Transcendentalism In American Literature

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Chapter 1 Introduction American literature is the literature written or produced in the area of the United States and its preceding colonies. During its early history, America was a series of British colonies on the eastern coast of the present-day United States. Therefore, its literary tradition begins as linked to the broader tradition of English literature. However, unique American characteristics and the breadth of its production usually at present cause it to be considered a separate path and tradition. The New England colonies were the center of early American literature. The revolutionary period contained political writings by writers Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine. In the post-war period, Thomas Jefferson 's United States Declaration of Independence solidified his status as a key American writer. It was in the late 18th and early 19th centuries that the nation 's first 0novels were published. With the War of 1812 and an increasing desire to produce uniquely American literature and culture, a number of key new literary figures emerged, perhaps most prominently Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe. In 1836, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) started a movement known as Transcendentalism. Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) wrote Walden, which urges resistance to the dictates of organized society. The political conflict surrounding abolitionism inspired the writings of William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Beecher Stowe in her world-famous Uncle Tom 's Cabin.
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