The Antebellum Period

Synopsis

The Antebellum Era was a complex time in American culture. Young ladies had suitors call upon them, while men often settled quarrels by dueling, and "mill girls" worked 16-hour days to help their families make ends meet. Yet at the same time, a new America was emerging. The rapid growth of cities inspired Frederick Law Olmstead to lead the movement for public parks. Stephen Foster helped forge a catalog of American popular music; writers such as Washington Irving and Ralph Waldo Emerson raised the level of American literature; artists such as Thomas Cole and Thomas Doughty defined a new style of painting called the Hudson River School. All the while, schisms between northern and southern culture threatened to divide the nation. This volume in Greenwood's "American Popular Culture Through History" recounts the ways in which things old and new intersected in the decades before the Civil War.

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