The Contribution of Women and the Printing World

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The eightieth century was filled with many historical changing events. From a new scientific and philosophical point of view, changes in the influence and view of the dominating religions, to many revolutionary stands against England. The revolution in print culture helped Americans develop a sense of national identity as the voices of many authors were read and heard amongst the civilians. This served as common ground between all the drastic changes Gura’s article American Literature, 1700-1820 explains.

Each developing author contributed to a different area within The Great Awakening or Enlightenment Era. Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense was accredited with tipping the scales towards revolution. (Gura, 362) The pamphlet had been published shortly after a series of attacks towards America on behalf of England, some of them being The Stamp Act of 1764 and three years later The Boston Tea Party. “Americans need a champion for the Revolution, and in December 1776, when Washington troops were at their most demoralized, it was, again, Paine’s first Crisis paper–popularly called The American Crisis–that was read to all the regiments and was said to have inspired their coming success.”(Gura, 362) Other authors to serve as motivation and cause great impact in the new developing line of thought were “Benjamin Franklin with his Autobiography and Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur with Letters from an American Farmer. They mark the beginning of a new sense of national identity as colonist from a greatly different backgrounds and of varied nationalist now found reasons to call themselves “Americans”.” (Gura, 362)

The world of print was characterized by many surging changes for both male and female writers. The first newspaper appeared in 1704 and by the time of the Revolution there were almost fifty papers and forty magazines. Around the 1770‘s women began to write for the public sphere. Finally, by the end of eightieth century the novels began their appearance. Many...
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