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The Development of the American Literature

Today America is a famous country. It has become an important nation. Many people say Christopher Columbus '"discovered" America in 1492. However, he was not the first person to visit this large land. Thousands of years before Columbus, several groups of people had come from Asia. These people were the first "natives" on the American continent.

Many of the first Americans had only an oral, or spoken, literature. Most of their history was passed down in tales and songs. Only a little literature remains today. From this we have learned that Native Americans thought deeply about nature, life and death (and what happens after), and the concept of courage. 

The first groups of Europeans to come to America were business people. They were hoping that they could establish companies in the New World. These companies would send food and wood products back to Europe.

Other colonists came along several years later. These people were called Puritans They wanted to live a better life by making themselves pure. The Puritans came to America seeking the religious freedom they couldn't find in Europe.

The Puritans wrote in a very plain style. They had several kinds of literature. They wrote sermonshistorical books, and some wrote poems. The Puritans frowned upon poetry, So those who wrote it usually hid it. Often it was found years after the writer's death.