Social class has gained high importance in the history of America and it has been one of the major discussed and argumentative topics for decades (Gilbert 2014). The essay by Eric Lott talks about the class issues and the development of the class in and from the late 17th century. The conception and the idealization of the class in that age that it was only Abraham Lincoln who believed in the American Exceptionalism which proposes the idea of providing unlimited opportunities to the citizens willing to look beyond the horizon. The class formation and class consciousness in America has achieved its place in the society as well as in the mind of the people from the early 17th century. The class differences were the most distinguishable features of the age which is evident from the well known sermon of John Winthrop, Arbella.
The class in that specific century referred to the values, dignity, status, respectability, quality and the religious virtues. In another writing by Erik Olin Wight there is useful distinction among the class structure, class formation, and the class consciousness. The class consciousness is sharpened by the entrance of the individuals into the social relations, whereas the class formation refers to the organized collectivities that are the result of the interests shaped by the class structure. In other hand the class has been viewed as the “whole way of life” by the Raymond Williams and “whole way of conflicts” by E. P Thompson.
Wile discussing the development of the class the law for the married women for protection of their property can be referred. From the early 19th century the state started to enact the common laws for the protection of the property of the married women. The act was passed in the year 1848 (memory.loc.gov 2017). The act includes the protection of the property in terms of the real and personal property and along with the origination of the property from any kind of source that is inherited by the marriage of the women. This property protection act is definitely an indication to the class system in the American history since today. The Homestead Act passed in 1862 is another attempt for the protection of the property for the married women. These acts enabled the women to maintain their class even after the death of their husbands. In the photography series of Walker Evans in 1930 the class distinction of America was clearly depicted (www.metmuseum.org 2017). The photos of Evans reflect the great and deep depression in the people of lower class. It is noted that all the photographs were of the human beings with the backgrounds that projects the class distinction and not of the any other objects. In the other hand, the engraving on the silver chocolate pot is another example of the high class or status in the society. The piece of art belongs to the early 18th century (www.metmuseum.org 2017). However, this argumentative discourse presents the prevalence of the class in the Amerian society.
Gilbert, Dennis. The American class structure in an age of growing inequality. Sage Publications, 2014.
Memory.loc.gov.. "Married Women's Property Laws:Law Library Of Congress". Memory.Loc.Gov.n https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/awhhtml/awlaw3/property_law.html. 2017
Metmuseum.org, Author:.. "Walker Evans (1903–1975) | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline Of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum Of Art". Metmuseum.Org. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/evan/hd_evan.htm. 2017
Metmuseum.org. 2017. "Edward Winslow | Chocolate Pot | American | The Met". Metmuseum.Org. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/2059. 2017