Politics and Culture Wars in the Post Revolutionary War Era Discussion

Homework: Politics and the Culture Wars in the Post-Revolutionary War Era

Directions: Complete the reading listed below. Then type out your answers to the questions. You should submit your answers to Canvass and be prepared to discuss your answers to these questions in class on the day they are due.

1) Eve Kornfeld, “Introduction,” Creating an American Culture (ONLY pages 7-38, 54-80)

  1. Kornfeld establishes a “problems” and “solutions” approach in detailing the creation of American culture in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War. What problems/challenges did the Republican Elite of the era see as confronting the new nation and what solutions to these problems did they come up with? Draw up a list of problems and solutions (pages 3-7 and then the rest of the chapter)
  2. According to the Republican elite of the era, how would the creation of epic poetry and other literary ventures and a common system of schooling help solve the pressing problems of the era? (pages 11-38)
  3. Why did the Republican elite of the era fear popular culture (like sentimental fiction) so much?
  4. Kornfeld observes that, “Encountering the Other thus becomes a crucial element in the social construction of identity” (67) For the Republican elite, who was most commonly constructed as the Other (or Bad Guy) of their story and why? What qualities and characteristics did the Bad Guys tend to have? (pages 68-76, and 77-80)
    DO NOT answer: Who are the “bad guys” today? Who gets to decide who is a bad guy?