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American Culture in 1820-1830

During the 1820 and 1830 a distinct American culture began to emerge. What philosophers, artists and artistic works contributed to this culture. What were the unique American themes explored within these works?

Changes in the political, economical, social life of the United States in 1820-1830 caused great changes in American culture of this period. The underdeveloped nation of farmers transformed into the urbanized economic powerful nation. It is known that a distinct American culture began to emerge. These changes were shown in the new literary works. Transcendentalists considered that the knowledge was beyond what the senses perceive. The essayists and philosophers Ralf Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, poet Walt Whitman fought for self-reliance and independence. Many American philosophers of this period argued against slavery: William Lloyd Garrison, an abolitionist whose works were very powerful, Susan B. Antony, an abolitionist who fought for women’s rights, Frederic Douglass, who argued against slavery and was the first black speaker and writer. The new character of the developing nation was found in the works of John Greenleaf Whittier, Henry Longfellow, Louisa May Alcott. (The Pre-Civil War Era)

In literature of 1820-1830 there was a new trend- Early American Romanticism the representatives of which were Washington Irving, James Cooper, Brayent, Kennedy. The themes which were found in their works included War of Independence, life of Indians, the development of the new nation. American artists also contributed to this culture. John Trumbull and John Vanderlyn’s artistic works which represented huge composition on American history were used in decoration of Capitol in Washington. In 1830, the landscape painting became the leading genre of American pictorial art. Thomas Cole’s artistic works showed the virgin nature of the north. (Lewis, 2002)



Lewis, M. (2002) American Sublime. New Criterion. September, 2002. Retrieved from:<http://www.questia.com>
The Pre-Civil War Era. (1815-1850). Spark Note History Note. Retrieved from:<http://www.sparknotes.com>