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LITERATURA USA 8.11.2010 WYKŁAD Democratic origins and revolutionary writers (1776 - 1820). Rise of rationalism.
In the early 17th century, superstition and supernatural still loomed in the mind of most colonials. The early colonists believed that the world was frightening and unpredictable, full of dread signs and omens.
The average Puritan had no doubt that God Himself directed his daily operations and that the beautiful harvest and the killing frost were manifestations of His pleasure or His Anger. God's ways were beyond one's powers to discover, understand or explain, so also were the ways of nature and universe.
Rationalism and science
In Europe gradual revolution of thought began. At its base was the spirit of rationalism.
The new scientific attitude among the educated classes gains popularity - the British Royal society and the French Academy of Science are founded (1660). Thomas Hobbes In his works we can find out man's original state was one of complete freedom and anarchy, from which he escaped by entering into social compact.
He was interested in religious and political freedom, against authoritarian government, man has a right to hold property, etc.
Called also “natural religion”; it spread rapidly
Fundamental of Deism was the belief that God was the originator of the universe and the essence of reason. Obviously such a God could not do violence to His own nature.
New theory and scientific findings regarded with consternation by Puritans.
Puritans wrestled to save their godly Commonwealth from the invasion by Deists, secularists, devotees of other sects.
With colonists material success came the desire to enjoy it.
Franklin was seeking to unite men of science and reason.
Abandoning pro-slavery position
Becoming an advocate of emancipation
Common Brotherhood without frontiers
The shaping of new nation:
The Founding Fathers were practical, philosophers. Prose and poetry had a political or “practical” purpose: - Benjamin Franklin - Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826) - the chief author of the Declaration of Independence - July 4, 1776 - one of the most important days in American history
Declaration of Independence
Explaining the reasons for separation
Made undecided colonists change their mind and support the Revolution
It contained not only the changes against the British King George III
It was a statement of moral principles
The concepts stressed were:
Equality of all people Human rights and government
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