Presentazione sul tema: "American History, Civilization, Culture, & Literature."— Transcript della presentazione:
American History, Civilization, Culture, & Literature
La scoperta: primi viaggi Vichinghi: X sec. ca.
Vichinghi: X-XI sec. Rotte atlantiche via Islanda & Groenlandia
Viaggi di Colombo
The Voyagers Esploratori europei (A. Vespucci, G. Caboto, G. da Verrazzano; G. Ponce de Leon—2^ metà XV° sec.) Esploratori inglesi, coste della Virginia (Jamestown 1607) e della Carolina (XV-XVI sec.) Insediamenti temporanei lungo la costa, finalità puramente commerciali, scambi con le tribù native, ricerca di merci preziose (pelli; oro)
The Voyagers Esploratori/avventurieri inglesi: mentalità «imprenditoriale»; reclutamento di nuove forze in madrepatria e promozione delle nuove terre scoperte; opportunità commerciali agli inizi della colonizzazione, scopi meramente economici. Capt. John Smith e suoi scritti/relazioni di viaggio ( A Description of New England, 1616; The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Island, 1624)
John Smith: A Description of New England (1616) “IN the moneth of Aprill, 1614. with two Ships from London, of a few Marchants, I chanced to arriue in New-England, a parte of Ameryca... ”
A Description of New England IN the moneth of Aprill, 1614. with two Ships from London, of a few Marchants, I chanced to arriue in New-England, a parte of Ameryca … our plot was there to take Whales and make tryalls of a Myne of Gold and Copper. If those failed, Fish and Furres was then our refuge … we found this Whale-fishing a costly conclusion: we saw many, and spent much time in chasing them; but could not kill any … For our Golde, it was rather the Masters deuice to get a voyage that proiected it, then any knowledge hee had at all of any such matter.
A Description of New England Fish & Furres was now our guard … in Iuly and August some [fish] was taken, but not sufficient to defray so great a charge as our stay required. Of dry fish we made about 40000. of Cor fish about 7000. Whilest the sailers fished, my selfe with eight or nine others of them might best bee spared; Ranging the coast in a small boat, wee got for trifles neer 1100 Beuer skinnes, 100 Martins, and neer as many Otters … With these Furres, the Traine, and Cor-fish I returned for England in the Bark: where within six monthes after our departure from the Downes, we safe arriued back. The best of this fish was solde for fiue pound the hundreth, the rest by ill vsage betwixt three pound and fifty shillings.
A Description of New England New England New England is that part of America in the Ocean Sea opposite to Noua Albyon in the South Sea; discouered by the most memorable Sir Francis Drake in his voyage about the worlde. In regarde whereto this is stiled New England, beeing in the same latitude. New France, off it, is Northward: Southwardes is Virginia, and all the adioyning Continent, with New Granado, New Spain, New Andolosia and the West Indies. Now because I haue beene so oft asked such strange questions, of the goodnesse and greatnesse of those spatious Tracts of land, how they can bee thus long vnknown, or nor possessed by the Spaniard, and many such like demands; I intreat your pardons, if I chance to be too plaine, or tedious in relating my knowledge for plaine mens satisfaction.
A Description of New England That part wee call New England is betwixt the degrees of 41. and 45 … that parte stretcheth from Pennobscot to Cape Cod, some 75 leagues by a right line distant each from other: within which bounds I haue seene at least 40. seuerall habitations vpon the Sea Coast, and sounded about 25 excellent good Harbours; In many whereof there is ancorage for 500. sayle of ships of any burthen; in some of them for 5000: And more then 200 Iles ouergrowne with good timber, of diuers sorts of wood, which doe make so many harbours as requireth a longer time then I had, to be well discouered.
A Description of New England The others are called Massachusets; of another language, humor and condition: For their trade and marchandize; to each of their habitations they haue diuerse Townes and people belonging; and by their relations and descriptions, more then 20 seuerall Habitations and Riuers that stretch themselues farre vp into the Countrey, euen to the borders of diuerse great Lakes, where they kill and take most of their Beuers and Otters. From Pennobscot to Sagadahock this Coast is all Mountainous and Iles of huge Rocks, but ouergrowen with all sorts of excellent good woodes for building houses, boats, barks or shippes; with an incredible abundance of most sorts of fish, much fowle, and sundry sorts of good fruites for mans vse.
