Antebellum American culture

U.S. History to 1877

A New Literature

            Washington Irving

            James Fenimore Cooper

            American Renaissance

            William Cullen Bryant

            John Greenleaf Whittier

            Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

            Young America movement

            Edgar Allan Poe

            Nathaniel Hawthorne

            Herman Melville

            Walt Whitman

Religion and culture

            “Christian Nurture”

            Sunday School movement

            Transcendentalism, 1836

            Ralph Waldo Emerson

             Self-reliance; American scholar; nature mysticism

            Henry David Thoreau, Walden

            Moralism in art & literature

            Hudson River School

             Thomas Cole

             Frederic Church

            Literature of “uplift”

Antebellum culture

            Uplifting society


             Horace Mann

            Penal reform


            Asylum reform

             Dorothea Dix

Antebellum culture

            “Doctrine of the spheres”

            Male sphere

             Active, intellectual, outdoors

             Money & power: Politics, business, professions

            Female sphere

             Passive, emotional, home

             Purity & culture: Church, children, art & literature

             “Angel of the home”


            Discovery of childhood innocence

Falls of the Katerskills

Thomas Cole: The Oxbow

Church, Falls of the Niagara