U.S. History Notes

U.S. History Notes - U.S. History Notes (pre-Civil War)...

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U.S. History Notes (pre-Civil War) 18 th century rituals of deference between social classes begins to erode in the early 19 th century o Being proper, facial expression, posture, speech 19 th century is becoming the Golden Age of open lectures o People would go see lectures for fun o Self-improvement is truly surfacing The supposed ‘classless’ society is trying to take shape Literacy is flourishing Mandatory public schools Half of England and France are over 50% illiterate at the same time (1840s) Pamphlets, news papers, books Notions of the public are becoming more realistic – people see the public as a place of opportunity but equally dangerous o Notions of the ‘home’ take on more importance o It is viewed as the area where virtue exists mid 19 th century o alcohol was cheaper than milk o taverns/pubs become a popular place of social interaction o blood games cock fighting o plays/theatre/opera become extremely popular among all classes the patrons of these events are spectators at events like this
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actors could be expected to hit by fruit if they were a villain the line between reality and reenactment becomes extremely fuzzy phrenology – the study of the shape of the skull o early psycho-analysis o studying the shape of their skull was believed to show your personality type and the extent of your intelligence by the end of the 19 th century, many New Englanders start drifting towards Unitarianism o a benevolent God – the idea that salvation was available to all people o Puritan notions of pre-destination and original sin are rejected o Fundamental differences between Puritanism and Unitarianism o God is far too merciful to condemn anyone without Free Will American Romanticism / Transcendentalism o Romantics in both Europe and America become infatuated and interested in things that science cannot explain Moods, the mysterious, intuitive knowledge All areas of life that science could prove neither disprove o Transcendentalist movement – most influential part of the american romanticist movement Imagination > mundaness Anti-materialism Quaker doctrine The gift from God’s grace intuition
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Very interested in Eastern thinking (mysticism) Studied Islamic and Buddhist teachings and writings Civil Disobedience (morally obligated not to follow unjust laws) Henry David Thoreau – Waldon Pond o Ralph Waldo Emerson Graduated from Harvard at age 14 in order to study to became a Unitarian minister Quit his ministership – moved to Concord, Massachusetts Suggests that one needs to emancipate oneself from spiritual authority so one can have authentic spiritual experience Anything offered from a minister is just second-hand knowledge He argues for individual relationships with God – the path towards spiritual authenticity starts within and not from an hierarchical authority Essay on Self-Reliance (1841) o Message of individualism
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U.S. History Notes - U.S. History Notes (pre-Civil War)...

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