Famous American Authors 18th Century Date (of work) 1732-1750 Author Ben Franklin 1776 Thomas Paine 1788 Alexander Hamilton James Madison John Jay Work Poor Richard’s Almanack Significance Various thoughts, advice, meteorology Arguments for Independence; helped Common Sense pushed the colonies towards independence Arguments for committing to the The Crisis Revolution; keeping the cause Series of essays to argue for ratification of the Constitution; used The Federalist Papers today to assist in interpreting the Constitution. The Antebellum Period and the Transcendentalists The first uniquely American literature that embraced the nationalism of the post War of 1812 Era James Fenimore Cooper The Last of the Mohicans The Raven 1851 Edgar Allen Poe Nathaniel Hawthorne Herman Melville 1868 Louisa May Alcott Little Women 1789-1851 1845 1850 Date (of work) Author The Scarlett Letter Moby Dick Work Influenced popular opinion about Indians and the frontier. Romanticized the resourceful frontiersman as well as the stoic, wise, and noble Indians. Many antebellum writers wrestled with the conviction that American literature and culture were not living up to their Revolutionary and democratic promises, and many of these writers incited and participated in various efforts at reform. But during this time, there were also a variety of notions about what constituted reform. Significance 1837 1841 1849 Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry David Thoreau 1854 1855 1865 Walt Whitman The American Scholar Various Essays On the Duty of Civil Disobedience Walden: Or Life in the Woods Leaves of Grass O Captain! My Captain! Transcendentalism was never really a formalized movement, but its principles certainly inspired the writings of Thoreau, and Whitman, among others. It emphasized the creative powers of the individual mind, the regenerative value of nature, the limits of historical associations and traditions, the stultifying effects of established institutions, and the mystical glories of infancy and childhood. Writers such as Hawthorne and Melville were influenced by Transcendentalism when they grappled with the difficulties of making sense of a universe in which meaning derives from individual creative insights rather than received authority. The Abolitionists 1831 William Lloyd Garrison The Liberator (newspaper) 1845-1849 Frederick Douglass The North Star (newspaper) 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Tom’s Cabin White abolitionist; Argued for immediate emancipation Escaped slave who became leader of the abolitionist movement; Argued for an end to slavery Widely read and distributed fictional story about slavery; helped to convince more northerners of the evils of slavery. The Gilded Age Date (of work) Author 1881 Helen Hunt Jackson 1895 Booker T. Washington 1876 Mark Twain 1884 1890 Alfred T. Mahan 1890 Jacob Riis 1893 Frederick Jackson Turner Work Significance Cataloged the history of US-Indian relations and led to a political A Century of Dishonor effort by humanitarians seeking more just policies towards Indian tribes. Speech in which Washington urged African-Americans to seek a vocational The Atlanta education and not directly challenge Exposition (speech) segregation. His theory was challenged by WEB du Bois. The Adventures of Tom Twain’s most enduring works— Sawyer Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer—sprang from his own childhood adventures in small town America. Twain’s writing, often considered humorous and The Adventures of entertaining, was in fact full of Huckleberry Finn social criticism. Twain tackled the big issues of the day, such as racism and economic injustices, using humor to get his ideas across. Argued that naval power was key to The Influence of Sea world dominance; Led to the build up Power upon History of the US Navy. Expose of the terrible conditions in How the Other Half the cities and slums; helped encourage Lives urban reform (common theme in the Progressive Era) Major historical theory of the 1890s The Significance of that American have been defined by a the Frontier in movement to a frontier (written at a American History time when the US Census Bureau (lecture) declared in 1890 that the frontier was “closed”) 1893 Date (of work) Steven Crane Author The Red Badge of Courage Work Epic of the Civil War Era (secondary source) Significance 1900 Theodore Dreiser Sister Carrie Story of a poor girl working in the cities (Beginning of the Progressive Era) 1902 Lincoln Steffens The Shame of the Cities (Magazine Article) Muckraker who exposed urban problems like Jacob Riis and other muckrakers 1903 Jack London The Call of the Wild Upton Sinclair The Jungle 1906 Other Muckrakers: Ida Tarbell David Phillips Not Without Laughter 1920s Langston Hughes Various Poems Helped promote a growing conservation movement later championed by Theodore Roosevelt Exposed poor sanitation in the meatpacking industry and led directly to food and drug regulation by the federal government These muckrakers exposed critical social and economic problems that led to direct government intervention and thus, the Progressive Movement. This new type of journalism was made possible by the increasing amount of magazines and newspapers that resulted from technological enhances to the printing press (“yellow journalism”) Famous writer of the Harlem Renaissance: a literary and cultural movement that promoted African American pride, especially in urban dwellings. 1920’s Literature and the Great Depression Date (of work) 1920 1925 1926 1929 1922 1930 1939 Author Work Significance Sinclair Lewis William Faulkner This Side of Paradise The Great Gatsby The Sun Also Rises Farewell to Arms Babbit As I Lay Dying John Steinbeck Grapes of Wrath Early 1920s literature often represented disillusionment with society as a result of the psychological shock of World War I. Some simply assessed the changing social values of the 1920s through fictional stories. Novel about the Dust Bowl of the 1930s F. Scott Fitzgerald Ernest Hemingway Post World War II Literature Date (of work) 1945 Author Work Dr. Benjamin Spock 1949 Arthur Miller The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care Death of a Salesman 1953 1949 George Orwell 1951 J.D. Salinger 1956 William H. Whythe Jr. 1962 Rachel Carson 1963 Betty Friedan Significance An instruction manual for parents; shaped many of the child-rearing beliefs of the 1950s. Tragedy about a man pursuing the American dream in the 1940s. The Crucible (Play) Play about the Salem Witchcraft Trials, often considered to be written as an attack on the McCarthy Era. 1984 Though an English author, his book portrayed a “big brother” government run society in the year 1984. The Catcher in the Portrayed themes of adolescence, Rye sexuality and conflicts with the predominant theme of conformity in the 1950s. The Organization Man Very influential book about the workplace, suburbs and the relationship to people’s lives. Silent Spring Exposed problems of water quality and contamination by pesticides – led directly to the environmental movement of the 1960s-1970s and federal government regulation and regulatory agencies (i.e. EPA) The Feminine Mystique Led directly to the modern feminist movement of the 1960s-1970s.