A Description of New England Florida is the next adioyning to the Indes, which vnprosperously was attempted to bee planted by the French. A Country farre bigger then England, Scotland, France and Ireland, yet little knowne to any Christian, but by the wonderful endeuours of Ferdinando de Soto a valiant Spaniard: whose writings in this age is the best guide knowne to search those parts.
A Description of New England Virginia is no Ile …. but part of the Continent adioyning to Florida; whose bounds may be stretched to the magnitude thereof [ … ] from the degrees of 30. to 45. his Maiestie hath granted his Letters patents, the Coast extending South-west and North-east aboute 1500 miles […] giues entrance into the Bay of Chisapeak, where is the London plantation: within which is a Country... may well suffice 300000 people to inhabit [ … ] posterity may be bettered by the fruits of their labours.
The Pilgrims “Non-conformists” nel regno di James I (inizi ‘600) per motivi religiosi; prima in Olanda (Leyden) poi ritorno in G.B. e inizio del viaggio da Plymouth al di là dell’Atlantico; fine Nov. 1620 sbarco a Cape Cod, poi verso l’interno della baia, primo insediamento: Plymouth Plantation. Primi contatti, rapporti e scambi con i nativi. William Bradford: History of Plymouth Plantation (1608-47)
William Bradford (1590-1657) History of Plymouth Plantation (written 1630-1650, published 1856) La lotta tra Bene e Male; persecuzioni lungo i secoli; riferimento alle fonti bibliche. L’ Inghilterra del 1500/inizi 1600: persecuzioni contro i «dissenters» e loro esilio in Olanda; peripezie d’ogni genere tra Inghilterra ed Olanda; decennio di permanenza nei Paesi bassi Decisione di emigrare verso l’America; enormi rischi ed incognite ma grande speranza nel progetto, coraggio, e fede in Dio
History of Plymouth Plantation (Ch. IV) The place they had thoughts on was some of those vast and unpeopled countries of America, which are frutfull and fitt for habitation, being devoyd of all civill inhabitants, wherther are only salvage and brutish men, which range up and downe, litle otherwise then the wild beasts of the same.
History of Plymouth Plantation (Ch. IV) … a great hope and inward zeall they had of laying some good foundation, or at least to make some way therunto, for the propagating and advancing the gospell of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world; yea, though they should be but even as stepping-stones unto others for the performing of so great a work. (Ibid.)
History of Plymouth Plantation (Ch. VII) AT length, after much travell and these debats, all things were got ready and provided. A smale ship was bought, and fitted in Holand, which was intended as to serve to help to transport them, so to stay in the euntrie and atend upon fishing and shuch other affairs as might be for the good and benefite of the colonie when they came ther. Another was hired at London, of burden about 9. score; and all other things gott in readines. So being ready to departe, they had a day of solleme humiliation, their pastor taking his texte from Ezra 5. 21. “ And then at the river, by Ahava, I proecaimed a fast, that we might humble ourselves be f ore our God, and seeke o f him a right way for us, and for our children, and for all our substance. ”
History of Plymouth Plantation (Ch. IX) SEPTR: 6. These troubls being blowne over, and now all being compacte togeather in one shipe, they put to sea againe with a prosperus winde, which continued diverce days togeather, which was some incouragmente unto them; yet according to the, usuall maner many were alicted with seasicknes. […] After they had injoyed faire winds and weather for a season, they were incountred many times with crosse winds, and mette with many feirce stormes, with which the shipe was shroudlyshaken, and her upper works made very leakie; and one of the maine beames in the midd ships was bowed and craked, which put them in some fear that the shipe could not be able to performe the vioage.
History of Plymouth Plantation (Ch. IX) … after longe beating at sea they fell with that land which is called Cape Cod; the which being made and certainly knowne to be it, they were not a litle joyfull. After some deliberation had amongst them selves and with the mr. of the ship, they tacked aboute and resolved to stande for the southward (the wind and weather being faire) to finde some place aboute Hudsons river for their habitation. But after they had sailed that course aboute halfe the day, they fell amongst deangerous shoulds and roring breakers, and they were so farr intangled ther with as they conceived them selves in great danger; and the wind shrinking upon them withall, they resolved to bear up againe for the Cape, and thought them selves hapy to gett out of those dangers before night overtooke them, as by Gods providence they did.
