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  • The 18th Century Social:
    • White Social Life in the 18th Century
      • The white population dominated the colonies at this time
      • Life was very different from difficult life in 1600s
      • Immigrants
        • Mostly white European immigrants who settled in the middle colonies
        • Dominated by Protestants from France
      • Self-government
        • Government of each colony had male representatives
        • Eligible voters were male property owners
      • No heredity aristocracy
        • Narrower class system based on economics
        • Wealthy land owners at top and small farmers at bottom
          18th Century White Lifestyle
      • Social Mobility
        • Workers could improve social status with hard work
      • Men
        • Most men worked (Landowners and in politics)
        • Husband had unlimited power in the home (power over wife and children)
        • Upper Class
          • Wealthy due to expanding economy and ample food supply
          • Usually owned a fair amount of land and slaves
          • Usually participated in politics
        • Middle Class
          • Well-off due to expanding economy (good market for various goods)
          • Middle class white men worked as merchants and some upper class craftsmen
        • Lower Class
          • Lower class whites consisted of small farmers and some house servants (though servants were primarily African American)
          • Farmers enjoyed some prosperity by producing crops and selling them to local stores and merchants for sale, though farmers often got the short end of the stick in many deals
      • Women and Children
        • Women’s main role was to produce and raise children
        • Women had limited freedoms because were controlled by husbands
        • Spent all of time with household tasks and raising children
        • Women generally bore 8 children
        • Main household jobs: cooking, cleaning, raising and educating children, clothes-making and medical care
        • Women often worked next to husband in craft or plantation
        • Women were not clearly divided among classes (i.e.-upper, middle, lower)
        • Children stayed home and were often educated my their mothers
        • Young girls took on the role of helping their mothers around the house
        • Young boys went to work with their fathers taking up their craft or jobs in plantations
        • Children took on the class of their family, though social mobility could be changed with hard work
        • Upper Class
          • Upper class women often spent time at home educating and raising children
          • Those who could afford it had slaves to do household chores
        • Middle Class
          • Worked along side husbands in their field and cared for children and served domestic role
          • Wealthier middle class sometimes had slaves to do some work
        • Lower Class
          • Worked along side husbands in their field and cared for children and served domestic role
    • Black Social Life in the 18th Century
      • Africa
        Escaping Slave
        • Brought against free-will by ships
          • Slave trade triangle:
            • England-tea, goods, finished products
            • America-sugar, tobacco, wood
            • Africa-slaves
          • Forced to work
            • Worked on plantations for rich colonists growing crops
      • Life
        • South (South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland)
          • Slaves (90% of blacks) [men, women, children]
            • plantations
              • Terrible living conditions
                • Little pay, little food, ect.
              • No education
              • Harsh punishments
            • Once born into slavery, bonded for life, unless successfully escaped, which was rare
          • Free Blacks (10%)
            • Some owned little property
            • Usually illiterate
            • Were able to hold low paying jobs
      • All Blacks discriminated against
        • Often laws (especially in the South) allowed discrimination
        • No involvement in politics or society
      • Slavery was not abolished by the Constitution
        • Created controversy since “all men are created equal”
        • Ended in the North
        • Essential to southern economy
          • Counted as 3/5 of a person


  • The 18th Century Religious:
    • Pre-Great Awakening (1700-1730)
      • Protestant Dominance
      • [Protestantism: God as benign creator of perfect universe]
        • majority of colonists belonged to Protestant denominations
          • New England: Presbyterians
          • New York: Dutch Reformed Church
          • Pennsylvania: Lutherans, Mennonites, and Quakers
        • immigration causes exemptions to tax support of established churches of 17th century
          • in Massachusetts and Connecticut during Revolution (Congregational Church)
          • in Virginia after Revolution (Anglican Church)
        • Anglicans
          • wealthy farmers and merchants in NY; plantation owners in Virginia and Carolinas
          • slow church development without an Anglican bishop
          • symbol of English control over the colonies (king = head of Church)
        • Congregationalists
          • Puritan successors
          • mainly in New England
          • criticized as being strict and having an overly complicated belief system
    • Great Awakening (1730-1740)
      • Important People
        • Jonathan Edwards
          • “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
          • God is rightfully angry at sinners
          • If you don’t follow the Commandments, you will suffer eternally
          • grandson of Solomon Stoddard of Northampton who presided over six revivals between the1670s and his death in 1729
          • wrote A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God and explained what a revival was
        • George Whitefield
          George Whitefield Preaching
          • traveled throughout the colonies preaching in large open areas such as barns or fields
          • sermons on hellish torments of the damned
          • God was all-powerful and would save only certain people
          • people didn’t need ministers to lead them, they could study the bible in their own homes
        • Guiliam Bertholf
          • a lay reader who was later educated in the Netherlands and came back to preach in Hackensack and Passaic
        • Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen
          • sparked revivals in his congregation in New Brunswick
        • Gilbert Tennent
          • Presbyterian Pastor who watched and learned from TJF
          • William Tennent was his father
          • the Tennent Family dominated the Presbytery of New Brunswick and sent ministers to congregations even in other presbyteries which angered the Synod of Philadelphia
        • John Wesley
          • Methodists in England and tried to bring it over to the colonies but had never really grasped the central Protestant message so it didn’t really take off in the colonies right away
      • Disruptions
        • Hugh Bryan
          • Originally a slave owner, he denounced slavery as a sin and attempted to part the waters of the Savannah River. Instead he almost drowned and this incident discredited evangelicalism in the lower South.
        • James Davenport
          • Davenport Established “sheperd’s Tent” where he trained awakened preachers not in traditional curriculums of colleges but instead insisted on only a valid conversion experience. He organized book burnings and when a New England jury was asked to indict him, they found him mad instead. He claimed that he had been deluded and the Shepherd’s Tent collapsed.
      • Religious Impact
        • emotionalism became a prominent part of religious services
        • Ministers lost some authority as people turned to studying the bible at home
        • major divisions in churches
          • Congregational and Presbyterian
            • “Old Lights” or “Old Side” which were anti-revival
            • “New Lights” or “New Side” which were evangelical
        • evangelical sects attracted large numbers
          • Methodists and Baptists
        • greater competition to attract followers
        • greater religious diversity
        • call for separation of church and state
        • denominational realignment
      • Political and Social Impact
        • unified Americans because they shared in a common experience
        • changed the way people saw authority
          • if they didn’t need Ministers to lead them in religion, maybe they didn’t need people leading them in politics either
        • new colleges arose
          • Harvard, William and Mary, Yale, College of New Jersey (Princeton University), College of Rhode Island (Brown University), Queens College (Rutgers University), Dartmouth College, College of Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania), King’s College (Columbia University)
    • Deism (God=Clockmaker)
      • New religious ideaclock.gif
        • God is the clockmaker or creator
          • Deism- the belief that God created the universe but did not intervene in its affairs
          • He has left natural laws to allow his creation to govern itself
        • Heavily believed my more educated thinkers
          • Washington, Jefferson, Franklin
        • Combination of science and religion
        • An idea believed mainly by people who did not follow a specific religion or did not share a common view about God
        • Prominent around the late 1700s (1780) with the decline of established churches and later followed by vast christianization


