Free Essay

The American Renaissance

In: Historical Events

Submitted By erikalolan
Words 1178
Pages 5
The American Renaissance period, circa 1876-1917, heralded a new sense of nationalism with a pride linking to a spirit akin to Greek democracy, the rule of Roman law, and a cultural and educational reform movement often referred to as Renaissance humanism. This American nationalism focused on the expression of modernism, technology, and academic classicism. Renaissance technological advancements include wire cables supporting the Brooklyn Bridge in the State of New York, along with cultural advancements found in the Prairie School houses, Beaux-Arts Institute of Design in architecture and sculpture. The political heir of American nationalism evolved with the Gilded Age and New Imperialism school of thought. The American Renaissance produced major influential literary works from some of the most brilliant minds in U.S. history, including Ralph Waldo Emerson's the "Representative Man (1850)", Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlett Letter (1850)" and "The House of Seven Gables (1851)," Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick," Henry David Thoreau's "Walden (1854)," and Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass (1855)."

American Renaissance Literary Masterpieces

The American Renaissance, a literary and cultural period circa extending from 1820 to the mid-1860s, gained inspiration from the unresolved issues of the American Revolution. The American Renaissance literary style was coined as "Romanticism," an international philosophical movement that redefined the perceptions of Western cultures, and seldom refers to the preconceived notions of love. Some important authors arising out of this era include: James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Jacobs, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allen Poe, and Herman Melville. These brilliant scholars herald with American literature's hallmark of literary excellence expounding on the fundamentals of classical American tradition. The central key issues addressed women's suffrage, abolitionism, expanstionist philiosphies, such as Manifest Destiny or Mexican and Native American imperialistic conquest, and religious influential roots.

Ralph Waldo Emerson -- Representative Men (1850): A comprehensive overview of the literary masterpiece authored by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Nathaniel Hawthorne -- The Scarlett Letter (1850): An online publication of the controversial literary masterpiece "The Scarlett Letter" authored by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Nathaniel Hawthorne -- The House of Seven Gables (1851): An authoritative resources outlining the biography and works of the Romantic author Nathaniel Hawthorne, including a direct link to an online publication of the avowed "The House of Seven Gables," literary masterpiece.

Henry David Thoreau -- Walden (1854): A thorough a complete study guide to Henry David Thoreau's "Walden," which accounts a two-year account of Thoreau's life at Walden Pond; however, the literary masterpiece does not directly reflect Thoreau's life in the tone of a biography or journalistic narrative.

Walt Whitman -- Leaves of Grass (1855): An annotated project on the American Renaissance masterpiece "Leaves of Grass," authored by Romanticist Walt Whitman.

Herman Melville -- Moby-Dick (1851): A retrospective commentary on the Romantic classic, "Moby-Dick (1851)" authored by Herman Melville.

Other Top Literary Works of The American Renaissance Era

The term describing the cultural and literary movement known as the "American Renaissance" was coined in 1941 by F.O. Matthiessen in his book, "American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman." Other scholars criticized the overemphasis on white male authors, which eventually redefined the spectrum of renowned authors originating from the Romantic period. The narrow exclusivity began to deteriorate toward the end of the 20th century, while beckoning the call of women literary geniuses, such as Emily Dickinson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Margaret Fuller. African-American literature also gained popularity with literary masterpieces authored from the likes of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs.

Emily Dickinson -- Poetry: An overview of Emily Dickinson's biography, poems, themes and general, experimental writing style, including commentary and syllabus curricula.

Harriet Beecher Stowe -- Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852): A modern analytical interpolation of the Romantic classical work, "Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)" authored by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Edgar Allen Poe -- The Raven, Cask of Amontillado, Tell Tale Heart: A thesis on the literary works of the disturbed Romanticist.

Washington Irving -- Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: A comprehensive list of resources of the Romantic author Washington Irving.

James Fenimore Cooper -- The Last of the Mohicans (1826): An online publication and analytical introduction to the Romantic literary classic, "The Last of the Mohicans (1826)" by James Fenimore Cooper.

