Medieval to Georgian Culture Research Paper

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[. . .] Deetz attached significance to the trend of poor European-Americans transitioning from their former "vernacular" homes into newer structures with "balanced Georgian plans." Berger notes that the homes and belongings of the poor of that era were much less likely to survive above-ground than those of wealthier citizens, who were more likely to possess durables such as ceramics and furniture. Therefore, recovered archaeological artifacts became essential to re-creating a balanced picture of life in prior centuries, which Berger has termed as being a more "democratic perspective on the past." Deetz regarded eighteenth-century changes in the popular mindset and purchasing patterns as being indicators of the profound transformation that was occurring in societal values of the time. Deetz went further, to raise the question of whether the poor of America may have actually "missed out" on the Renaissance, as he regarded the transition into a Georgian-structured home to be a key indicator of the "shift from medieval into modern ways of thinking (Berger and Associates, 1997)."

Pogue (2001) has proposed three popular models to describe the transformation of American culture. The first is the "Georgian" view of the world as described by James Deetz. The second is the merchant capitalist viewpoint that was strongly promoted by Mark Leone. The third is a consumer revolution theory espoused by social historian Cary Carson. Pogue credits Deetz with the initial formulation of the so-called Georgian world view, while he regards the contributions of Mark Leone as a refinement on Deetz's views, with a Marxist bias. While he personally favored the theories of Carson as the best basis for future studies, Pogue considers all three points-of-view to have certain significant areas of agreement and congruence. He suggests that in their sum, these three viewpoints explain the essence of the cultural transformation as the rise of a consumerist society out of the traditional American frontier.

Archaeologist James Deetz originated the concept of "Georgian Order" in the late 1970s timeframe. He credited this phenomenon with accounting for a prevalent, although unconscious mode of perception by the Anglo-American population of the period 1714-1830, during the reign of the British monarch King George. Deetz's Gregorian Order concept has assisted archaeologists to conceive of American colonial history in more explicit and realistic terms, where the societal shift towards neatness, symmetry and order was reflected in the architecture of homes, as well as in gravestones and ceramic artifacts which have survived into the current day.

References

Berger, Louis & Assoc. "The ordinary and the poor in eighteenth-century Delaware. Excavations at the Augustine Creek North and South Sites, 7NC-G-144 and 7NC-G-145." 30 Apr 1997. Retrieved 17 May 2011 from: http://www.deldot.gov/archaeology/brochures/augustine_creek/augustine_creek_sites.pdf

Deetz, James. "In Small Things Forgotten." The Plymouth Colony Archive Project. New York: Doubleday, 2000. Retrieved 16 May 2011 from: http://www.histarch.uiuc.edu/plymouth/house.html

Orser, Charles. "Georgian Order from Encyclopedia of Historical archaeology | BookRags.com." 24 July 2003. Retrieved 16 May 2011 from: http://www.bookrags.com/tandf/georgian-order-tf/

Pogue, Dennis. "The Transformation of America: Georgian Sensibility, Capitalist Conspiracy, or Consumer Revolution?" Historical Archaeology 35.2 (2001): 41-57. Print. Retrieved 16 May 2011 from: http://www.jstor.org/pss/25616909

Stull, Scott. "The Social Order of the Colonial House in Massachusetts." Philadelphia, 2000. 11. Print. [END OF PREVIEW]

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