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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   

5. Masculine

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
- Author
- Context
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Context Activities

Core Contexts
America Unbridled: The Iron Horse and Manifest Destiny
The development of the railroad system transformed American culture, physically binding the country together and enabling people to travel long distances in short periods of time and in relative comfort. The railroad broke traditional geographic barriers that had restricted trade, commodity flow, and immigration, thus speeding the process of American expansion... Go

Competing Claims: The California Gold Rush
On January 24, 1848, gold was discovered in California at Sutter's Mill in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The find sparked a national and international craze as people from all over the world were seized by "gold fever" and headed to California to "strike it rich." Known as "Forty-niners" or "Argonauts" after the adventurers in Greek mythology... Go

Paradise of Bachelors: The Social World of Men in Nineteenth-Century America
Although both "bachelor" and "spinster" refer to unmarried individuals, the titles were far from equivalent in nineteenth-century American culture. While "old maids" were often perceived as socially undesirable, bachelors found social acceptance and even encouragement for their unmarried state. All-male social clubs flourished, with fraternities... Go

Extended Contexts
Star Spangled Moccasins: The American Flag in Native American Culture
In a circa 1874 drawing, the Oglala warrior Sitting Bull depicted a Native American warrior proudly flying the stars and stripes of an American flag as he rides into battle. In many ways, this is a puzzling, even paradoxical, image. Why would the Oglala--who resisted U.S. encroachment on their lands--engage in a seemingly zealous show of American patriotism? Why would... Go

Picturing America: The Hudson River School Painters
n 1816 Governor Clinton of New York addressed the American Academy of Fine Arts, urging artists to create new movements and styles that would reflect the superiority of American morals and the grandeur of American scenery... Go

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