The Origin of Individualism

1684 Words May 31st, 2011 7 Pages
As is mentioned in Introduction, the origin of American Individualism can be traced back to the beginning years in its history, when first American immigrants came to the North American continent looking for better life and shaking off they yoke of European feudal tradition and the oppression from all kinds of powerful classes. It is determined that there were elements of Anti-oppression and searching for freedom in American people’s character. This was the original explanation of American Individualism.

Although the term “Individualism” was not in general use until the 1820s, the foundational principles behind the concept were established by the mid-eighteenth century. Enlightenment philosophers like Newton and Locke argued that the
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Franklin’s presentation of himself as the ideal American individual was widely accepted. While he lived in France, he was celebrated as the embodiment of the lived in France, he was celebrated as the embodiment of the virtue, naturalism and simplicity that supposedly characterized the new world----an image he carefully maintained by shunning French fashion to dress plainly and wearing a primitive fur hat around Paris. So effective was Franklin’s physical self-presentation he became a kind of cult finger in France. Paintings, prints, busts, medallions, clocks, vases, plates, handkerchiefs and even snuff-boxes were manufactured emblazoned with Franklin’s portrait. His American Individualism had become a popular commodity.
“ American Westward Movement and life in the border area promoted greatly to the development of American Individualism, therefore, some people believed that Individualism was actually a certain kind of cultural heritage of frontier life.”[15] P53 The American famous historian Frederick J. Turner held that the vast land in the west area had endowed American people a deeply understanding of freedom. It can be easily found in American history of Westward Movement that those pioneers tried their best to contribute their hometown, set up many school buildings and search for a better life for their families. They would fight for their liberty and freedom willingly and gladly

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