Ralph Waldo Emerson

By: Parker Smith


Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts and died on April 27, 1882. He was an American essayist, lecturer and poet, who led the transcendentalist movement in the mid-19th century. He spread his thoughts through dozens of published essays and over 1500 public lectures over the United States.
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It was a religious and philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 30s. It is a belief system that supports a non-traditional appreciation of nature. They believe that reality can be understood by studying nature.


"Nature" is an essay he wrote which was his way of expressing his philosophy of transcendentalism. In this essay he told the foundation of transcendentalism. Within the essay, he divides nature into 4 categories: Commodity, Beauty, language and discipline. They defined the way humans use nature for their basic needs their desire for delight, their communication with one another and their understanding of the world.

After the success of his essay he made a speech called "The American Scholar", which laid the foundation for transcendentalism and his literary career.