Download American Romanticism: Volume 1: From Cooper to Hawthorne by David Morse PDF

By David Morse

ISBN-10: 1349078972

ISBN-13: 9781349078974

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Flags and streamers fluttered from the windows, brilliant gas lights prophetically set Broadway alight, while outside blasted the loudest and most raucous brass band that Barnum could find. In a letter to Moses Kimball ofl843 Barnum wrote, By the way, Peale wrote me the other day to ask ifl c[ ould] not send him a Tom Thumb or a two-headed man or [something] to create an excitement. ] item that he ordered. 44 In Barnum's day the impossible really did only take a little longer. The three decades separating the election of Jackson in 1828 from the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 were a time of extremely rapid and confusing social change.

Harriet Martineau was shocked at the spirit of factionalism she found and the level of intra-section abuse in what was ostensibly a united country: I question whether the enmity between British and the Americans, at the most exasperating crisis of the war, could ever have been more intense than some that I have seen flashing in the eyes, and heard from the lips, of Americans against fellow-citizens in distant sections of their country. I have scarcely known whether to laugh or to mourn when I have been told that the New England people are all pedlars or canting priests; that the people of the south are all heathens; and those of the west barbarians.

There were dramatic movements of population as many farmers on the Eastern seaboard, dissatisfied with the low incomes they were getting from working exhausted soil, moved to richer pastures in the Ohio valley. The religious and intellectual life of America was profoundly affected by these changes. It now becamed more difficult for ministers in traditional churches to exert the authority over their congregations to which they were accustomed, for those who were dissatisfied with the rigid discipline to which they were subjected found they had the option of either moving away or even adopting a more congenial faith.

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