definition of transcendentalism


an idealistic philosophical and social movement that developed in New England around 1836 in reaction to rationalism. Influenced by romanticism, Platonism, and Kantian philosophy, it taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity, and its members held progressive views on feminism and communal living. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were central figures.

the utopian movement

it was the movement of over 100,000 american men women and children to find alternative lifestyles between 1820-1860
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the brook farm community

the Transcendental Club. He illustrates the organization, building grounds, industries, household work, amusements, and customs of the residences. He goes on to discuss the school and its scholars, which include a chapter on Isaac Thomas Hecker and another on William Curtis and James Burrill Curtis. Following the emphasis on the school he begins to tell of its members and visitors including chapters on Hawthorne, member and Emerson, visitor. He ends the book with what he calls a "closing period," a time of decline at the Farm. He includes a bibliography and an index.

4. Choose three of the following Transcendentalist authors:

  1. Alexis de Tocqueville:No sovereign ever lived in former ages so absolute or so powerful as to undertake to administer by his own agency, and without the assistance of intermediate powers, all the parts of a great empire: none ever attempted to subject all his subjects indiscriminately to strict uniformity of regulation, and personally to tutor and direct every member of the community.
  2. Washington Irving: was a reason why people started reading fiction
  3. Edgar Allen Poe: he wrote the raven and made people think more about their life