Introduction to Transcendentalism A religious, philosophical and literary movement, Transcendentalism arose in New England in the middle of the nineteenth century. Began as a religious concept rooted in the ideas of American democracy.
Time Period Industrialism: A change from hand and home production to machine and factory Goes against the ideas of transcendentalism and connecting with nature Abolition: -eliminated slavery in the United States -those in charge of the slaves were not working for themselves outside being surrounded by nature
Industrialism Industrialism is an economy based on industry. Whether that is a good or bad economy is dependent on what people make of it. Industrialism can provide much needed jobs or ruin the environment; it can boost a failing economy or take advantage of the needs of people.
Abolition This was an Act to get rid of slave trade on March 1807 in the British empire The purpose of this act was to provide apprenticeship
Artistic Conditions stressed the value of rational, order-centered, approaches to art and spirituality as they were expressed in the writings of Locke and Bacon.
The Influence of the Literature High-mindedness Moral earnestness The desire to reform society and education The assertion of a philosophy of the individual as superior to tradition and society.
Difference from other time periods their view of God and God’s role in the lives of people. the belief in the inherent goodness or inherent dark side of human beings the style in which their authors wrote.
Important Authors The most important authors during this time period was Ralph Waldo, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller
Ralph Waldo Emerson Waldo Emerson is truly the center of the American transcendental movement, setting out most of its ideas and values in a little book, Nature, published in 1836 represented at least ten years of intense study in philosophy, religion, and literature, and in his First Series of essays.
Henry David Thoreau A complex man of many talents who worked hard to shape his craft and his life Born In 1817, one of his first memories was of staying awake at night "looking through the stars to see if I could see God behind them.” He never stopped looking into nature for the ultimate Truth.
Margaret Fuller Was born Sarah Margaret Fuller on May 23, 1810 in Cambridge port, Massachusetts. She was a very intelligent, even precocious, child who received an intense education from her father, Timothy Fuller, learning Greek and Latin at a very early age.
Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson was born on 10th December, 1830, in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts.Regarded as one of America’s greatest poets, is also well known for her unusual life of self imposed social seclusion. she yet wrote poetry of great power; questioning the nature of immortality and death, with at times an almost mantic quality. Her different lifestyle created an aura; often romanticized.
Most Important Works by these Authors The Spiritual Emerson- Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays and Poems- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Political Conditions Was a reaction against the newly dispassionate and logical world presented by developing industry and reflected by the Enlightenment movement. American side of this movement, and as such it was also the beginning of the American cultural group's rebellion against traditional European standards
Religious conditions Nineteenth Century American Transcendentalism is not a religion; it is a pragmatic philosophy, a state of mind, and a form of spirituality. It is not a religion because it does not go along with the three concepts common in major religions: a belief in a God, a belief in an afterlife and a belief that this life has consequences on the next.
Social Conditions Associate it with the writers Ralph Waldo Emerson and his friend Henry David Thoreau. Asked to name things about the group they remember, most mention Emerson’s ringing declaration of cultural independence in his “American Scholar” address at Harvard’s commencement.
Time Period This was the time period during the hippie culture.
Extra Info on Transcendentalism The earliest was the so-called "Transcendental Club" (1836–1840), an informal group that met to discuss intellectual and religious topics; also important was the "Saturday Club," organized much later (1854).
Final Note It originated among a small group of intellectuals who were reacting against the orthodoxy of Calvinism and the rationalism of the Unitarian Church, developing instead their own faith centering on the divinity of man and nature. Interesting Facts: Its mystical aspects were partly influenced by Indian and Chinese religious teachings. beliefs that God is immanent in man and nature.