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During the colonial period literature was important for a few reasons America was a new place without much of its own history Journals such as William Bradfords The History of Plymouth Plantation Sarah Kemble Knights Traveling in the New Land and Cabeza de Vacas The Narrative of His Journey document the early history of these settlers The three works were written about 100 years apart and tell the journeys of three different people in three different time periods Colonial Literature was also important for writing new law for America The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson and The Iroquois Constitution by Dekanawidah are political documents that set up law for new institutions Both talk about the qualities of a leader and how government should be run Much of the literature in the colonial period was letters back to Europe They had never seen things like the settlers were seeing and works such as William Byrds Bears and Pedro de Castanedas Europeans see the Buffalo helped Europeans learn what the animals people and landscape of the new land was like One man who wanted all Europeans to know about the Great New Land was John Smith He was the advertiser and in The New Land he encouraged all who could be spared to come start life in America Just about every aspect of life at that time had some relevance to God This is shown greatly in poems like Anne Bradstreets Upon the Burning of Our House and Upon What Base by Edward Taylor Both these works talk about ordinary things a natural disaster and the miracle of the Earth However in both cases these ordinary occurrences are seen to be the works of God This variety of literature from the colonial period shows that it came in many forms and had many purposes at the time Most of this literature however dealt with new things whether it be traveling in a new place encountering
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