In the past fifty years, Asian Americans have helped change the face of America and are now the fastest growing group in the United States. But as award-winning historian Erika Lee reminds us, Asian Americans also have deep roots in the country. The Making of Asian America tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, from the arrival of the first Asians in the Americas to the present-day. An epic history of global journeys and new beginnings, this book shows how generations of Asian immigrants and their American-born descendants have made and remade Asian American life in the United States:
Colonial literature[ edit ] Because of the large immigration to Boston in the s, the articulation of Puritan ideals, and the early establishment of a college and a printing press in Cambridgethe New England colonies have often been regarded as the center of early American literature.
However, the first European settlements in North America had been founded elsewhere many years earlier. During the colonial period, the printing press was active in many areas, from Cambridge and Boston to New YorkPhiladelphiaand Annapolis.
The dominance of the English language was not inevitable. Moreover, we are now aware of the wealth of oral literary traditions already existing on the continent among the numerous different Native American groups.
Political events, however, would eventually make English the lingua franca for the colonies at large as well as the literary language of choice. For instance, when the English conquered New Amsterdam inthey renamed it New York and changed the administrative language from Dutch to English.
From toonly about separate items were issued from the major printing presses in the American colonies. This is a small number compared to the output of the printers in London at the time.
London printers published materials written by New England authors, so the body of American literature was larger than what was published in North America. However, printing was established in the American colonies before it was allowed in most of England.
In England, restrictive laws had long confined printing to four locations, where the government could monitor what was published: London, York, Oxford, and Cambridge. Because of this, the colonies ventured into the modern world earlier than their provincial English counterparts.
Captain John Smith could be considered the first American author with his works: Topics of early writing[ edit ] The religious disputes that prompted settlement in America were important topics of early American literature.
Edward Winslow also recorded a diary of the first years after the Mayflower 's arrival.
This work outlined the ideal society that he and the other Separatists would build in an attempt to realize a "Puritan utopia". Other religious writers included Increase Mather and William Bradfordauthor of the journal published as a History of Plymouth Plantation, — Others like Roger Williams and Nathaniel Ward more fiercely argued state and church separation.
And still others, like Thomas Mortoncared little for the church; Morton's The New English Canaan mocked the religious settlers and declared that the Native Americans were actually better people than the British. Nicholas Noyes was also known for his doggerel verse. John Eliot translated the Bible into the Algonquin language.
Of the second generation of New England settlers, Cotton Mather stands out as a theologian and historian, who wrote the history of the colonies with a view to God's activity in their midst and to connecting the Puritan leaders with the great heroes of the Christian faith.
Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield represented the Great Awakeninga religious revival in the early 18th century that emphasized Calvinism. Less strict and serious writers included Samuel Sewall who wrote a diary revealing the daily life of the late 17th century and Sarah Kemble Knight.
New England was not the only area in the colonies with a literature: The diary of William Byrd and The History of the Dividing Line described the expedition to survey the swamp between Virginia and North Carolina but also comments on the differences between American Indians and the white settlers in the area.
At this time American Indian literature also began to flourish. Two key figures were Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine. Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin are esteemed works with their wit and influence toward the formation of a budding American identity.
Paine's pamphlet Common Sense and The American Crisis writings are seen as playing a key role in influencing the political tone of the time. Major satirists included John Trumbull and Francis Hopkinson.
Philip Morin Freneau also wrote poems about the War. During the 18th century, writing shifted from the Puritanism of Winthrop and Bradford to Enlightenment ideas of reason. The belief that human and natural occurrences were messages from God no longer fit with the new human-centered world.
Many intellectuals believed that the human mind could comprehend the universe through the laws of physics as described by Isaac Newton. One of these was Cotton Mather.
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The enormous scientific, economic, social, and philosophical, changes of the 18th century, called the Enlightenmentimpacted the authority of clergyman and scripture, making way for democratic principles. The increase in population helped account for the greater diversity of opinion in religious and political life as seen in the literature of this time.
Inthe population of the colonies numbered approximatelyThirty years later it was more thanByit reached 1, These new ideas can be seen in the popularity of Benjamin Franklin 's Autobiography.An American History, Fifth Edition.
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Discovering Biology in the Lab: An Introductory Lab Manual, Second Edition. Engaging Cinema: An Introduction . tifaceted scholarly and critical enterprise embodied in The Cambridge History of American Literature addresses these multiplicities – social, cultural, intellec-tual, and aesthetic – and demonstrates a richer concept of authority in literary introduction THIS MULTIVOLUME History marks a new beginning in the study of American literature.
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A Brief Introduction to American Literature Essay Sample American literature, to my eyes, like American history, although short, however, still full of glories and shining masterpieces and writers. Those American writers, while conquering this wild America, also had conquered the great field of American literature.
A Brief History of American Literature offers students and general readers a concise and up-to-date history of the full range of American writing from its origins until the present day. Represents the only up-to-date concise history of American literature Covers fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction, as well as looking at other forms of.
American literature - American Renaissance: The authors who began to come to prominence in the s and were active until about the end of the Civil War—the humorists, the classic New Englanders, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, and others—did their work in a new spirit, and their achievements were of a new sort.
In part this was because they were in some way influenced by the broadening.