Transcendentalism: Ralph Waldo Emerson And Henry David Thoreau

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Transcendentalism- an idealistic philosophical and social movement that developed in New England around 1836 in reaction to rationalism. Influenced by romanticism, Platonism, and Kantian philosophy, it taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity, and its members held progressive views on feminism and communal living. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were central figures.

Explanation- A movement where a bunch of bandwagoners decided to rebel against the intellectual days where they were finding out why things happened and how they happened.

Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts. He began writing nature poetry in college in 1840s, with poet Ralph Waldo Emerson as a mentor and friend.
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He spent more than two years there. Seeking a simpler type of life, Thoreau flipped the standard routine of the times. He experimented with working as little as possible rather than engage in the pattern of six days on with one day off. Sometimes Thoreau worked as a land surveyor or in the pencil factory. He felt that this new approach helped him avoid the misery he saw around him.

While Thoreau was living on Walden Pond he had an encounter with the law, lead to him spending a night in jail. He refused to pay a poll tax. Leading him to write one of his most famous essays, “Civil Disobedience”.

independence from Great Britain, among many others.
Thoreau begins his essay by arguing that government rarely proves itself useful and that it derives its power from the majority because they are the strongest group, not because they hold the most legitimate viewpoint. Thoreau further argues that the United States fits his criteria for an unjust government, given its support of slavery and its practice of aggressive war.

Since its publication in 1849, "Civil Disobedience" has inspired many leaders of protest movements around the world. This non-violent approach to political and social resistance has influenced American civil rights movement activist Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi, who helped India win independence from Great Britain, among many