When studying the stories about the lives of early Americans, the discovery of just how culturally diverse they were cannot be missed. Such richness and history in the making, yet such sadness as we read the powerful lines that tell their story. With the great influential writers such as Bryant, Irving and Cooper, whom set stage for all during the Romantic Period between 1830-1865 to the young brilliant novelists who followed with such stamina, passion and strength, such as Hawthorn, Simms and Melvin; how could one not explode with great learning, as their souls were laid out for us to bear? Only by breaking down into three major categories can this brief walk through of this semester be shared, for there is an endless source of treasured knowledge found within the many stories and lines we read.
Religion has probably been the greatest foundation of all time in almost every corner of the world. Especially for the early Americans. In America, Puritanism dominated the New England culture in the 17th century. However, after the Salem witch trials of 1692, its dominance had greatly diminished in favor of a more secular culture. Johnathan Edwards, the last and most gifted defender of New England Calvinism, was in several respects the most remarkable American Puritan (Perkins and Perkins 254). It is with Edwards that the Great Awakening began, specifically when he preached the infamous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. The culture of Puritanism was based upon patriarchal authority. This society was seen as judgmental, extremely strict to the point of spying on one another in order to “catch” someone breaking the rules. All the while, Deists, who believed the universe should run as it was designed to, with...
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... is today, is still, a melting pot of immigrants, searching for a better life in society today. Not much has changed in theory, however, laws have been established to protect the rights of those who would fall victim to the power play of ethnic rejection.
Taking a journey throughout cultural diversity in early America is that of great foundation, set forth to establish the great America we all love and pledge our allegiance to today. By combining the cultural diversity of religion, gender and ethnicity, it can be established that a much richer society exists in the 20th century, and that America as a whole is a much more blessed country, in great part because of the great passionate literarians the early Americans brought into our lives.
Perkins, George and Barbara Perkins. The American Tradition in Literature. New York City: McGraw Hill, 2009.
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