Two Cultural Updates of The 1790s and 1800s

In this history essay I will be writing about two cultural updates that have happened after the American Revolution. The cultural updates I will be writing about are: the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who was a very talented composer, and the founding of the Library of Congress. 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791

Mozart was born to Leopold and Anna Maria Mozart, in Salzburg, Austria in 1756. He and his sister Maria Anna were the only children to survive to adulthood out of their five siblings who all died very young. Mozart from a very young age was interested in music, at just three years old he began learning to play the clavier which is a keyboard, after copying his sister during her music lessons with their father. After Mozart learned the clavier he taught himself how to play the violin and some simple composition. 

Mozart and his sister Maria Anna(who was also a very talented musician), were taken on tours with their father across Europe to perform at many Royal courts. The two children became instantly famous. At thirteen years old Mozart and his father traveled on a longer tour to the country of Italy, and this is where one of Mozart’s most amazing compositional achievements occurred.

 Mozart after hearing a famous piece that was played by the Vatican choir, he then copied down the entire musical piece by memory with almost no errors, quite amazing. But after the Pope found this out Mozart almost landed in trouble because this musical piece was restricted just for the choir. The Pope let Mozart go since Mozart had copied the piece by memory.

After returning back home to Salzburg in 1773, Mozart began working as an assistant concertmaster at seventeen years old. After four years of working in Salzburg, he moved to find better employment in a bigger city, but he was not successful and had to return home. His luck changed though in 1781, when he accepted a job from the Archbishop of Vienna, but he soon discovered that the pay was lower than his first job, and he quickly resigned. But he continued living in Vienna as a freelance composer and performer.

In 1782 Mozart got married to a woman named Constanze Weber, they had six children together, but just like his parents only two of the six children survived to adulthood. Unfortunately by the mid 1780s Mozart’s finances were not good, thanks to the over the top lifestyle he and his wife were living. He got more money though when working with another composer to create two operas, that received high praise. He even got invited to become the court composer in 1787, but the next few years were very dark and depressing time for him but he managed to create more musical pieces the year before and the year of his death.

 Before his death Mozart’s mental and physical state was quickly falling apart. Before his death he was writing a requiem, a type of funeral music, but he died too soon to complete it, but his wife hired a different composer, who finished the piece for Mozart. Mozart died at just thirty five years of age, but he still accomplished a lot when it came to music, and he is still regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.

The Founding of The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress was founded in the year 1800. Originally the idea of this library was that it was only going to be used and available for congress, and the library would contain books that are important for congress, so technically this library was a place where the books used for congress were held and kept. So this library was placed in the new capital building, which was built in Washington DC. This library was kept in this location till 1814, during the war of 1812, when British troops burned down the building.

The Library of Congress did not have its own building until a man named Ainsworth Rand Spofford, who was the Librarian of Congress at the time, made the Library of Congress into a national institution. Spofford persuaded Congress that a new building was needed thanks to the shortage of shelf space. And finally in 1873 Congress authorized a competition to design plans for the new Library. 

In 1886 after many proposals, Congress authorized the construction of a new Library building that was going to be built in the style of the Italian Renaissance. The Decoration of this library was created by more than fifty american artists! So as you may tell this was quite a project. And finally in November 1st, 1897 the Library was opened to the public. The Library was hailed as a glorious national monument, and “the largest, the coolest, and the safest” library building in the world.


This is my essay on two Cultural updates of the 1790s and 1800s, which were the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the Founding of the Library of Congress.

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