A philosophy pioneered by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 1830’s and 1840’s, in which each person has direct communication with God and Nature, and there is no need for organized churches. It incorporated the ideas that mind goes beyond matter, intuition is valuable, that each soul is part of the Great Spirit, and each person is part of a reality where only the invisible is truly real. Promoted individualism, self-reliance, and freedom from social constraints, and emphasized emotions.
Believed in Transcendentalism, they included Emerson (who pioneered the movement) and Thoreau.
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Many of them formed cooperative communities such as Brook Farm and Fruitlands, in which they lived and farmed together with the philosophy as their guide. “They sympathize with each other in the hope that the future will not always be as the past.” It was more literary than practical – Brook Farm lasted only from 1841 to 1847.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Essayist, poet. A leading transcendentalist, emphasizing freedom and self-reliance in essays which still make him a force today.
He had an international reputation as a first-rate poet. He spoke and wrote many works on the behalf of the Abolitionists.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1817-1862), “On Civil Disobedience”
A transcendentalist and friend of Emerson.
He lived alone on Walden Pond with only $8 a year from 1845-1847 and wrote about it in Walden. In his essay, “On Civil Disobedience,” he inspired social and political reformers because he had refused to pay a poll tax in protest of slavery and the Mexican-American War, and had spent a night in jail. He was an extreme individualist and advised people to protest by not obeying laws (passive resistance).
Orestes Brownson (1803-1876)
Presbyterian layman, Universalist minister, Unitarian preacher and founder of his own church in Boston. Spent his life searching for his place and supporting various causes. As an editor, he attacked organized Christianity and won a large intellectual New England following. Then turned Roman Catholic and became a strong defender of Catholicism in Brownson’s Quarterly Review, from 1844 until his death.
Margaret Fuller (1810-1815), The Dial
Social reformer, leader in women’s movement and a transcendentalist.
Edited The Dial (1840-1842), which was the puplication of the transcendentalists. It appealed to people who wanted “perfect freedom”, “progress in philosophy and theology . . . and hope that the future will not always be as the past.”
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851), The Spy, The Pioneers
American novelist. The Spy (1821) was about the American Revolution. The Pioneers (1823) tells of an old scout returning to his boyhood home and is one of the Leatherstocking Tales, a series of novels about the American frontier, for which Cooper was famous.
(Leatherstocking is the scout.) Cooper later stayed in Europe for seven years, and when he returned he was disgusted by American society because it didn’t live up to his books. Cooper emphasized the independence of individuals and importance of a stable social order.
James Fenimore Cooper, Last of the Mohicans
1826 – It is about a scout named Hawkeye during the French and Indian War, while he was in his prime. It is one of the Leatherstocking Tales, about a frontiersman and a noble Indian, and the clash between growing civilization and untamed wilderness.
Herman Melville (1819-1891), Moby Dick
Wrote Moby Dick (1851) about a Captain Ahab who seeks revenge on the white whale that crippled him but ends up losing his life, his ship, and his crew. Wasn’t popular at the time but now highly regarded. Melville rejected the optimism of the transcendentalists and felt that man faced a tragic destiny.
His views were not popular at the time, but were accepted by later generations.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), The Scarlet Letter
Originally a transcendentalist; later rejected them and became a leading anti-trascendentalist. He was a descendant of Puritan settlers. The Scarlet Letter shows the hypocrisy and insensitivity of New England puritans by showing their cruelty to a woman who has committed adultery and is forced to wear a scarlet “A”.
Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)
Author who wrote many poems and short stories including “The Raven,” “The Bells,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Gold Bug.” He was the originator of the detective story and had a major influence on symbolism and surrealism.
Best known for macabre stories.
Washington Irving (1783-1859)
Author, diplomat. Wrote The Sketch Book, which included “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” He was the first American to be recognized in England (and elsewhere) as a writer.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
Internationally recognized poet. Emphasized the value of tradition and the impact of the past on the present.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), Leaves of Grass
Leaves of Grass (1855) was his first volume of poetry. He broke away from the traditional forms and content of New England poetry by describing the life of working Americans and using words like “I reckon”, “duds”, and “folks”. He loved people and expressed the new democracy of a nation finding itself. He had radical ideas and abolitionist views – Leaves of Grass was considered immoral. Patriotic.
