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Culture in the Pre- American Revolution Colonies
Excerpt From this Document
Roots of Colonial Culture
- Still dependent on Europe- The nation was still a hegemonic extension of Europe, so what happened there had a major impacton life in the colonies.
- Hegemony definition- control or dominating influence by one person or group over others
- Shades of Renaissance morphed into a new movement.
- Faith in human progress
- Believe in logic and reason
- Devaluing of religion, revaluing of human ability
Roots of Colonial Culture into The Enlightenment
- The Enlightenment: Root word/ idea- “Light” or “to be enlightened”
- Human inquiry/thought is the key to shedding light on areas of mystery or wonder. Some examples of prominent thinkers:
- Isaac Newton and the laws that govern motion
- John Locke and the Treatise that develops government and its purpose
- Jean Jacques Rousseau and the relationship of individuals to their society.
- Immanuel Kant and the relationship between art and science
Enlightenment “enlightens” the Colonies
- The Enlightenment had a certain appeal to the colonists.
- Trust in human beings= Bright future- Notice how different this is from the Pilgrims/ Separatists who believed their suffering was a dictum from God.
- Anything is possible if people put their minds to it.
- Newton figured out gravity.
- Locke figured out government
- Rousseau figured out human beings and society
- Voltaire figured out that defending individual rights is essential for survival.
“Why not us?”
- Pragmatism- The belief that an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences.
- “If you have a lemon, make lemonade”
- Ideas and theory can be made to work.
- Colonists began to see the pragmatic, or practical, use of Enlightenment ideas in all domains: Government, Education, Inventions
- Good example of intellectual “greed” being good.
Pragmatism in the Colonies- Chapter 4, sec. 4
- Education: Rooted in the belief that one must read the Bible (Pilgrims/ Puritans). In order to read, one must be literate- possessing the ability to read and write.
- Schools began to appear more all over the colonies- The belief may have started as religious, but became quickly became secular-Not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body, concerning the world, at large.
Pragmatic Schooling in Colonies
- Set up first public schools- schools supported by taxes.
- Passed laws requiring parents to force children to go to school, and for towns to hire teachers.
- Little Red Schoolhouse idea- Everyone had to bring wood to generate the fire to keep the classroom warm. Those who forgot stayed away from the heat (light, enlightenment) and remained cold.
- Middle and Southern Colonies: Development of Private Schools- Schoolsgeared towards profit by asking students’ families to pay for education.
- By nature, this is secular- removing education from religion, a trend that will envelop towards the modern school, combining the secular with the public school (District 97).
- Tutors hired, as well- Education was limited to the wealthy. Poor and slaves did not have the right to be educated.
- Students worked under a mentor to learn a specific craft- Student becomes real world learner from a mentor in the real world. Again, another example of secular schooling.
- For the most part intended for boys.
- Students worked under a mentor to learn the basicsof domestic life. Student becomes real world learner from a woman in the real world. An example of schooling providing a purpose.
- However, this was a gender specific purpose as Dame Schools were intended for girls.
About this Document
This is a PPT slide show that focuses on the culture of the colonies leading into the American Revolution.