R and T

Puritans, Romantics and
“Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” H.L.
Major Ideas:
Persecuted in England for going against the Protestant church/government
Sought to “purify” the church.
Religion was an individual, personal, and internal experience.
The individual’s relationship with God was not determined by a member of the
clergy or the government.
Believed that all humans were damned, but that some were meant to be saved.
Fate was pre-determined-- one couldn’t “save” oneself, but if one led a good life,
one would be able to see the “signs” that meant one were saved
Only God’s grace was an individual’s salvation.
Contract-based government—beginnings of democracy (Salem Witch Trials)
Business was an important part of community, as was education
Puritan Writing
• Bible=model as people
searched for connections
between their lives and
biblical events
• Each individual’s life was a
spiritual journey, so recorded
in diaries and historical
documents describing the
workings of God.
• Known for plain style of
writing emphasizing clarity
and avoiding complicated
figures of speech
Puritan Writers
Anne Bradstreet
William Bradford
Mary Rowlandson
Reverend Jonathan Edwards
Salem Witch Trials
The First Thanksgiving
The Romantics
• Developed in the 1830s both
in connection with, and in
opposition to Romanticism
• Transcendentalism refers to
the idea that in finding God, the
universe, and the self/soul, one
must transcend typical human
experience in the physical world
•Marked by a “return” to
nature, and trust in intuition
rather than deliberate
rationality and intellectualism
• Believed that self-reliance
and individualism must
outweigh external
authority, and selfimprovement leads to
social improvement
• Worked to find the
“permanent reality that
underlies physical
• Optimism about the
potential of individual
lives and the universe
Transcendentalist Humor
Famous Transcendentalists
• Ralph Waldo Emerson
AKA Lead
• Henry David Thoreau AKA
neighbor and friend to L.T.
• Margret Fuller AKA one of
the first major feminist
writers in the US
• Amos Bronson Alcott AKA
father to Louisa May
Henry David Thoreau
• 1817-1862, born in Concord, MA.
• Went to Harvard, very well-read, but many felt
he squandered his talents and connections
(including Emerson)
• Influenced by Emerson
• Went “into the woods” to journey inwards in a
T. fashion. Built a small cabin on Emerson’s
land two miles from town. Lived there for
three years, writing, thinking, and studying life
• Wrote “Resistance to Civil
Government” while on
Walden Pond after being
arrested for not paying poll
tax (supported MexicanAmerican War) because he
felt it extended slavery.
• Died in 1862. Apparently
asked on his deathbed if he’s
made peace with God (by his
aunt). His reply: “I didn’t
know that we had ever
Walden Pond
“Resistance to Civil Government”
• Response to being jailed for one night for not
paying poll tax
• Discusses the role of the individual in society
and to his/her government
• Employs rhetoric devices of: ethos, logos,
• Inspired authors and thinkers like MLK and
Gandhi around passive/non-violent resistance
Ethos, Logos, Pathos
• Ethos is appeal based on the character of the
speaker or moral or widely accepted values
and/or standards
• Logos is appeal based on logic or reason; it
uses facts, examples, and well-reasoned
• Pathos: is an appeal based on emotion and
language and anecdotes that arouse strong

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