Hudson River School of Art
In about 1825, a group of American painters, led by Thomas Cole, used their talents to do landscapes, which were not highly regarded.
They painted many scenes of New York’s Hudson River. Mystical overtones.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
De Tocqueville came from France to America in 1831.
He observed democracy in government and society. His book (written in two parts in 1835 and 1840) discusses the advantages of democracy and consequences of the majority’s unlimited power. First to raise topics of American practicality over theory, the industrial aristocracy, and the conflict between the masses and individuals.
Millerites were Seventh-Day Adventists who followed William Miller. They sold their possessions because they believed the Second Coming would be in 1843 or 1844, and waited for the world to end.
The Millennial Dawnists, another sect of the Seventh-Day Adventists, believed the world was under Satan’s rule and felt it their obligation to announce the Second Coming of Christ and the battle of Armageddon.
“The Burned-Over District”
Term applied to the region of western New York along the Erie Canal, and refers to the religious fervor of its inhabitants. In the 1800’s, farmers there were susceptible to revivalist and tent rallies by the pentecostals (religious groups).
Charles G. Finney (1792-1875)
An immensely successful revivalist of the 1800’s. He helped establish the “Oberlin Theology”. His emphasis on “disinterested benevolence” helped shape the main charitable enterprises of the time.
Mormons: Joseph Smith (1805-1844)
Founded Mormonism in New York in 1830 with the guidance of an angel.
In 1843, Smith’s announcement that God sanctioned polygamy split the Mormons and let to an uprising against Mormons in 1844. He translated the Book of Mormon and died a martyr.
Brigham Young, Great Salt Lake, Utah
1847 – Brigham Young let the Mormons to the Great Salt Lake Valley in Utah, where they founded the Mormon republic of Deseret. Believed in polygamy and strong social order. Others feared that the Mormons would act as a block, politically and economically.
An experiment in Utopian socialism, it lasted for six years (1841-1847) in New Roxbury, Massachusetts.
A utopian settlement in Indiana lasting from 1825 to 1827.
It had 1,000 settlers, but a lack of authority caused it to break up.
A group of socio-religious perfectionists who lived in New York. Practiced polygamy, communal property, and communal raising of children.
A millennial group who believed in both Jesus and a mystic named Ann Lee. Since they were celibate and could only increase their numbers through recruitment and conversion, they eventually ceased to exist.
A German religious sect set up this community with communist overtones. Still in existence.
Developed in the 1800’s in response to growing interest in higher education. Associations were formed in nearly every state to give lectures, concerts, debates, scientific demonstrations, and entertainment.
This movement was directly responsible for the increase in the number of institutions of higher learning.
Some reforms successful, some not, why?
In the 1800’s, it was usually because the general public either didn’t vocally support the reform or was opposed it. Not all people wanted change. In general, reforms failed if they were too far out on the political spectrum.
Dorothea Dix, treatment of the insane
A reformer and pioneer in the movement to treat the insane as mentally ill, beginning in the 1820’s, she was responsible for improving conditions in jails, poorhouses and insane asylums throughout the U.S.
and Canada. She succeeded in persuading many states to assume responsibility for the care of the mentally ill. She served as the Superintendant of Nurses for the Union Army during the Civil War.
Rise of labor leaders
During the 1800’s, labor unions became more and more common. Their leaders sought to achieve the unions’ goals through political actions.
Their goals included reduction in the length of the workday, universal education, free land for settlers, and abolition of monopolies. Labor unions were the result of the growth of factories.
National Trade Uniohttp://quizlet.com/create-setn
Unions formed by groups of skilled craftsmen.
Commonwealth v. Hunt
1842 – Case heard by the Massachusetts supreme court. The case was the first judgement in the U.S. that recognized that the conspiracy law is inapplicable to unions and that strikes for a closed shop are legal. Also decided that unions are not responsible for the illegal acts of their members.
Criminal Conspiracy Laws and early unions
For a time in the 1700’s and 1800’s, these laws were directed at early labor unions. The organized stoppage of work by a group of employees in a strike could be judged a criminal restraint of trade.
This approach largely ended after Commonwealth v. Hunt.
Oberlin, 1833; Mt. Holyoke, 1836
Oberlin: founded by a New England Congregationalist at Oberlin, Ohio. First coed facility at the college level. The first to enroll Blacks in 1835.
