David Thoreau was a big part of society. He was born on July 12th, in Concord Massachusetts. David wasn’t just a writer, but he was one of the most influential writers in America still known today. Another great writer is famously known as Ralph Waldo Emerson. He created a philosophical and social movement that began around 1836 in New England. This social movement was known as transcendentalism. The main reason why this was developed was a rebellious reaction to the previous Age of Reason, and its rationalist way of thinking.
The members of this movement also believed in society. Some of the major examples for this is religion and politics. This was corrupting the purity of individuals. This movement was created and based upon Hindu text, various religious ideas, and German idealism. Between all the transandentalists they believed in 3 main values. (pg.198) They are known as individualism, idealism, and divinity of nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” (pg. 207)
The main study for individualism is that they are at their best when they are entirely independent and self-reliant. Idealism is the second value. This value is between the age of reason and transcendentalism was the romanticism movement. Similarity to the British Romantics this movement was focused on creativity and imagination. The main objective for this movement was focused on creativity and imagination. Ralph Waldo also stated “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” (pg.202)This is also a good quote that he stated because it goes along with the creativity and imagination that he had for Transcendentalism.
The last main value is Divinity of Nature. Transcendentalists did not belive in organized religion, but they were also very spiritual people. They believed that nature is sacred, and that it is imperative for individuals to connect with nature. Transcendentalists were lovers for nature, and they did not think it was something that could be controlled by anyone else. So, instead they believed that the only thing people can control is what is in their own minds. The term oversoul is a transcendentalist term, which explains most everything is connected and which everything happens for a reason.
Today we do act on the same things as Transcendentalists stated and acted upon years ago. This has carried over generations and has just created a norm. For example, we see it in tv, popular music, and also video games. Overall Transcendentalism still exists today and even years from now we will still be in a world full of transcendentalism. This will never change as a whole but always change in how society changes.