Frederick Douglass -- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845): A comprehensive compilation of a biography, bibliographies, analytical reviews, and illustrations of the works authored by Frederick Douglass, including the "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845).

Margaret Fuller -- Woman in The Nineteenth Century (1843): An online library (directory) of the works composed by Margaret Fuller, including "Woman in The Nineteenth Century (1843)."

Abraham Lincoln -- Gettysburg and the First and Second Inaugural Addresses: An online compilation of historical documents and speeches, including the famous Gettysburg, First and Second Inaugural Addresses presented by President Abraham Lincoln.

Harriet Jacobs -- Incidents in The Life of a Slave Girl (1861): A thesis dedicated to the Romantic classic, "Incidents in The Life of a Slave Girl (1861)" by Harriet Jacobs.

America from 1820 to 1860

The United States went through a pivotal hallmark in history ranging from the time span of 40 years (1820 to 1860). Fierce social and cultural reform, including philosophical frame-of-thought emerged that would shape a historical knock-out unparalled since the American Revolution. The abolition of slavery, women's suffrage of women's rights movement, Manifest Destiny, and the literal change of American identity began to take root for sake of expansion and equality.

Pre-Civil War American Culture: The American Renaissance: A historical overview of the cultural reformation and philosophical thought engulfing pre-Civil War America.

Abolition of Slavery: A detailed presentation on the influential of abolitionist movement in pre-Civil War America.

Women's Suffrage: A historical account of the women's suffrage movement and its influence on the American Renaissance period.

President Abraham Lincoln: Digitized source material covering U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, a prime influential figure for the political, cultural, and philosophical reformation of the American Renaissance era.

Missouri Compromise of 1820: A detailed transcript of the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

Antebellum Period (1820-1860): A paper detailing the wage disparity during the antebellum period of the American Renaissance era.

Manifest Destiny, American Imperialism: Course material covering the concept of Manifest Destiny, an extension of the expansionist philosophy.

Transcendentalism, American Renaissance Philosophical Thought: An overview of origins and reasoning behind the philosophical movement known as Transcendentalism and its impact on the American Renaissance.

Apocalyptic and Utopian Society: A symbolic presentation of post-apocalyptic America and the utopian society.

Romanticism: Musical Composition: Course material covering the musical composition of the Romantic period, also known as the American Renaissance.

The American Renaissance period brought about major cultural, social, political, and philosophical change. Pioneers who stood for the abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, expansion, and literary experimentalism challenged and withstood opposition to those comfortable with the old social order. These developments continue to influence our society today, despite overcoming major obstacles within the last century. Only we can take advantage of present opportunities to influence and bring about positive change for future generations.…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay


...greatest European cultural movement and great innovations within the fields of science, art and literature. The Renaissance art finds its roots mostly in Classical Greek and Roman art. Early renaissance art was created in parallel with late Medieval art and it was also greatly influenced by Gothic arts, an older art style that was developed in the 12th century and during late middle ages. Although religious topics and events remained very popular which reflected the influence of medieval art, but more emphasis was placed on the meaning and the realistic qualities of the artwork by renaissance artists. As the political and social domination of church started to diminish and the humanist movement grew in popularity, the renaissance art took a different direction and distinctive characteristics started to develop in different areas. The artists started to separate themselves from their Middle Ages heritage by going against the religious traditionalism. To keep up with the humanist movement the renaissance artists started to portray more life-like and more realistic human forms, and they broke from medieval traditions in painting, sculpture and architecture. The decline of Church absolutism also altered people’s religious views and produced a different view of life. The renaissance patrons demanded art that showed joy in human beauty and life's pleasures. The renaissance artists had to produce arts to meet the tastes of their patrons. A combination of social and political......

