18th Century American Literature (The Age of Reasoning/ The Enlightment)

Topic: History
Sample donated:
Last updated: May 12, 2019
What are the 18th Century writers?
1. Benjamin Franklin2. Jean de Crevecoeur3. John Locke

The Enlightment or The Age of Reason
This era became the rise of scientists, religious rationalists, theist, and major politcal descenders.

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Theism (Judiasm)
the idea of “the clock maker theory”– God created the world, and left it run its self (free will). Good works is a form of worship and there will be rewards and punishments during/ after life.

5 Principals of Diesm
1. Acknowledges there is a God2.

Sovern power should be worshiped3. Good works is a form of worship4. Repent sins/vices5.

There are rewards and punishments after life

Benjamin Franklin
An example of the “Self made man”. Franklin wanted to better himself– wanted to become a role model.

Jean de Crevecoeur
Born in France, naturalized as an american. Defines america as the perfect society. HAH!

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Franklins writings convey him as an example of a “Self-made man”. He was the child of a candlemaker, but followed the path of a publisher, scientist, and inventor. He created thirteen virtues in which he believed were the principles of the perfect person. Although he admits there is no perfect person and claims he became a better in the process of trying to better himself.

What is an American?
(Jean de Crevecoeur) His letters describe his expierences in the New World and how he depicts the american society. He depicts the american society as “the perfect society” and describes americans as “new” as in the sense that they are self-made since they always need to better themselves for the better, new principals, new opinions, new ideas, and industrious. Basically: the virtues of Ben Franklin.

Letter IX: Description of Charleston
De Crevecoeur describes Charleston a city built by slaves. He writes that “the chosen race” (anglo americans) are only allowed to be content with life. All slaves suffered miserably, and that this was the works of human evil.

Slaves were cuffed like dogs and branded like cattle, then auctioned like “things”. He tells his experience coming across a slave who was badly wounded.

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