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APUSH- Chapter 12: Antebellum Culture & Reform, Terms and Review- KEY

Terms to Know: Define these terms and demonstrate why each person, event, concept, or issue is important. Include page numbers please!

1. Romanticism = (Pg. 319) Part of a broad array of movements intended to adapt society to its new conditions. Optimistic faith in human nature; stood in marked contrast to traditional Protestant assumptions of original sin. Reformers argued that individuals should strive to give full expression to the inner spirit, should work to unleash their innate capacity to experience joy and to do good.

2. James Fenimore Cooper = (Pg. 320) The first great American novelists. Author of over 30 novels in 30 years; known as a master of adventure and suspense. Evoked the American wilderness. Leatherstocking Tales: The Last of the Mohicans and The Deerslayer. Explored the American frontiersman’s experience with Indians, pioneers, violence & the law.

3. Walt Whitman = (Pg. 321) Self-proclaimed poet of American democracy. Leaves of Grass. Poems were an unrestrained celebration of democracy, of the liberation of the individual, and of the pleasures of the flesh as well as of the spirit; yearning for emotional & physical release.

4. Herman Melville = (Pg. 321) Author of Moby Dick, a story of courage and of the strength of individual will, but also a tragedy of pride & revenge. Believed that the human spirit was a troubled, often self-destructive force.

5. Edgar Allen Poe = (Pg. 321) Produced sad/ macabre stories. Tamerlane and Other poems, The Raven. Evoked images of individuals rising above the narrow confines of intellect and exploring the deeper world of the spirit and the emotions, which contained pain & horror. a. Part of Southern Romanticism movement, along with: Beverly Tucker, William Alexander Caruthers, John Pendleton Kennedy, William Gilmore Simms, and Mark Twain.

6. Transcendentalists = (Pg. 322) Borrowed ideas from German philosophers and English writers. A group of New England writers & Philosophers who embraced a theory of the individual that rested on a distinction between what they called “reason” and “understanding”—reason was the individual’s innate capacity to grasp the beauty and truth through giving full expression to the instincts and emotion (the highest human faculty). Understanding was the use of intellect in the narrow, artificial ways imposed by society. Part of the Romanticism: each person should strive to “transcend” the limits of the intellect and allow the emotions, the “soul,” to create an “original relation to the Universe.”

7. Ralph Waldo Emerson = (Pg. 322) 1st to emerge as leader of Transcendentalist movement. From Concord, MA. Best known for his essays & lectures. In Nature: communion with the natural world. Self-Reliance. He was a committed nationalist. 8. Henry David Thoreau = (Pg. 322 – 323) From Concord, MA. Individuals should work for self-realization by resisting pressures to conform to society’s expectations and responding instead to their own instincts. Walden: most famous book. He lived at Walden Pond for 2 years by himself. Wanted to reject the artificial constraints of society, including the government. 1846 = went to jail for not paying poll tax & spoke out against slavery. Resistance to Civil Government = person’s morality judged what was right or wrong, and a government that violated the morality of its people was illegitimate. Advocated civil disobedience—violating/ refusing to obey unjust laws.

9. Utopian societies = (Pg. 323 – 324) A “perfect world.” a. Brook Farm: Experiment in communal living in West Roxbury, MA established by George Ripley. Individuals would gather to create a new form of social organization, one that would permit every member of the community full opportunity for self-realization. Share in the labor and leisure equally. Eventually, individualism gave way to socialism and...
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