The National Society of Arts and Letters

America XVIII century

America, as we know, was officially opened by the Genoese Columbus in 1492. But will the case was given the name of the Florentine Amerigo.
Opening of the New World was the greatest event in the global history of mankind. Not to mention that it dispelled a lot of misconceptions about our planet, which contributed significant shifts in the economic life of Europe and caused a wave of emigration to a new continent, it also influenced the change in the spiritual climate in the countries with the Christian religion (ie because in the end of the century Christians as always expected “doomsday “, ” judgment Day “, etc.).
America gave much food for the most enthusiastic dreams of European thinkers of society without a state, without the usual social ills of the Old World. Country of new opportunities, the country where you can build a very different life. A country where everything is new and clean, which civilized man still did not manage to spoil. But there it is possible to avoid all the mistakes made in the Old World – European humanists thought so in XVI, XVII centuries. And all these thoughts, beliefs and expectations, of course, found a response in the literature, as in the European and the American.
However, the reality turned out quite differently. History of settlement of newly discovered lands of European descent was bloody. And this truth of life decided to show not all writers of the time ( in his works reflected this Spaniards Las Casas and Gomara ).
In the speech of the day colloquially named “America” ??is commonly referred to only part of the huge continent, which was opened at the end of the XVI century, namely the United States. On this part of the Americas will be discussed.
In the XVII century, the colonization of the territory of European descent. It lasted and XVIII, and XIX centuries. In the XVII century arose state called New England and subordinate to the English king and Parliament. It was only in the 70s of the XVIII century 13 states gained the strength to force Britain to recognize their independence. Thus, a new state – the United States of America.

Fiction in the strict sense, and in that quality which allows it to enter into the history of world literature begins in America only in the XIX century, when the literary scene appeared on writers such as Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper.
During the period of the early settlers in the XVII century, when just beginning to develop new lands, the first settlements of the foundation – was still not literature. Only a few settlers kept diaries, records, chronicles. Although the soul of their authors still living Britain, its political and religious issues. Special literary interest they represent, and more valuable as a vivid picture of the early settlers of America, a story about the difficult days obzhivaniya new locations, ordeals, etc. Here are a few famous diaries: Jen Winthrop for 1630-1649 years. ” History of New England,” William Bradford’s “History of the settlement at Plymouth ” (1630-1651), John Smith’s ” General History of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles” ( 1624 ).
From a purely literary works should perhaps mention the verses of the poet Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672), religious and edifying, mediocre, but the heart of the first settlers teshivshih ( poem dialogues ” Quartets “).

XVIII century
XVIII century in America is held under the banner of the struggle for nezavisimot. Central place is occupied by ideas of the Enlightenment, who came from England and France. In New England, the town grew, were established universities, began to leave the newspaper. There were also the first literary swallows novels, created under the influence of English literature and education ” Gothic ” novel, Henry Breckenridge (1748-1816) – “Modern Chivalry, or the Adventures of Captain John Teague O’Rigena Farrato and his servant,” Brockden Brown ( 1771-1810) – ” Wieland “, ” Ormond,” ” Arthur Mervyn “; Timothy Dwight Poems (1752-1818) – ” Conquest of Canaan “, ” Greenfield Hill.”
The second half of the century was marked by the emergence of a large group of poets that reflected in his writings, political passions era. Conventionally, they were divided into supporters federalists (the most famous band – ” university poets “) and supporters of the revolution and the democratic government. One of the most significant poets supporter Paine and Jefferson – Philip Freneau ( 1752 – 1832). In his poems vividly reflected political developments in the country, although it later became disillusioned with the new American reality. In his best poems glorified nature and thinking about eternal life. Already in the works Frenot easily grasp the rudiments of romanticism, which is fully formed in the United States only in the XIX century.
However, the major asset of the XVIII century American literature was her journalism education with the names of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. The three men entered the history of social thought in America, they left a significant mark in the history of world literature.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), author of the Declaration of Independence, third president of the United States – the person unquestionably talented and original. Scientist, philosopher, inventor, who had a large and versatile knowledge, he should be mentioned in the history of literature as a brilliant stylist, who had a clear, concise and figurative language writer. His “Notes on Virginia,” his ” Overview of the rights of the British Empire ” by contemporaries appreciated not only for the expression of thought in them, but also for literary merit. Mathematics, architecture, astronomy, science, linguistics ( the compilation of dictionaries of Indian languages ??), history, music – all this was the subject of enthusiasm and knowledge of the man.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) belonged to a circle of brilliant and versatile minds of the XVIII century. Social Thought in America was formed under the influence of this powerful mind, a self-taught genius.
