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Toward an American Culture (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved Chapter 10.

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Presentation on theme: "Toward an American Culture (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved Chapter 10."— Presentation transcript:

1 Toward an American Culture (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved Chapter 10

2 The Northern Middle Class “Most valuable class in any community is the middle class”—Walt Whitman New kinds of proprietors made in the market revolution –City and county merchants –Master craftsmen, manufacturers –Market-oriented farmers Many were New Englanders Yankee Protestantism: the foundation of American middle-class culture (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

3 The Evangelical Base Charles Grandison Finney –Rochester, New York –New Evangelicalism (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

4 Domesticity Distinctions made between the home and the world Spheres for men and women: –Men: politics and economics –Women: moral influence in households: A feminization of domestic life Fewer children, more attention to each –Morals reflected in Sunday schools (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

5 Sentimentality Godey’s Lady’s Book –Sarah Josepha Hale Nathaniel Hawthorne, “damned mob of scribbling women” –Susan Warner, The Wide, Wide World –Maria Cummin, The Lamplighter Women writers de facto Evangelical ministers Harriet Beecher Stowe –Uncle Tom’s Cabin (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

6 Fine Arts 1820s and 1830s: literature and the arts are viewed more favorably than in previous post-revolutionary era Relations between nature and civilization (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

7 Nature and Art Art as avenue to grand lessons of nature Mt. Auburn Cemetery Thomas Cole –“Essay on American Scenery” Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry David Thoreau (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

8 Scenic Tourism: Niagara Falls Wealthy Americans began to travel for the purpose of looking at scenery Niagara Falls –Erie Canal (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

9 The Plain People of the North Settlers in the lower Northwest remained culturally southern Hill-country New Englanders, New Yorkers, and Pennsylvanians Refugees from countryside working as urban laborers Irish and German immigrants All often rejected sentimentalism and reformist religion (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

10 Religion and Common Folk Huge diversity in churches, faiths Evangelical emphasis on individual experience over churchly authority Providence –God has blueprint –Death of loved one God’s test (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

11 Popular Millennialism postmillennialists premillennialism William Miller –Millerites –Seventh Day Adventist Church (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

12 Family and Society Baptists, Methodists and smaller sects evangelized among those left behind by market revolution: dependent, wage-earners Middle-class saw progress, while poorer and more conservative evangelicals saw a descent into worldliness Critical of Market Revolution assault on traditional patriarchy (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

13 The Prophet Joseph Smith Reaction against weakening of traditional patriarchy The Book of Mormon –Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

14 The Rise of Popular Culture Plain folk: producers and consumers of nonreligious commercial popular culture (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

15 Blood Sports Urban working-class neighborhoods Bachelor sub-culture formed –Departure from piety and self-restraint of the middle-class –Volunteer fire companies and militia units or drinking gangs Sportsman Hall, New York City –Cock fights, ratting, dog fighting (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

16 Boxing Irish and English immigrants Ethnic-based street gangs: –Dead Rabbits –Bowery B’hoys Role of butchers (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

17 An American Theater Theater and theater companies spread to interior Theater riots Theaters separate to appeal to rival audiences –Edwin Forrest vs. William Charles Macready –Astor Place Riot (1849) Playhouses for working class (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

18 Minstrelsy Most popular form of theater: blackface minstrel shows: –1 st Minstrel show Thomas Rice “jumps Jim Crow” 1831 –Mostly attended by men –Performed by white men who wore “blackface” –Toned down, Europeanized African American song and dance –Reinforced racial stereotypes –Content of shows dealt with social and political life Traveling Minstrel shows –Grecian Dog Apollo (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

19 Novels and the Penny Press Penny newspapers and dime novels Philadelphia Gazette and sensationalism “yellow back novels” –Quaker City (1845) Working class popular culture –Melodramatic contest between good and evil –World is evil –E.Z.C. Judson (Ned Buntline) (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

20 Family, Church, and Neighborhood: The White South Southerners remained localistic and culturally conservative Prospects for most Southern whites: inherited land and family Southerners were grounded in authority of patriarchs and integrity of families (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

21 Southern Families Family members: representatives of families, rather than individuals – duty to their family Reputation and defense of the family name and honor Family honor more important than wealth Southern code of honor Honor the obligations to which one is born (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

22 Southern Entertainments Rural character of South meant fewer commercial entertainments English literature preferred –Sir Walter Scott and Chivalry Hunting and fishing Commercial entertainment –Showboats along river towns –Horse racing –New Orleans (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

23 The Camp Meeting Becomes Respectable Evangelical “Bible Belt” Revivals continue Reinforced localistic neighborhoods and patriarchal families (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

24 Religious Conservatism Misfortune is divine punishment Southern cultural conservatism was rooted in: –Religion –The family –A system of fixed family roles (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

25 Proslavery Christianity By 1830 South was minority in a democratic and capitalist nation Northern middle-class: made a connection between material and moral progress –Individual autonomy and universal rights Radical northern minority advocated abolition of slavery Southern response: moral and religious defense of slavery –Rejects Jefferson’s “self-evident” equality of man (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

26 The Private Lives of Slaves Plantation slaveholders knew their success depended on slaves’ labor and obedience in exchange for allowing slaves some privilege and autonomy (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

27 The Slave Family Most precious slave privilege: right to make and maintain families Slave marriages Slave families vulnerable –Slaves used for sex by owners –Slaves were assets that were sometimes liquidated Slaves modified their relations in anticipation of uncertainties Extended kinship (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

28 White Missions Missions to slaves –Owners responsible for spiritual welfare of slaves Charles Colcock Jones (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

29 Slave Christians Slaves ignored much of missionary teachings Slaves embraced Christianity: –transformed it into an independent African American faith Incorporated social and ritual practices passed down from West Africa Moses not Abraham at Jesus’s side (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

30 Religion and Revolt Slave revolt rare Running away common form of rebellion Christianity convinced slaves that justice would come to them Denmark Vesey –Vesey plot (1822) –Gullah Jack (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

31 Nat Turner Nat Turner’s Rebellion (1831) –Instrument of God’s wrath Virginia: 60 slaves killed 55 whites Deeply troubling for Southern whites (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved

32 Conclusion America’s patchwork of regional, class, and ethnic cultures: –New middle-classes of North and West –Poor urban dwellers –Evangelical, socially conservative Southerners –Slave culture (c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved


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