Colonialism And The Revolutionary Period: (Beginnings-1800) by Karen Meyers

By Karen Meyers

As American literature constructed, it used to be prompted by means of a couple of elements, equivalent to the desert, non secular ideals, rules approximately morality, and Enlightenment philosophy. masking the 1st three hundred years of yank literature in addition to the literature of the Puritans, the yankee Enlightenment, the yankee Revolution, and extra, this quantity discusses the writers and works of the yank colonial and progressive classes. Writers coated contain: Joel Barlow, William Bradford, Anne Bradstreet, Hannah Webster Foster, Olaudah Equiano, Cotton Mather, Thomas Paine, Edward Taylor, Phillis Wheatley, Roger Williams, John Winthrop, and extra.

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ASPECTS OF COLONIAL A M E R I C A N C U LT U R E Although American literature and culture were deeply influenced by Puritanism in the seventeenth century, a very different set of ideas played a significant role in shaping American culture throughout the eighteenth century. These ideas had their roots in Renaissance HUMANISM. In the seventeenth century, scientists and philosophers began to question religious authority and to see human reason as the ultimate tool in the discovery of truth. The movement that resulted from this shift in attitude was called the ENLIGHTENMENT.

Edwa rds then repea ts hi s po i nt u si ng a si m i le t ha t ha s become famous: The God tha t holds you ov er t he pi t o f hell, m u ch a s o ne ho lds a s p i d e r, o r s o m e l o a t h s o m e i n s e c t o v e r t h e f i r e , a b h o r s y o u , a n d i s dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he l oo ks upon you a s worthy of no t hi ng else, bu t t o be ca st i nt o t he fir e . . You ha v e of f ended hi m i nf i ni t ely m o re t ha n ev er a st u bb orn rebel di d hi s pri nce; a n d y et i t i s no t hi ng bu t hi s ha nd t ha t holds you f rom f a lli ng i nto the f i re ev ery m o m ent .

When, in 1773, a collection of her poetry was published, as Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, Wheatley became the first African American and the first slave to have a published book of poetry. Because of the prevailing notion among many Americans that Africans were inferior to whites and incapable of being educated—much less of writing poetry—the prefatory material to the volume included the testimony of Wheatley’s master that she had, in fact, written the poems herself, as well as a letter to that effect signed by a number of prominent Bostonians.

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