Ralph Waldo Emerson: The History Of Transcendentalism

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Research, Major #1

The History of Transcendentalism

Through the leading power of Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcendentalism has made its way throughout history. Transcendentalism, the belief in knowledge that extends from the five senses, forces followers to become “spiritually” connected with the world and themselves.

Known by many as the “king of transcendentalism,” the first enthusiast to set the stage for many others was Ralph Waldo Emerson. Centered in Concord, Massachusetts, Emerson led a group of understanding thinkers. Beginning with being a student of the Boston Latin School, Emerson soon became a scholarly student of Harvard. Upon graduation, Emerson became an ordained minister. The death of his first wife soon caused him to abandon
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Margaret Fuller could be considered the first established feminist in America. Originally born in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, Fuller was known for her strong philosophies within the controversial subject of women’s rights. Leading a series of conventions, Margaret Fuller was one of the first women to seriously touch within women’s rights movements. Fuller received most of her education from her father who was a successful congressman and lawyer. Nevertheless, she attended various schools learning knowledge that she would then pass on to students of her own, including schooling from the male-only school of Harvard. Becoming more known for her outstanding women’s rights ideals, Ralph Waldo Emerson invited her to his home in Concord, proceeding to latch Fuller on tightly to the transcendentalist ideals. Serving formal conversations for five years that pushed the thought process of her listeners, she soon resorted to exerting her beliefs through art and literature. She worked with Emerson on a journal known as The Dial in which included many essays and entries for the public to read- all concerning renowned principles of transcendentalist thinking. Not long after her relations with The Dial, Fuller became a foreign correspondent for The Tribune, stationed in New York. Consequently, Margaret was sent away to Europe to send back book reviews, art, and works of literature to America via mail. When in Europe, Margaret met the …show more content…
Through the trial and error of human experiments and reformation attempts, this idea of perfecting human nature seemed to become more and more of an impossibility. Of this large amount of experiments concerning communal living, one most noted is “Brook Farm.” Centered in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, this 175-acre farm found itself increasingly short-lived. Directed by George Ripley in 1841, a colleague of Ralph Waldo Emerson at The Dial, who was also previously a Unitarian minister, the motive behind Brook Farm was to see what would happen through the combination of the worker and the thinker. George Ripley and his wife had aspirations that this mix of character would induce harmonious individual freedom and human relationships. Members of this Utopian society would all participate in equal amounts of physical labor and leisure activity each day, believing that labor and joyous acts were uplifting aspects of a successful civilization. This experiment soon failed as the brutal realities of maintaining a society took a toll on the residents. In 1849, the land that Brook Farm planted itself on was officially sold. Another famous failure at communal living was the Oneida Community. Founded by John Humphreys Noyes in 1850 New York, the philosophy of the community was based upon “complex marriages.” This thought process meant that no resident was permanently married to a single person; they were all

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