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Early American Literature
Transcript of Early American Literature
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.