Transcendentalism Beliefs

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Starting in the early eighteen hundreds, a new trend started and developed in the United States of America. Transcendentalism, a philosophical movement that promoted people’s self development of their spirituality, started and became very popular through the early nineteenth century. Many people looked to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau for inspiration and they quickly became leaders of the time period. Through Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” and “Nature” and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, people started relying on themselves to develop their spirituality, instead of looking to others and religion. Transcendentalism brought new philosophical ideas that focused on nature and people’s individuality through writers such as…show more content…
The Puritans, who settled in America in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, were very religious and had strict beliefs and practices that had to be followed in order to fit in the society. As people started to develop their own thoughts and beliefs, this strict and non-accepting way of life became more obsolete and eventually led to the Enlightenment period. The Enlightenment Period was a time where people started developing their own ideals and leaning on science rather than religion and feeling. People stopped looking to religious “elders” and leaders and started thinking for themselves and developing their own ideals. It was during this time that knowledge and independence were the most foremost ideals, as it was the time the Declaration of Independence was written, which lead to the Revolutionary War. The Enlightenment Period strayed away from religion and spirituality as a whole. From the Enlightenment Period stemmed the Romanticism and Transcendentalism periods. While those periods are similar, Transcendentalism focused more on knowledge and spiritual growth through self-awareness. It was a period where divinity and spirituality reemerged, but not in the traditional ways like the past. It was not about churches and religious leaders, but more about a self-developed spiritual connection with a higher being through nature and self-discovery. The ideal of developing one’s own spiritual relationship was very much covered in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s
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