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19 TH CENTURY AMERICAN TRANSCENDENTALISM MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 Reform as Individual Transformation versus Reform as Systematic Social Change.

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Presentation on theme: "19 TH CENTURY AMERICAN TRANSCENDENTALISM MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 Reform as Individual Transformation versus Reform as Systematic Social Change."— Presentation transcript:

1 19 TH CENTURY AMERICAN TRANSCENDENTALISM MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 Reform as Individual Transformation versus Reform as Systematic Social Change

2 Early British Influences Coleridge: builds of Kant’s notion of “ R eason” (insight), focuses on individual perception Carlyle: links machine age to “mechanical” philosophy of Locke (he’s also a lapsed Protestant iconoclast like Emerson)

3 Transcendentalist Realms Lapsed Unitarian Ministers R.W. Emerson ( ), resigns 1832 George Ripley ( ), resigns 1840 Unitarian Clergy William Ellery Channing ( ) Frederick Henry Hedge ( ) Theodore Parker ( ) Social Radicals Amos Bronson Alcott ( ) Orestes Brownson ( ) Margaret Fuller ( ) Elizabeth Peabody ( ) Opposition from Unitarian Pastorate: Henry Ware, Jr. ( ) Andrews Norton ( )

4 The Ripleys at Brook Farm

5 Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonia Opens in early 1940s with a group of young NYC professionals and is fully settled by late 1950s Reflects the spirit of the times: the cooperative movement, the unprecedented unity of spirit that accompanied WWII, the Red Scare, and the civil rights movement Wright’s organic architecture seeks to created a balance between private and communal life, home and environment, local and central government

6 Theodore Parker Parker’s influence on Martin Luther King: d= &ft=1&f=2

7 Emerson and American Politics In the Life of R.W. Emerson 1832-Death of Ellen (1 st wife) resigns from pulpit Nature “Divinity School Address” receives invitation from Ripleys to join Brook Farm, but declines death of Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance” and “Experience” In American Politics Jacksonian democracy and the age of the common man ( ) Modern liberalism evolves out of a more classic Jeffersonian liberalism

8 The Emerson of “Experience” (1844) Daughters of Time, the hypocritic Days, Muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes, And marching single in an endless file, Bring diadems and fagots in their hands. To each they offer gifts after his will, Bread, kingdoms, stars, and sky that holds them all. I, in my pleached garden, watched the pomp, Forgot my morning wishes, hastily Took a few herbs and apples, and the Day Turned and departed silent. I, too late, Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn.

9 For discussion In a country that advocates absolute freedom of religion, how have religious ideas come into conflict with politics and social justice?


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