Romantic Period of Literature in America

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Beginning early in the 17th century, American authors and poets alike began the great shift in writing now known as the romantic period. This movement in literature has many influences, themes, and writing styles that can be highlighted with important works and authors. A promising frontier, new cultures brought by immigration, and a search for spiritual answers were all key influences in bringing about the romantic movement. Themes of the romantic period include nature as a refuge, high imagination, and emotional intensity. All of these influences and themes culminate in many different forms of literature including poem, short story, and essay. A drastic shift from the Puritan and Quaker writings of the colonial period in American literature, the romantic movement was heavily influenced by a changing colonial world. The United States, closely following a revolutionary victory, began pushing west. Our founding fathers believed diligently in the Manifest Destiny that declared the United States would one day stretch “from sea to shining sea.” Such an exciting and promising time catalyzed the creation of a new literary period and influenced its writers to greatly love and appreciate life. Also influencing American literature at the time of the romantic movement was the high level of immigration the United States was facing. Many new cultures and customs flooded into the states and literature, being the social sponge that it is, absorbed much of the content. This included much of the romantic writings of Europeans and a new view and hope towards life that an overwhelming amount of immigrants possessed. Another influential piece to the romantic movement puzzle was religious exploration. Authors were fascinated by the idea of t... ... middle of paper ... ... Thoreau took the traditional essay and brought romance and passion into its paragraphs, like many other authors in the romantic movement. With a new, frightening, and morphing world around them, American authors and poets began a shift in literature style that would forever leave its imprint on bookshelves in the United States and the world. With such influences as the push westward, an influx of immigrants, and a search for spiritual resolution, it is no wonder that the romantic period was born. This movement brought with it many themes such as nature as a refuge, high imagination, and emotional intensity. Also changed during this early 17th century movement was the medium of literature which included poems, short stories, and essays. Needless to say, the romantic period of American literature set the stage for advancements in literature in America to come.
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