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Age Of Reason (1750 1800) Slides

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intro notes for revolutionary lit

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Age Of Reason (1750 1800) Slides

  1. 1. Age of Reason (1750-1800) (aka Enlightenment) -began in Europe w/ scientists & philosophers of 17 th & 18 th centuries who called themselves “rationalists”
  2. 2. Characteristics of Rationalist thought <ul><li>People arrive at truth by using reason rather than by relying on the authority of the past, on religion, or non-rational thought processes like intuition </li></ul><ul><li>God created the universe but doesn’t interfere with its workings. (Isaac Newton – clockmaker theory) </li></ul><ul><li>The world operates according to God’s rules, and through the use of reason, we can discover those rules. </li></ul><ul><li>People are basically good and perfectible. </li></ul><ul><li>Since God wants people to be happy, they worship God best by helping others. </li></ul><ul><li>Human history is marked by progress toward a more perfect existence. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Historical Connections…. <ul><li>French & Indian War (actually French vs. English) </li></ul><ul><li>1754-1763 – over control of N. America. France lost. </li></ul><ul><li>*it was here that colonists began to see the British as corrupt and immoral </li></ul><ul><li>To pay war debt, the British imposed: </li></ul><ul><li>* Stamp Act </li></ul><ul><li>* Tea Act </li></ul><ul><li>* Townshend Acts (paper, paint, glass, lead, tea…) </li></ul><ul><li>* Coercive Acts (aka Intolerable Acts) </li></ul><ul><li>-punishment  closed port of Boston, forbade most meetings, & </li></ul><ul><li>allowed British troops to be housed in colonists’ homes </li></ul>
  4. 4. More historical stuff… <ul><li>1774 1 st Continental Congress </li></ul><ul><li>American Revolution Begins </li></ul><ul><li>April 19,1775 – 700 British vs. 70 colonists </li></ul><ul><li> British retreated, lost 273 men (colonists lost 2-8) </li></ul><ul><li>June 1775 – 2 nd Continental Congress </li></ul><ul><li>George Washington named commander of now official army </li></ul><ul><li>1777 – French recognized independence of colonies and began to commit troops (bitter?  ) </li></ul><ul><li>War ended 1781 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Literature (much different than Puritan lit.) -- Public and Political 30+ newspapers, 40+ magazines, Almanacs… <ul><li>Patrick Henry – persuasive speaker </li></ul><ul><li>“ Speech to the Virginia Convention” </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Paine – also famous for persuasion </li></ul><ul><li>Common Sense – pamphlet 1776, ½ million copies sold! </li></ul><ul><li>Hamilton, Madison, Jay – The Federalist Papers (essays) </li></ul><ul><li>Philip Freneau – America’s earliest lyrical poet </li></ul><ul><li>Popular theme: victory of honest Americans over deceitful foreigners </li></ul>

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