  • The 18th Century Cultural:
  • Enjoy the music and the Georgian Style of London Architecture!
    • Art and Architecture
      • Architecture
        • Georgian style of London
          • brick and stucco homes characterized by symmetrical placement
          • found on the eastern seaboard
        • One-room log cabins
          • on the frontier
      • Art
        • Painting- wandered country sides to paint family portraits
          18th Century Family Potrait
          • itinerant artists
          • prominent artists: Benjamin West and John Copley
        • Literature
          • Religious tracts by Massachusetts ministers: Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards
          • Political essays and treatises drawing the line between American rights and English authority
          • Poor Richard’s Almanack, Benjamin Franklin (1732-1757)
          • Poetry of Phyllis Wheatley
    • Science
      • Practical Developments
        • Scientists were self-taught
        • bifocal glasses, electricity, stove
          • Benjamin Franklin
    • Professions
      • Physicians/ Doctors
        • Need
          • Need for doctors became evident with the unsophisticated treatment given to dying patients, physicians treat patients and teach students
          • College of Philadelphia (1765, Benjamin Franklin) sets pace
      • Lawyers
        • Need
          • As trade expands, legal matters become more complex.
        • Who? (ex. John Adams, James Otis, Patrick Henry)
          • Anglican men who had rejected the ministry as a career
          • Many literary artists practiced law as wellHausunterricht_20009979_copy.jpg
    • Education
      • Women
        • Trained only for housework
      • Men
        • Higher Education
          • influenced by the Great Awakening
            • Harvard (founded in 1636 in Cambridge, MA)
              • Purpose: to give candidates for the ministry a proper theological and scholarly education.
            • William & Mary (1694) and Yale (1701)
            • Princeton (1746), Columbia (1754), Brown (1764), Rutgers (1766), Dartmouth (1769)
            • University of Pennsylvania was the only non-sectarian college founded



  1. Realism
  2. Naturalism
  3. Novels revealed the fundamental truths and realities in American society which included greed, racism, and violence
  4. Confronted the issues of the newly industrialized nation
  5. Conveyed how personal experience shaped one's life
  6. Works
  • Mark Twain: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
  • William Dean Howells: The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885), A Hazard of New Fortunes (1890)
  • Stephen Crane: Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893), Red Badge of Courage
  • Jack London: The Call of the Wild (1903)
  • Theodore Dreiser: Sister Carrie (1900)


  1. Paintings reflected realism, but some painters still adhered to Romantic topics
  2. Winslow Homer: predominately painted the sea, used watercolors
  3. Thomas Eakins: painted the working class and scenes of everyday life, took photographs in order to improve his understanding of the human anatomy
  4. James McNeill Whistler: interested in color and portraits
Winslow Homer

James McNeill

Winslow Homer

Thomas Eakins


  1. Henry Hobson Richardson: influence from the Romanesque style
  2. Louis Sullivan: tall, steel-framed buildings
  3. Frank Lloyd Wright: used the natural surroundings such as the landscape in accord with his buildings
  4. Frederick Law Olmstead: planning of parks and boulevards

Henry Hobson Richardson

Frank Lloyd Wright

Louis Sullivan


  1. Music in New Orleans: African Americans introduced Americans into jazz
  2. Growth of cities sparked the growth of the music industry as Americans demanded musical performances
  3. Most cities had a symphony, an orchestra house, or both

Popular Press:

  1. Joseph Pulitzer: New York World
  2. Newspapers had information such as current politics and economics, as well as crimes and disaster
  3. William Randolph Hearst (another influential New York publisher)

Changing Society:

  1. Urbanization sparked the growth of leisure activities as well as: the reduction of hours people worked, improved transportation systems, advertisement, the decline of Puritan and Victorian values

Athletics and Sports:

  1. Baseball
  2. Football
  3. Basketball
  4. Boxing
  5. Rising popularity for watching spectator sports