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Hector St. John de Crevecoeur (1735-1813). Biography French mapmaker who settled in New York and married an American woman Left during the Revolution.

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Presentation on theme: "Hector St. John de Crevecoeur (1735-1813). Biography French mapmaker who settled in New York and married an American woman Left during the Revolution."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hector St. John de Crevecoeur ( )

2 Biography French mapmaker who settled in New York and married an American woman Left during the Revolution to tend to his sick father 1782 published Letters from an American Farmer Returned to NY in 1783 to find wife dead and farm destroyed

3 Biography, cont. Stayed in New York City for most of 1780s Returned to France at the end of his life

4 Letters from an American Farmer (1782) First literary success by American author in Europe Described whole country, not just one colony Shaped European understanding of American identity Celebrated ingenuity, simplicity, diversity of colonies

5 “What is an American?” From Letters from an American Farmer

6 General characteristics: no nobility no factories no luxury smaller gap between rich and poor subsistence farmers “mild government” industrious

7 General Characteristics (cont.) come from many countries: England, Scotland, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden have dignity, not poverty and oppression reap the benefits of their own labor (don’t have to give it up to nobility or church) have little or no connection to their countries of origin, which offered them only poverty and oppression

8 Regional characteristics Coastal eat a lot of seafood bold and enterprising interact with a lot of people love traffic want to transport goods

9 Regional characteristics “Middle settlements” mostly farmers little interference from government or religion educated litigious (like to bring lawsuits to protect their own interests) proud and obstinate (stubborn) think for themselves politically active and freely express their opinions

10 Regional characteristics “great woods” (frontier) possibly greedy for land discord, lack of friends idleness drunkenness local officials behave no better than anyone else at war with other people and/or nature hunters, supplemented by some farming as more settlers move in and make the area more “respectable,” these people will be driven further away

11 Religious characteristics: when people of same religion settle near one another, they build churches and are involved with religion much freedom to found new places of worship if isolated from others of same religion, then influence and practice of religion is less people don’t tell others how to worship (usually) intermarriage is acceptable religion may be determined by what is in the neighborhood, rather than how one was raised


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