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Its people's identity, culture and struggles with ethical issues like slavery were given voice in Crevoecoeur's collection of letters.
The famous third letter defines the American as a freeholding farmer, made fit for civil freedom by self-sufficient rural labor, and unmenaced by the paraphernalia of a caste-bound, priest-ridden, crowded, and incorrigibly inegalitarian Europe: It is not composed, as in Europe, of great lords who possess every thing and of a herd of people who have nothing.
Here are no aristocratical families, no courts, no kings, no bishops, no ecclesiastical dominion, no invisible power giving to a few a very visible one; no great manufacturers employing thousands, no great refinements of luxury.
; "Describing Certain Provincial Situations, Manners, and Customers, Not Generally Known; and Conveying Some Idea of the Late and Present Interior Circumstances of the British Colonies in North America.
Written for the Information of a Friend in England" (1782) was a series of essays published by J. John de Crevoecoeur, a self-described "Farmer in Pennsylvania." The work became the first literary success by an American author in Europe.
Crèvecoeur is not a mechanist of society; he holds, rather, a Romantic and organic view that “[m]en are like plants,” seeing climate and locale (and, implicitly, what the next century will call, with a botanical metaphor, “culture”) as wholly determining human character.
Unlike the biological racist Jefferson, Crèvecoeur suggests that humanity can be reformed if they are placed in new and healthy environments.- You will need software on your computer that allows you to read and print Portable Document Format (PDF) files, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.If you do not have this software, you may download it FREE from Adobe's Web site.The minister’s suggestion that James’s untutored literary style, if not learned, “will smell of the woods, and be a little wild,” helps to inaugurate an aesthetic of the natural and homemade in American literature that looks forward to everything from Thoreau to Dickinson to Hemingway.Crèvecoeur’s style—and it is the consciously chosen style of a literary artist, writing in an adopted language, no less—is accordingly simple and eloquent, especially in the second letter’s pastoral and quietly allegorical description of life on the farm, among the birds and the bees.The rich and the poor are not so far removed from each other as they are in Europe.Some few towns excepted, we are all tillers of the earth, from Nova Scotia to West Florida. John de Crèvecoeur My rating: 5 of 5 stars It might sound odd to call such a ubiquitous text underrated, but I think Letters from an American Farmer is just that.”, the full extent of Crèvecoeur’s literary invention and ambition is generally unappreciated.De Crèvecoeur had no way of knowing when he wrote his essay in 1782 just how complex the question of American nationality would become.But his idea, written midway between the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the adoption of the Constitution of the United States (1788)—milestone documents that established the United States as a nation—laid out an ideal that became popular in the American imagination, even if it fell far short of the reality of a nation of immigrants.