Identify literary genres, major writers, and important schools of thought in American literature from the pre-colonial era to the end of the 18th century. 

American literature of the pre-colonial era to the end of the 18th century can be broadly divided into two main genres: oral traditions and written works. Oral traditions existed in various forms, such as myths, stories, songs, chants and proverbs. These served as a way for Indigenous peoples to pass on their history and beliefs from generation to generation. The oldest known oral tradition is that of the Algonquin people which dates back to at least 1000 B.C.E., while some other Native American nations developed their own stories and cultural narratives later on in time. Written works began appearing around this time as well; examples include “A Key into the Language of America” by Thomas Hariot (1590), “The General History of Virginia” by John Smith (1624) and “Mourt’s Relation” by Edward Winslow (1622). This period also saw an increase in literature produced for religious purposes with works such as “The Freedom of the Will” by Jonathan Edwards (1754).

Identify literary genres, major writers, and important schools of thought in American literature from the pre-colonial era to the end of the 18th century.

In addition to these literary genres, major writers from this period include William Bradford who wrote extensively about Pilgrim life in his journal entitled “Of Plymouth Plantation” (1650); Anne Bradstreet whose work focused largely on Puritan values; Benjamin Franklin whose essay collection called  “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” is considered one of earliest autobiographies ever published; Phillis Wheatley who was a slave turned poetess; James Fenimore Cooper whose popular novel “The Last Of The Mohicans” has been adapted many times over since its initial publication in 1826.; Edgar Allan Poe who is credited with inventing detective fiction; Washington Irving who wrote short stories such as “Rip Van Winkle”; Mark Twain who penned classics like “Huckleberry Finn”; Herman Melville whose masterpiece “Moby Dick” remains one of America’s most iconic novels; Walt Whitman with his groundbreaking poetry collection Leaves Of Grass;” Emily Dickinson with her introspective verse; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow with his meaningful narrative poems including Evangeline ; Nathaniel Hawthorne ; Ralph Waldo Emerson ; Louisa May Alcott , among others..

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