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Unit 3: A Nation Is Born

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Unit 3: A Nation Is Born

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  1. Introduction Unit 3: A Nation Is Born

  2. The Eighteenth Century • Writers valued reason over faith • Unlike the Puritans, they had little interest in the hereafter • Believed in the power of reason and science to further human progress • Spurred by the work of many 17th century thinkers • Scientists: Galileo, Isaac Newton • Philosophers: Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau • Political theorist John Locke • American Statesmen of the Revolutionary period were figures of the Enlightenment; they put the ideas into practice • Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Benjamin Franklin The Enlightenment or Age of Reason

  3. French and Indian War in 1754 • France ceded its claims on North American Territories to the English • Stamp Act of 1765 • British Government decided to pay off war debt by adding an additional tax to 54 ordinary items • Stamps were burned, Stamp distributors were beaten and their shops were destroyed • Led to Stamp Act being repealed Toward a Clash of Arms

  4. The Townshend Acts of 1767 • Taxed paper, paint, glass, lead and tea • Colonists organized a boycott which led to the dissolving of the Massachusetts legislature and two regiments of British soldiers being Stationed in Boston • Boston Massacre • In 1770 these “Redcoats” fired into a taunting mob killing 5 civilians • Townshend Acts were repealed except the tax on tea • Created the Tea Act • Gave British companies a monopoly • Boston Tea Party • A group of colonists posed as Mohawk Indians and dumped a shipment of tea into Boston Harbor Continued

  5. Coercive Acts • Created as punishment for tea party activities • Shut down port to Boston • Forbade meetings other than annual town meetings • Insisted British troops be housed in colonists homes • Were referred to as the Intolerable Acts by colonists • “The Shot Heard Round the World” Continued

  6. George Washington named commander in chief of the official American army • After Battle of Saratoga France recognized the independence of America • Sent naval and army help to aid in the American defeat of British soldiers And Continued

  7. Unlike Puritans who wrote focused and introspective works, Revolutionary Literature was public writing By the Time the war started there were nearly 30 newspapers established By Washington’s inauguration there were over 40 magazines being published, and almanacs were popular The most permanent and important writing of the time was political, as we will see in this unit Literature of the period

  8. James Otis – defended colonial rights with pamphlets and speeches; credited with giving the Americans their rallying cry; “Taxation without representation is tyranny” Patrick Henry – orator who spoke out against the Stamp Act Thomas Paine – wrote Common Sense, swayed public opinion towards independence Thomas Jefferson - first drafted The Declaration of Independence Speakers/Writers of the era

  9. America only has a small body of national literature at this point • Native American Poetry, origin myths, and oral traditions; Puritan writing; political writing • No American novels, very few significant plays, and short stories have yet to be created. • Most writing was political in nature because it reflected what was happening in the country. • The writers of this time period were mainly politicians, orators, statesmen, andrevolutionaries. Literature of the Period