History of Plymouth Plantation (Ch. IX) And the next day they gott into the Cape-harbor wher they ridd in saftie. A word or too by the way of this cape; it was thus first named by Capten Gosnole and his company, An. o: 1602, and after by Capten Smith was caled Cape James; but it retains the former name amongst seamen. Also that pointe which first shewed those dangerous shoulds unto them, they called Pointe Care, and Tuckers Terrour; but the French and Dutch to this day call it Malabarr, by reason of those perilous shoulds, and the losses they have suffered their. Being thus arived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the periles and miseries therof, againe to set their feete on the firme and stable earth, their proper elemente. And no marvell if they were thus joyefull...
History of Plymouth Plantation (Ch. IX) Being thus passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation (as may be remembred by that which vente before), they had now no freinds to wellcome them,) nor inns to entertaine or refresh their weatherbeaten bodys, no houses or much less townes to repaire too, to seeke for succoure. It is recorded in scriptures, as a mercie to the apostle and his shipwraked company, that the barbarians shewed them no smale kindnes in refreshing them, but these savage barbarians, when they mette with them (as after will appeare) were readier to fill their sids full of arrows then otherwise.
History of Plymouth Plantation (Ch. IX) And for the season it vas winter, and they that know the winters of that cuntrie know them to be sharp and violent, and subjecte to cruell and feirce stormes, deangerous to travill to known places, much more to serch an unknown coast. Besids, what could they see but a hidious and desolate wildernes, full of wild beasts and willd men? and what multituds ther might be of them they knew not. Nether could they, as it were, goe up to the tope of Pisgah, to vew from this willdernes a more goodly cuntrie to feed their hops; for which way soever they turnd their eys (save upward to the heavens) they could have litle solace or content in respecte of any outward objects.
History of Plymouth Plantation (Ch. X) Incontri con i «nativi» (inizi Dic. 1620): Scaramucce nella baia di Cape Cod, oggi «First Encounter Beach»: scambio di frecce e colpi di moschetto… Incontro con Massasoyt e Squanto: «But about the 16. of March a certaine Indian carne bouldly amongst them, and spoke to them in broken English, which they could well understand, but marvelled at it. At length they understood by discourse with him, that he was not of these parts, but belonged to the eastrene parts, wher some English- ships carne to fhish, with whom he was aquainted, and could name sundrie of them by their names, amongst whom he had gott his language. He became proftable to them in aquainting them with many things concerning the state of the cuntry in the east-parts wher he lived, which was afterwards profitable unto them; as also of the people hear, of their names, number, and strength; of their situation and distance from this place, and who was cheefe amongst them. »
History of Plymouth Plantation (Ch. IX) His name was Samaset; he tould them also of another Indian whos name was Squanto, a native of this place, who had been in England and could speake better English then him selfe. Being, after some time of entertainmente and gifts, dismist, a while after he carne againe, and 5. more with him, … and made way for the coming of their great Sachem, called Massasoyt ; who, about 4. or 5. days after, carne with the cheefe of his freinds and other attendance, with the aforesaid Squanto. With whom, after frendly entertainment, and some gifts given him, they made a peace with him (which hath now continued this 24. years) After these things he returned to his place caled Sowams, some 40. mile from this place, but Squanto continued with them, and was their interpreter, and was a spetiall instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation. He directed them how to set their corne, wher to take fish, and to procure other comodities, and was also their pilott to bring them to unknowne places for their profitt, and never left them till he dyed.
