Compare And Contrast Romanticism And Transcendentalism

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American Transcendentalism was highly inspired by Romanticism, and therefore they have many similarities. However, there are some differences, especially in their ideas of religion and God. The American Transcendentalist period took place in the mid 19th century. It began around 1836 and lasted to roughly 1860. Romanticism occurred much earlier, around the end of the 18th century, but was mostly dominant around 1840. Both philosophies were very similar to each other since the two movements were a reaction against the contemporary strict traditions, laws, and religious rules. They both placed a huge emphasis on the individual as well as inspiration from nature. In the following, I will discuss American Transcendentalism and Romanticism in relation to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay ‘The American Scholar’ and Walt Whitman’s poem ‘Song of Myself’.
Emerson was an American poet, essayist and lecturer. He is known as one of the people who took a leading part in the Transcendentalist movement, including a champion of individualism. By that, he believed in the individual over the institution, which was a very dominant Transcendentalist trait. In 1837, Emerson was invited to deliver the address ‘The American Scholar’ at Harvard, which was one of the most influential American speeches made at his time. It consists of 45 paragraphs you can divide into five different sections. In the first seven paragraphs, he introduces his intention, which is to explore the scholar as one function of the
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