Transcendentalism

Haley Marie

Henry D. Thoreau

In his early years he followed Transcendentalism, a loose and eclectic idealist philosophy by Emerson, Fuller, and Alcott.


Concord-born poet, philosopher, naturalist, essayist and educator, Thoreau represents one of the most authentic and individualist voices in all American thought.


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Alexis de Tocqueville

Tocqueville came from an aristocratic background and he had a private tutor, the abbe Lesueur, until high school and then attended high school and college in Metz. He studied law in Paris and worked as a substitute judge in Versailles before coming to the U.S. In 1839 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies as a representative of Valognes and later to the Constituent Assembly and Legislative Assembly. He briefly served as minister of foreign affairs


An aristocratic Frenchman who came to the U.S. in 1831 -- when he was only 25 years old -- and later wrote Democracy in America, a two-volume study of the American people and their political institutions.

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Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement.

biggest idea to come out of the Utopian Movement.

  • Mormons
  • Oneida Community
  • The shaker movement
  • Brook Farm
  • New Harmony

Brook farm

This utopian community was located in Massachusetts and could trace its ties to transcendentalism. It was founded by George Ripley in 1841. It espoused harmony with nature, communal living and hard work. Major transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson supported the community, but did not choose to join it. However, it collapsed in 1846 after a huge fire destroyed a large building that was uninsured. The Farm could not continue. Despite its short life, Brooks Farm was influential in fights for abolition, womens rights, and labor rights

What Does Transcendentalism Mean?

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.