History of Plymouth Plantation (2 nd book) «The Mayflower Compact» (Nov. 21, 1620) In ye name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwriten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord, King James, by ye grace of God, of Great Britaine, Franc, & Ireland king, defender of ye faith, &c., haveing undertaken, for ye glorie of God, and advancemente of ye Christian faith, and honour of our king & countrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly & mutualy in ye presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine our selves togeather into a civill body politick, for our better ordering & preservation & furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hearof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just & equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete & convenient for ye generall good of ye Colonie, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness wherof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd ye 11. of November, in ye year of ye raigne of our soveraigne lord, King James, of England, France, & Ireland ye eighteenth, and of Scotland ye fiftie fourth. Ano: Dom. 1620.
MARY ROWLANDSON (1635 ca. – 1678): NARRATIVE OF THE CAPTIVITY AND RESTORATION OF MRS. MARY ROWLANDSON The sovereignty and goodness of GOD, together with the faithfulness of his promises displayed, being a narrative of the captivity and restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, commended by her, to all that desires to know the Lord's doings to, and dealings with her. Especially to her dear children and relations. Written by her own hand for her private use, and now made public at the earnest desire of some friends, and for the benefit of the afflicted. Deut. 32.39. “See now that I, even I am he, and there is no god with me, I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal, neither is there any can deliver out of my hand.”
On the tenth of February 1675, came the Indians with great numbers upon Lancaster: their first coming was about sunrising; hearing the noise of some guns, we looked out; several houses were burning, and the smoke ascending< to heaven. There were five persons taken in one house; the father, and the mother and a sucking child, they knocked on the head; the other two they took and carried away alive.
CAPTIVITY & RESTORATION of MARY ROWLANDSON There were two others, who being out of their garrison upon some occasion were set upon; one was knocked on the head, the other escaped; another there was who running along was shot and wounded, and fell down; he begged of them his life, promising them money (as they told me) but they would not hearken to him but knocked him in head, and stripped him naked, and split open his bowels. Another, seeing many of the Indians about his barn, ventured and went out, but was quickly shot down. There were three others belonging to the same garrison who were killed; the Indians getting up upon the roof of the barn, had advantage to shoot down upon them over their fortification. Thus these murderous wretches went on, burning, and destroying before them.
CAPTIVITY & RESTORATION of MARY ROWLANDSON At length they came and beset our own house, and quickly it was the dolefulest day that ever mine eyes saw. The house stood upon the edge of a hill; some of the Indians got behind the hill, others into the barn, and others behind anything that could shelter them; from all which places they shot against the house, so that the bullets seemed to fly like hail; and quickly they wounded one man among us, then another, and then a third. About two hours … they had been about the house before they prevailed to fire it … Now is the dreadful hour come, that I have often heard of (in time of war, as it was the case of others), but now mine eyes see it. Some in our house were fighting for their lives, others wallowing in their blood, the house on fire over our heads, and the bloody heathen ready to knock us on the head, if we stirred out.
CAPTIVITY & RESTORATION of MARY ROWLANDSON Now might we hear mothers and children crying out for themselves, and one another, “Lord, what shall we do?” Then I took my children (and one of my sisters’, hers) to go forth and leave the house: but as soon as we came to the door and appeared, the Indians shot so thick that the bullets rattled against the house, as if one had taken an handful of stones and threw them, so that we were fain to give back. We had six stout dogs belonging to our garrison, but none of them would stir, though another time, if any Indian had come to the door, they were ready to fly upon him and tear him down. The Lord hereby would make us the more acknowledge His hand, and to see that our help is always in Him.
CAPTIVITY & RESTORATION of MARY ROWLANDSON But out we must go, the fire increasing, and coming along behind us, roaring, and the Indians gaping before us with their guns, spears, and hatchets to devour us. No sooner were we out of the house, but my brother-in-law (being before wounded, in defending the house, in or near the throat) fell down dead, whereat the Indians scornfully shouted, and hallowed, and were presently upon him, stripping off his clothes, the bullets flying thick, one went through my side, and the same (as would seem) through the bowels and hand of my dear child in my arms. One of my elder sisters' children, named William, had then his leg broken, which the Indians perceiving, they knocked him on [his] head. Thus were we butchered by those merciless heathen, standing amazed, with the blood running down to our heels.
