Review of The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky; translated by Constance Garnett (p. 897)
The American Revolution occurred for multiple reasons, but generally because a growing number of people were fed up with King George III and Parliament's arbitrary and archaic methods of government. At the time of the separation, King George III pushed to give more power to the royals, and Parliament taxed without representation. The emigrants used these as guides of what not to do in the creation of their own Constitutions.
Early America's habitat and climate enabled colonization, and considering the Native Americans lived in balance with nature for thousands of years, and were--and this is widely documented--willing to teach the civilized emigrants how to survive in nature, colonization was expedited. The colonists quickly created villages, towns and cities, and worked the land how they were taught by the Natives. However, they only assimilated Native American survival techniques, not lifestyle, integrating their civilized British ideals of urbanization and domestication, as well as ideals from the recent Industrial Revolution, which facilitated the decimation of the naturalistic Natives. The first Industrial Revolution started in Britain an estimated 40 years after the American Revolution, which gave the colonists time to learn from the Natives how to survive before more effectively destroying them with ideals and technology learned from the Industrial Revolution. Keep in mind that although America separated from Britain, they maintained an economic relationship post-American Revolution because neither was isolationist.
Even though early America quickly established a work force via the widespread urbanization and mechanization of agriculture, it's unnecessary to get into the general style, as in "north or south." This is unnecessary because both developed productive cities, despite producing different things (due to climate), according to different business models. No colonist--north or south--had interest in continuing the Native Americans' tradition of hunting and gathering. Agriculture became a mainstay, which allowed cities to grow larger and larger. This is the rudimentary foundation to our modern sedentary and productive lifestyle.
The reason I bypassed getting into the general style of production--north or south--is because that looks at the system too closely. That would be like looking at the individual brush strokes of an Impressionist painting. In Impressionism, the painting is designed to be viewed from afar, giving the viewer an 'impression' of the overall piece. Looking at early America requires the same orientation. The overall impression was a value in agriculture, commerce, and technology. Remember, the people who colonized America weren't cultural blank-slates, they were British.
Education became key in colonial America, though accidentally. Schools began as private--teaching the youth how to reap the land, and about their customs--to public, larger institutions designed to educate the youth into America's growing system of production. Since early America had no safety net, they implemented systems and institutions based on what was practical and effective. In other words, "useful." If something wasn't useful, it wasn't valued very highly because it didn't help people survive in accordance with their underlying cultural beliefs and customs--remember, they were still British. They weren't Natives who were proficient in hunting and gathering, nor did they want to hunt and gather. They wanted a civilization, a sedentary one at that, but one without King George III or Parliament.
Public educational institutions reflected this culture of utility. (A culture of utility--no matter the manifestation--is one that systematizes human-centric interactions, rather than maintaining a balance with nature.) It's from this point that you may start catching a glimpse of modern culture. Public educational institutions, as further argued by Ken Robinson, developed a hierarchy based on two main ideas: 1) The most useful subjects for work were at the top. This caused youths to steer away from their passions if they weren't "practical." And 2) Academic ability dominated the view of intelligence because academia formally taught values and customs which the greater economic culture--the impression--thought were productive. You were intelligent if you knew how to be useful.
This structure was effective, considering effective simply means 'to reap effects of deliberately sewn causes.' In modern America, this structure is still present, however due to the second Industrial Revolution (aka Technological Revolution), the Reconstruction, and the overall increase of the standard of living, the 'impression' has gotten more complex. Robinson argues that in colonial America the previously mentioned hierarchy of academic/useful value went from the top tier--math and science; down one tier to humanities; and down to the bottom tier, dance, drama and music. In modern America though, these tiers are more flexible because dancers and musicians can be wildly socially productive and wealthy. Thus, the current cultural milieu has the scent of the old milieu, however drastic social changes has tasked the very fiber of the hierarchical value system itself.
In short, our modern means of measuring, judging and encouraging people's unique creativity and intelligence still hasn't gotten far enough away from colonial America's suffocating hierarchy of utility. Hence, children are still steered away from unconventional hobbies and vocations, despite the existence of modern facilitatory programs and platforms.
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