For 25 years, Franklin published the famous calendar ” simpleton Richard Almanac,” which in America served as a kind of encyclopedia, collection of scientific data and at the same time ingenious everyday instruction. He printed newspaper. Organized in Philadelphia public library, hospital, wrote philosophical works. His life he described in “Autobiography” (released posthumously in 1791). His ” Teachings simpleton Richard ” bypassed Europe. Many European universities gave him an honorary doctorate. Well, he finally – politician responsible carrying diplomatic missions in Europe.
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) – a talented, unselfish revolutionary and educator. Published a pamphlet ” Common Sense.” January 10, 1776 pamphlet became a sensation of the day. He urged Americans to war for independence, for revolution. During the French Revolution Thomas Paine fought on the side of the rebels. In addition, Peru Payne authored a book ” The Age of Reason ” – an outstanding work of the American Enlightenment thought XVIII century. The book, part of which is written in a Paris prison, contains a rather strongly worded condemnation of Christianity.
American education has not raised the authors of this scale, how different educators in England, France and Germany. We do not find in the writings of Franklin, Jefferson, Paine and other glitz and wit of Voltaire, depth of thought Locke, eloquence and passion of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Milton poetic imagination. It was more practice than thinkers and. Of course, least of all artists. They have mastered the ideas of the European Enlightenment and tried given opportunities to apply them to their own country. Thomas Paine was the boldest and most radical of them.
American educators highlights the issues of the society, the individual and the state. Society above the state. It can change its political system, if a new generation finds it useful, they reasoned.
So, American journalism education XVIII century theoretically proved tasks of the bourgeois revolution. Thus, the American Enlightenment contributed to the development of libertarian ideas and historical progress.
XIX century
Priority in U.S. policy in the XIX century. was the expansion of the territory ( attached : Louisiana, Florida, Texas, California and other top area). One consequence of this is becoming a military conflict with Mexico ( 1846-1848 ). As to the internal life of the country, the development of capitalism in the United States in the XIX century. was uneven. ” Slow down,” the postponement of its growth in the first half of the XIX century, prepared specifically broad and intense its development, particularly the rapid explosion of economic and social contradictions in the second half of the century.
In studying the history of American culture and literature can not pay attention to the fact that this uneven development of capitalism has left a distinctive mark on the ideological life of the U.S., in particular caused the relative backwardness of ” immaturity ” of social thought and social consciousness of American society. Played its role and provincial isolation from U.S. European cultural centers. Same social consciousness in the country was largely dominated by outdated prejudices and illusions.
Disappointment with the results of post-revolutionary development leads Writers Association of America to seek a romantic ideal, opposing anti-human reality.
American romance – the creators of the U.S. national literature. This, above all, distinguishes them from European counterparts. While at the beginning of the XIX century Europe. Next Literature national consolidated their quality, down for nearly a millennium and have become their specific national features of American literature, as well as the nation, still determined. And in the New World, not only at the beginning of the XIX century., But later, after several decades. The book market dominated mostly writers and works of English literature translated from other European languages ??. American book barely made ??its way to the domestic reader. While in New York literary clubs already existed, but tastes prevailed in English literature and focus on European culture : American bourgeois environment was considered ” vulgar “.
On American Romantics was assigned a rather serious problem, but to form a national literature they had to create the whole complex ethical- philosophical Code young nation – to help her form.
In addition, it should be noted that for the time romanticism was most effective method of artistic understanding of reality ; without it, the process of aesthetic development of the nation would have been incomplete.
Chronological framework of American Romanticism differ from European Romanticism. Romantic destination in the U.S. literature has developed to the line between the second and third decades and maintained a dominant position until the end of the Civil War (1861-1865).