CAPTIVITY & RESTORATION of MARY ROWLANDSON My eldest sister being yet in the house, and seeing those woeful sights, the infidels hauling mothers one way, and children another, and some wallowing in their blood: and her elder son telling her that her son William was dead, and myself was wounded, she said, "And Lord, let me die with them," which was no sooner said, but she was struck with a bullet, and fell down dead over the threshold. I hope she is reaping the fruit of her good labors, being faithful to the service of God in her place. In her younger years she lay under much trouble upon spiritual accounts, till it pleased God to make that precious scripture take hold of her heart, "And he said unto me, my Grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Corinthians 12.9).
CAPTIVITY & RESTORATION of MARY ROWLANDSON … the Indians laid hold of us, pulling me one way, and the children another, and said, "Come go along with us"; I told them they would kill me: they answered, if I were willing to go along with them, they would not hurt me […] I had often before this said that if the Indians should come, I should choose rather to be killed by them than taken alive, but when it came to the trial my mind changed; their glittering weapons so daunted my spirit, that I chose rather to go along with those (as I may say) ravenous beasts, than that moment to end my days; and that I may the better declare what happened to me during that grievous captivity, I shall particularly speak of the several removes we had up and down the wilderness.
The Puritan Predominio della teologia e dottrina puritane: teoria della predestinazione (“Elect” vs. “Reprobate”); antinomia insanabile Bene/Male, Dio/uomo, Fede/Opere, Libro della Scrittura/Libro della Natura, senso della Missione (pubblica)/senso di alienazione (individuale-privata). Dovere individuale della conversione, consenso verso la comunità dei “visible saints/Elect” e la loro autorità (divina); rigore morale, conformità, intolleranza verso il dissenso come minaccia sia teologica-dottrinale-religiosa sia sociale-collettiva: “ri- conversione” o espulsione (Antinomians: Roger Williams > Rhode Island; Anne Hutchinson; Quackers & William Penn > Pennsylvania). Società teocratica e congregazionalista; importanza fondamentale dei “covenant” civili e religiosi e loro assoluto rispetto (anche per la Dichiarazione di Indipendenza del 1776).
The Puritan Modello “tipologico-figurale” ispirato all’Antico Testamento, auto-identificazione con l’esilio del “popolo eletto”, America=nuovo Eden, millenarismo, ostacoli (Indian & wilderness + dissenter), centralità del binomio Fede + Opere (non più in antitesi ma in sintesi) cifra caratteristica dei primordi americani. Progressivo “allentamento” della tensione iniziale; ostacoli e disastri (naturali-climatici, epidemici, indiani) visti come castighi divini; episodio della “witch hunt” di Salem (1692) e contraccolpi negativi (perdita del senso di fiducia in sé stessi e nella giustezza dei propri giudizi). Tentativi di recupero della fede originaria (Cotton Mather: Magnalia Christi Americana ) Istituzioni: “Massachusetts Bay Colony” e suoi “Governors” su base elettiva (John Winthrop, dinastia dei Mather, ecc.) Scritti di natura essenzialmente religiosa e devozionale.
Developments (XVII-XVIII c.) The Thirteen Colonies Settlement and expansion The Natives European influences The War of Independence (1775-1783)
The Thirteen Colonies
Colonie britanniche della costa orientale del nord America, fondate dal 1607 (Virginia) al 1733 (Georgia). Sistema di autogoverno su base rappresentativo-elettiva (voto maschile e per censo, quindi relativamente limitato) da parte di proprietari terrieri indipendenti + rappresentatività anche nelle corti di giustizia locali; non vi sono partiti politici ma solo “rappresentanti” dei vari gruppi di base. Popolazione formata per la maggior parte da bianchi di discendenza inglese, irlandese, scozzese e gallese, più piccola parte di Tedeschi e Olandesi. Dal 1830 grandi ondate migratorie dall’Europa. Pratica della schiavitù: per il lavoro domestico e nelle piantagioni degli Stati del Sud (Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina)
The Thirteen Colonies 1754 Albany Congress: “disunione” tra le colonie (nonostante gli sforzi di George Washington); richiesta di maggiori diritti e proteste contro la tassazione da parte della madrepatria (decennio 1760/70) e contro la sua economia mercantilistica ristretta agli scambi tra madrepatria e colonie (e l’Impero britannico) a tutto svantaggio di queste ultime (tasse, dazi e barriere doganali, ecc.) che inoltre avevano il divieto (“Navigation Acts”, 1651, 1733) di commerciare con altre nazioni (Francia Spagna Olanda ecc.) Crescente scontento delle Colonie nei cfr. della madrepatria e delle sue limitazioni ed imposizioni. Proteste contro lo “Stamp Act” ( 1765) e principio di “no taxation without representation”: il Parlamento britannico imponeva tasse alle Colonie, ma esse non erano rappresentate nel Parlamento medesimo.
