Apush American Literature

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American Literature:
Colonial Beginnings to the Early Twentieth Century

Group 1: Colonial and Revolutionary Writers

-Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, La Relación on the Spanish explorations born in 1490, died in 1558
in 1527 sailed from Spain on expedition to occupy North America and in 1528 landed in Tampa Bay Summary
Cabeza de Vaca’s ship is caught in a storm. Once it runs around on an island, the sailors encounter Native Americans. They are afraid the Indians will sacrifice them, however The Native Americans turn out sympathetic and offer the Spaniards food. After the ship wrecks once again, the Native Americans take the Spaniards to their lodges. Relation

The story talks about an attempt to colonize North America and the Spaniards encountering the Natives.

-William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
born 1590, died 1657
an on/off governor of Plymouth between years 1621 and 1657
Summary
Bradford described Puritan’s obstacles in the New World and how they dealt with it. He also described how their faith in God grew stronger and how they prayed for help in new situations. Relation

The story describes Puritan’s life in New Colonies.

-Anne Bradstreet, Poems: “Verses upon the burning of Our House” and “Before the Birth of One of Her Children” born 1612, died 1672
only one of her poems/stories was published during her lifetime in 1650 Summary
In “Verses upon the Burning of Our House”, Bradstreet describes her feelings towards her burned home and how she’s internally dealing with it. In “Before the Birth of One of Her Children”, Bradstreet fears death in childbirth and writes a farewell message to her husband. Relation

Describes obstacles and fears of people living in New England in colonial times.

-Jonathan Edwards, Sermon : “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” born 1703, died 1758
Summary
In the sermon, Edwards talked about people having to start praying all the time because that’s what God wants and He will not forgive anyone who doesn’t do so. Relation
Played a role in the 1st Great Awakening and reshaped the religion in colonies for some time

-William Byrd II, The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover born 1674, died 1744
founder of Richmond, Virginia
Summary
Byrd talked about his everyday life. He talks about anything, from what he had for breakfast, to his romantic affairs. Relation
It describes life in colonial times.

-Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack
born 1706, died 1790
helped with writing the Declaration of Independence in 1776
Summary
A gazette published from 1732 to 1758. It was very popular during colonial times. People read it for seasonal weather forecasts, practical household hints, puzzles, and other amusements it offered. Relation

It shows how people in colonial times spend their free time, what entertained them, and what were the major views on life in that period.

-Thomas Paine, Common Sense
born 1737, died 1809
Summary
A list of reasons why the Colonies should rebel against Britain. Paine attacked the British monarchy suggesting that the government had many flaws and it was not able to rule the Colonies over the Atlantic Ocean. Relations

It helped unite people towards revolution.

-Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence
born 1743, died 1826
3rd President of US from 1801 to 1809
Summary
The document describes why the Colonies decided the British government is ineffective and why the Colonies decided to unite and come out as it’s own nation.

-Hector St.John de Crèvecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer born 1735, died 1813
Summary
12 letters describing life in America. Each letter talked about different issues such as slavery, farming conditions and the idea of Americans trying to create a utopian society. Relation
It described how a farm in the South lived during those times.

Group 2: Early Nineteenth Century Romantics

-Washington Irving, The Sketch Book, including “Rip Van Winkle” and “the...
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