American Renaissance

American Renaissance
Outburst of American culture contributed to by romanticism and new methods of transportation. New market for fiction. Emphasized emotion and inner feeling and created a more democratic literature, accessible to everyone. Women also contributed literary works. Cooper, Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, Melville and Whitman were all involved in this movement.

Edgar Allen Poe
Was an American poet, short-story writer, editor and literary critic, and is considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre.

Walt Whitman
American poet and transcendentalist who was famous for his beliefs on nature, as demonstrated in his book, Leaves of Grass. He was therefore an important part for the buildup of American literature and breaking the traditional rhyme method in writing poetry.

Transcendentalism
a philosophy stressing the relationship between human beings and nature, spiritual things over material things, and the importance of the individual conscience.

Henry David Thoreau
American transcendentalist who was against a government that supported slavery. He wrote down his beliefs in Walden. He started the movement of civil-disobedience when he refused to pay the toll-tax to support him Mexican War.

McCormick reaper
mechanized the harvest of grains, such as wheat, allowing farmers to cultivate larger plots; 1831; fueled the large-scale establishment of commercial agriculture in the Midwest

American System of Manufacturing
involves semi-skilled labor using machine tools and templates to make standardized, identical, interchangeable parts, manufactured to a tolerance. it contributed to efficiency gains through division of labor. Division of labor helped manufacturing transition from small artisanal shops to early factories. Women and children were employed more frequently within larger firms, especially those producing furniture and clothing.

New York Stock Exchange
the largest stock exchange, located in New York City. Most of the companies on this exchange are larger companies with higher-priced stock.

Epidemics
occurrences of diseases in which many people in the same place at the same time are affected

Penny Press
Newspapers that, because of technological innovations in printing, were able to drop their price to one cent, therefore making papers affordable to working and middle classes and enabled newspapers to become a genuine mass medium

Minstrel Shows
Consisted of white actors in blackface. Consisted of comedy routines, dances, and instrumental solos. While today this is seen as racist, it does speak to the profound effect African American music had on American music

P.T. Barnum
the famous and unscrupulous showman, opened the American Museum in New York in 1842, not a showcase for art or nature, but a great freak show populated by midgets, Siamese twins, magicians, and ventriloquists, eventually launching his famous circus

Margaret Fuller
Social reformer, leader in women’s movement and a transcendentalist. Edited “The Dial” which was the publication of the transcendentalists. It appealed to people who wanted “perfect freedom” “progress in philosophy and theology and hope that the future will not always be as the past”.

Herman Melville & Moby Dick
known as the greatest American writer of his era, his most important novel, published in 1851, was the story of Ahab, the powerful, driven captain of a whaling vessel who was obsessed with his search of Moby Dick, the great white whale that had once maimed him. This was as story of courage and the strength of human will, but also a tragedy of pride and revenge.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essayist, poet. A leading transcendentalist, emphasizing freedom and self-reliance in essays which still make him a force today. He had an international reputation as a first-rate poet. He spoke and wrote many works on the behalf of the Abolitionists.

Hudson River School
Founded by Thomas Cole, first native school of landscape painting in the U.S.; attracted artists rebelling against the neoclassical tradition, painted many scenes of New York’s Hudson River

Frederick Law Olmsted
designed New York’s central Park in 1858. He viewed city parks as much more than recreational centers and he sought to create oases of culture that would promote social stability and cohesion. Due to the congestion and disease associated with city life many people participated in outdoor recreation to improve health

Specie
coined money, usually gold or silver, used to back paper money

Antebellum
belonging to a period before a war especially the American Civil War

Squatter
A person who settles on land without title or right: Early settlers in North Carolina became squatters when they put their small farms on the new land. They raised tobacco on the land that they claimed, and tobacco later became a major cash crop for North Carolina.

Economic Boom
-1920’s; worlds leading creditor nation
-offers foreign loans
-leading producer in electronics, mechanical products, and machinery
-very little governmental regulation over market system

Artisan
one able to do skilled work with the hands; a craftsperson

Pauper
One without means of support.