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  1. Romantic? Morning, Looking East Over the Hudson Valley from the Catskill Mountains Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900)Oil on canvas, 1848AIHA Collection: Gift of Catherine Gansevoort Lansing

  2. Romantic? Broadway and City Hall1818Baron Axel Klinköwstrom (1775-1847)Watercolor, 15x22

  3. Beginnings of a National Literature American Romanticism

  4. In the early years of the 19th century, Europe and America were industrializing. • This industrialization created crowded, polluted cities. • The 18th century view of using reason aloneto solve the worlds problemsno longer seemed to work. • Americans looked toward the vast western frontier and were filled with optimism. Background

  5. Americans had also just broken from Europe. A nationalist spirit began to develop in America. The Americans’ experience began to diverge from that of the Europeans. American authors were beginning to develop a uniquely American literature. Background

  6. Values feeling and intuition over reason • Places faith in inner experience and the power of the imagination • Shuns the artificiality of civilization and seeks unspoiled nature • Prefers youthful innocence to educated sophistication • Champions individual freedom and the worth of the individual Characteristics of American Romanticism

  7. Reflects on nature’s beauty as a path to spiritual and moral development • Looks backward to the wisdom of the past and distrusts progress • Finds beauty and truth in exotic locales, the supernatural realm, and the inner world of the imagination • Sees poetry as the highest expression of the imagination • Finds inspiration in myth, legend, and folklore Characteristics of American Romanticism

  8. James Fenimore Cooper and the other Romantic writers that followed him created an American hero • The hero: • Is young or possesses youthful qualities • Is innocent and pure of purpose • Has a sense of honor based not on society’s rules but on some higher principle • Has a knowledge of people and life based on deep, intuitive understanding, not on formal learning • Loves nature and avoids town life • Quests for some higher truth in the natural world A New Kind of Hero

  9. Poe, Hawthorne, Melville • Saw the dark side of life • Heirs of the Puritans • Saw signs and symbols in all events • Explored • conflict between good and evil • psychological effects of guilt and sin • madness Dark Romantics