Words: 456 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay


...The Renaissance in Italy and Europe The French word Renaissance means “rebirth” and is the period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages. It relates mostly to the growth of artistic and intellectual creativity which is also used by artists and thinkers to recover and apply the ancient learning and standards of Greece and Rome. The Renaissance was basically an intellectual and also cultural movement that imparted some sort of intellectual quality which made it one of the most important events in universal history. This movement was carried on between the fourteenth century and the sixteenth century. The Renaissance was believed to be restricted to Italy somewhere during the late 15th century. This great movement made a huge and advance difference in the world today and also back in the days. It brought major contrasts with civilization in Europe during this time period. This has become of my interest not only because it is one of the world’s most known events, but also because it is a movement that benefited and contributed intellectual developments in most parts of the world today. It is most commonly known that one of the reasons the Renaissance period took place was because theology was rejected by the Middle Ages and was taken over by science. The outlook and institutions of the Middle Ages disintegrated and conspicuous modern forms, like science, emerged. Because of the different levels in society during the time of this intellectual movement,......

Words: 2071 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay


...Renaissance The first important painter of the Renaissance was Giotto di Bondone In 1334, Giotto was appointed chief architect in Florence, where he remained until his death in 133Therefore, as the city-states of Italy began to develop great wealth during the early fifteenth century, architects and sculptors rose to fame and power. In 1401, Florence held a competition to choose the artist to design and sculpt a pair of bronze doors for the Baptistry, a church honoring St. Paul the Baptist. The Italian Renaissance is divided into three major phases: Early, High, and Late Renaissance. The Early Renaissance was lead by sculptor Donatello, architect Filippo Brunelleschi, and painter Masaccio. They began the movement on the foundations that development and progress was integral to the evolution and survival of the arts. They found their inspiration form antiquity, creating realistic figures that portrayed personality and behavior. They focused on the laws of proportion for architecture, the human body, and space. The term Early Renaissance encompasses most 15th century art. The High Renaissance sought to create a generalized style of art that focused on drama, physical presence, and balance. The major artists of this period were Leonardo Da Vinci, Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian. The period lasted only a short time from 1495 to 1520. The Late Renaissance was put into motion by the sack of Rome in 1527, forcing artists to relocate to other artistic centers in......

Words: 827 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...Chris Smith section 431 Giovanni and Lusanna The Renaissance is often imagined by many as a magical time. It was a period where the human race produced the most interesting inventions and profound ideals that later became the foundation for the modern culture and government we know today. However, hidden beneath the blanket of magic was a time full of unrest, political corruption, and old traditional ideals that developed into unwritten “rules” forced upon society. Guiding behaviors such as how a “good” wife or a “good” widow should behave, or such “rules” notably broken are prevalent in the famous true story of Giovanni and Lusanna. It is a Renaissance chronicle about a woman who is set out to tell the truth but reveals too much of herself and her rogue ways. Lusanna’s actions questioned the unwritten “rules “of Renaissance society and whether or not enforcing them was right or wrong. Lusanna was a beautiful Florentine woman who was married to an Artisan man named Andrea Nucci of low class Florence. She met and fell in love with Giovanni while she was still married to Andrea Nucci. Giovanni, a noble man of great class and status, loved her as well. He had promised to marry her if her husband were to die. His luck came true and Lusanna’s husband passed away. Giovanni fulfilled his promise and married the widow shortly after the death of her husband. It was a marriage that, before long, turned into political unrest as Giovanni decided to marry another woman. He......

Words: 808 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The Renaissance

...History 101 The Renaissance paved the way for numerous other eras such as The Protestant Reformation, the Scientific Revolution and The Enlightenment. The Renaissance brought on the idea of Individualism and how educating yourself and believing in yourself could make a better world. The Renaissance helped change personal views of one’s self and the world. The Renaissance is portrayed by a number of different ideas about Life and humanity, some of which are Individualism, secularism, and humanism. Individualism was a noteworthy concept that came about during the Renaissance era. It put emphasis on personality, uniqueness, genius, and developing one’s capabilities and talents. Recognizing individual efforts and then becoming known beyond the local areas began to grow during the renaissance. Artist started to sign their work so they could gain fame far from their own areas. This was different because in the middle Ages artist painted to glorify God, so that did not require an artist to sign their work. During the Renaissance the artist wanted to be known for being an individual and not to just contribute to a group (religion). Also during the Renaissance there was more attention to the development of the individual where education was concerned. The Importance of learning all intellectual areas as well as becoming knowledgeable about physical actions was a new development during the Renaissance. During the Renaissance you could become educated in many different areas this......

