The Transcendentalist Movent And Ralph Waldo Emerson

2132 words - 9 pages

The transcendentalist movement began in the 1830s. Many leaders throughout this movement expressed their beliefs and ideas through writing. The transcendentalist movement’s main focus was on independence. There were many people involved in this movement, but the most important person was Ralph Waldo Emerson. He became a leading spokesman and played a key role in the transcendentalist movement.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in 1803 in Boston (Cayton). He is the son of Ruth Haskins Emerson and William Emerson. He is the third son and has four other brothers. Ralph Waldo Emerson came from a long line of New England ministers. His father, William Emerson, also ministered for a living. Many expected Emerson to become a minister like his father, but he chose to follow a different career path. Ralph Waldo Emerson graduated from Harvard, where he later worked as a school teacher. He was also excellent at writing sermons and preaching (Wayne “Ralph Waldo Emerson” 98). Ralph Waldo Emerson began writing poetry at the age of nine, and continued to write throughout his life. In addition to becoming a writer, he also became a minister in Boston at the age of twenty-six. Also, in 1829 he married his wife Ellen Tucker Emerson. She inspired him to continue to write and some of his poems were about her (Kane 361). She died just three years after they got married in 1831. After she died Emerson decided to travel to Europe and focus on his work. Once he came back from his trip to Europe he married Lidian Jackson Emerson. He also chose to become an essayist and a speaker. He lectured on natural history, literature, and self-culture (Wayne “Ralph Waldo Emerson” 99). Ralph Waldo Emerson was a very successful, and much of his success came from the inspiration and support of his family (Wayne “Ralph Waldo Emerson” 98).
The transcendentalist movement focused on individual culture, inspiration, and self-thought. Many people who supported the transcendentalist movement believed in self-development and self-knowledge. This movement began as a crisis of faith. Many rejected the need for biblical Christianity. Unitarianism also helped develop the transcendentalist movement. Unitarianism is the belief in perfecting individual character as humanities destiny on earth. This belief also promoted a healthy spiritual life. Ralph Waldo Emerson became involved in the transcendentalist movement through Unitarianism. Emerson quickly became the leading spokesman of the movement. He believed that the minds of humans are the center of life. Emerson also promoted understanding individuals and believed that humans are the route to all knowledge. One of the major points this movement focused on was Emerson’s promotion of understanding one’s own thought, feelings, and emotions. Ralph Waldo Emerson also wrote a book titled “Nature,” which was written during the transcendentalist movement. This book promoted the relationships humans have with nature and the universe. Emerson believed that...

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