The Rationalism Period We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
People of the Rationalism Period Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) • Born in Boston Massachusetts on Jan. 17, 1706 • The 15th of 17 children • He attended school for only two years. At the age ten he started working at his fathers candle shop. • Work as a printer until he retired and became a scientist. • His half brother James Franklin founded the new England Courant in 1721. Benjamin worked here until He moved to Philadelphia and started the Gazette. • The Gazette was the first newspaper with weather reports, interviews, and cartoons. • Invented the lightning rod, bifocals, and a new type of stove. • Helped draft the Declaration of Independence. • Benjamin wrote the Poor Richard’s Almanac from 1732-1757. • He wrote his autobiography. Most autobiographies are written in 1st person. Ben wrote it as another alias or otherwise known as 3rd person.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) • Born into a wealthy Virginia family on April 13, 1743 • Jefferson became the head of his family at the age of 14 when his father died. • Attended the college of William and Mary and went on to get his degree in Law. • Served in the Virginia House of Burgesses and was an outspoken defender of American rights. • Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801 and was able to double the size of the United States by purchasing all the land west of the Mississippi river in the Louisiana Purchase.
Jefferson’s Writings • A pamphlet entitled A Summary View of the Rights of British America which emphasized natural rights including emigration, denied power over the colonies, and established no tie with England. • He drafted the bill for religious freedom for the American colonies. • Declaration of Independence- Jefferson was chosen along with Franklin, Adams, and others to help write the document that outlined America’s independence.
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) • Thomas Paine was born in England on January 29, 1737 to a poor family, and he received little schooling as a child. • While he was still young, he was introduced to Benjamin Franklin in London, which changed his life. He was able to gain a career as a journalist and moved to the American colonies. • Paine served in the American army toward the end of 1776. • Thomas Paine had many famous works, including Common Sense, The American Crisis, The Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason.
Patrick Henry (1736-1799) • Patrick Henry was born on May 29, 1736. He attended public school shortly, but was then taught by his father who was very educated. • He gained fame early in life in a lawsuit called Parson’s Case by being a talented orator. • Henry went on to serve as governor of Virginia and a member of the Virginia General Assembly. • He delivered his most famous speech at the Virginia Provincial Convention in 1775, where he urged armed resistance to England. • Patrick Henry is considered the most powerful orator of the American Revolution, and is often remembered for his famous quote, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” • Some of his famous works include Speech in the Virginia Convention
Historical Information Revolutionary War, Constitution Written, George Washington as First President
Historical Information • Revolutionary War (1775-1783): Between America and Britain • In the 1760’s, the British government passed tax laws to increase the control over the colonies, and they resisted. • America’s disobedience angered Britain, which sparked the war. America was extremely unprepared . • Thus, they formed the Continental Congress which included delegates from the colonies. The Congress appointed George Washington as commander in chief of the American army. • Later, the British suffered a loss at Yorktown, which led to peace talks. The war ended in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris.
Historical Information • Constitution is written: Between May 25 and September 17, 1787 • Replaced Articles of Confederation • Some prominent historical figures including Patrick Henry, George Washington, and James Madison helped draft it • It was signed by every state, each at different times • The world’s oldest Constitution still used to this day • Fundamental law of America, including 27 Amendments made over the years
Historical Information • George Washington first served in the Continental Congress, and was appointed as commander in chief of the American army • He was able to lead America to victory in the Revolutionary War • Washington became the leader of the Continental Congress and helped draft the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. • As this great leader, he was elected as the first president of the United States.
Historical Information • Washington served as the president of the United States for 21 years. • He kept no slaves, and urged slaves to run away. • He became a famous world figure during his presidency. • As the first president, he led his nation in the right direction • He led the way for many presidents to follow in his footsteps.
Themes in Writing Emphasis on self-knowledge and self-control, Reason and scientific observation, Rule of law and order, Man’s Ability to Perfect himself and society, and Freedom from restrictive laws
Themes in Writing • Emphasis on self-knowledge and self-control: this involved people doing what they knew to be right and just. • During this time, people were making an increasing number of new discoveries and travels, adding to self-knowledge and increasing self-control. • Self-control in writing had to do with what kind of words were used and how they were able to get their point across.
Themes in Writing • Reason and Scientific Observation- this common theme in writing of the Rationalism Period is very important due to the amount of technology and discovery during this period. • New inventions were the focus of journals and novels, including Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac. This included the first weather reports in addition to additions just beginning to come about. • Thomas Jefferson also embraced this theme, as he believed in many of the ideas of the Enlightenment.
Themes in Writing • Rule of Law and Order- this theme of justice in the time period was very prevalent in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. • One of the first things built in towns was a jail, to ensure that criminals were kept locked up. • Patrick Henry frequently spoke of justice and rights, including his quote, “Give me liberty or give me death!” • Many people during the Rationalism Period had the same mind set of justice, performing acts such as the Boston Tea Party to prevent taxing by the British.
