Romanticism and Transcendentalism Essay Example

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Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in the late 1700s in Western Europe. Transcendentalism was a group of new ideas in literature, religion, culture, and philosophy that emerged in the United States of America in the 1800s. Romanticism emerged as a reaction to three important trends in the 1700s. One was the Age of Enlightenment, the idea that reason was all important. The Romantics believed that reason could only take you so far. To get a true understanding of life, you needed intuition and feeling.
The second was a reaction against classicism, which emphasized order, calm, harmony, balance, idealization, and rationality. The Romantics thought that life was wild and even messy. They thought that experience could not be squeezed into something orderly and calm.
The last was a reaction against materialism, which was the pursuit of money and wealth. Materialism increased with the Industrial Revolution. As factories were built in the cities to make wool into cloth, farmers were force off the land where they had lived and worked for generations. Work life in the factories was dirty and dangerous. Small children had to work twelve or more hours, six days a week. Many were killed on the job and the factory owners did not care.
The terrible condition of life in the cities was one of the main reasons that the Romantics appreciated nature so much. Romanticism in England is most commonly connected at first with the poets William Blake, William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge. These three are known as the early Romantics. Later other great poets would come along. The most important of the later Romantics were John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord George Byron.
Coleridge and Wordsworth, who wrote the book "Lyrical Ballads" together in 1798, said in the preface of the book, "The majority of the following poems are to be considered as experiments. They were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of

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