Unformatted text preview: Antebellum America: Literature, Art In the first half of the nineteenth century, an American national literature was born. Naturally accompanying it was the first American reference work, Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language , published in 1828. While Webster's work did not create American English, the dictionary did declare the independence of American usage. Webster insisted on using American spellings, such as “plow” for “plough”; taking the “u” out of such words as “labour” and “honour”; and writing definitions taken from American life. Another important literary milestone was Ralph Waldo Emerson's “American Scholar,” an address he gave at Harvard in 1837. At a time when many in the United States remained in awe of European culture, he argued that Americans were self-reliant enough to develop a literature reflecting their own...
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This note was uploaded on 11/19/2011 for the course HIST 1310 taught by Professor Marshall during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.
- Fall '08
- Ralph Waldo Emerson