Nationalism And The Romantic Era

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Revolutions all across the globe had constituted to an era, which brought forth to some of the most influential artists and writers of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century. In particular, the revolutions pertaining to America such as the Declaration of Independence, in 1776, gave many artists new subjects to consider such as contradicting political views, economic actualization and strong cultural and social diversity. When these feelings were brought forth into works of art, the movement became known as Romanticism and the time of revolution and freedom was coined the term ‘the Romantic era’. This was an artistic, musical, and literary movement that “[depicted] emotional matter in an imaginative form” and “[emphasized] individualism; …show more content…
This was the idea that these works of art and literary changes were culturally developed to produce “identifiably American works” (Baym). Nationalism focuses on the ideas of becoming attached to a nation, feeling pride for said nation, and being an individual. During the Romantic era, nationalism heavily relied on individualism and being a nonconformist, taking into consideration slavery, minimalistic government, enforcing one’s given rights, democracy and more. See Figure 2. “The people now have more general objects of attachment with which their pride and political opinions are connected. They are more Americans; they feel and act more as a nation” (Woodside). After the revolutions and wars between 1770 and 1820, a new pride of national identity came forth with a strong sense of confidence in believing in oneself. “Many Americans saw their country as a place of democratic ideals that afforded opportunity to ordinary people rather than rewarding unearned social distinction or inherited wealth” (Baym). Many writers of the Romantic era chose to write about the unique nature surrounding America, the diverse culture, and the abundance of individuals with their own thoughts and emotions; but most importantly, they wrote about the use of the individuals thought over that of the government 's. Henry David Thoreau is a well-known author of the Romantic era and his writing best encompasses “his ecological consciousness, do-it-yourself independence, ethical commitment to abolitionism, and political theory of civil disobedience and peaceful resistance” (VanSpanckeren). His writing reflected the “creative powers of the individual mind, the regenerative value of nature, the limits of historical associations and traditions, [and] the stultifying effects of established institutions”; choosing to highlight internal creative thinking processes over the collective mind of society (Baym). Civil Disobedience

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