The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania

By Solon J. Buck; Elizabeth Hawthorn Buck et al. | Go to book overview

XXI. The Pattern of Culture

DURING the second quarter of the eighteenth century, the cultural pattern that prevailed in what is now western Pennsylvania was that of the American Indian, but its aboriginal character was already modified in many respects by contact with European culture transplanted to America. The decade and a half following the middle of the century was a period of transition, and when it was over the Indians and their culture had been largely eliminated from the region, though the pattern of life of the incoming Europeans was to be considerably affected by contacts with them for many years.

The half century from about 1765 to 1815 witnessed the permanent planting in western Pennsylvania of civilization, as the culture of the whites may perhaps be designated in contrast to the more primitive one of the Indians. The incoming culture was one that had developed over the centuries in western Europe, especially in the British Isles, and in America east of the mountains; and it was still in the process of development. The carriers of that culture were primarily the minds, conscious and subconscious, of the people who migrated; but books, newspapers, messages, and material objects had a part in the process. The transformation of a wilderness, broken only by scattered Indian villages and a few military posts and isolated from the older settlements by mountain chains, into a relatively populous region of farms, towns, and commercial and industrial cities was accomplished in a remarkably short space of time. In the process of this transformation there developed in the region a pattern of life, a set of mores not quite like that of the older East--a frontier culture, which was to affect profoundly the development of western Pennsylvania in the years to come and which was to repeat itself, with variations incident to region and time and racial strains in the population, across the continent.

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The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • I. the Natural Environment 1
  • Ii. the Indian Regime 19
  • Iii. Forerunners of White Occupation 46
  • Iv. the French Occupation 67
  • V. the Indian Reservation 96
  • Vi. the Cultural Heritage of the Pioneers 115
  • Vii. the Coming of the Settlers 135
  • Viii. the Establishment of Political Boundaries 156
  • Ix. the Revolution and Indian Relations, 1774-95 175
  • X. the Expansion of Settlement 1790-1820 204
  • Xi. the Development of Transportation 229
  • Xii. Frontier Economy 261
  • Xiii. Commercial and Industrial Foundations 288
  • Xiv. Domestic Life 318
  • Xv. Community Life 349
  • Xvi. Intellectual Life 372
  • Xvii. Religion 401
  • Xviii. Local Government and Community Control 430
  • Xix. Frontier Radicalism and Rebellion 454
  • Xx. Jeffersonian Democracy 474
  • Xxi. the Pattern of Culture 488
  • Bibliographical Essay 493
  • Index 539
  • Maps 557
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