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American Romanticism (Part 2)

American Romanticism (Part 2)

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American Romanticism (Part 2)

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  1. American Romanticism(Part 2) Fall 2012

  2. 1800-1855 marked a period in American Literature known as American Romanticism. • American Romantic writers focused on the power of the individual rather than a higher power. • Unlike the Puritans, these thinkers didn’t think God or the Devil were responsible for men and women’s behaviors – it was something inside them. American Romanticism

  3. Transcendentalism – a philosophical and literary movement that emphasized living a simple life and personal emotion and imagination. • Transcendentalism stressed optimism, freedom, and self-reliance. The Transcendentalists

  4. The writers of this time emphasized the good humankind was capable of. The Transcendentalists

  5. Emphasized living a simple life. To the transcendentalists, having too many possessions or having too much going on was not a sign of success. To truly be happy, you needed to live as simply as possible. The more possessions you have and the busy you’re life, the more complicated your life will become and the less happy you will be. Characteristics of The Transcendentalists

  6. 2. Stressed a close relationship to nature. To the Transcendentalists, human beings were meant to live close to nature. Cutting yourself off from nature with modern technology meant you would be less happy. Characteristics of The Transcendentalists

  7. 3. Celebrated the emotions and the individual. You should embrace your emotions, not stifle them. If you’re mad – be mad! Don’t stifle your emotions because society says you should. You as a person are more important than the needs of society. Characteristics of The Transcendentalists

  8. 4. Believed in the inherent goodness of people. Although sometimes people acted badly, people at their core were basically good. People have good intentions even if that doesn’t always show through. Characteristics of The Transcendentalists

  9. 5. Encouraged spiritual well-being over financial well-being. It is more important to be a good person than to seek out money or fortune. Characteristics of The Transcendentalists

  10. Henry David Thoreau

  11. Born: Concord, Massachusetts • Attended: Harvard College • For a short while he taught public school but quit a few week in because he refused to beat his students when they did something wrong. Facts about Thoreau

  12. Thoreau lived by himself in a small cabin near Walden Pond in Massachusetts for two years – completely cutting himself off from society. • He believed that to be closer to nature was to be closer to God – logically this means being away from nature means being far away from God. Walden

  13. “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefor a man must know how to estimate a sour face.” • “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”  • “I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.”  • “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” •  “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.” 

  14. “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefor a man must know how to estimate a sour face.” • “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”  • “I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.”  • “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” •  “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.” 

  15. “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefor a man must know how to estimate a sour face.” • “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”  • “I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.”  • “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” •  “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.” 

  16. “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefor a man must know how to estimate a sour face.” • “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”  • “I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” • “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” •  “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.” 

  17. “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefor a man must know how to estimate a sour face.” • “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”  • “I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.”  • “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” • “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.” 

  18. “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefor a man must know how to estimate a sour face.” • “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”  • “I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.”  • “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” •  “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.” 

  19. In 1846, Henry David Thoreau refused to pay a poll tax in protest of the U.S./Mexican War – a war he believed was unjust. He spent a night in jail and shortly after wrote his essay Civil Disobedience. Civil Disobedience

  20. Civil Disobedience has inspired those who practice non violent protest ever since. Civil Disobedience

  21. “I heartily accept the motto, ‘the government that is best which governs least;’ and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe,-’That government is best which governs not at all;’ and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.” Civil Disobedience

  22. “After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest…can there be a government in which majorities decide the right and wrong, but conscience?” Civil Disobedience

  23. “Visit the Navy-Yard, and behold a marine, such a man as an American government can make, or such as it can make a man with its black arts – a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity…the mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of their morals; they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones.” Civil Disobedience

  24. “Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded or shall we destroy them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them.” Civil Disobedience

  25. “Under a government that imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.” Civil Disobedience

  26. “Thus the State never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced.” Civil Disobedience