Revolutionary Verse

Colin Wells

in The Oxford Handbook of Early American Literature

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780195187274
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Revolutionary Verse

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
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This article deals with revolutionary verse that emerged in North America. Between 1765 and 1800, Americans lived through a series of momentous political transformations; what began as resistance by British Americans against the Stamp Act soon developed into a war for American independence and, in its aftermath, into a series of partisan struggles that culminated in the triumph of Jeffersonian Republicanism in 1800. Not surprisingly, American culture during this period—and, more particularly, American poetry—reflects this broad emphasis upon politics and national affairs. Political poems and songs were a ubiquitous part of the Revolutionary culture. Political poems and songs appeared as pamphlets and broadsides and in the pages of newspapers and magazines. Dozens of individual poets, including many of the most gifted and best-known writers of the time, engaged in satiric warfare against political figures, journalists, and each other. A discourse on literary warfare and post-revolutionary verse concludes the article.

Keywords: revolutionary verse; political transformations; American independence; political poems; literary warfare

Article.  9163 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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