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Brief History of American Culture Robert Morse Crunden

Brief History of American Culture

Robert Morse Crunden

Published
ISBN : 9781557787057
Hardcover
370 pages
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 About the Book 

The roots of todays culture wars can be found in the molding tensions of an American character, one that wasnt handed down by tradition or enforced by a government, but one that was shaped out of the mire of individuals, religious beliefs,MoreThe roots of todays culture wars can be found in the molding tensions of an American character, one that wasnt handed down by tradition or enforced by a government, but one that was shaped out of the mire of individuals, religious beliefs, communities, a newly formed democracy, capitalism and freedom, art and literature all prominently influencing the vast and uncharted young nation. The important cultural centers from 1630-1815 - Boston, Philadelphia, and Virginia - are highlighted through figures like Benjamin Franklin, the rustic sage. An early America, the playground of the European imagination, began to form its own intellectual, artistic, and political culture, where fresh ideas about democracy, rationality, nature, a benign God, flourished and America became the place where it could happen. As the country expanded westward, from 1815-1901, a revival of conservative religion burst upon the scene. Protestantism, Presbyterianism, Methodism, Baptists, even groups like the Episcopalians and Roman Catholics saturated the culture and profoundly influenced its institutions, especially education. Reformers like Horace Mann and Charles Finney, Transcendentalists like Henry Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Theodore Parker and Uncle Toms Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, all blazed the path toward abolitionism and supplied much of the energy to American cultural activity. The Civil War became a dividing point in American culture in ways that transcended its social and political impact. Social development went through profound changes- Darwinism, progressivism, and pragmatism secularized the prevailing thought and religious energies were channeled into economic activity and then into a political faith. In the early 1900s, cosmopolitanism turned American eyes to Europe, where many Americans experimented in art, literature, and philosophy: Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, Pound, and Eliot. And America initiated its own indigenous cultural growth: jazz, George Gershw