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The American Renaissance Essay

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In America, the American Renaissance was the period in 1835-1880 in which United States literature came of age as an expression of a national spirit. Literature became one of the most historically significant effects that occurred throughout the time period of the American Renaissance. The American Renaissance is also characterized by renewed national self-confidence new ideas and technologies. Politically and economically, this era coincides with the Gilded Age and the New Imperialism. By the end of the eighteenth century, Enlightenment secularism made profound progress into American thoughts. “…the United States in the nineteenth century was an infant republic swaddled in the rational ideas of the Enlightenment.” (Tindall 492) The American Renaissance changed America with the outbreak of religion, romanticism, and reform.
Outbreak of Religion
“After the Revolution many Americans assumed that the United States had a mission to provide the world with a shining example of republican virtue, much as Puritan New England had once stood before erring humanity as an example of ideal Christian community.” (Tindall 492) The combination of widespread religious energy and passionate social idealism brought major reform and advances in human rights during the first half of the nineteenth century. Enlightenment rationalism stressed humankind’s essential goodness rather than its wickedness and stimulated a belief in social progress and the assurance of individual perfectibility. After the American Revolution is when the interest in Deism increased. In every major city “deistical societies” were formed, especially within the college student social group. “By the use of reason, Deists believe, people might grasp the natural laws governing the ...


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...eeman. America's Gilded Age: an Eyewitness History. New York: Facts on File, 1992. Print.
4. Davis, Sue. American Political Thought: Four Hundred Years of Ideas and Ideologies. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996. Print.
5. Tindall, George Brown., and David E. Shi. America a Narrative History. 8th ed. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2010. Print.
6. "American Renaissance." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 25 Nov. 2011. .
7. Johnson Lewis, Jone. "What Is Transcendentalism?" The Transcendentalists - including Ralph Waldo Emerson - Henry David Thoreau - Others - Dial Magazine. 03 Sept. 2009. Web. 26 Nov. 2011. .
8. "The American Renaissance." Digital History. Digital History. Web. 26 Nov. 2011. .


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