In this lesson, our instructor Elizabeth Turro gives an introduction on Transcendentalists and the American Renaissance. She talks about individualism, transcendentalism, transcendentalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, the defense of nature, gender roles redefined and emergence of a broad array of movement. She also explains romanticism, nationalism, literature and the quest for liberation, the Brook Farm, a utopian experiment, southern literature and American landscape painting.
Individualism, a social theory favoring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control and the habit or principle of being independent & self-reliant, became prominent in the antebellum era.
Transcendentalists posited the importance of an ideal world of mystical knowledge & harmony beyond the world of the senses & they called for the critical examination of society & emphasized individuality self-reliance, & nonconformity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller were three prominent transcendentalists.
Thoreau wrote “Resistance to Civil Government,” an 1849 essay that advocated for civil disobedience or passive resistance against unjust laws (like slavery).
During the antebellum era, American artists and writers began to create new distinctly American styles and genres that increasingly were respected around the world.
Transcendentalists and the American Renaissance
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.