The Thirteen Colonies Tassa sul the ed episodio del “ Boston Tea Party” (1773). Reazioni britanniche "Intolerable Acts” (1774) e contro-reazioni delle Colonie: creazione (elettiva) dei “Provincial Congresses”. Boicottaggio delle merci britanniche e Primo e Secondo Congresso Continentale (1774 e 1775): espulsione di tutti gli Ufficiali Reali e costituzione di un Governo Nazionale, e chiamata alle armi sotto il comando di G. Washington: Dichiarazione di Indipendenza (1776) del nuovo stato sovrano: gli Stati Uniti d’America formato da: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island--Providence Plantations; Guerra di Indipendenza (1775- 83); Trattato di Parigi (1783); Costituzione degli Stati Uniti d’America (1787); George Washington eletto primo Presidente degli Stati Uniti d’America (1789); creazione della capitale, Washington D.C. (1791). Le colonie più a Nord e più a Sud (Nord British West Indies, Newfoundland, Quebec, Nova Scotia, East and West Florida) rimasero fedeli alla Corona e non parteciparono alla Guerra di Indipendenza.
Dichiarazione di Indipendenza La Dichiarazione di Indipendenza, benché non sia divisa in parti e costituisca quindi un testo unico ed indivisibile, può esser considerata come articolata in cinque sezioni: 1)Introduzione; 2)Preambolo; 3)Accusa nei confronti di Giorgio III d’Inghilterra; 4)Denuncia del popolo britannico; 5)Conclusione.
Dichiarazione di Indipendenza 1)Introduzione Asserisce come principio della Legge Naturale la libertà di un popolo di acquisire l’indipendenza politica, sulla base che tale indipendenza dev’essere ragionevole/razionale, e pertanto esplicabile, e che dovrebbe quindi essere spiegata: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
Dichiarazione di Indipendenza 2) Preambolo Sottolinea una filosofia generale di governo che giustifica la rivoluzione, quando un/il governo lede i diritti naturali (di un popolo): We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Dichiarazione di Indipendenza That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Dichiarazione di Indipendenza 3) Capi d’accusa (al Sovrano britannico): Un elenco di particolareggiati dettagli che documentano le ripetute offese ed usurpazioni da parte del Sovrano contro i diritti e le libertà degli “Americani”: Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Dichiarazione di Indipendenza He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.
Dichiarazione di Indipendenza He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
Dichiarazione di Indipendenza He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
Dichiarazione di Indipendenza For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
Dichiarazione di Indipendenza He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Dichiarazione di Indipendenza 4) Denuncia Questa parte conclude il caso a favore dell’indipendenza. Le ragioni/condizioni che giustificano la rivoluzione sono orami state dimostrate: Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
Dichiarazione di Indipendenza 5) Conclusione I firmatari della Dichiarazione dichiarano che esistono condizioni sotto le quali un popolo ha il dovere di cambiare il proprio governo, che gli Inglesi hanno provocato tali condizioni, e quindi necessariamente le Colonie devono scrollarsi di dosso il giogo della Corona britannica e divenire stati indipendenti: We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Settlement and Expansion
Two early American women-poet Anne BradstreetPhillis Wheatley
Anne Bradstreet: >
Anne Dudley Bradstreet (1612-1672) prima donna poeta in terra Americana e tra le maggiori voci poetiche dell’America. Poesie: The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America (London, 1650). Si forma sui classici greci e latini: Omero, Esiodo, Tucidide, Plutarco, Virgilio, Livio, Plinio, Svetonio, Ovidio, Seneca; e moderni inglesi: Spenser, Sidney, Milton, Raleigh, Hobbes (più la Bibbia). 1628 ca. Anne sposa Simon Bradstreet (assistente del padre). 1630: le famiglie emigrano in America --area di Boston: Salem, Charlestown, Newtown, Ipswich, Andover. Dal 1633 al 1652 otto figli.
