Beginnings Notes


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Notes for the textbook until on early American literature.

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  • Beginnings Notes

    1. 1. Beginnings<br />Prehistory to 1800s<br />
    2. 2. The First Migration<br />Ice Age Travelers<br />Bering land bridge (now submerged) from Siberia<br />By 1490’s millions of Native Americans lived here (Europeans were not the first)<br />Some still live here<br />
    3. 3.
    4. 4. The Europeans Arrive<br />Explorers<br />Columbus<br />Coronado<br />“New World” – focus of dreams and desires – idealized wealth and resources<br />Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca landed in Florida (1528) and wandered to Texas – wrote narratives of his journey<br />
    5. 5. Encomienda<br />Columbus introduced the encomienda system:<br />Colonists could require Indians to mine gold, grow food, build home for them without remuneration.<br />Caused decades of suffering, malnutrition, death.<br />Cabeza de Vaca – imprisoned (under false charges) for humane treatment of Indians<br />
    6. 6. Puritan Legacy<br />Central to development of literary tradition<br />Shaped American character through moral, ethical, religious convictions<br />1620 – Initial landing<br />1640 – 20,000 Puritans lived in New England<br />Business venture & spiritual venture - intertwined<br />
    7. 7. Puritans celebrate Thanksgiving<br /><br />
    8. 8. Puritanism<br />
    9. 9. Who Were the Puritans?<br />Protestant groups – wanted to “purify” Church of England<br />Simpler forms of worship, church organization as in New Testament<br />Religion – personal experience<br />No intermediary<br />1620 – William Bradford led group from Amsterdam to New World – new society patterned after Bible<br />
    10. 10. So What?<br />Connection to capitalism: Puritan work ethic, thriftiness, self-sufficiency contributed to the success of capitalism in the New World.<br />America is a capitalistic nation (for the most part) today.<br />
    11. 11. Puritan Beliefs<br />Theology: mankind is damned because of Adam and Eve, but some are saved through Jesus.<br />“Elect” – those chosen to be saved<br />“Unregenerate” – those who are damned<br />Outward behavior – indication of God’s grace & salvation<br />
    12. 12. Puritan Beliefs, Cont.<br />Led to self-reliance, industriousness, temperance, simplicity – Ideal for starting our in the New World<br />Education: New England Primer – couplets to teach the alphabet used moral lessons:<br />Time cuts down all<br />Both great and small.<br />
    13. 13.
    14. 14. Puritan Politics<br />Covenant (contract) btwn God & humanity<br />People should enter freely into agreements re: government<br />Mayflower Compact: how they would be governed upon arrival<br />
    15. 15. So What?<br /><ul><li>Mayflower Compact paved the way for the American constitutional democracy.</li></li></ul><li>The Mayflower Compact<br />
    16. 16. Puritan Government<br />“Elect” should exert influence on government.<br />Led to Salem Witch Trials<br />
    17. 17. Bible in America<br />Story of creation, fall, wanderings, recue of human race<br />Life = pilgrimage, journey to salvation<br />Emphasized education -&gt; to read the Bible<br />Harvard College – founded 1636 to train Puritan ministers<br />Diaries and histories – main form of literature – record the work of God<br />
    18. 18. Harvard Today<br />
    19. 19. The Enlightenment<br />
    20. 20. The Age of Reason<br />The Enlightenment – Rationalists<br />Rationalism – the belief that humans can arrive at truth by using reason, rather than rely on religion or a past authority or on intuition.<br />Sir Isaac Newton – gravity & motion<br />God = clockmaker – God created the earth then left it to run on its own<br />
    21. 21. Rationalism Cont.<br />God’s gift – ability to reason and think logically<br />Ability to discover truth<br />Able to regulate and improve own life<br />
    22. 22. STOP & Compare<br />Puritans <br /> Rationalists<br />
    23. 23. STOP & Compare<br />Puritans<br />Humanity is evil.<br />Hard work, good life shows salvation.<br />God is active in society.<br /> Rationalists<br />Humanity is basically good.<br />Use reason & logic to improve self.<br />Clockmaker God – made it & left.<br />
    24. 24. Smallpox!!!<br />Cotton Mather – Puritan Preacher<br />Sin is cause of sickness<br />Borrowed inoculation from Turkish doctor<br />Inoculated hundreds and of those only 6 died.<br />Of others who contracted the disease ¼ had died<br />Inoculation<br />
    25. 25. So What?<br />Highlight 2 points:<br />Contradictions often existed side-by-side (Mathew was strict Puritan but also a practical scientist)<br />Mather’s experiment – Practical approach to social change and scientific research was necessary for America.<br />American thought should lead to action & urge to improve public welfare no matter what authorities say<br />
    26. 26. Diests<br />Deism: universe is orderly and good. <br />Stressed humanity’s goodness<br />God wants people to be happy<br />Do good to others – make them happy<br />People can be perfected through reason<br />
    27. 27. So What?<br />Deisms made the impulse to do good for others one of the nation’s highest goals.<br />Today social welfare is still a top priority. It’s also the topic of a lot of debate.<br />
    28. 28. STOP & Compare!<br />
    29. 29. STOP & Compare!<br />
    30. 30. Inciting a Revolution!<br />How did the rationalist idea that people are basically good help incite a revolution?<br />If the will of the people is basically rational and good, then the gov’t should take its authority from them and not the will of a single monarch<br />Implied that a government that failed to respect the popular will could be legitimately overthrown.<br />
    31. 31. Self-Made American<br />Literature rooted in reality<br />Pamphlets – literature should be practical and political<br />After Revolutionary War – organizing and governing is most important<br />
    32. 32. Benjamin Franklin<br />Autobiography<br />Used autobiographical form<br />Took out religious justification<br />Clear, witty<br />Provided model for a story to be told repeatedly by others (The Great Gatsby, Bill Gates’ The Road Ahead, etc.)<br />
    33. 33. Think About It<br />