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Rationalism Period
(1750-1800)
Merideth Hanscom
Julian Orjuela
Megan Shannon
Historical Background
• Gaining independence from Great Britain.
• Government being established.
• George Washington 1st President (elected in
1789)
• Benjamin Franklin discovering electricity
and establishing United States Postal
Service.
Historical Background
• Constitution and The Declaration of
Independence being written and signed by
our Founding Fathers.
• Poor Richard’s Almanac and other statistical
works being written and published.
• Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
Historical Background
• The first American hospital, the
Pennsylvania Hospital, founded (May 11).
Opened Feb 11, 1752
• Stamp Act (Passed March 8th)
• Captain Cook discovered Hawaii (Jan. 18)
• Encyclopedia Britannica began weekly
issue in 1786.
Historical Background
Some popular American
songs that were written
during this time period
were The Star
Spangled Banner,
America, and Yankee
Doodle Dandy. These
were written either
during or after the
American Revolution.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
• Born in Virginia
• Attended the College of William and Mary and
obtained a degree in law.
• Served in Virginia House of Burgesses and
became an outspoken defender of American
rights.
• After the war, served as the American Minister
to France.
• Became our nation’s first Secretary of State and
second vice president before becoming the third
president in 1801.
Thomas Jefferson
• As president, he nearly
doubled the size of the U.S.
by purchasing the Louisiana
Territory from France.
• He was the third child in a
family of eight children
along with his mother and
father.
• He was best known for
helping write The
Declaration of
Independence.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
• Born Boston,
Massachusetts;
• Was sent to grammar
school at 8 years old, and
attended math and
writing school until he
was ten. He did not
attend college.
• Was born into a big family
with 7 sisters and 5
brothers.
• Best known for The Way
to Wealth and Poor
Richard’s Almanack
• Invented bifocals and the
lightening rod, and
established the first post
office.
Patrick Henry (1736-1799)
• Born in Hanover County,
Virginia.
• Son of John Henry and
Sarah Winston Henry.
• Was educated by his father,
learned Greek and Latin, and
studied law independently.
• Considered most powerful
orator of the American
Revolution.
Patrick Henry
Most known for his speeches• 1775- Most famous speech at Virginia
Provincial convention urging resistance to
England.
• 1765- Elected to the Virginia house of
Burgess.
Thomas Paine (1737- 1809)
• Born in Thetford in
Norfolk on January
29th, 1737.
• Married twice; first
wife died & separated
his second wife.
• Never had any
children.
Thomas Paine
• His father sent him to Grammar School, but
eventually had to discontinue his education
to force Paine into apprenticeship.
• Paine went out to sea for a portion of his
life.
• He managed a small shop in London before
leaving London for the American colonies.
Thomas Paine
• Paine wrote his most
influential works
called “the Rights of
Men (Part I in 1791,
Part II in 1792).
• He also made many
speeches and led
rallies against Britain.
• Bifocals were invented in 1760 by Benjamin
Franklin. He had the lenses of two pairs of
spectacles cut in half and put half of each lens in
one sole frame. Today these are used by millions
everywhere.
• Attire in the 18th century was
of the Classical Baroque
style of the French and
English court; instead,
women wore clothing that
emphasized "softness,
prettiness, and delicacy.“
• The attire one wore was
what demonstrated ones
social standards
• Decorative embroidery and
frills served to enhance the
lines of the body and soften
edges of the dresses.
• The American
Revolution: 1775-1783.
• When the Colonies
rebelled against Britain
to become the United
States of America.
• Also known as the
American war of
Independence.
• Music was a large role in this era.
• Many people thought highly of musicians.
• Concerts were a new concept, and composers such as Bach
and Mozart were first introduced in this era. This a master
copy of one of the first symphonies in colonial America.
Themes
• Emphasis on self-knowledge and self
control.
– In this time, people began to explore
the true meaning of basic things you
need to know to live.
– They began understand the
responsibility that they needed to take
on to make their society grow and
prosper and to abide by.
Themes
• Reason and scientific observation.
– In this time period, it was the boom of thinking
logically. This was called the Enlightenment or The Age
of Reason.
– They were inspired by great thinkers and philosophers
of the seventeenth century, and valued reason over
faith.
– They had less interest in the after life, and believed
instead in the power of reason and science to further
human progress.
Themes
– Man’s ability to perfect himself and
society
• In this time, they also started to
develop a sense of self-fulfillment by
forming a government and society
that they would be satisfied with.
• They also began to live life with
independence and acquire the needs
of society.
Themes
• Rule of law and order
- This new government conducted laws
that would govern people to abide by
rules to represent independence in
opposing difference to the English rule
were as the people would not be able to
speak their minds.
Themes
• Freedom from restrictive laws
– With this in mind they developed a government
that allowed the people to obtain control of
their choices but must abide the laws that kept
them in line.
From where these people originated they had to
follow all the kings wishes, and this
government would protect them from this line
of ruling.
Bibliography
•
•
•
•
•
•
“History of the Music Classical Period”. Think Quest.org. 08-20-08
http://library.thinkquest.org/16020/data/eng/text/education/theory/classic
al.html
Kreis, Steven.”History Guide.08-20-08
http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/paine.html
Larver, James. "american revolution". 08-23-08
<http://www.americanrevolution.org/clothing/clothing.html>.
kindig, thomas. "ushistory.org". 08-23-08
<http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/henry.htm>.
\Kreis, Steven.”History Guide.08-22-08
http://www.historyguide.org/rights/jefferson.html
Prentice Hall Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: The American
Experience. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2004. page
numbers. 135-165.
The End!