American Literature


Thecondition of Native Americans in the 18th and 19th century waslargely influenced by the colonizers. Opinion makers and popularcitizens, including, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin, and GeorgeWashington also influenced the society heavily. Franklin was aself-educated, social and an ambitious citizen. Just like manyAmericans of his time, he believed in the creator, but doubted thedivinity of Jesus. The 18th-century social belief was that all menwere equal (Baym and Levine 373). Franklin also believed that all menliving in different parts of the world had some similarcharacteristics. Additionally, Thomas Jefferson believed in the rightto individual happiness. The invasion of the other stronger states,including Britain, led to the erosion of these values. Consequently,the native harbored the feeling of being stronger than the coloredcitizens.

Inthe 18th century, most Americans pursued perfectibility and futureprogress. The ideology of equality gradually faded out, and peoplebegan owning slaves. Even after the departure of the colonists,America did not achieve internal freedom. The rationale for this isthat, even the people who had championed equality ironicallyexploited others. For example, Thomas Jefferson and George Washingtonwere among the citizens who owned a large number of slaves (Baym andLevine 376). The Americans exploited the right of self-interest, andit attracted many writers (Baym and Levine 376). After 1820, thesociety was marked by a permanent market revolution that hailedliberal ideologies as opposed to the civic republicanism.

Thecontravention of fairness did not deter people from agitating fortheir rights. The assurance of the universal sense of what was wrongand right made it possible to overthrow tyrants. It also gave slavesthe urge to revolt against their oppressive masters. The free slavesled their colleagues living in captivity in fighting for theirfreedom.


Baym,Nina, and Robert S. Levine, eds. TheNorton Anthology of : Eighth International StudentEdition.New York: WW Norton &amp Company, 2011.