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The Romantic Period (1800-1870) AMERICAN RENAISSANCE The Romantic Period (1800-1870)

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Presentation on theme: "The Romantic Period (1800-1870) AMERICAN RENAISSANCE The Romantic Period (1800-1870)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Romantic Period (1800-1870)
AMERICAN RENAISSANCE The Romantic Period ( )

2 Before we look at the historical background of what Romanticism is, let’s look at what Romanticism is NOT. Despite it’s title, romanticism is not the Fabio sappy love stories. It is not a Ken and Barbie romance.


4 The American Scene 1803 Louisiana Purchase—westward expansion
Transportation—canals, turnpikes, railroads, steamboats Gold Rush of 1849 Advancement in Technology—factories, steel plow and reaper, telegraph Competition for wealth Increase in democratic principles PROGRESS! The Eurpoean Renaissance—the magnificent rebirth of classical art and learning—took place during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. The American version, though not a rebirth as much as a first flowering, took place in the first half of the 19th century. During these years, the nation came of age and entered its literary and cultural maturity. Americans were inspired by the sheer physical and technological growth. When Thomas Jefferson signed the Louisiana Purchase he effectively doubles the nation’s size. With the expansion of size came the upsurgance of spirit and national pride as well as self-awareness. Transportation multiplied and sped people and goods to destinations. Everything and everyone was on the move! Gold rush moved thousands of people to the western edge of the continent. Technology spurred cultural and social change. Factories sprang up all over the Northeast creating jobs and economic profit. BIGGER< BETTER< STRONGER< FASTER! The steel plow and reaper encouraged more aggressive frontier settlement and the telegraph made almost instant communication possible across America’s great distances. It was also no longer necessary to be wealthy and highly educated to wield political authority. The election of Andrew Jackson “the peoples’ president” singled the rise of the common man to positions of unprecedented power. Women’s rights movement gained momentum. So how do we get romanticism out of all of this? Well…

5 The north became industrialized while the south remained agricultural.

6 What Romanticism IS Romanticism is the name for the literary period that follows the Age of Reason (The Revolutionary Period) in America that emphasizes creativity, imagination, and emotion Due to the fact that the country was not established, writers of this time period began to move their writings away from the governmental revolutionary ideas and political matters and began to focus on other aspects of life. We still devoured British literature even though we broke away politically.

7 Characteristics of Romanticism
Increasing emphasis on individual Nationalism on the rise Mood of Optimism Intellectual curiosity Religious spirit Desire to escape the routine Increase in population and immigration Just like puritanism had its principles, so does Romanticism. Romanticism made clear that exploration of the private self was important and writers elevated imagination over reason, feeling over fact, and nature above all. Americans covered the continent in the spirit of acquisition and pride of ownership—optimisn and practical invention. The land struck them with awe and with its spiritual possibilities not commercial ones.

8 Characteristics of Romanticism
Value feeling over reason Power of the imagination Shun artificiality of civilization Seeks unspoiled NATURE!!! Interest in unusual and mysterious Contemplates nature’s beauty as path to spiritual and moral development


10 Winds of Change Child labor and unsafe conditions Women’s right’s
Native American removal—1838 “Trail of Tears” War with Mexico Slavery The first decades of the 1800’s were hopeful ones, but at mid-century the US faces trouble as well as promise. The new prosperity unleashed fierce competition, leading factories to child labor and unsafe working conditions. Although women’s rights gained some ground, the right to vote was still largely restricted to white males. Native American’s felt the continuing hardship of forced removal from their homelands. IN the 1830’s American became embroiled in a conflict over the succession of Texas from Mexico. When Texas was admitted to the union in 1845, the resulting war with Mexico added a victory and new land to the states including CA. The institution of slavery would be the social and political issue that would have the greatest effect on the lives and deaths of Americans (1861). So how did the good, the philosophy, and the bad shape the literature of the time period?

11 Types of Writing Novels Poetry Essays and…… SHORT STORIES!!!!!!!!!!
America saw the rise of the short story during this time period

12 American Masters Washington Irving: American mythology (folklore)—setting in American landscape Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau: sublimity of nature and personal connection Walt Whitman: merged his all encompassing self with the nation Emily Dickinson: explored universal qualities of landscape Explorers such as Lewis and Clark recorded the facts of their expeditions in colorful drawings and words that made the farthest reaches of the continent possible. This also allowed the imagination to soar. This is the time where literary giants now began to make their living by writing. Irving and Cooper helped to create an american mythology by setting their tales in the forests, towns, and outposts of American landscape. Romanticism is also separated in to authors who were known as dark romantics and those known as transcendentalists. Dark romantics included Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allan Poe.

13 American Gothic Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville: Dark side of the wilderness Known as anti-transcendentalists Explored conflicts between good and evil, psychological effects of guilt and sin, and madness!

14 Irving is the first professional writer and first American literary figure to earn an international reputation as a writer.

15 Subject Matter Quest for beauty NATURE! Source of knowledge Refuge
Revelation of GOD to the individual Writers like Poe believed that a writer should construct his story or poem so that it contains one predominant emotional effect on the reader.

16 Techniques Remoteness of setting—time and place Improbable plots
Unlikely or inadequate characterization Harmful morality—world of lies!

17 American writers wrote to give a voice to the American Experience leading to the inspiring works we still love today. After all, it’s romantic isn’t it?

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