of the People Phillis Wheatley-Natural Rights Abigail Adams- Rights for all citizens


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