Age Of Enlightenment

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The age of enlightenment

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Edwards Washington Henry Paine Franklin Jefferson Wheatley Equiano Banneker

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The figure of George Washington quickly began to play an important role in the new nation's understanding of itself. And he turned out to be the perfect man for the job.

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His physical presence, his verbal reticence, and his lack of personal political ambition set the stage for the creation of a country based NOT on the power of personality or the power of the office but on moral and ethical priorities. Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze Washington Crossing the Delaware

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His efforts also greatly contributed to the adoption of the Bill of Rights Lawyer, statesman who served as governor of Virginia and delegate to the First Continental Congress, and fiery orator, Patrick Henry earned fame for his patriotic speeches.

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"Radical," is a title that few men can wear with ease, but the name Patrick Henry, during the revolution and for some time after, was synonymous with that word in the minds of colonists and Empire alike. Give me liberty or give me death.

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Thomas Paine was noted for his plain talk and persuasive talents. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered!

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His pamphlet, "Common Sense" helped persuade the founding fathers that freedom from England was necessary.

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The 15th of 17 children, Benjamin Franklin left school at the age of 8 to work with his father as a tallow chandler. As an adult, he was a diplomat, businessman, philosopher, scientist, author, humorist, musician,and printer--a Renaissance Man.

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As a young man, Franklin rebelled against his Puritan rearing and its apocalyptic tenets. This image of St. Michael fighting the dragon represents the Millennarian belief that the “people of God” were at war with the devil (Indians.)

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He demonstrated his revolutionary thinking and his quest for moral perfection in the account of his journey of self-education The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

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Parents would rail at their children saying, “Why can’t you be more like Benjamin Franklin?” But that was impossible; his genius could not be replicated.

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His “Thirteen Virtues” became guideposts for the ideal life.

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At the signing of the Declaration of Independence he said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

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Franklin's Poor Richard’s Almanack featured weather forecasts, drawings. inventions, and pithy aphorisms. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Better slip with foot than tongue. Fish and visitors smell in three days. Printing Press

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His natural curiosity about the way things work prompted him to find ways to make life better and gave him the opportunity to say something pithy.

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The Franklin Stove to heat homes safely. Bifocals to help him see both near and far. A carriage Odometer to figure out mail routes. A Lightning Rod to protect structures. In addition, he established the first fire fighting company and the first fire insurance company.

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Gilbert Stuart The third President of the United States, and author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson was this nation’s most illustrious champion of representative democracy and the rights of man.

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The Declaration's republican enlightenment ideals have shaped many Americans' identities, including those who, like slaves, women, and immigrants, have struggled to make that equality a reality.

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Many Federalists believed him incapable of leadership, but he responded,"I know my own principles to be pure and therefore am not ashamed of them. On the contrary, I wish them known and therefore willingly express them to everyone.” (An eagle snatching the constitution)

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Phillis Wheatley's patriotic celebrations of American ideals in her poems are accompanied by subtle critiques of the injustice of slavery and the difficulties of her own situation as an African American.

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This painting of George Washington crowned in a laurel wreath is modeled after portraits of such classical Roman leaders as Julius Caesar. With is neoclassical touches, Phillis Wheatley's elegy for Washington “To His Excellency General Washington” is the literary representation of the same classicism.

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The autobiography, The Interesting Narrative Of The Life Of Olaudah Equiano published in 1794, is now recognized as one of the first literary works by an African American and helped establish the genre of the slave narrative. It recounts Equiano's life in Africa, his capture from Nigeria, his life as a slave in the West Indies, and his eventual freedom in England and the New World.

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Since the genre of the slave narrative requires an actively political work, its rhetorical strategies originate in an intention to persuade the audience of the evils of slavery and the slave trade. Thus, it contains a tension between historical representation and cultural persuasion with incidents chosen more for their strategic rhetorical unity than for their historical significance.

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Born a freeman just outside of Baltimore, MD Benjamin Banneker was a scientist, astronomer, inventor, and writer. He compiled the ephemeris (information table) for an annual almanac and, through his study of astronomy, accurately predicted both solar and lunar eclipses. He was often pointed to as proof that African Americans were intellectually equal to European Americans.

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Upon Thomas Jefferson’s recommendation, Banneker became the surveyor for the new city of Washington, D.C. He reportedly completed and improved upon the original design begun by Frenchman Pierre L’Enfant.

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