Antebellum culture and reform


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Antebellum culture and reform

  1. 1. Antebellum Culture and Reform In Antebellum America, Americans were optimistic amidst the changes that were occurring—eco, pol,soc,geo. Movements arose to reform, to seek order and gain inner peace.
  2. 2. The Romantic Impulse • Religious thought (middle ages)-faith the most important thing • Enlightenment(1600-1700)—the age of reason-challenge ideas grounded in tradition and faith, and advance knowledge through the scientific method. It promoted scientific thought. Associated with nonfiction writing, such as essays and philosophical treatises. Major Enlightenment writers include Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, René Descartes.
  3. 3. • Romanticism- (1830-1900) gives greater importance to content than form, emphasizes imagination, emotion and introspection— often celebrates nature, the common man and the freedom of the spirit—reaction against reason.
  4. 4. Hudson River School-informal group of like-minded painters-known for romantic paintings of the West • Nationalism and Romanticism in American Painting—encouraged painting of landscapes because nature more than civilization was the best source of wisdom and spiritual fulfillment
  5. 5. Albert Bierstadt Domes of the Yosemite
  6. 6. Lake Tahoe
  7. 7. Lake in the Rockies
  8. 8. Falls of Niagara from Below
  9. 9. Thomas Moran • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
  10. 10. An Arizona Sunset Near The Grand Canyon
  11. 11. View of the Rocky Mountains
  12. 12. Literature • James Fenimore Cooper—celebrated the American Spirit and the American Frontier-Last of the Mohicans and The Deerslayer • Herman Melville-Moby Dick-unleashing of human emotion-All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby-Dick.
  13. 13. Walt Whitman-Leave of Grass Oh Captain, My Captain
  14. 14. Edgar Allan Poe-master of the macabre • Annabel Lee • The Raven
  15. 15. • Transcendentalism (c. 1835–1860): An American philosophical and spiritual movement-emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above that of experience or observation—truths go beyond reason
  16. 16. • Henry David Thoreau—Walden and trumpeted the idea of “civil disobedience”— an early advocate of nonviolent protest • Ralph Waldo Emerson— “Self-Reliance”—his essays and poems argued for self-reliance, independent thinking and the primacy of spiritual matters over material ones
  17. 17. Utopia and Communal Livingnumerous during this time • Brook Farm(trans. ideal—goal—to achieve a more natural union between intellectual and manual labor--outside of Boston—failure, but is remembered for its atmosphere of artistic creativity and an innovated school • Robert Owen-New Harmony-based on total equality-an answer to the problems of inequity and alienation caused by the Industrial Revolution--failure • Oneida Community-rejected traditional family and marriage— “Free-love” –economically successful by producing silverware of excellent quality • The Shakers-religious sect founded by Ann Lee—kept women and men separate forbidding marriage and sexual relations-died out • Mormons-most successful
  18. 18. Reformers-Sojourner Truth • • This Antebellum reform movement was mainly a regional phenomenon—succeeded in the North and West but had very little impact in the South—increasingly they viewed it as a northern conspiracy against their way of life
  19. 19. Manifest Destiny