Free «Creating America » Essay Paper
The creation of a new country is a complicated and long-lasting process. It is impossible to build a new state without a solid cultural, religious, and national background. In these terms, the creation of the US encountered a lot of difficulties and contradictions. The time of its emergence was a period of the new rules, norms, customs, and national consciousness, as well.
At the same time, it cannot be said that the US has rejected all the previous traditions and beliefs, set at the continent for hundreds of years. On the contrary, it absorbed and combined various traditions, values and cultures, mixing them into one unique system of national identity and self-awareness. Indeed, the American literature perfectly reflects the most prominent changes in the history of the country, dwelling on the reasons, nature, and consequences of its formation.
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In the early 17th century, the puritans left England and settled in the North America. By judging from the name, it is possible to conclude that they paid a great attention to the spiritual development and achievement of harmony with the God. Such statements were quite contrary to what the native tribes confessed (Knippling, 1996).
The American Indians put focus on the issue of survival rather than on overwhelming religious values and beliefs. Their religion was much different from the Christianity, although it also professed the idea of monotheism and leading role of the supreme power in human lives. In general, the contradictions in the religious and cultural outlooks set the first reason for the separation and creation of a new country.
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The following American Revolution and the period of Enlightenment just amplified the desire to form a new country. Firstly, it was caused by the changes in the world perception which neglected the previous religious obsession and replaced it with a new philosophy. According to the new beliefs, people refused to believe in miracles and wonders and trusted science instead.
Moreover, it was a time when people started doubting everything they see and look for the pragmatic values of the surrounding things. During this period, there also appeared the ideas of the human equality and separation of the church from the state. Therefore, it can be seen that this period established new standards and created a profound basis for the creation of a just, fair, and powerful country (Bailyn, 2012).
The American literature has reflected all these changes and new ideas. Thus, the new American poetry revealed the topics of the independence, national identity, importance of the freedom, human rights, and equality.
The poetry of that time is highly expressive, dynamic, and solemn. It calls for the radical actions and inspires the changes and creation of a new, separate country. Without doubts, the leading poets of that time (e.g. Ph. Freneau, Ph. Wheatley, Th. Paine) managed to evoke the national awareness, amplify the national spirit, and persuade people of the need to form a new state (Byam et al., 2007).
Secondly, revolutionary years gave America the first noticeable leaders who took the responsibility of organizing the government, establishing laws, and taking control over the whole population. One of them was Benjamin Franklin. Known as a scientist, writer, journalist and editor, he was also a brilliant speaker and political leader. B. Franklin made important investigations which significantly eased human lives, although he did not intend to make money in such a way.
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One of his peculiar features is the enormous humanism and philanthropy, as well as the desire to create an independent country which could preserve the human rights and confess human equality. Franklin took an important part in the declaration of the US and carried some of its essential laws and rules into effect.
The same is true in the relation to Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was a person of the Enlightenment and, correspondingly, valued its ideas above all. He strongly emphasized on the importance of human rights and equality. According to him, if a country does not establish the fairness and laws to protect all its citizens, it has no future worth aspiring to. Some of his main concepts found their reflection in his pamphlet A Summary View of the Rights of British America. Here, the author expresses the ideas of liberty, prohibition of slavery and freedom of religious beliefs. His ideas found a great support among the population and considerably contributed to the creation of the US.
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Without doubts, the revolutionary process has significantly changed the literature and cultural tradition of the Americans. Under the influence of new revolutionary and innovative ideas, American literature has become more radical, sharp, and determined. The majority of the revolutionary poets spurred people on with the help of passionate appeals, confident national position, and celebration of the US autonomy and separation.
It also becomes obvious that literature itself has contributed to the raise of the national consciousness and awareness. Though this idea of independence was born in the minds of a few, the literature helped to spread it all over the country and increase the amount of supporters. It also reflected the national mood and people’s beliefs, their attitude toward changes, and readiness to accept any challenges for the sake of the independent and powerful state.
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To sum up, the creation of the US was a conscious, well-thought and desirable decision. The wish to form a new country witnessed people’s readiness to set their own traditions, values and beliefs based on human freedom and equality.