American Literature: From Colonialism to Realism Term Paper

Pages: 2 (520 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature

American Literature: From Colonialism to Realism

Some of the first American literature was authored in the Colonial period. Both European visitors and Colonists authored pamphlets and brochures explaining life in the colonies during this period. Captain John Smith is thus considered to be the first American author. Other major writers from this period include George Percy, William Penn, and John Lawson.

Central to the Colonists' concern were the religious disputes that had prompted them to re-locate to America. John Winthrop describes the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in great detail in a journal. Chief among the early American poets were Michael Wigglesworth and Anne Bradstreet.

After the Revolution, the Federalist papers - essays penned by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay - would become a classic of American political literature. Thomas Jefferson is also considered to be one of the most talented and prolific authors of this era, having penned the Declaration of Independence, Notes on the State of Virginia, and countless letters.

The post-Revolutionary period produced more than just political writing, however. It also gave birth to the first American novel - the Power of Sympathy by Hill Brown. American writers had yet to discover a distinctly American style, though. Many of the earliest American novels are heavily derivative of the Gothic style that was popular in England at this time.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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It was not until the early 19th century that a distinctly American style of writing emerged in the works of such prolific authors as Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, and James Fennimore Cooper. In the middle… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"American Literature: From Colonialism to Realism."  Essaytown.com.  April 17, 2008.  Accessed November 27, 2020.
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