American Literature C 1850-1860

Madison Bueck, Leandra Zimmermann, Matt Duelfer

History

President Millard Fillmore

1850 - 1853

Vice President Millard Fillmore became President when Zachary Taylor died on July 9th. Presidents

Compromise of 1850

1850

Fugitive slave act of 1850 the northerns were told to return the escaped slaves back to their masters. Also, the Compromise of 1850 admitted the sate of California as a free state. And, the slave trade in Washington, D.C. was abolished. Compromise of 1850

Oregon Trail

1850

A trail to California branched off in southern Idaho. The Mormon Trail paralleled much of the Oregon Trail, connecting Council Bluffs to Salt Lake City. It began as an unconnected series of trails used by Native Americans. Fur Traders expanded the route to transport pelts to trading posts and rendezvous. As many as 50,000 US pioneers traveled west on the Oregon trail. Oregon Trail

Gadsden Purchase

1852

The Gadsen Purchase settled the boundary between Mexico and the United States west of Texas. In 1852 Gadsden agreed to pay Santa Anna $10,000,000 for a strip of territory south of the Gila River and lying in what is now southwestern New Mexico and southern Arizona. Gadsen Purchase

President Franklin Pierce

1853 - 1857

Pierce, after serving in the Mexican War, was proposed by New Hampshire friends for the Presidential nomination in 1852. At the Democratic Convention, the delegates agreed easily enough upon a platform pledging undeviating support of the Compromise of 1850 and hostility to any efforts to agitate the slavery question. But they balloted 48 times and eliminated all the well-known candidates before nominating Pierce, a true "dark horse."
Presidents

Kansas-Nebraska Act

1854

Kansas-Nebraska Act (encouraged white settlement of more new territory). Repealed the Missouri Compromise, allowing slavery in the territory north of the 36° 30´ latitude. Introduced by Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, the Kansas-Nebraska Act stipulated that the issue of slavery would be decided by the residents of each territory, a concept known as popular sovereignty. After the bill passed on May 30, 1854, violence erupted in Kansas between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers, a prelude to the Civil War. Kansas-Nebraska Act

Dred Scott Case

1857

In March of 1857, the United States Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, declared that all blacks -- slaves as well as free -- were not and could never become citizens of the United States.The case before the court was that of Dred Scott v. Sanford. Dred Scott, a slave who had lived in the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin before moving back to the slave state of Missouri, had appealed to the Supreme Court in hopes of being granted his freedom.
Roger Taney intented on protecting southerners from northern aggression, and wrote in the Court's majority opinion that, because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. Dred Scott v. Sanford

President James Buchanan

1857 - 1860

He was elected five times to the House of Representatives; then, after an interlude as Minister to Russia, served for a decade in the Senate. He became Polk's Secretary of State and Pierce's Minister to Great Britain. Service abroad helped to bring him the Democratic nomination in 1856 because it had exempted him from involvement in bitter domestic controversies.
As President-elect, Buchanan thought the crisis would disappear if he maintained a sectional balance in his appointments and could persuade the people to accept constitutional law as the Supreme Court interpreted it. Presidents

John Brown- Harper's Ferry

1859

John Brown was a man of action, was a man who would not be stopped from his mission of abolishing slavery. On October 16, 1859, he led 21 men on a raid of the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.Some of the men being his own children. And, his plan was to arm slaves with the weapons he and his men seized from the arsenal. When Robert E. Lee, heard of this within 36 hours of the attack, most of Brown's men had been killed or captured.
Harper's Ferry

Last of the Slave Ships

1859

the last ship to bring slaves to the United States, the Clothilde, arrived in Mobile Bay, Alabama The Clothilde

Abraham Lincoln

1860

Abraham Lincoln is elected - opposed to slavery. Lincoln had become the symbol of the frontier, hard work, the self-made man and the American dream. His debates with Douglas had made him a national figure and the publication of those debates in early 1860 made him even better known. After the third ballot, he had the nomination for President. President Abraham Lincoln

