March 2, 2005

Educating the Populus

During the Industrial Revolution many things took place. Life was changing and the people felt as if they had conquered nature and all that was within the boundaries of the world. The biggest nation that this occured in would have been England, though the rest of Europe and America were not far behind.

While everyone had discussed Henry Adams and how he recalled what happened at the Exhibition in Paris, I thought that I would give a bit of a history lesson in how exactly Adams came to be at that said exhibition.

Henry Adams came from the same line as Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams. He attended Harvard and graduated in 1858. This would mean that when he attended the Frech Expedition he was still in college. He also lived in Europe for most of his 20s. Adams, like most people of his time, could not believe the things that were being accomplished. This would also mean that he was living in Europe during the times of the French Revolution. He was experiancing things that I can only dream of.

Adams goes to the expedition with the mind set of an American historical attitude. In his autobiography The Education of Henry Adams, speaking on all that he sees he states that "the planet itself seemed less impressive, in its old-fashioned, deliberate, annual or daily revolution." He is totally blown away by all that he is seeing. In a sense he was thrown into a new world that was changing and that he was slowly changing as well. By coming to this gathering he was seeing how far behind American was and he even remember that as "a boy in Boston, the best chemist in the place had probably never heard of Venus except by wahy of scandal, or the Virgin except as idolatry."

By reading this excerpt. A person can see and believe how things changed quickly even in the couple of paragraphs that we have. We can see that a person grows by one experiance and that contributes to history.

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at March 2, 2005 2:36 PM | TrackBack

Interesting how a little historical knowledge can help change the reading of any literature, and make us understand it better. Sometimes, we get to see the true motives behind an authors work. Thomas Hobbes, the man who concieved Leviathan, grew up in terrible human conditions, so he saw the presence of an all powerful law system very necessary. I wonder sometimes though: if we discovered a grocery list from 500 years ago, would we consider it Literature?

Posted by: Neha at March 2, 2005 10:41 PM
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