Themes in Writing • Man’s ability to perfect himself and society- people wanted to live in a better society while bettering themselves as well. • It was during this time that investigation into perfecting the laws became very important. Revisions were made, going from the Articles of Confederation to the Declaration of Independence, to make sure that everything was efficient. • The leaders of this time - Franklin, Paine, Henry, and Washington - helped ensure that both man and society were perfected.
Themes in Writing • Freedom from restrictive laws- while justice was a common theme of America, so was the freedom from the restriction of Britain. • No longer bound to excessive taxes imposed on them from Britain on food, tea, etc. • Had freedom to choose religion (mostly Christian instead of Catholic from Britain) • Army no longer had to fight and could focus on building up the defense for America.
Characteristics of Writing The art of persuasion, Parallelism, Logical Reasoning, Argumentation, Imagery, and Appeal to Emotion and Logic
Characteristics of Writing • The art of persuasion- This involves using various techniques to persuade someone to believe the same as you. • Example- anecdotes, specific facts, details, and information about a topic. • Patrick Henry as a great orator urged resistance to England and received respect and agreement to his ideas. • Imagery- descriptive and figurative language for the person reading. • Involves the use of all 5 senses. • Helps the reader imagine the scene for themselves
Characteristics of Writing • Parallelism- repetition of grammatical structure which is used in poetry and other writings to emphasize and link related ideas. • Logical Reasoning- using logic to get a point across to an audience • Argumentation- persuasive style including arguments for each side. • Appeal to Emotion and Logic- using a both emotional and logical standpoint for an argument.
Pictures • During Thomas Jefferson’s presidency, he nearly doubled the size of America with the Louisiana Purchase. This provided much more living space and arable land for the Americans during the Rationalism Period and today. The ceremony is shown at right.
Pictures • George Washington served as the Commander in Chief of the American army. The picture shown at right depicts George Washington on horseback after a surprise attack from the French and the Indians. During this time period, a large number of Americans were involved in the army and making a difference for their country.
Pictures • This picture depicts Benjamin Franklin as a printer. He worked as a printer for the majority of his life, including working for his brother’s newspaper in his younger years. In addition to this, he made many new inventions such as bifocals and lightning rod. New inventions and discoveries were made rapidly and became part of the culture during this time period.
Pictures • This picture represents a huge part of American culture during the Rationalism Period: the Boston Tea Party. With rising taxes imposed by the British, Americans were getting tired of giving away a large sum of their money to a country they no longer wanted to be a part of. Thus, they revolted by dumping hundreds of gallons of tea into the Boston Harbor. This was one of the first steps toward American independence.
Pictures • This picture represents the Liberty Bell, which rang loudly to show Americans finally had their freedom. It is representative of the Rationalism Period because people at last had the freedom from the restrictive laws of the British. They were free to worship as they chose, go to whatever church they wanted, and overall live a more fulfilling life. The Liberty Bell is an important reminder of that.
Types of Literature Political documents, Newspaper articles, Private letters, Epistles, Essays, and Speeches
Types of Literature • Political Documents- written records of things that have had a significant impact on our country. Examples- Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Common Sense by Thomas Paine • Newspaper Articles- a short, brief article normally containing recent information. Benjamin Franklin wrote Poor Richard’s Almanac with recent information every year. • Private letters- these are letters written from one person to another, not intended for the public. Examples would include letters written from one public leader to another.
Types of Literature • Epistles- this is a public letter in which a leader may write a letter to a large group of people, such as the entire nation, army, or Continental Congress. • Essays- these outline facts in an informative layout, often expressing an idea or giving a synopsis. • Speeches- Patrick Henry was known for giving the best speeches, asking for Americans’ support in going against Britain.
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Bibliography (continued) • Prentice Hall Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: The American Experience. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2004. 138-192. • "Responding to Patrick Henry". 082208 <http://project810.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/patrick_henry.jpg>. • Sadosky, Leonard J. "Jefferson, Thomas." World Book Online Reference Center. 2008. [Place of access.] 19 Aug. 2008 <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar286800>. • University of Birdgeport. 082308 <http://www.bridgeport.edu/Images/services/book.jpg>. • Waldstreicher, David. "Franklin, Benjamin." World Book Online Reference Center. 2008. [Place of access.] 19 Aug. 2008 <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar209260>. • World Book Online. 082208<http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/content/na/pc/lg/pc300028.gif>. • World Book Online. 082208<http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/content/na/pc/lg/pc109288.gif>. • World Book Online. 082208 <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/content/na/pc/lg/pc10421.gif>.