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Unit 2 A Growing Nation American Renaissance 1800-1870.

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1 Unit 2 A Growing Nation American Renaissance

2 1870 Industrialism, population growth, economic changes, and the Civil War had aged a youthful nation’s spirit, but also gave way to great American writers like Irving, Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson, and Whitman

3 19 th Century American inventions 1807 – Steamboat 1814 – Iron-tipped plow 1835 – Sewing Machine 1845 – Porcelain false teeth 1857 – Passenger elevator 1863 – Roller skates Typewriter

4 The American Renaissance The European Renaissance was the rebirth of classical art and learning in the 14 th -16 th Centuries The American Renaissance was NOT a rebirth but more of a flowering or growing of literary and cultural maturity –Capital moved to Washington, D.C. from Philly –Library of Congress founded

5 Steam, Steel, and Spirit Physical and technological growth 1803 – Louisiana Purchase doubled nation’s size –National pride and self-awareness –Canals, turnpikes, and railroads expanded 1849 – Gold Rush in California Factories and Industry in the Northeast created jobs –Steel plow and telegraph

6 Slow March of Democracy 1828 – Andrew Jackson – the People’s President –No land ownership required to vote –Women still not permitted to vote 1838 – Trail of Tears forces many Native Americans west as their tribal lands were confiscated

7 World Stage 1812 – War of 1812 convinced Europe that the US was on the world Stage 1823 – Monroe Doctrine warns Europe not to interfere with Latin America 1830s – Conflict with Mexico over Texas 1845 – Texas joins Union (Florida becomes a state too) 1861 Civil War

8 Relationship between Place and Literature Americans inspired by land – size of nation and vast differences in landscapes Americans realized that continent held many commercial possibilities Physical grandeur inspired Americans to reach for vast possibilities Explorers and writers create American Mythology in the vast wilderness and forests

9 Winds of Change Prosperity brings problems –Child Labor –Unsafe working conditions –Fierce competition Slavery – still a huge issue of contention –Builds to Civil War in 1861

10 Renaissance Literature American Classics – writers such as Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson, Thoreau, and Dickinson American Mythology – writers such as Irving, Cooper and Longfellow

11 Authors Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville – dark side of human spirit Emerson and Thoreau – nature Dickinson – local landscape Whitman – self and nation

12 Literature reflecting society Technology – bigger, better, faster, and stronger – Americans want MORE America is moving towards a different democracy – all WHITE MEN can vote Slavery is a contentious issue Americans still reading British classics like Dickens and Scott, but American authors are gaining ground

13 Three Visions Social – How the New World rivaled the Old World –Frontiersman Romantic – exploration of private self was as important as land expansion (imagination over reason) –Individualist Transcendental – real truth is outside sensory experience (nature and spiritual merge) –Seeker

14 What makes American literature American? Local dialects emerged and local grammar and syntax change as British English, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Native American languages merged Colloquial English becomes common – more informal than stuffy British English “Barbaric Yawp” – Whitman’s style that incorporated all of the languages and dialects of various areas of the country Frontiersmen like Daniel Boone and Davey Crocket become topics of folktales

15 Romanticism Emphasizes the individual over the institution – Ex. Hester Prynne vs. Church, Captain Ahab vs. logic and safety American myth started with “a city upon a hill” (Boston) and eventually becomes a garden as western expansion makes writers realize there is a vast canvas of possibility Romanticism has two faces –Bright and optimistic – humans are fundamentally good –Dark and shadowed by evil – humans resort naturally to crime, cruelty, and self-destruction Self-reliance – Thoreau and Emerson urged Americans to trust themselves and think for themselves


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