Before the 4th of July 1776, America was a British colony. Most of the books were English.
1787 :Adoption of the Constitution
Early National literature :
The question of the language for the colonised. What language use ? British English, the language of the colonisers, was more official.
So,how were they going to find an American literature different from the British but using the same language ?
American writers have the idea to create a special language in order to reinforce the feelingof Americanness and to say what America was : A country of immigrants, from all over the world, with different traditions, and different type of literature.
· Immigrants came in USAbecause nobody lived there so they can have a new start. USA is a new paradise, a second chance given by God to recreate a new sort of society. A new country where they could do what they want.
· But,it was not true. There were people living in America : the Indians. -> 2/3 millions.
= Meeting of culture. Indians were all different and came from different parts of America. But, for the newcomers, they were all the same.
· If the first colonisers survives in America, it is thanks to Indians. They helped them, shew them how to cultivate according to the land.
Thanksgiving : Americans oftoday give thanks to god because he helps them to survive to the first difficulties of colonisation.
· More and more people arrived and that had created tensions : The settlers wanted to imposetheir way of life, very different of the Indian’s. Indians were going to be eliminated so they turned into savages.
· The image of the Indians in American literature changed.
( Au début du 19 èmesiècle un écrivain Américain à beaucoup de mal à se faire publier )
1807 -> Joel Barlow : «The Columbiad». The first national American poem.
1828-> Noah Webster : «An American Dictionary of the...