Words: 1458 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay


...Renaissances The Renaissances was a very interesting period in history, it is where people took the time to listen to the music, developed the arts, study literature and culture. One of the major differences between the Carolingian, Macedonian and Islamic Renaissances, were the people that were allowed to participate in learning the arts. In the Islamic Renaissance the Muslims built schools called madrasas that were attached to Mosques, only males were allowed to attend and it consisted of mostly the upper and middle class; but they did have some scholarships that was given out to others of the lower class. The Macedonian Renaissance also just allowed male students, but it was only the upper class that was allowed to attend, they did not extend the right to learn to the middle or lower class this enable “the scholarly elite thrive again.” (Hunt Page 274) When it came to the Carolingian Renaissance male and female were both allowed as well as all class of people, upper, middle and lower, believing that all that could learn should learn “Carolingians were thinking about the importance of religious education for more than small elite.” (Hunt Page 287) Thinking that if everyone learned it would strengthen the kingdom. The Macedonian rulers wanted to educate the upper class and encourage learning about Roman ways and traditions in order to make the kingdom like it was in ancient Rome. They wanted to be able to obtain the dominance that the Romans once accomplished. ......

Words: 788 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...The Renaissance was a time of rebirth and changes in the lives of many people and many people’s views on how humanity functioned. After the calamitous 14th Century in which many people were murdered through wars, or die naturally by plague, the survivors started to look at the world in a whole new way. The philosophies of many people had changed after such near death experiences and the Renaissance blossomed from the Renaissance. The Medici family were catalyst to the Renaissance as the were patrons of the arts. Art was a crucial part of the renaissance as this changed the method in which people viewed life greatly and so created many new methods in portraying the mind of the artist. Two such great sculptors of the Renaissance were Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi and Michelangelo did Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. Michelanglo and David are most famous for creating the sculptures of David from the High and Low Renaissance respectively. The sculptures’ of Donatello and Michelangelo are both drastically different, evidenced by the influences of their respective Patrons, the time period that the sculptures depicted and the symbolism behind each sculpture. The influences of the two sculptures are important to find out how the final result of each Sculpture was. Donatello’s David was commissioned by the Medici family, at the time it was thought out of the ordinary for a member or a group of government to commission a piece of art. The fact that the Medici commissioned this artwork...

Words: 2446 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay


...Lovepreet Kaur Mr. Crowe AP European History The Renaissance-1 Textbook: pg. 338 to mid 343 16 January 2014 1. Why did the Renaissance first begin in Italy? The Renaissance first began in Italy because Italy had better resources. Anyone was able to go to Italy in search for a fresh start while bringing new ideas people never questioned. 2. Why was Florence at the heart of the Italian Renaissance? Florence was at the heart of the Italian Renaissance because it was started from Florence, and it was one of the wealthiest cities with significant power. The Medici family helped Florence become a cultural center for meetings or discussions about art. 3. What role did the Medici family play in the Renaissance Florence? The Medici family showed special interests for arts and literature, so they financed numerous art creations and get-togethers for the benefit of Florence. 4. Regarding humanism: -What are the characteristics of humanism? How is it different from medieval scholasticism? from nominalism? The characteristics of humanism include learning, anatomy, realism, reason, nature, youth, individualism, and perspective. Scholasticism was more orientated towards philosophers or theologians and it failed to offer moral guidance, however, humanism was about direct sources such as the bible or Latin/Greek classics. Nominalism is considered to believe that abstract or general terms are real, while humanism prefers human views. -Why is Petrarch......

