Difference Between Individualism And Transcendentalism

1406 Words6 Pages
Lecture 7 Americanizing American Culture 7.1. Unitarianism and Transcendentalism 7.2. Ralph Waldo Emerson 7.3. Henry David Thoreau 7.4. Other Transcendentalists: Ripley, Brownson, Fuller Edgar Allan Poe was a poet and author whose texts were not distinctly 'American' in choice of subjects and settings, but his economy and also his choice of genre and textuality were, for the simple reason that he depended on the situation and constitution of the American literary and cultural market. Within this market, there was a continuing debate and difference in opinion as to what American culture was supposed to be, or rather, how it was supposed to be American, as well as how American it was supposed to be. Poe in this respect was almost an extremist…show more content…
That German idealism and its central figures – Schelling, Fichte, Schleiermacher, and Hegel – had become more well known among American intellectuals had to do with American mobility, and with monetary exchange values. After the War of 1812, and with the new American prosperity, the originally English 18th c. ideal of the "grand tour of Europe" became an American fashion, too. Bolstered by a strong currency, American would-be scholars travelled the continent, and British scholars and notables learned that from an American perspective they were a part of the Grand Tour of Europe, too. German universities held the highest prestige, so select students like the later Harvard Professor, politician and celebrated orator Edward Everett enrolled at Göttingen to study classical philology. Others went to – Heidelberg of course. Ralph Waldo Emerson at least made it to England on money inherited from his first wife, and met Thomas Carlyle, Wordsworth and others. The philosophy of transcendentalism, however, contained more that was autochthonous than what had been imported. For one, there were roots in Calvinist Puritanism, even though transcendentalism attempted to overcome and set itself as apart from these roots. And two, the nationalist cant of the period demanded the establishment of an American national culture, so transcendentalism always was accompanied by nationalist under- or
Get Access