Romanticism, Puritanism, and Rationalism

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By Matt Graf, Logan Kallop, Tony Pittavino, and Josh
Selling
What is Puritanism?
 Puritanism is a series of beliefs held mainly by the
New England settlers.
 Was based on the teachings of John Calvin.
 Taught people that God was the source of absolute
truth.
 Believed in Predestination, God decided everything
 Believed that God was constantly intervening in the
world
 Man is inherently evil
 (Stephenson).
And Rationalism?
 Rationalism was a mid-18th century response to the extreme
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dogma of Puritanism
Believed that truth came through reason, rather than God
Believed in a much greater amount of freedom, and
rejected Church dogma.
Rationalists believe that man is inherently good
Rationalists believe in the clock maker, theory, in that God,
like a fine clock maker, lets the world run its own course,
and does not interfere
(Leah).
(“Romantic”).
Romanticism
 Romanticism is a literary movement that started as a
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response to rationalism
Romantics are much more idealistic than their Puritan and
Rationalist counterparts.
To Romantics, truth comes from intuition, and civilization
is the ultimate corrupter
There is a belief in Romanticism of the “Noble Savage,” a
person who is untouched and uncorrupted by civilization,
and in tune with nature
(Leah).
(“Romantic”).
(Kreis).
Puritan v. Romanticism
Puritans
Romantics
GOD
God is directly influencing and
controlling the world
There is less emphasis on God,
rather, there is only the natural
order
Things happen
because
God’s intervention
Destiny
Man’s Nature
Man is inherently evil
Man is good, it is civilization that
corrupts.
Source of truth
God
Intuition and self - reflection
Fate
We are predetermined what we are
going to do in life, nothing can change
that
We can influence our on lives, but
we are destined for certain things
Truth is available to
The elect
Those who commune with Nature
(Stephenson). (Kreis).
Rationalism vs. Romanticism
Rationalism
Romanticism
Views on God
Both are less insistent on deities, instead focusing on
the general idea of God, or not mentioning God
whatsoever
Things happen because
The laws of Nature
For symbolism
Man’s Nature
Man is inherently good
Man is good, civilization
corrupts
Source of truth
Reason and logic
Intuition
Truth is available to
Everybody
Those in touch with
nature
(“Romantic”).
(Kreis).
Final Notes
 Romanticism differs from the movements preceding it
in that it was a literary movement that spawned a
philosophy, rather than the other way around.
Because of this, this movement was much more
prolific than movements preceding it
 Romanticism was a response to the ideas of high
civilization in Rationalism, and claimed that the view
of cities as the fountain of knowledge is false
Questions
 1. What is the Romantics source of truth?
 2. Things happen to Romantics because of what?
 3.Puritanism is based on the teachings of who?
 4. Who is the hero or ultimate goal in
Romanticism?
Answers
1. Intuition
2. Destiny
3. John Calvin
4. Noble Savage
Works Cited
Kreis, Steven. “Lecture 16: The Romantic Era.” The History
Guide. N.p., 4 Aug. 2009. Web. 30 Mar. 2010.
<http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/lecture16a.html>.
Leah, Heather. “Romanticism vs. Rationalism During the
Renaissance.” Associatedcontent. N.p., 29 Aug. 2006. Web.
30 Mar. 2010.
<http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/54331/romanti
cism_vs_rationalism_during_the.html>.
“Romantic Vs. Rationalist.” FreeEssays.cc. N.p., 2003. Web. 30
Mar. 2010. <http://www.freeessays.cc/db/18/esv225.shtml>.
Stephenson, Susan. “Puritan Beliefs.” Seneca Valley School
District. Winter 2010. Address.

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