2. This was a war fought between England and
its American Colonies for the independence
of the colonies.
Ultimately the Colonies defeated England
and won their independence.
The war caused a change in culture and thus a
change in the literature of the time.
3. This time period produced several famous
authors including Benjamin Franklin, Paul
Revere, Thomas Paine, etc.
Many of the writings of the time are written
from the battlefront or from a perspective of
Many less famous pieces were written from
English loyalists and are equally important to
understanding the literature of the time.
4. Unfortunately many of the writing of the
time are lost because they were written on
the battlefront and mail was unlikely to be
John Bowater wrote, “You must not sent out
of the way when anything is going home and
it is at least a thousand to one you do not
5. During this time many of the writings
especially at the beginning of the revolution
are call-to-arms are very stirring to the soul.
They feature a strong sense of patriotism and
of camaraderie among the colonists.
Many of these writings are almost pleading
for support and loyalty
6. "These are the times that try men's soul's.
The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot
will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of
his country; but he that stands
it now, deserves the love and thanks of man
and women“ –Thomas Paine
This is an excellent example of a call-to-arms
It not only calls on the potential soldiers but
for others like wives and children to do what
ever they can to further the revolution
7. Paine was an avid patriot
and wrote some of the
most stirring pieces from
the time period
In 1776 he wrote a 79 page
pamphlet, Common Sense,
a piece in which consisted
of “nothing more than
simple facts, plain
arguments, and common
sense" on the idea of
8. Paine was an active patriot serving in
His writing was the most influential thing he
He wrote the Crisis Papers which spoke out
against loyalists and inspired the colonists to
9. The Puritans also produced a great deal of
literature during this time period.
Plain speech was highly regarded in this
In other words the works of these authors got
straight to the point.
The Puritans saw life as a constant moral
struggle and attempted to portray this in
their writings and represent true life.
10. During the revolution
Patrick Henry delivered
one of the most
important lines of speech
to the American cause.
He said, “Give me liberty
or give me death.”
He said this while
speaking to the Virginia
legislature while urging
Virginians to arm
11. During and shortly after the Revolution few
great works emerged from American authors
(with the exception of fantastic political
This is likely because most books were
reviewed in England which made Americans
aware of how dependent they were on the
British literary model.
12. It was difficult for American writers to find a
true American identity.
This was particularly difficult due to their
overwhelming patriotism but were out of
necessity self-conscious which caused many
of the writings to in many ways flop.
13. Alison. "Thomas Paine's Influence on the American Revolution - Sons of the
American Revolution, Connecticut." Connecticut Society of the Sons of the
American Revolution - CTSSAR. Connecticut Sons of the American Revolution,
2000. Web. 01 Feb. 2012.
Campbell, D. "Brief Timeline of American Literature and Events: 1750-1759."
Washington State University - Pullman, Washington. Washington State University,
19 Sept. 2007. Web. 01 Feb. 2012.
Lombardi, Esther. "The American Revolution: Writings from the War of
Independence." Books & Literature Classics. About.com, 2012. Web. 01 Feb. 2012.
VanSpanckeren, Kathryn. "USIA - Outline of American Literature - Contents." Outline
of American Literature. United States Information Agency. Web. 01 Feb. 2012.
Verney, Victor. "The Compulsive Reader :: A Haven for Book Lovers." Compulsive
Reader. The Compulsive Reader. Web. 01 Feb. 2012.