American Literature

Timeline created by JRonk21
  • 1492

    Christopher Columbus discovers America

    Christopher Columbus discovers America
    In the year 1492, King Ferdinand of Spain funded an expedition for Christopher Columbus where he was supposed to sail west and find a new route to Asia. Columbus led three ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria west with high hopes. The trip took way longer than expected and almost had the sailors to the point of mutiny. Finally, they landed near Cuba and thought they made it to India. But later they came to find that they had discovered unexplored land.
  • The Settlement of Jamestown

    The Settlement of Jamestown
    In 1607, 104 English men and boys arrived in North America to start a settlement. On May 13 they picked Jamestown, Virginia for their settlement, which was named after their King, James I. The settlement became the first permanent English settlement in North America. Other than that there is not much known of Jamestown as things from the 1500s and 1600s were not very well documented.
  • American Revolution

    American Revolution
    The American Revolution was a time when the British colonists in America rebelled against the rule of Great Britain. Colonists felt that Britain should not be able to put heavy taxes on them when the King of Great Britain is all the way across the ocean. They then declared war and independence from the tyrant. There were many battles fought and the colonies gained their freedom and became the independent country of the United States. The American Revolutionary War lasted from 1775 until 1783.
  • The Declaration of Independence

    The Declaration of Independence
    The King of England was labeled a tyrant and was oppressing the people of the thirteen colonies. Eventually, the colonists had enough and Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers showed that the colonists had a right to separate from the king of Great Britain and have their own government and their own country. The Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, 1776. The Declaration is still important because it says the American people believe in equal rights for all.
  • The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe

    The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe
    There is a prisoner, who is trapped in a cell, he finds himself tied down to a stone slab while a swinging pendulum is slowly descending getting ready to kill him. He uses his wits and is freed by rats and finds himself exploring the cell. Eventually, he is found and rescued by French troops looking to stop the Inquisition. This connects to the Spanish Inquisition where Inquisitors gave people two options, become Christian or death. It also shows the harsh methods they would use for this.
  • Cask of the Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe

    Cask of the Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe
    Edgar Allan Poe's short story 'The Cask of Amontillado' is the story of a man named Montresor who decides to seek revenge against a man named Fortunato, who has insulted him. He meets Fortunato at a carnival and invites him to his home. When taking Fortunato to his cellar, he lures him into the catacombs of his home. After walking for a while he attacks Fortunado and finally buries him alive. Edgar Allen Poe continued his span of dark stories with this and it was widely read.
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    In the Puritan Era, a woman named Hester Prynne had a daughter, conceived by adultery. She had committed adultery with a young priest in that town, Reverend Dimmesdale. Hester's husband, Chillingworth, served as a doctor in town, but really was investigating who his wife may have committed adultery with. The town forced Hester to wear a scarlet A on her chest, presenting adultery, to show everyone. This book helps shed light on how harsh and religious society was in the Puritan Era.
  • Moby Dick or the Whale by Herman Melville

    Moby Dick or the Whale by Herman Melville
    The novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville is an incredible and adventurous tale of the voyage of the whaling ship the Pequod and its captain, Ahab, who relentlessly pursues the great Sperm Whale during a journey around the world. The Sperm Whale is very large and dangerous. Moby Dick would attack the boats, making the voyage even more dangerous. In the end, the boats sink and Ishmael is the sole survivor. It is an entertaining tale that ties with the style of literature used in the 1800s.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

    Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Uncle Tom's Cabin was a novel written in the 1800s at the prime of slavery. It was a tale of a slave who was going to be sold by their master to absolve their debt. Uncle Tom is forced to leave and the others flee. It is a tale of how truly cruel slavery had been at that time period and the effects it had on people's lives. This was written during slavery and gave people who were not familiar with slavery, an idea of what it was. People claim that this book was the reason the civil war started.
  • WWI

    WWI
    World War I began in 1914, after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. World War 1 was very technologically advanced to previous wars. Things like tanks and gas made WWI one of the most horrifying wars ever. It was also the introduction of trench warfare. By the time the war was over and the Allied Powers claimed victory, more than 16 million people were dead. It created tension among several countries and was later resolved by the Treaty of Versailles.
  • The Roaring 20s

    The Roaring 20s
    The 1920s were an age of dramatic social and political change. The U.S. had entered a time of economic prosperity right after the end on WWI. For the first time, more Americans lived in cities than on farms. The nation’s total wealth more than doubled between 1920 and 1929, and this economic growth swept many Americans into an affluent but unfamiliar “consumer society.” People from coast to coast bought the same goods, listened to the same music, did the same dances and even used the same slang.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Nick Carraway moves to New York in the summer of 1922 to learn about the bond business. He rents a house in West Egg, of Long Island. Nick’s next-door neighbor in West Egg is a strange man named Jay Gatsby, who lives in a large mansion and throws big parties every Saturday night. The whole book reflects on the 1920s and displays what life was like for people during that time period. At this time, the economy was thriving and it was very evident in the book as there was a lot of wealth.
  • The Great Depression

