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Early American Literature

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Ben Gentry

on 7 January 2013

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Transcript of Early American Literature

1492- Columbus sails the ocean blue Lands in "New World" Effects Columbus had on American Literature Columbus's voyages led to the first lasting European contact with the Americas, inaugurating a period of European exploration, conquest, and colonization that lasted for several centuries. They had, therefore, an enormous impact in the historical development of the modern Western world. 1585- Sir Walter Raleigh First attempt at permanent English settlement 1585- The Lost Colony at Roanoke Island Early American Literature: 1492-1776 1492 1585 What does this mean? Next Attempt at Permanent English Settlement 1607- First Permanent English Settlement 1607 John Smith and Pocahontas 1620 1620- Pilgrims sail out into the vast unknown for a “New World” Landing at Plymouth Rock London Plymouth Religious Freedom Native-American Literature, c. 20,000B.C.E.-present Characteristics The literature is as diverse as the cultures that created it, but there are often common elements such as stories explaining creation or natural forces. Major Writers or Works Oral Natives Myths; legends, songs, creation stories from a wide variety of Native American cultures Purpose: Find western trade route to East Indies Exploration Period: 1492-1607 Characteristics The first European writings about North America are written in this period
European writings describe the explorers' travels and impressions of the continent and its Native people. Major Writers or Works Prose: Christopher Columbus, Alvar Nunez de Vaca, Bernal Diaz del Castillo, Thomas Harriet, and Samuel de Champlain Colonial Period: 1607-c.1765 Revolutionary Period: 1765-1790 Landed on an island somewhere in the Carribean. Named it San Salvador Landing at Plymouth Rock Plymouth Rock? Mayflower Compact “For we must consider that we shall be a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us…” The 1630’s- The Great Migration 1692- Salem Witch Trials Hell, Fire, Brimstone Preacher 1740’s- The Great Awakening Massachussetts Bay Colony The Colonial period was dominated by Puritan beliefs and thus literature of this period is usually historical, religious, or didactic.
The most common genres were tracts, polemics, journals, narratives, sermons, and some poetry.
The first slave narratives were written at this time.
Imaginative literature was rare; in some colonies, it was banned for being immoral. Characteristics:
Michael Wigglesworth, Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor.




Major Writers or Works
Poetry: Prose: John Smith, Roger Williams, Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards' Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanacks. Narratives Mary Rowlandson's A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson Characteristics This period begins with the passing of the Stamp Act in England and ends in 1790.
The Revolutionary period usually refers to writings that are politically motivated, either in support of British rule, in support of American patriotism and independence, or relating to the Constitution. Major Writers and Works: Prose Thomas Jefferson's Autobiography, "Declaration by the Represent-atives of the United States of America," Thomas Paine's Common Sense, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison's Federalist Papers.
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