Emerson’s ideas struck a chord with a class of literate adults who also were dissatisfied with mainstream American life and searching for greater spiritual meaning.Among those attracted to Emerson’s ideas was his friend Henry David Thoreau, whom Emerson encouraged to write about his own ideas.
In 1849, Emerson published his lecture “Civil Disobedience” and urged readers to refuse to support a government that was immoral.
In 1854, he published a book about the two years he spent in a small cabin on Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts.
The ideas of transcendentalism were able to permeate American thought and culture through a prolific print culture, which allowed the wide dissemination of magazines and journals.
Ralph Waldo Emerson emerged as the leading figure of this movement.
The Romantic movement in America was widely popular and influenced American writers such as James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving.
Novels, short stories, and poems replaced the sermons and manifestos of earlier days.The mid-nineteenth century often has been considered an “American Renaissance” due to the number and quality of literary works produced.Identify the major works of literature produced during the mid-nineteenth century “American Renaissance” During the mid-nineteenth century, many American literary masterpieces were produced.Other notable works from this time period include Nathaniel Hawthorne’s As often happens, historians emphasize the works produced by white men during the American Renaissance, but many African Americans and women produced great literary works, too.Emily Dickinson began writing poetry in the 1830s, and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s (1852) rose to a prominent reputation in the late 1970s.Herman Melville’s novel emphasized the perils of individual obsession by telling the tale of Captain Ahab’s single-minded quest to kill a white whale, Moby Dick, which had destroyed Ahab’s original ship and caused him to lose one of his legs.Edgar Allan Poe, a popular author, critic, and poet, decried, “the so-called poetry of the so-called transcendentalists.” These American writers who questioned transcendentalism illustrate the underlying tension between individualism and conformity in American life.In 1836, he published “Nature,” an essay arguing that humans can find their true spirituality in nature, not in the everyday bustling working world of Jacksonian democracy and industrial transformation.In 1841, Emerson published his essay “Self-Reliance,” which urges readers to think for themselves and reject the mass conformity and mediocrity taking root in American life.The American preoccupation with national identity (or nationalism) in this period was expressed by modernism, technology, and academic classicism, a major facet of which was literature.Protestantism shaped the views of the vast majority of Americans in the antebellum years.