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By Eric J. Sundquist

The flourishing of pre-Civil battle literature referred to as the yankee Renaissance happened in a unstable context of nationwide growth and sectional strife. Canonical writers resembling Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Henry David Thoreau, in addition to these extra lately acclaimed, akin to Frederick Douglass and Harriet Beecher Stowe, emerged amidst literature dedicated to questions of nationalism, exploration, empire, the frontier, and slavery. This outpouring integrated probably the most very important early works in African American, American Indian, and Chicana/Chicano literature. Empire and Slavery in American Literature, 1820-1865 tells the tale of this quite bright and wide-ranging multicultural "renaissance" of our nationwide literature.

Scores of diaries, stories, and memoirs, as well as a various innovative literature, documented the nation's growth to its smooth continental borders, in addition to exploration of territory a long way past. pushed by way of trust within the "manifest future" of usa citizens to convey liberty to new lands, narratives of empire ranged from the heroic to the wonderful, and so they spawned a well-liked frontier literature that created the most enduring myths of the United States. while, growth provoked a corresponding literature of dispossession by way of American Indians and Mexicans that mixed protest with statements of satisfaction and independence.

Accompanying enlargement was once the contentious and finally tragic debate over slavery conducted in a voluminous proslavery and antislavery literature that took the shape of speeches, pamphlets, autobiography, poetry, and fiction. by way of juxtaposing the literature of slavery with the literatures of exploration and the frontier, Empire and Slavery strains the formative positive aspects of the nationwide snapshot of the United States.

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