Cursive is any style of penmanship where some characters are joined together in a flowing manner, generally to write faster. Cursive is meant to be functional and used for everyday writing; however, it has become more obsolete in recent decades.
Cursive writing dates back as far as the Roman Empire after written language was first developed. Cursive was used for daily writing, while block letter capitals were used for inscriptions on buildings and monuments.
The earliest form of standardized cursive was created by monks in the 8th century, called the Carolingian script. The earliest form of cursive most likely recognized today is Copperplate. Thomas Jefferson’s words on the original copy of the Declaration of Independence were penned by calligrapher Timothy Matlack using Copperplate script.
Cursive has evolved many times over the centuries. Today, the surviving cursive writing styles are Spencerian, Palmer Method, D’Nealian, and Zaner-Bloser script.