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Transcendentalism Walden Pond, Concord MA. What does “transcendentalism” mean? There is an ideal spiritual state which “transcends” the physical and empirical.

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Presentation on theme: "Transcendentalism Walden Pond, Concord MA. What does “transcendentalism” mean? There is an ideal spiritual state which “transcends” the physical and empirical."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transcendentalism Walden Pond, Concord MA

2 What does “transcendentalism” mean? There is an ideal spiritual state which “transcends” the physical and empirical. A loose collection of eclectic ideas about literature, philosophy, religion, social reform, and the general state of American culture. Transcendentalism had different meanings for each person involved in the movement.

3 Where did it come from? Ralph Waldo Emerson gave German philosopher Immanuel Kant credit for popularizing the term “transcendentalism.” It began as a reform movement in the Unitarian church. It is not a religion—more accurately, it is a philosophy or form of spirituality. It centered around Boston and Concord, MA. in the mid-1800’s. Emerson first expressed his philosophy of transcendentalism in his essay Nature.

4 What did Transcendentalists believe? Transcendentalism: A movement that sought to explore the relationship between humans and nature through emotions rather than through reason. This was not a religion, but rather a movement to show humans how connected they are to the nature around them.

5 Who were the Transcendentalists? Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry David Thoreau

6 Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882 Unitarian minister Poet and essayist Founded the Transcendental Club Popular lecturer Banned from Harvard for 40 years following his Divinity School address Supporter of abolitionism

7 Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862 Schoolteacher, essayist, poet Most famous for Walden and Civil Disobedience Influenced environmental movement Supporter of abolitionism

8 LITERATURE 1800’s literature illustrated daily life in early America. Famous Authors of the 1800’s Washington Irving wrote Rip Van Winkle, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Sketchbook Theme - change occurs but traditions remain James Fenimore Cooper wrote The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans Theme – life on the frontier Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter Theme – morality, stigma’s, good v evil Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick Theme – good v evil

9 LITERATURE Famous Authors of the 1800’s continued Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote Paul Revere’s Ride Theme – American historical events Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote Concord Hymn Theme – American historical event, spirituality and transcendentalism Henry David Thoreau wrote Resistance to Civil Government Theme – civil disobedience, nature, abolitionism

10 LITERATURE Famous Authors of the 1800’s continued Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women Theme – Feminine humanity William Cullen wrote Thanatopsis Theme – natural beauty, study of nature, understand life and death

11 ART Famous Artists of the 1800’s Hudson River School Theme – natural wonders, landscapes of the Catskills Mountains and the Hudson River. Established by Thomas Doughty Artists: Thomas Cole, Asher Durand and George Caleb Bingham Artists: George Catlin and Alfred Jacob Miller Theme – Native American life, fur traders, riverboat workers.

12 MUSIC Famous Musicians of the 1800’s Stephen C. Foster Performed musicals with American songs in large cities and log cabins using banjos and pianos. Combined African and European music to create a uniquely American sound. Songs: My Old Kentucky Home and Swanee River

13 ARCHITECTURE Architectural Themes of the 1800’s Public buildings were modeled on classical styles of Rome and Greece. Private homes and plantations were modeled on the style of Greek Revival.


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