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Early American Literature

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By 1500, there were 700 distinct tribes living in North America. ... Most Africans in America were West African or coast of Central African descent. The Africans ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early American Literature


1
Early American Literature
  • Native Americans
  • Europeans
  • Africans

2
Native Americans
  • Arrived across Bering Strait 30,000 years ago.
  • Nomadic hunters and gatherers.
  • By 1500, there were 700 distinct tribes living in
    North America.
  • Most tribes were peaceful settling difference
    through negotiation, not war.
  • Complex cultures

3
Native American Literature
  • Oral tradition
  • Poetry and stories
  • Presented in form of myths, folk tales, and song
  • Common theme Examines the close relationship
    between human beings and nature. Shows a deep
    respect for the land.

4
Native American Literature
5
The Spanish
  • In 1492, Columbus opened the door to a century of
    Spanish Exploration
  • Cortes in Mexico
  • Pizarro in Peru
  • Narvaez DeSoto in southeastern U.S.
  • Coronado in southwestern U.S.

6
The Europeans The Spanish
  • By 1550, Spanish control extended throughout
    Mexico, Central America, part of the southwestern
    U.S., most of the West Indies, most of western
    South America

7
Spanish Motivation for Exploration
  • Adventure Explorers were well-regarded and
    rewarded.
  • Treasure huge amounts of Indian gold and
    silver.
  • Desire for Converts to Christianity
    establishment of missions. Clothing, food, and
    housing. By 1630, over 60,000 Native American
    converts.

8
The Spanish
  • St. Augustine, Florida oldest town in the U.S.
    1565.
  • Destruction of Native America societies.
  • By 1588, Spanish influence was in decline after
    the defeat of the Armada.
  • Literature Types personal narratives of
    explorers and legends from missionary period.

9
The Europeans The English
  • Roanoke Island colony in 1585.
  • Jamestown founded in 1607. Within seven month,
    disease and hardship claimed the lives of 2/3 of
    the settlers.
  • Tobacco is first cash crop.
  • Successful because regarded the new settlements
    as their home.
  • Plymouth Colony established in 1620 by Pilgrims.

10
The English
  • Types of Literature histories of the new land
    and religious writings.
  • First book published in the New World The Bay
    Psalm Book (1640).

11
The Africans
  • First Africans in North America were probably
    slaves of the Spanish Portuguese.
  • Slavery developed in the colonies in early 1600s.
  • By 1644 laws requiring lifelong servitude for
    black slaves.
  • Quakers were the only religious body to oppose
    slavery for over a century.

12
The Africans
  • Estimated 15 million Africans were transported to
    the Americans between 1540 1850.
  • Most Africans in America were West African or
    coast of Central African descent.

13
The Africans
  • Slave traders maximized profit by carrying as
    many as physically possible on a slave ship.
  • The Brookes carried over 600 people from Africa
    to the Americas. It was originally built for 451
    people.
  • Only half of the peoples taken from Africa became
    effective workers in the Americas. Many died
    from disease, were crippled for life, or
    committed suicide.

14
The Africans
  • By the 17th century, slaves could be purchased in
    Africa for about 25 and sold in America for
    about 150.
  • Even with a death rate of about 50 percent,
    merchants could expect to make tremendous
    profits.

15
The Africans
  • Very little literature exists from this time
    period.
  • Literature Types Slave narratives by freed
    slaves and some poetry.
  • Most personal history survived only in oral
    tradition.
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