Transcendentalism is a part of the Victorian time period. Between the years 1840 through 1860 this time period had lots to do with the strictness of the Puritans, the women’s rights suffrage, learning through nature, and the novel known as “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Goodman states “Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century…” (Goodman). He is explaining how during this time people are into literature, events taking place in the world at the time, and scientific action taking place.
The Puritan’s and the Transcendentalists are completely unlike in many ways. The Puritan’s religion is very strict and different than other religions that people follow during this time period. A Puritan is a person who basically gives their life to God. These people devote everything to God. They have very strict rules, customs, and discipline methods. If a Puritan were to do anything wrong or tell any lies they are severally disciplined. For example if a woman got pregnant and lies about it she is punished by putting a red A on the side of her dress or shirt. This is just like what happens in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In conclusion, the Puritans and the strictness of their religion has much to do with this time. In the mid 1800’s the women’s rights suffrage was beginning. This had a huge affect on the Transcendentalism time period. The women who fight for their rights during this time are very bold and daring. The women’s rights suffrage deals with many harsh things that women are against. For example they could not vote, they could only work at home doing laundry or cooking, and they are educated much differently than the men were. The women of this time had tons of struggles to face. “Women's struggle for equality was and is a long and hard battle” (Donnaway). The women fighting during this time are not happy at all, this is a very long and hard fight they are fighting during this time. The women’s rights battle is going on before the Transcendentalism time period but, it also is happening during the time period itself. In 1840 the battle spilt up into two parts, one side totally against women’s rights and the other side wanting the women to have no rights at all. Then, in 1844, one of the most important associations was formed in New England. It was known as The “The Female Labor Reform Association”. It did not work out though because the workers could not face their employees. In the 1850’s a woman named Susan B. Anthony became caught up in the fight against women’s rights. She is basically the organizer for the whole battle. Finally in 1860, New York passes a law that states that "first comprehensive reform in women's legal status, including full property, parental, and widow's rights, but no enfranchisement" (Donnaway). These major events are all important and affect the Transcendentalism time period in many ways. Transcendentalists are people who believe that nature is the answer to everything. Transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller are all people who learn from nature. Emerson is the main transcendentalist, he is their leader. He decides to make a “Transcendentalist Club” for all people who believe nature is the key to everything they know and do. Authors like Emerson and Thoreau would write their essays and novels outside in the woods near cabins they own to help concentrate. Most authors during this time wrote about nature. A form of idealism also takes place when dealing with the time period “Transcendentalism, essentially, is a form of idealism” (Reuben) idealism is the practice of forming ideas. Idealism also has do deal with nature, it can be positive or negative when dealing with nature. Geology is another big part when learning from nature. Geology is the study of rocks. Transcendentalists use rocks to predict their superstitious predictions in nature.