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A Nation is Born

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					A Nation is Born


    1750-1800



                American Literature
Authors we will read
n   Benjamin Franklin
n   Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crevecoeur
n   Thomas Paine
n   Thomas Jefferson
The Age of Reason or Enlightenment
n   Writers valued reason over faith.
n   God gave reason to mankind.
n    People are generally good and not evil
n   Humans were born with an innate ethical sense
    and had the ability to regulate and improve their
    own lives.
n   Sir Isaac Newton said that God was like a
    clockmaker who created the perfect mechanism
    of this universe and left it to run on its own.
n   Belief in the power of science to further human
    progress.
n   Scientists – Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton
Historical Period                n   Stamp Act 1765
                                 n   Townshend Act of
                                     1767: taxed normal
n   French and Indian War            household goods
    battle for control of
                                 n   Boston Massacre 1770
    North America
                                 n   Boston Tea Party
n   1754-1763- France lost
                                 n   Coercive Acts—in
                                     response to the Tea Party:
n   Britain strengthens              shut down port of Boston,
    control of territories and       forbid meetings, allowed
    power of the American            British troops to be housed
                                     with Colonists (Col. called
    Colonies.                        them the “Intolerable Acts.”)
Historical Period

n“The Shot Heard Round the World”
April 19, 1775- battle on the Lexington Green—
 8 Americans dead

n   This marks the start of the Revolutionary War

n   The War ends on October 19, 1781
Literature of the Period

-Much of what was produced was public
  writing.
  --Speeches and pamphlets were used to
  defend colonial rights.
-By 1776, 30 newspapers existed.
-By Washington’s inauguration,40 magazines
  existed.
-Almanacs were popular.
Cries for a New Nation

Focus on politics in writing:

n   Common Sense- important document by
    Thomas Paine 1776- sold over 100,000
    copies within 3 months

n   The Declaration of Independence – 1776
    Thomas Jefferson 1st draft
Other Public Documents

n   Articles of Confederation- established the
    “league of friendship” between states. This
    document fails.
n   The Federal Constitution replaces the articles.
n   Bill of Rights added to strength document
Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790

n   Poor Richard’s Almanac was familiar to most
    colonial households.
    -provided info about the calendar and
    weather and also contained aphorisms (an
    aphorism= a short saying with a message).
n   Franklin’s Autobiography covers only his
    early years.
n   It is considered one of the finest
    autobiographies in any language.

				
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