Early American Art
Quote:"He fell in love with the immense and varied American landscape"-Thomas Cole pg.248
Americans had brought European art traditions with them to the colonies, but by the 1800's they were expressing their national identity by developing styles all their own. Not all artists were professionals. Ordinary people produced many kinds of folk art. Men carved weather vanes and hunting decoys. Women sewed spare bits of cloth into quilts. Untrained artists created signs, murals, and images of national symbols like the American flag. Such folk art was simple, direct, and often very colorful.
Early American Music
Quote:"My country,'tis of thee"-Samuel Francis Smith pg.249
American's national identity was also expressed through music. Until the 1800's music in the United States was performed and heard mostly in church. Songs were performed outside church too, but they were usually old tunes with new lyrics. The music for "The Star Spangled Banner" for instance, came from an English man. With growing prosperity came an outburst of musical activity.
Quote:"God save the King"-Samuel Francis Smith pg.249
In the south, slaves combined the hymns of white churchgoers with African musical styles to create spiriuals. They also entertained themselves and sometimes slave owners with folk songs accompanied by violin, drum, and banjo. In the south and West, square dances became common. These were less formal versions of the popular contallion. As fiddles played, a "caller" told dancers which steps to perform. As demands for popular songs grew, composers answered with a stream of patriotic anthems.
Early American Literature
Quote:"Who has no education,can read with difficulty,has no property,no fixed residence,but passes his life hunting,selling his game to live,and dwelling continuously in the woods"-Alexis de Tocqueville pg.250
In 1820, a British writer sneered,"Who reads an American book? Or goes to an American picture or statue?"In the eyes of Europeans, the United States was a culturally backward nation. Yet America was finding its cultural voice, especially in literature. Like the painters of the Hudson River School, writers began to use uniquely American subjects and settings. One of the first to achieve literally fame was Washington Irving. Irving's enchanted stories were an immediate hit.
Politics:Era of Good Feelings
Quote:"Let us act under a settled conviction, and an habitual feeling,that these twenty-four states are one country,"
After being elected president in 1816, James Monroe went on a goodwill tour.Huge crowds greeted him so warmly that a newspaper proclaimed an "Era of Good Feelings". Monroe's eight years as president are still known by this name today. To many Americans at the time, it seemed that a new period of national unity had dawned.
The Early 1800's
Quote"The American's carry national pride to an altogether excessive length,"
The nation in 1800 was very different from what it is today. Two out of every three Americans still lived within 50 miles of the Atlantic Coast. Fewer than one in ten lived west of the Appalachians mountains. These round-topped, forested mountains extended like a bumpy spine from Maine through Georgia. They made travel between East and West very difficult.
Quote:"Who reads an American book,or goes to an American play,or looks at an American picture or statue?"-British writer/unknown pg.250
Next Davy crockett actually wrote a biography about his adventurous, thrilling, courageous life. He helped give american literature a new twist with backwards speech and rough humor. Lastly a famous poetry writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who was the first to write americas epic poem ‘Hiawatha’ wrote about indians and growing importance of the United states such as ‘The Building of a Ship’ and ‘Paul Revere's Ride’.
Hart, Diane, and Bert Bower. History Alive!: The United States through Industrialism. Palo Alto, CA: Teachers' Curriculum Institute, 2011. Print.