Mt. Holyoke: founded in 1837 in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Became the model for later liberal arts institutions of higher education for women. Liberal colleges.
Public education, Horace Mann
Secretary of the newly formed Massachusetts Board of Education, he created a public school system in Massachusetts that became the model for the nation. Started the first American public schools, using European schools (Prussian military schools) as models
American Temperance Union
The flagship of the temperance movement in the 1800’s. Opposed alcohol.
“Ten Nights in a Bar-Room,” Timothy Shay Arthur
A melodramatic story, published in 1856, which became a favorite text for temperance lecturers.
In it, a traveller visits the town of Cedarville occasionally for ten years, notes the changing fortunes of the citizens and blames the saloon.
Maine Law, Neal Dow
In 1838, Dow founded the Maine Temperance Union. As mayor of Portland, Maine, Dow secured in 1851 the state’s passage the Maine Law, which forbade the sale or manufacture of liquor.
Irish, German immigration
Irish: arriving in immense waves in the 1800’s, they were extremely poor peasants who later became the manpower for canal and railroad construction.
German: also came because of economic distress, German immigration had a large impact on America, shaping many of its morals. Both groups of immigrants were heavy drinkers and supplied the labor force for the early industrial era.
An anti-foreign feeling that arose in the 1840’s and 1850’s in response to the influx of Irish and German Catholics
Morse, Imminent Dangers to the Free Institutions of the U.S. Through Foreign Immigration, and the Present State of the Naturalization Laws
He was briefly involved in Nativism and anti-Catholic movements, asserting that foreign immigration posed a threat to the free institutions of the U.
S., as immigrants took jobs from Americans and brought dangerous new ideas.
Women, their rights, areas of discrimination
In the 1800’s women were not allowed to be involved in politics or own property, had little legal status and rarely held jobs.
Lucretia Mott (1803-1880)
An early feminist, she worked constantly with her husband in liberal causes, particularly slavery abolition and women’s suffrage. Her home was a station on the underground railroad. With Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she helped organize the first women’s rights convention, held in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
A pioneer in the women’s suffrage movement, she helped organize the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. She later helped edit the militant feminist magazine Revolution from 1868 – 1870.
July, 1848 – Site of the first modern women’s right convention. At the gathering, Elizabeth Cady Staton read a Declaration of Sentiment listing the many discriminations against women, and adopted eleven resolutions, one of which called for women’s suffrage.
Emma Willard (1787-1870)
Early supporter of women’s education, in 1818 she published Plan for Improving Female Education, which became the basis for public education of women in New York. In 1821, she opened her own girls’ school, the Troy Female Seminary, designed to prepare women for college.
Catherine Beecher (1800-1878)
A writer and lecturer, she worked on behalf of household arts and education of the young. She established two schools for women and emphasized better teacher training. She opposed women’s suffrage.
“Cult of True Womanhood”: piety, domesticity, purity and submissiveness
While many women were in favor of the women’s movement, some were not.
Some of these believed in preserving the values of “true womanhood”: piety, domesticity, purity and submissiveness. These opponents of the women’s movement referred to their ideas as the “Cult of True Womanhood.”
Women’s movement, like others, overshadowed by anti-slavery movement
In the 1800’s, the women’s movement was often overshadowed by the anti-slavery movement. Many men who had been working on behalf of the women’s movement worked for the abolition of slavery once it became a major issue.
American Peace Society
Founded in 1828 by William Laddit.
Formally condemned all wars, though it supported the U.S. government during the Civil War, WWI, and WWII. It was dissolved after the United Nations was formed in 1945.
Prison reform: Auburn system, Pennsylvania system
Prison reform in the U.S. began with the Pennsylvania system in 1790, based on the concept that solitary confinement would induce meditation and moral reform. However, this led to many mental breakdowns. The Auburn system, adopted in 1816, allowed the congregation of prisoners during the day.
Supreme Court: Marbury v.
1803 – The case arose out of Jefferson’s refusal to deliver the commissions to the judges appointed by Adams’ Midnight Appointments. One of the appointees, Marbury, sued the Sect. of State, Madison, to obtain his commission. The Supreme Court held that Madison need not deliver the commissions because the Congressional act that had created the new judgships violated the judiciary provisions of the Constitution, and was therefore unconstitutional and void.
This case established the Supreme Court’s right to judicial review. Chief Justice John Marshall presided.