In the formation of romanticism traced three stages. The first stage – early American Romanticism (1820-1830 -ies ). His immediate predecessor was pre-Romanticism, develop in the framework of the educational literature ( F. Frenot creativity in poetry, Charles Brockden Brown’s novel, etc.). The largest writers of early romanticism – Irving B., DF Cooper, WK Bryant, DP Kennedy and others the appearance of their works of American literature first gained international recognition. The process of interaction between the American and European Romanticism. An intensive search for national artistic traditions, and outlines the major themes and issues (the war for independence, the development of the continent, the life of Indians ). Outlook leading writers of this period is colored optimistic tone associated with the heroic time of war for independence and opens before the young republic grand vistas. Retains close continuity with the ideology of the American Enlightenment. It is significant that Irving and Cooper are actively involved in social and political life of the country, seeking to directly influence the course of its development.
However, in early romanticism mature critical trends that are a response to the negative effects of the consolidation of capitalism in all spheres of American life. They are looking for an alternative to the bourgeois order and find her romantically idealized life in the American West, the heroics of the War of Independence, the free sea elements, patriarchal past of the country, etc.
The second stage – mature American Romanticism (1840-1850 -ies ). To this period belongs creativity Nathaniel Hawthorne, EA Poe, H. Melville, HW Longfellow, HS Simms, RW Transcendentalist writers Emerson, GD Toro. Complex and contradictory reality of America these years led to marked differences in attitude and aesthetic position romantics 40 – 50s. Most of the writers of this period have a deep dissatisfaction with the country’s development. The gap between reality and the romantic ideal deepens, turning into the abyss. Not casually romantic mature period of so much misunderstood and unrecognized artists rejected bourgeois America : Poe, Melville, Thoreau, and later – the poet Emily Dickinson.
In the mature American Romanticism dominated dramatic, even tragic tone, feeling an imperfect world and man ( Hawthorne ), the mood of sorrow, anguish ( Po), the consciousness of the tragedy of human existence ( Melville ). Hero appears with a forked psyche carrying in his soul print doom. Balanced – optimistic world Longfellow and transcendentalists universal harmony in these decades are some mansions.
At this stage of American romanticism proceeds from the artistic development of the national reality to research on national material with universal problems of man and the world, gets philosophical depth. In mature artistic language of American Romanticism penetrates symbolism is rare in the previous generation of romantics. Poe, Melville, Hawthorne in his works created symbolic images of great depth and generalizing power. Prominent role in their creations begin to play the supernatural, mystical motifs are amplified.
Transcendentalism – literary and philosophical movement that emerged in the 30s, the ” Transcendental Club” was organized in September 1836 in Boston, Massachusetts. From the outset, it included : RW Emerson, George Ripley, M. Fuller, T. Parker, E.Olkott, in 1840, they were joined by GD Toro. Name of the club due to the philosophy of ” transcendental idealism ” of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Club from 1840 to 1844. published its own journal ” Dayel.” The teachings of American transcendentalism put his contemporaries global issues – about the nature of man, about the relationship between man and nature, man and society, the ways of moral self-improvement. As for his views on the country, the transcendentalists argued that America its great destiny, but at the same time strongly criticized the U.S. bourgeois development.
American Transcendentalism laid the foundation of philosophical thought and influenced the formation of the national character and identity. More significantly, transcendentalism used in the ideological struggle in the XX century. ( M. Gandhi, ML King ). The debate around this trend still continues to this day.
Third stage – Late American Romanticism ( 60s ). Period of crisis. Romanticism as a method increasingly fails to reflect the new reality. In a heavy band of creative crisis reaches those writers of the previous stage, who still continues its way in the literature. The most striking example – the fate of Melville, for many years gone to the voluntary self-isolation of the spiritual.
In this period there was a sharp demarcation of the Romantics, caused by the Civil War. On one side stands the literature of abolitionism, within romantic aesthetics protesting against slavery aesthetic common humanistic positions. On the other hand, the literature of the South, romanticizing and idealizing ” Southern chivalry ” stands up for the historically doomed unjust deeds and reactionary way of life. Abolitionist theme prominently in the work of writers whose work has developed in the preceding period – Longfellow, Emerson, Thoreau, and others, are becoming mainstream in the work of H. Beecher Stowe, DG Whittier, R. Hildreth, etc.
Occurred in American Romanticism and regional differences. Major literary regions – New England ( north-eastern states ), Middle States and the South. Romanticism of New England ( Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, Bryant ) is characterized primarily striving for philosophical reflection of the American experience, to the analysis of the national past, to the study of complex ethical issues. Key themes in the works romantics Middle States ( Irving, Cooper, Paulding, Melville ) – search for a national hero, the interest in social issues, comparison of past and present of America.