Chapter 13 An American Renaissance: Religion, Romanticism, And Reform

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Chapter 13: An American Renaissance: Religion, Romanticism, And Reform I. Antebellum religion A. Effects of Enlightenment – major reforms, advances in human rights 1. Deism a. Roots in rationalism and Calvinism i. Predestination, stern god → humankinds’s inherent goodness, social progress & individual perfectibility b. Nature of the beliefs i. God planned universe, set it into motion, left it alone (Newton’s idea) ii. Skeptical of miracles, defended free speech, freedom form religious force 2. Unitarianism and Universalism a. Nature of the beliefs i. Generosity of god, goodness of humanity, all eligible for salvation b. William Ellery Channing – inspiring Unitarian leader, Boston’s Federal St. Church c. Universalism i. Anti‐calvinist,…show more content…
Roots of transcendentalism a. Teachings of Buddha, Mohammedan Sufis, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita 3. The role of Ralph Waldo Emerson a. lectures, writings to express views b. “Self‐Reliance” (1841): message of individualism & cultivation of one’s personality 4. The role of Henry David Thoreau a. “Civil Disobedience” – refused to pay state tax b/c opposed Mexican war III. The flowering of American literature A. Nathaniel Hawthorne – New England Writer, haunted by Puritan ancestors (Salem Witch trial judge); impossible to remove all sin from human soul B. Emily Dickinson – original & powerful Poet; themes: life, death, fear, loneliness, nature, god C. Washington Irving – proof American could make career of literature, adept imitator D. James Fenimore Cooper – conflict: Man vs. backwoods nature; romances of frontier life; model for cowboy movie, novels E. Edgar Allan Poe – Gothic horror short stories; inventor of detective story; fear most powerful emotion F. William Gilmore Simms – gentleman of letters G. Herman Melville – realistic fiction (based on his adventures at sea), Moby‐Dick H. Walt Whitman – explicit sexual references; homoerotic elements; rejects women’s domestic sphere I. The popular

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