Days One, Two, Three, Four, and Five
Theme: Literary Nationalism, 1840 - 1860
"America's 'declaration of independence' in all areas - culture, literature, and ethics" (Weinstein, Classics of American Literature, 18).
Unit Skills and Concepts: Each student will
- Expansion of book publishing, magazines, newspapers
- Industrial Revolution
- Abolitionist movement
- Lessons and worksheets
- 1800s, 1810s, 1820s, 1830s, 1840s, 1850s
In 1838 begins the removal of 15,000-17,000 Cherokee Indians from Georgia on the "Trail of Tears" resulting in an estimated 4,000-8,000 deaths.
In 1838, the Underground Railroad is organized.
In 1845, Thoreau begins living at Walden Pond.
On August 10, 1846, the act establishing the Smithsonian Institution is passed by Congress and immediately signed into law by President James K. Polk.
In 1849, Amelia Bloomer begins publishing The Lily, a journal supporting temperance and women's rights.
In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin sells one million copies within the year.
In 1855, Frederick Douglass publishes My Bondage and My Freedom.
Transcendentalism stressed individualism, intuition, nature, self-reliance.
Anti-Transcendentalism was a literary movement that essentially consisted of only Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville.
They focused on the limitations and potential destructiveness of the human spirit rather than on the possibilities.
Short stories, novels, and poetry
- Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
Wrote about sin and guilt; consequences of pride, selfishness
The Scarlet Letter; Short stories ("Dr. Heidegger's Experiment," The Minister's Black Veil," "Young Goodman Brown")