Monday, October 15, 2007

1820 to 1821

1820. The Missouri Compromise accepted by Congress permits entry of Missouri into the Union as a slave state in exchange for Maine's entry as a free state, but only on condition that slavery be abolished in the rest of the Louisiana Purchase territory.

Prometheus Unbound. Percy Bysshe Shelley. British. 1820. Poetic Drama. Prometheus, symbol of humanity chained, tormented. Jupiter = tyranny of kings and civil institutions. Jupiter overthrown by Demigorgon. Golden age in which love and beauty reign begins.

"Isabella, or the Pot of Basil." John Keats. British. 1820. Poetry. Based on a tale by Boccaccio. Florence. Brothers kill sister's lover. She plants his head in a pot of Basil. The pot is stolen and she dies of grief.

"The Cloud." Percy Bysshe Shelley. British. 1820. Poetry. Lyric description of a cloud on its cyclical journey from sky to earth and back. Symbolizes rebirth.

Melmoth the Wanderer. Charles Maturin. Irish. 1820. Gothic Novel. Sells his soul to the Devilfor prolonged life. To cancel the pact, he must find someone willing to sell his soul to the Devil. No one, regardless of circumstances, is willing to make the same deal.

"The Sensitive Plant." Percy Bysshe Shelley. British. 1820. Poetry. A plant's love for its lady gardener and its demise with the death of the lady.

"Ode to the West Wind." Percy Bysshe Shelley. British. 1820. Poetry. Wild, strong wind of autumn--as the poet once was: "timeless, swift and proud."

1821. Mexico declares her independence from Spain.

1821. Simon Bolivar is named president of Venezuela.

1821. Jose de San Martin proclaims the independence of Peru.

1821. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras declare independence form Spain.

1821. English chemist-physicist Michael Faraday pioneers the electric motor with a demonstration of the electromagnetic rotation.

1821. Boston's English High School opens with 102 students. The first tuition-free public high school teaches no language but English. The curriculum emphasizes science, mathematics, logic and history. By 1827, Massachusetts will require every town of 500 families or more to support a high school from public tax revenues, making secondary education a birthright rather than a privilege.

1821. The Emma Willard School has its beginnings in the Troy Female Seminary at Troy, NY. Educator Emma Hart Willard will prove that young women can master subjects such as mathematics and philosophy without losing their health or charm.

1821. The 1750 pornographic novel Fanny Hill is the subject of a Massachusetts trial following a passage of a state obscenity law.

1821. Poker has its beginnings in a card game played by sailors at New Orleans.

Prinz Friedrich von Homburg. Heinrich von Kleist. German. 1821. Play. Hero acts on a dream. In his eagerness, he is insubordinate and is condemned to death. He accepts the sentence. Pardoned, his dream comes true. He marries the ruler's niece.

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