Anne Bradstreet: > Mal sopporta la dura vita coloniale, ma obbedisce alla religione famigliare, e non smette di scrivere poesie. Tematiche: conflitti interiori emotivi e religiosi di una donna- poeta in epoca puritana: antitesi uomo vs. donna (poetessa) e tensione interiore per esprimere la propria individualità in una cultura ostile all’autonomia soprattutto femminile; “pietà” vs. poesia; peccato e redenzione; fragilità emotiva e fisica (malattie, morte); brevità della vita, morte, immortalità; piaceri della vita famigliare vs. promesse ultraterrene; Dio del Puritanesimo vs. affetti terreni (vivo amore per il marito, per i figli, per i vicini); Storia del Passato e disegni della Provvidenza.
Anne Bradstreet: “To My Dear and Loving Husband” If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; If ever wife was happy in a man, Compare with me ye women if you can. I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold, Or all the riches that the East doth hold. My love is such that rivers cannot quench, Nor ought but love from thee give recompense. Thy love is such I can no way repay; The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray. Then while we live, in love let's so persever, That when we live no more we may live ever.
Anne Bradstreet: “By Night when Others Soundly Slept” 1 By night when others soundly slept And hath at once both ease and Rest, My waking eyes were open kept And so to lie I found it best. 2 I sought him whom my Soul did Love, With tears I sought him earnestly. He bow’d his ear down from Above. In vain I did not seek or cry.
Anne Bradstreet: “By Night when Others Soundly Slept” 3 My hungry Soul he fill’d with Good; He in his Bottle put my tears, My smarting wounds washt in his blood, And banisht thence my Doubts and fears. 4 What to my Saviour shall I give Who freely hath done this for me? I’ll serve him here whilst I shall live And Loue him to Eternity.
Phillis Wheatley (1753–1784), originariamente una piccola schiava dall’Africa, divenne una delle più note poetesse del XVIII sec. in America. Protetta dalla famiglia del suo padrone a Boston, accolta con entusiasmo ed onore in GB, conobbe politici americani e aristocratici britannici. Emblema degli abolizionisti americani come esempio che un “negro” poteva essere un artista ed un intellettuale. Originaria del Senegal/Gambia giunse a Boston a ca. sette anni. Per la magrezza e la fragilità, non venne destinata alle piantagioni del Sud, e nell’Agosto 1761 fu acquistata dalla famiglia Wheatley che aveva bisogno di un aiuto domestico.
Phillis Wheatley Lì rivelò la sua precoce intelligenza, e le venne insegnato a leggere e scrivere. Studiò la Bibbia, astronomia, geografia, storia, letteratura inglese, i classici greci e latini. Le sue poesie (spesso d’occasione) cominciarono ad apparire quando aveva poco più di dieci anni. La sua Elegia per la morte del Rev. Whitefield” (1770, ‘71) ne decretò la fama (publ. Boston, Newport, Philadelphia e Londra). All’età di 28 anni in procinto di pubblicare la prima raccolta, si recò a Londra, dove fu accolta da aristocratici, abolizionisti, filantropi. I suoi Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral uscirono a Londra nel 1773. Generi preferiti: elegia; riscrittura di miti classici; “epica americana” (Columbia). Il tema più originale consiste nell’adattamento del simbolismo biblico alla condizione degli schiavi neri.
Phillis Wheatley Il 3 Marzo 1774 Phillis fu “liberata” dal suo padrone. Negli anni successivi tutta la famiglia Wheatley scomparve, e Phillis sposò John Peters, un “nero libero”, nell’Aprile 1778. La loro vita divenne sempre più difficile e precaria (anche per la Guerra di Secessione), forse ebbero figli, Phyllis, povera e malata, non cessò di scrivere ma non riuscì a pubblicare nel poco tempo che le rimase da vivere (solo postumo). Phillis Wheatley scrisse ca. 150 poems quasi tutti perduti, e ottenne maggiori riconoscimenti (artistici e “politici”) in GB che non in America. Recentemente sono state scoperti maggiori documenti e legami tra Phillis Wheatley e l’Abolizionismo (da lei paragonato in alcuni testi alla schiavitù del popolo d’Israele in Egitto).
