Antebellum Culture and Reform

Published: 2021-06-29 04:19:07
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Category: American History

Type of paper: Essay

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1. The works of James Fenimore Cooper can be seen as the American peak of the struggle to create true American literature that would be created by and for American intellectuals. Cooper's works were not only popular romance novels which were the majority of the American literature at the time, but also meaningful and advanced ideas involving the American people and their country; these strides in ideas of America that Cooper wrote were the peak of the efforts of previous American writers such as Washington Irving and cemented the creation of a true American Literature. Often, Cooper's works alluded to the terror of disorder, and the need for social discipline in the undisciplined wild. Through his use of the American wilderness, he was able to hint to the liveliness and freshness of America, its wilderness, and its people especially when compared to the sense of old world being worn-out.
2. The philosophy of the Transcendentalists was radical for its time.
* First large movement for American intellectuals.
* Opposed John Locke's sensualism and tabula rasa.
* Alternative of living simply instead of modernizing.
* Passive disobedience to laws believed unjust.
* Goal of self-realization through not conforming to expectations of society but through instinct.
3. Utopian communities attempted to redefine the gender roles of women.
* Shakers' complete celibacy redefined women's gender role as a mother.
* Shakers redefined women's gender role as a wife.
* Shakers redefined women's role in leadership.
* Margaret Fuller became a respected intellectual leader.
* Oneidan women weren't homemakers bound to a family.
4. The Mormons are a religious group of people following the Book of Mormon made famous by Joseph Smith; the Mormons began after Joseph Smith announced findings of the Book of Mormon which he found in the upstate New York wilderness. They believe in a fallen ancient society based in North America, Jesus Christ visiting said society after his resurrection, the people of said society angering the Judo-Christian deity, Native Americans being punished by said deity by increased melanin levels in their skin and eyes, Joseph Smith reaching spiritual level of a god, and the ability for anyone to reach the level of a god. After being forced out of various places in America including the murder of their leader Joseph Smith in one of those places, the Mormons trekked to Utah where they were able to stay in a community that currently still contains the highest population of their people.
5. The philosophy of reform that shaped the antebellum era arose from two distinct sources.
* Fantasy of the Transcendentalists -writings of Emerson, Thoreau, and other transcendentalists.
* Revival of Protestantism - Began with the Second Great Awakening and agreed that everyone has the ability to reach salvation.
6. The temperance movement believed alcohol was the root of societies' problems.

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