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19th Century Trancendentalism

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Early 19th Century Transcendentalism

In the early 19th century almost all religious, social, and intellectual movements were positive. The movements were positive because people of that time period were tired of the English view that everyone is bad and life is always a struggle. They wanted to have a positive outlook on life. This caused the Transcendentalist view on life that everything happens for a reason and life will always turn out well in the end.

Transcendentalism is the philosophical movement that occurred during the early 1800s that protested the old English culture and ideas of the time period. Among the transcendentalists' core beliefs was the inherent goodness of both people and nature. Transcendentalists believed that society and its institutions, particularly organized religion and political parties ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual. Transcendentalists had faith that people are at their best when truly self-reliant and independent.

People like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were the main transcendentalist during the time period. They were both famous writers during that time and they both fully believed in the transcendentalist view on life. Emerson's 1836 story "Nature" is considered the reason why transcendentalism became such a large movement during the early 1800s. Thoreau's book "Walden" is about living a life in the transcendentalist's way. The book talks about living life and only using what a person needs such as one meal a day.

Transcendentalism was successful during the early 19th century because people liked the positive view on life and liked not always being told that they are all sinners. However some people still believed in the old English view on life. People who believed in the old English view include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, and Herman Melville. They separated themselves from the optimistic vision because they believed that transcendentalism was basically a hype and that people who believed in transcendentalism were uneducated. They believed that the old English views were the only right views. The stories that Hawthorne, Poe, and Melville wrote showed their views. All of their works had endings that did not end happily and people were criticized for their actions.

Almost all of the religious, social, and intellectual movements of the early 19th century were positive and optimistic about human nature and society because of the introduction of transcendentalism. Many people of the time period were tired of the old English view on life and they wanted a positive outlook on life. However some people like Nathan Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Herman Melville did not believe in transcendentalism. They believed that the old English ideas on religion and other important topics were the way that the world was supposed to be viewed.

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