Literature

THE SCARLET LETTER

1850

Nathaniel Hawthorne's major work. Published in 1850, THE SCARLET LETTER is set in Boston of the mid-1600s. It tells the story of Hester Prynne, a woman whose husband is believed lost at sea. Her newborn child is evidence that she has committed adultery; as part of her pubishment, she must publicly wear a scarlet A". When her husband suddenly reappears, he resolves to discover the identity of the father of Hester's child. Hester steadfastly refuses to identify her lover. Through the use of rich symbolism and supernatural events, Hawthorne shows the destructive effects of guilt and revenge. Though set in a Puritan community centuries ago, the moral dilemmas of personal responsibility and consuming emotions of guilt, anger, loyalty and revenge are timeless ("source).
THE SCARLET LETTER

MOBY DICK

1851

Herman Melville(1819 - 1891) was born in New York City. His formal education lasted only four years, until his father passed away and he was obligated to find work to help support the family. After clerking, school teaching and banking, he shipped out on a whaling ship at age 20. Four years later he returned, full of tales of the sea, and he was encouraged to write them down. His first two works, Typee and Omoo, were published as non-fiction and received critical acclaim. MOBY DICK, however, sold poorly. It was revived around 1919, the centennial of Melville's birth, and is now regarded as one of the greatest American novels.
MOBY DICK is an epic tale of adventure in the south seas. Ishmael and Queequeg sign on the whaling ship Pequod. While they seek other whales along the way, Captain Ahab, the ship's captain, is really on a quest to kill Moby Dick, the giant white sperm whale that cost Ahab his leg in an earlier encounter. There are warnings from other whaling ships that revenge isn't possible, and that the harpoon has not been forged that could kill Moby Dick (chap. 131). The first mate, Starbuck, tries to reason with Ahab, but no amount of reason can turn Ahab from his quest. He finally locates Moby Dick in the Indian Ocean, where the Pequod and the great white whale have their final showdown. (source)
MOBY DICK

UNCLE TOM'S CABIN

1852

Harriet Beecher Stowe's best known novel, UNCLE TOM'S CABIN (1852), changed forever how Americans viewed slavery, the system that treated people as property. It demanded that the United States deliver on the promise of freedom and equality, galvanized the abolition movement and contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War. The book calls on us to confront the legacy of race relations in the U.S. as the title itself became a racial slur.
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN was a runaway best-seller, selling 10,000 copies in the United States in its first week; 300,000 in the first year; and in Great Britain, 1.5 million copies in one year. It resonates with an international audience as a protest novel and literary work. (source)
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN

WALDEN

1854

Henry David Thoreau was an author, philosopher, and transcendentalist who focused on writing books, essays, articles, poetry, and journals. Some of his most renowned works include WALDEN and CIVIL DISOBIDIENCE, both of which helped to influence modern-day thought on civil rights and simple living. Thoreau was an abolitionist, and his written works influenced the future works of Martin Luther King Jr. Thoreau also believed that a government was best when it didn’t govern at all. All of his written works strongly detailed his beliefs on government, culture, and society.
WALDEN was Thoreau’s first-hand experience at living and experiencing transcendentalism and naturalism. Thoreau showed how he lived simply and with self-reliance for two years. He explained what it was like to plant and harvest his own food, benefit from the labor of his own hands, and meditate and think within nature. He also lived a life void of a governing body and religious institution. Many scholars believe it is such a great work because it is not a forced exposition, in other words edited to fit into different chapters or sections. WALDEN is merely a recollection of his daily life, written down when he felt the need to write it. (source)
WALDEN

