A loose collection of eclectic ideas about literature, philosophy, religion, social reform, and the general state of American culture, transcendentalism had different meanings for each person involved in the movement, including those who attended the Transcendental Club. 2.) Transcendentalism, essentially, is a form of idealism. The transcendentalist "transcends" or rises above the lower animalistic impulses of life (animal drives) and moves from the rational to a spiritual realm. Transcendentalism has had large significance in American literature. 2) The structure of the universe literally duplicates the structure of the individual self b) Transcendentalism does not accept the prevailing Puritan view in America that God is the spiritual center of the universe and God is in charge of everything in an individual’s life. Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson is the key figure in transcendentalism. Other important transcendentalists were Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Lydia Maria Child, Amos Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, and Theodore Parker. Romantic Literature: short stories & novels While Romantic poets of the time were still staying close to traditional forms, American novelists were discovering new subject matter to explore. 3.) Despite the fact that Transcendentalism lasted only ten years, yet it greatly influenced the society of America and later help the evolution of other literary movements. Those ideas mixed together with another rising early 1880s influence — European Romanticism, a literary and artistic movement that emphasized feeling and emotion rather than the Enlightenment's emphasis on reason and order. The development of the American novel coincided with the following: 1) westward expansion 2) the growth of a nationalist spirit 3) the rapid spread of cities. See more. Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, philosophical movement associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and many contemporaries. Transcendentalism is an American literary, philosophical, religious, and political movement of the early nineteenth century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. At its height, many people supported the beliefs of transcendentalism, and numerous well-known names from the 19th century have been associated with the movement. Below are five key transcendentalists. In the early 1800s, a group of writers and thinkers congregated in New England with revolutionary ideas about the role of the individual in the world as a … Even more than most "isms," American Transcendentalism defies neat definition, now and in the nineteenth century. Although Transcendentalism in its proper sense did not last much into the 1850s, American literature as a whole saw a revival that may not have been possible without the inspiration of Emerson, Thoreau, and their ilk. It has inspired succeeding generations of American intellectuals, as well as some literary movements. The decade or so before the Civil War has in the last century come to be known as the American Renaissance. Transcendentalism is, in many aspects, the first notable American intellectual movement. Basic Characteristics of American Transcendentalism: 1.) Transcendentalism influenced the growing movement of "Mental Sciences" of the mid-19th century, which would later become known as the New Thought movement. An essay on transcendentalism in American literature discuss the perpetuation of the ideas of transcendentalists in American literary history. Transcendentalism definition, transcendental character, thought, or language. "All through the war years — the American Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the War of 1812 — Americans found it virtually impossible to go … It was believed that Transcendentalism directly influenced the New Thought Movement, which was a spiritual movement originated from the United States around 19th century.