NATIVE AMERICAN & PRE - COLONIAL
The development of literary movements in American literature can be traced by
way of its recurring patterns of liberal and reactionary thinking, of rebellion and
restoration, and of reclamation and revolution.
1534, during the reign of Henry VIII, England rebels against Roman Catholicism
and separates, forming the Church of England.
1559 - 1625, the first Puritans organize as reactionary Protestants hoping to
"purify" Church of England so that it is more like European Protestantism.
1650 - 1700
John Winthrop 1588 - 1649
Anne Bradstreet 1612 - 1662
Mary Rowlandson 1637 - 1711
Edward Taylor 1642 - 1729
17th century, fleeing reprisal for their increasingly radical and rebellious behavior,
Puritans "self - exile" themselves to America and make themselves the dominant
1700 - 1750
Jonathan Edwards 1703 - 1758
Early to mid 18th century, with a gradually increasing liberal sentiment causing the
idealism Puritanism to give way to the realism of Colonial economy, and first and
second generation Americans begin embracing other more tolerant religions.
Puritan leaders react with fundamentalist "fire and brimstone."
FEDERAL (AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT)
1750 - 1800
Benjamin Franklin 1706 - 1790
J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur 1735 - 1813
Thomas Paine 1737 - 1809
Olaudah Equiano 1745? - 1797
Phillis Wheatley 1753 - 1784
Philip Freneau 1752 - 1832
Late 18th to early 19th century, Federalist common sense and capitalism make
Puritanism a vestigial philosophy. The Revolution causes Americans to rebel
against oppressive Puritan values and to re - appropriate Classical western culture
in its own image.
1800 - 1825
[Philip Freneau 1752 - 1832]
William Cullen Bryant 1794 - 1878
Tecumseh 1775 - 1813
Early 19th century, begins with the a rejection of Reason and a return to nature, a
rediscovery of "natural law"
1825 - 1850
James Fenimore Cooper 1789 - 1851
Washington Irving 1783 – 1859
Margaret Fuller 1810-1850
Naturists culminate in the Romantics, a reactionary rejection of the classical and
familiar form and a restoration of the importance of emotion over Reason.
1825 - 1850
Nathanial Hawthorne 1804 - 1864
Edgar Allan Poe 1809 - 1849
Mid 19th century, while Romanticism is flourishing, Gothic writers and artists take a
rebellious and cynical view of Romantic ideals, rejecting their motives and their
optimism about, both, external nature and human nature.
1840 - 1860
Walt Whitman 1819 - 1892
Harriet Beecher Stowe 1811 - 1896
Frederick Douglass 1818 - 1895
Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 - 1882
Henry David Thoreau 1817 – 1862
Sojourner Truth 1797 - 1883
Mid to late 19th century thinkers, writers and artists restore Reason to the optimism
of Romanticism, and create the revolutionary philosophy of Transcendentalism,
reinvigorating political ideology and religious spirit in the service of social change.
1850 - 1900
Emily Dickinson 1830 - 1886
Herman Melville 1819 - 1831
Louisa May Alcott 1832 - 1888