Words: 774 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

American Renaissance

...American Renaissance Hawthorne and Melville’s Views of Science Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville were spectacular writers. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804 and died May 18, 1864. He was born in Salem, Massachusetts and attended Bowdoin College. He is credited for The Scarlet Letter (1950), The House of the Seven Gables (1851), and The Blithedale Romance (1852). Herman Melville was born on August 1, 1819 in New York City. He was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. His first two books gained much attention, but his book Moby Dick, did not (Marion). The society during that time was not mentally ready for a masterpiece like Moby Dick. He is also credited for Billy Budd, White Jacker, Typee, Omoo, Pierre, and The Confidence-Man. These two authors found a magnificent way to connect different people, which was through their writing. They produced books that have been handed down from generation to generation. These books or short stories have been read by many people of different social classes, ethnicities, occupations, and societies. Nathaniel Hawthorne produced many different short stories that had deep meanings to them like; The Gentle Boy, The Gray Champion, The May-Pole of Merry Mount, The Minister’s Black Veil, The Birthmark, The Artist of the Beautiful, The Haunted Mind, Wakefield, Ethan Brand, and The Man of Adamant. Herman Melville also produced a magnificent story with vivid details, which was entitled Moby Dick. Even though...

Words: 2019 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay


...Italian Renaissance v. Northern Renaissance Christopher Garrett University of Phoenix Renaissance comes from the Latin renasci, which means to be born, or rebirth or revival (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2014). The Renaissance was an era that influenced countries for over 200 years, and transformed culture and religion. Starting toward the end of the 13th century, the renaissance was an integral part of developing countries in both north Europe and Italy. These renaissance periods are the Italian and the Northern renaissance. Even though both renaissances had similarities and made an impact within European countries, they both had differences as well that made them each unique. The Italian Renaissance began at the end of the 13th century and lasted until the beginning of the 1600’s. This period could be considered the transition period between the Middle ages and medieval period to modern Europe. During the Italian Renaissance, humanists labeled the “rebirth” as the Dark Ages. The Italian Renaissance focused more on the common man and everyday realities of life, which heavily influenced the culture and art (Beougher, 2010). The Northern Renaissance was influenced by Italian Renaissance; however, the northern movement carried different characteristics and strengths and affected European countries outside of Italy. During the Northern Renaissance, the north held onto the Gothic art and architecture. The north also had fewer centers of free commerce, unlike in......

Words: 1078 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

The Renaissance

...The Renaissance was destined to happen. It happened for many reasons. Many new inventions and changes accrued during the time that people cherish now. One of the effects of the renaissance is the art. It brought art from looking like elementary school work to college level professionals. It created three different types of beautiful storytelling pieces. The first type of art is classical. This type of art shows importance of leaders or gods with little background and no sense of perspective. Then there is medieval art. This teaches religion to those who can’t read and the important figures are larger. Lastly, there is the Renaissance type of art. It shows both religious and non-religious pictures that are very detailed and colorful. The renaissance also helped people become more individualized and more into secular thought. Without religion forcing them down, the people became free with their thinking. They had an increase of books and knowledge. Even a book on how to be a king and how to gain political power to keep, it was a book done in this period, which would have not have been published in medieval times. Also, without religion suppressing them they became materialist, wanting many things. Leading into wanting the finer things in life, but if that did not change us we would have the desire to get anything, thinking it’s a sin. Philosophy also changed during the Renaissance. Many books depicted animals, as well as plants and minerals. Artists such as......

Words: 336 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay


...Harlem Renaissance An African-American cultural movement of the 1920’s centered in Harlem, that celebrated black traditions, the black voice, and black ways of life. Jazz and music Jazz was a new style of music created by African American musicians, featuring syncopated rhythms and improvisational solos It was so interesting because the improv aspect meant that no two performances could ever be the same Duke Ellington turned commercial radio into a place for music by performing jazz music from the Cotton Club, broadcasted to thousands of Americans Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday coined blues and jazz vocal solos Chick Webb (King of Swing) saved money as a paperboy to buy his drum set, and started playing professionally in Harlem at 11 years old, then later became the best-regarded band leader Louis Armstrong played jazz music on Broadway, a Creole Jazz Band, and at the Cotton Club. He played in many films and toured internationally. He was the man that made the most Americans begin to accept jazz into their culture II. Poetry Langston Hughes One of the most well known names of the Harlem Renaissance His writing reflected that black culture should be celebrated because is it just as valuable as white culture "I tried to write poems like the songs they sang on Seventh Street...(these songs) had the pulse beat of the people who keep on going." said Langston One of Langston most famous work was his essay entitled "The Negro Artist and the Racial......