MY BONDAGE AND MY FREEDOM

1855

Frederick Douglass was the most important black American leader of the 19th century. He was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, in Talbot County, on Maryland's Eastern Shore in 1808, the son of a slave woman, and in all likelihood, her white master. Upon his escape from slavery at age 20, Douglass adopted a new surname from the hero of Sir Walter Scott's The Lady of the Lake. Douglass immortalized his formative years as a slave in the first of three autobiographies, NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS, AN AMERICAN SLAVE, published in 1845. This and two subsequent autobiographies, MY BONDAGE AND MY FREEDOM (1855) and The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881), mark Douglass's greatest contributions to southern culture. Written both as antislavery propaganda and as personal revelation, they are universally regarded as the finest examples of the slave narrative tradition and as classics of American autobiography.(source)
MY BONDAGE AND MY FREEDOM

Culture

Clothing

1850 - 1860

Fabrics with stripes and patterns were used. Women began wearing hoops or cage crinolines under their dresses. Also, Bo Peep or poke bonnets emerged.
Clothing

Expression

1850 - 1860

Frankness and easiness of manners were considered desirable traits. Temperance, abolitionism and women's rights were the focus of attention.
Expression

Population

1850

The population in 1850 for America was approximately 23,000,000 people. 3.2 million were black slaves.
Population

"The American Star"

1850

"The American Star" was written by John McCreery in 1812. The music was later revised in 1850, who revised it remains unknown. However, the song was respectful dedicated to honor R.K. Meade, of Virginia.
Music

Compulsory Attendance Act

1852

The compulsory attendance act of 1852 enacted by the state of Massachusetts was the first general law attempting to control the conditions of children. The law included mandatory attendance for children between the ages of eight and fourteen for at least three months out of each year, of these twelve weeks at least six had to be consecutive. The exception to this attendance at a public school included: the child's attendance at another school for the same amount of time, proof that the child had already learned the subjects, poverty, or the physical or mental ability of the child to attend. The penalty for not sending your child to school was a fine not greater than $20.00 and the violators were to be prosecuted by the city.

Education

Studebaker Company

1852

The Studebaker Company was founded to build wagons. Throughout the decade, the brothers used their Yankee ingenuity to build wagons that were of better quailty and faster. Later on, younger brothers Peter, John Mohler and Jacob would later join the firm.
Technology
Studebaker

Safety Elevator

1853

Elisha Otis designed the Safety Elevator in 1853, demonstrating its security by standing atop the elevator and cutting its cable. He did not actually invent the first elevator, but he did invent the brake used in modern elevators, and his brakes made skyscrapers a practical reality.
Technology

Boston Public Library

1854

The Boston Public Library opened to the public. It was the first major tax-supported free library in the U.S. Education

Baking Powder

1855

Baking powder was patented by Eben Horsford. An expert on the chemistry of foods, with a special interest in bread, he has been called "the father of American food technology." He enjoyed remarkable success through his development of processes for manufacturing baking powder and condensed milk.
Baking Powder

Massachusetts abolishes segregation in Schools

1855

Massachusetts abolished segregation in its schools. (first in the Union to do so) The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education made racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The South resisted the decision and the laws finally took place after the American Civil War.
Education

The song "Dixie"

1859

The song “Dixie” was composed by Daniel Decatur Emmett. Daniel Emmett was the composer of all the "walk arounds" of Bryants band. (A minstrel in New York) The night before Bryant needed the song, Daniel finally cam up with the words and the song title "I wish I was in Dixie". This colloquial expression was not, as most people suppose, a Southern phrase, but first appeared among the circus people of the North.
Lyrics
The Birth of 'Dixie'

Rabun Gap Area

The Plank Road

1851

A plank road built with thick oak boards was constructed from Asheville, NC to Greenville, SC. The old oak road lasted eight years, but prevented mud free travels to the Georgia line. Advanced Technology

Western NC Railroad

1855

The Old Plank Road lasted only around eight years, it provided mud-free travel to the Georgia line and to Salisbury in eastern North Carolina. A charter for a Western North Carolina Railroad was issued in 1855. Population jumped from 800 in 1850 to 1,100 in 1860. Railroad

North Carolina Schools

1860

North Carolina had public schools, but not until after the North had already established their schools. The South was not as advanced as the North was. Education