    The Great Depression
    The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in US history. It began in 1929 and did not abate until the end of the 1930s. The stock market crash of October 1929 signaled the beginning of the Great Depression. By 1933, unemployment was at 25 percent and more than 5,000 banks had gone out of business.
  • Of Mice and Men

    Of Mice and Men
    Two migrant workers, George and Lennie, have been let off a bus miles away from the California farm where they are due to start work. George is a small, dark man. Lennie, his companion, is his opposite, a giant of a man. Overcome with thirst, the two stop in a clearing by a pool and decide to camp for the night. As the two talk, it becomes clear that Lennie has a mild mental disability, and is dependent on George. It tells what life was like for migrant workers during this time period.
  • WWII

    WWII
    The second ever world war began in 1939 right after the Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler, invaded Poland. The war raged on between the axis powers and allied for almost 2 years without U.S. intervention. But, all that changed in 1941 when we declared war on Japan and Germany after Pearl Harbor. Many famous battles occurred over the timespan of that war, like the D-Day invasion. The war finally ended with Japan surrendering after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.
  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    In the year 1941, the Eastern Hemisphere of the world was at war with each other. But, in the Western Hemisphere, countries like the U.S. were trying to avoid the conflict. That was until the Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the naval base of Pearl Harbor in Honolulu Hawaii. The attack caught the U.S. by surprise and it leads to many deaths and the sinking of a few important U.S. naval destroyers. The next day the U.S. entered WWII and the rest is history.
  • The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    It was the year 1945, the U.S. had been fighting in the worlds greatest conflict for 3 years now. They had crushed the Nazi empire and left in pieces. Adolf Hitler, the worst tyrant in history was dead. There was only 1 axis power left and it is Japan. The U.S. island hopped for months and eventually was able to position themselves right off of Japan's shores. Instead of an invasion, the U.S. dropped the worlds first ever nuclear bombs. The bombs lead to massive destruction and Japan's defeat.
  • The Cold War

    The Cold War
    Right after the end of World War 2, a new conflict had risen. The U.S. was entering a cold war with the Soviet Union. There was an arms race where the U.S. and Soviets were constantly trying to make more new and better nuclear bombs. That led to many nuclear testings and more tension between the two countries. They also had the space race where each country fought to get to the moon first. This tension lasted 44 years until the Soviet Union eventually collapsed.
  • The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye
    The Catcher in the Rye is set around the 1950s and is narrated by a young man named Holden Caulfield. Holden is not specific about his location while he’s telling the story, but he makes it clear that he is undergoing treatment in a mental hospital. The events he narrates take place in the few days between the end of the fall school term when Holden is sixteen years old. This dives into the life of a kid struggling with mental issues in the '50s but no direct correlation with the time period.
  • Vietnam War

    Vietnam War
    During the 1950s and 1960s, the United States fought wars to
    stop communism. The country of Vietnam was split into communist North Vietnam and non-communist South Vietnam. North Korea then made the move to try and take South Korea in hopes of spreading communism even further and because of this, the U.S. had to take direct involvement. Their containment policy means they needed to stop communism in the North and stop it from spreading, known as the domino effect. This conflict went for 20 years.
  • The Space Race

    The Space Race
    The Cold War Space Race was a competition in the exploration of space between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Space Race included the exploration of outer space using rocket technology with satellites to send animals and humans into space, and to land people on the Moon. The Space Race started as the Russians developed rocket technology and launched Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit Earth, on October 4, 1957. The Space Race ended in 1975 with Apollo-Soyez space project.
  • Cinderella by Anne Sexton

    Cinderella by Anne Sexton
    In a dark tale, Cinderella’s mother dies and the girl is neglected by her father and stepmother. Later, Cinderella’s two stepsisters try to steal her future husband away from her. At the end of Sexton’s poem, Cinderella and Prince Charming are presented as “two dolls in a museum case” (Sexton 102) indicating their superficiality as “their darling smiles are pasted on for eternity”. This is a much darker and real story compared to Disney's version. This shows how much more dark literature was.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Scout Finch lives with her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus, in the Alabama town of Maycomb. Maycomb is suffering through the Great Depression, but Atticus is a lawyer and the Finch family is well off in comparison to the rest of society. One summer, Jem and Scout meet a boy named Dill. Atticus finds himself in a case defending a black man, Tom Robison, for rape who is innocent and has the whole town against him. This book touches on how racist society really was and all the struggle.
  • The Assassination of JFK

    The Assassination of JFK
    John F. Kennedy was a very beloved president by most of the U.S. population. He served our country for a little over two years, until his term came to an unexpected and horrible end. John F. Kennedy was riding in an open top car with his family in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. During the drive, Lee Harvey Oswald was sitting in another building with a rifle over viewing the event. That day he pulled the trigger and killed Kennedy, making it a very tragic day.
  • War on Terror

    War on Terror
    After the events of 9/11, the U.S. started the war on terrorism was a campaign of massive proportion. Its military ideas involved major wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, covert operations in Yemen and elsewhere, large-scale military-assistance programs for cooperative groups, and big increases in military spending. Its intelligence part comprised institutional reorganization and increases in the funding of America’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, a global program of capturing terrorist suspect