Phillis Wheatley: “On Being Brought from Africa to America” ‘Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land, Taught my benighted soul to understand That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too: Once I redemption neither sought nor knew. Some view our sable race with scornful eye, “Their colour is a diabolic die.” Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain, May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.
Phillis Wheatley: “To S.M., A Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works” To show the lab’ring bosom’s deep intent, And thought in living characters to paint, When first thy pencil did those beauties give, And breathing figures learnt from thee to live, How did those prospects give my soul delight, A new creation rushing on my sight! Still, wondrous youth! each noble path pursue; On deathless glories fix thine ardent view: Still may the painter’s and the poet’s fire, To aid thy pencil and thy verse conspire!
Phillis Wheatley: “To S.M., A Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works” And may the charms of each seraphic theme Conduct thy footsteps to immortal fame! High to the blissful wonders of the skies Elate thy soul, and raise thy wishful eyes. Thrice happy, when exalted to survey That splendid city, crowned with endless day, Whose twice six gates on radiant hinges ring: Celestial Salem blooms in endless spring. Calm and serene thy moments glide along, And may the muse inspire each future song!
Phillis Wheatley: “To S.M., A Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works” Still, with the sweets of contemplation blessed, May peace with balmy wings your soul invest! But when these shades of time are chased away, And darkness ends in everlasting day, On what seraphic pinions shall we move, And view the landsapes in the realms above! There shall thy tongue in heavenly murmurs flow, And there my muse with heavenly transport glow; No more to tell of Damon’s tender sighs, Or rising radiance of Aurora’s eyes; For nobler themes demand a nobler strain, And purer language on the ethereal plain. Cease, gentle Muse! the solemn gloom of night Now seals the fair creation from my sight.
Biblio- e Sito-grafia Baym, N. gen. ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: WW Norton, 1998 (e successive). Literature to 1620: John Smith (102-119); Early American Literature 1620-1820: William Bradford (164-204); Anne Bradstreet (246-281); Mary Rowlandson (297-329); Phillis Wheatley (824-840) Cunliffe, M. Storia della letteratura americana. Torino: Einaudi, 1990 (e successive). I° vol.: Introduzione (3-20), I: America coloniale (21-50), II: Premesse e problemi dell’ indipendenza (51-86); Fink, G., Maffi, M., Minganti, F., Tarozzi B., a c. di. Storia della Letteratura americana. Firenze: Sansoni, 1991 (e successive). Parte I: Dal Mayflower alla Rivoluzione (1-54). Ford, B. ed. The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Penguin: London and New York, 1991 (e successive. Vol. 9 “American Literature”, part 1: Literatue and Society in Colonial America (3-29); Pearce, R.H., ed. Colonial American Writing. New York-Chicago-San Francisco. (“The Voyager”; “The Pilgrim”; “the Puritan”; “Puritan Poetry”); Stern, M.L. and Gross, S.L. ed. American Literature Survey. Harmondsworth and New York: Penguin (Viking Portable Library) 1978 (e successive). Vol. I Colonial and Federal to 1800 (parti su John Smith, William Bradford, Mary Rowlandon, Anne Bradstreet);
Websites John Smith, A Description of New England (1616) http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&context=etas http://historyofmassachusetts.org/captain-john-smith-describes-early- massachusetts/ William Bradford: History of Plymouth Plantation http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/nereligioushistory/bradford- plimoth/bradford-plymouthplantation.pdf http://mith.umd.edu//eada/html/display.php?docs=bradford_history.xml http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1650bradford.asp Mayflower Compact (text) http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/NEReligiousHistory/Bradford- Plimoth/Bradford-PlymouthPlantation.pdf http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/bdorsey1/41docs/14-bra.html Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson http://www.gutenberg.org/files/851/851-h/851-h.htm http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/851/pg851.txt http://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3AMary%20White%20Rowlandson