What Was The American Renaissance?

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  • Beginning in the 1830’s, America saw a tremendous flowering of literature. Before this time, most literature was intended to be functional-as in accounts or voyages- or political. The American Renaissance changed all that. It was a time when entire groups of writers began to publish. Some of these writers still had political goals, but they were also more artistically successful.
  • The political influences on the American Renaissance include the ideals of American democracy, slavery, and women’s rights.
    The economic influences on the American Renaissance include the rise of materialism, the growth in appreciation of reading and writing (with the growth of a leisure class), and the popularity of print culture in the United States.
    The religious influences on the Renaissance include the decline of the strict Puritan traditions and the emergence of Unitarianism, Deism, and other new Religious thoughts.
    The cultural influences on the Renaissance include the fact that the romantics were revolting against classicism, formalism, and traditional literary forms.
  • According to ushistory.org Transcendentalism is a very simple idea that means, “People, men and women equally, have knowledge about themselves and the world around them that transcends or goes beyond what they can see, hear, taste, touch, or feel.” It is also noted that this knowledge comes intuition and imagination, not from logic or the senses (ushistory.org).
    Transcendentalists promoted individualism and self-reliance.
    Transcendentalists took a progressive stance on women’s rights, abolition, reform, and education (ushistory.org); which in turn, played a major role in the American Renaissance.
  • According to Encyclopedia Britannica (2014), “Apart from the Transcendentalists, there emerged during this period great imaginative writers whose novels and poetry left a permanent imprint on American Literature” (“American Renaissance”).
  • What Was The American Renaissance?

    1. 1. Julia Pigg ENG/491 Steven Rogers June 9, 2014
    2. 2.  How did the period’s culture, politics, and religion shape the American Renaissance?  What role did Transcendentalism play in the American Renaissance?  What was the special role of poetry in the American Renaissance?  Ralph Waldo Emerson  Henry David Thoreau  Walt Whitman
    3. 3.  How did the period’s culture, politics, and religion shape the American Renaissance?
    4. 4.  What role did Transcendentalism play in the American Renaissance?
    5. 5.  What was the special role of poetry in the American Renaissance?
    6. 6.  Representative Men (1850)  Other Works (Published Before 1850)
    7. 7.  Walden (1854)
    8. 8.  Leaves of Grass (1855)
    9. 9.  American Renaissance. (2014). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from:http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/20120/American-Renaissance

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