Words: 460 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay


...After viewing the beginning unit, The Renaissance, I firmly believe that the lectures provided by Professor Fleetham argue that Renaissance humanists valued a practical education due to poetry, the use of original sources, and the constant practice of composition, speech, and persuasion. The unit one, section one, lecture states that The Renaissance was strongly based on the rebirth and rejuvenation of ancient times. Italian cities began the trend of humanism and related it to education, resulting in Northern Europe being greatly affected. The rebirth, or break from the Middle Ages, left several people with the idea to revive classical culture. Humanism not only began to refresh the outdated culture of the middle ages, but also to revitalize several respected religious figures. Although humanists like Leo X and Pius II did not fully agree with the church’s negative mindsets concerning education, both religious leaders sought to elevate the liberal arts. As stated in the primary reading, classic learning was vital for both individuals and political families who had children being tutored. By promoting this educational reform, original sources of text and research were available to the community for advancement in knowledge. As stated in the second lecture, humanists loved the words of language and constantly challenged the best of classical authors. Peter Paul Vergerius made one specifically brave move by devising one of the first humanist educational programs in Italy. By......

Words: 363 - Pages: 2

Free Essay


...The Classical and Renaissance art periods are two of the most important and celebrated art periods in our history. The two periods were alike in many ways with only a few differences setting them apart. In the end, the Renaissance was a “rebirth” of the Classical art style, architecture and beliefs. The Classical period was a time of spectacular architecture, philosophical pondering, and human development; taking place between 500 – 323 BC, Ancient Greece enjoyed wealth and power. The arts, literature, and drama thrived. The Classical Period made world changing discoveries in medicine, mathematics, physics, and astronomy. The city of Athens, one of the most powerful and influential cities in the Classical period introduced the world to Democracy and has shaped today’s western governments. Some of the philosophers of the Classical Period have become the most well known philosophers know to man today and have had influence on Western thought and civilization. To this day the teachings of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are still pondered today. Classical art focused mainly on five forms: architecture, sculpture, pottery, painting, and music. Ancient Greece was dominated by religion. This resulted in the temples being big and beautiful. The Classical period brought change in the style of sculptures. The Greeks believed in humanism and their art displayed this. The Greeks took great pride in the importance of the individual in society in the forms of art, philosophy and......

Words: 1628 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...The Renaissance :The English Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement in England dating from the late 15th and early 16th centuries to the early 17th century. It is associated with the pan-European Renaissance that is usually regarded as beginning in Italy in the late 14th century; like most of northern Europe England saw little of these developments for more than a century later. The beginning of the English Renaissance is often taken, as a convenience, to be 1485, when the Battle of Bosworth Field ended the Wars of the Roses and inaugurated the Tudor Dynasty. Renaissance style and ideas, however, were slow in penetrating England, and the Elizabethan era in the second half of the 16th century is usually regarded as the height of the English Renaissance .The dawn of the Renaissance came first to Italy and a little later to France. To England it came much later, roughly about the beginning of the sixteenth century. The light of the Renaissance came very slowly to the isolated island of England, so that when it did come in all its brilliance in the sixteenth century, the Renaissance in Italy had already become a spent force. Literature:The humanists and their reverence for the classics in Greek and Rome, had the effect of stifling the growth in creative literature. Their extreme reverence had the effect of encouraging the close imitation and copying of classical authors. However, as exploration continued, the interest in the world increased as did the natural......

Words: 2048 - Pages: 9