The development of an American culture | AP US History | Khan Academy | Summary and Q&A

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January 22, 2020
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The development of an American culture | AP US History | Khan Academy

TL;DR

The early 19th century in the United States witnessed a transition from Enlightenment ideas of reason and logic to the Romantic movement's emphasis on emotions and individual experience, leading to the emergence of unique American art, literature, and philosophy.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did the Enlightenment influence the founding of the United States?

The Enlightenment ideals of reason and logic, as reflected in the Declaration of Independence, shaped the foundations of the United States, emphasizing the rights and freedoms of individuals and the need for government based on the consent of the governed.

Q: How did Edgar Allan Poe's writing differ from Thomas Jefferson's?

While Thomas Jefferson emphasized reason and logical evidence in his writings, Edgar Allan Poe, influenced by the Romantic era, focused on emotions, imagination, and the supernatural. Poe's works often centered around dark themes, contrasting with Jefferson's more rational approach.

Q: What was the significance of the transition from the Enlightenment to the Romantic era in the United States?

This transition led to the emergence of the Second Great Awakening, intense religious devotion, and major reform movements. It also marked the beginning of truly American art and literary movements, as artists and writers sought to capture a unique American culture.

Q: How did American architecture change during the early 19th century?

American architecture moved away from the Georgian style borrowed from Britain and started to incorporate elements of Roman and Greek architecture. American architects aimed to convey the message that the United States was crafting its own architectural form suitable for a republic.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The United States in the early 19th century initially borrowed and imitated European artistic and cultural productions, but gradually developed a distinct American culture.

  • The Enlightenment ideals of reason and logic influenced the founding of the United States, as evident in the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson.

  • Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" reflects the Romantic era's rejection of reason and logic in favor of emotion and imagination.

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