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Basic info on Romanticism

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  1. 1. Romantic America
  2. 2. Romanticism <ul><li>At the beginning of the 19th century, Romanticism appears in Europe (and America) as a reaction to the intellectual movements before it, particularly rationalism and in America, puritanism. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Rationalism <ul><li>Is the philosophy that views reason as the true source of knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>The age following the development of the enlightenment is known as the &quot;age of reason&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>It is an age of scientific development in which mathematics take a whole new role. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Cogito ergo sum. (I think, therefore I am) </li></ul><ul><li>If you would be a seeker of truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. </li></ul><ul><li>The above quotes are from the great philosopher and mathematician René Descartes. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Rationalism <ul><li>Thinkers like René Descartes (1596-1650), Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) and ultimately, the great Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), author of Critique of Pure reason set a stage in Europe in which logic ruled supreme. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>With the Age of Reason came the Industrial Revolution. During this period, thinkers began to rationalize life and nature itself. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>A response to this was romanticism, the idea that reason alone limited human beings. The romantics saw the importance and power of human emotions. Unlike Rationalism, Romanticism does not seek to see the world as it is, in its pure logical-mathematical form, but through the filter of passions and emotions and imagination . </li></ul>
  8. 8. Transcendentalism
  9. 9. <ul><li>Meanwhile, in America, years of Puritanism led to thinkers of the New England region of the US to reject the ideas put forth by strict religious thinkers. </li></ul><ul><li>Particularly, writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller and others to promote in their writings the idea of the inherent goodness of men and that organized religion and institutions corrupt the individual. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Transcendentalists <ul><li>This group of people are the Transcendentalists. </li></ul><ul><li>Their idea is to celebrate the self and to celebrate individuality. Humans, when not corrupted by groups, are free to be good. </li></ul><ul><li>The period of expansion in America fueled itself with romantic ideas and the transcendentalists fueled their writing with this process. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Transcendentalism borrowed from romanticism the idea of the power of emotions and the non-rationalized observation of life and nature and highlighted its idea of individualism. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) <ul><li>Poet, essayist and lecturer. </li></ul><ul><li>As a child he experienced poverty, illness and death of his unitarian minister father. </li></ul><ul><li>With the aid of several grants, Emerson managed to enter Harvard at 14. </li></ul><ul><li>He worked as a tutor, messenger and waiter to sustain himself. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>He became a minister himself, but this career was plagued with religious doubt and dissatisfaction. He eventually resigned. </li></ul><ul><li>Later traveled in Europe for a year and returned to the US, dedicating himself to writing and lecturing. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) <ul><li>Born in Concord Massachusetts. </li></ul><ul><li>Studied classical and natural history all his life. </li></ul><ul><li>He lived true to his nonconformist ideals. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1845 he conducted the famous experiment (living frugally in Walden Pond) that lead to the writing of Walden. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>In 1846 he was arrested for for refusing to pay a poll tax. </li></ul><ul><li>He was passionately involved in the abolitionist movement. </li></ul><ul><li>He lectured at rallies and was a conductor on the Underground Railroad. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Washington Irving <ul><li>Born after the revolution and named after the first president. </li></ul><ul><li>He made many contributions to American Literature. </li></ul><ul><li>He is a pioneer of the short story form. </li></ul><ul><li>He influenced many writers, including your favorite: Nathaniel Hawthorne. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>He was the son of a prosperous New York Family. </li></ul><ul><li>He was a fan of literature and opera, but also an avid explorer of nature. </li></ul><ul><li>He was the first famous American writer and spent most of his life abroad. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>He traveled through Europe for 17 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, romantics and transcendentalists were inspired by their European counterparts. </li></ul>