“To say the word Romanticism is to say modern art - that is, intimacy, spirituality, color, aspiration towards the infinite, expressed by every means available to the arts.” – Charles Bauldaire. Romanticism is a type of style of writing in fine arts and literature that focuses on passion imagination and intuition rather than emphasizing on reason and logic. There are no restraints or order in Romanticism; complete spontaneous actions are welcome in this style of writing.
Romanticism, or also known as the “The Romantic Period”, refers to the cultural movements that occurred in England, Europe, and America from 1770 to the 1860s. In this literary period, romantic writers saw themselves revolting against another period called the “Age of Reason” which began in the 1700s and ended in 1770. These two styles were quite different from each other. While Classism, another name for “The Age of Reason”, thought of the world as a rigid and harsh structure, Romanticism thought the world as a place to express our ideas and believes. Classism also focused more on interest in urban society, the modes of life and materialistic philosophy, while Romanticism believed in feelings, imagination and intuition. Because of the clash between periods, authors decided to drive away from Classicism to focus on this new period called Romanticism.
Many authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville have influenced the way we write today because of this amazing period. Until present day no other style of writing in literature has surpassed the incredible, filled with variety writing that was formed during the period of American Romanticism.
During the growth of this great literary period the country was going through many changes. Between 1800 and 1803 there was a great period of country growth in size. In fact America completely doubled in size. This growth inspired an upsurge in national pride and self-awareness. 20 years after this growth happened, a new president rose into power. This president was named Andrew Jackson or also known as “the people’s president”. Later on, Industrialization and technology flourished in America completely changing many aspects of people’s working and daily life’s like child labor, unsafe working conditions, discrimination against women, and conflicts with slavery.
Not only did the country change politically, but it also changed in the aspect of literature as well with the appearance of Romanticism. Romanticism, which originated in Germany, but then suddenly spread to France, England, and even further, reached American literature around the year 1820. This was 20 years after William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor revolutionized English poetry with their publishing of their collection of poems called Lyrical Ballads. As Romanticism reached America, fresh new vision enlightened artistic and intellectual circles.
Romanticism in America all started with the publication of The Sketch Book by Washington Irving and...