The Romantic Dream The Romantic period was an entirely unique era in American history that produced new life philosophies through the focus of nature and exploration resulting in the evolution of the American Dream. Consequently, some of the world’s greatest advancements in arts and literature were accomplished during this time period. Authors such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Fennimore Cooper, and Oliver Wendell Holmes sparked the imagination of American audiences through newfound literature such as lyrical poetry, myths, legends, folklore, and the new American novel. Romantic age writers emphasized nature, especially in poetry, as an inspiration for imagination and emotion. The American Dream during the Romantic era was to lead a life of emotion and intuition over reasoning through exploration of the countryside and the recognition of natural beauty displayed by imaginative literature that reflected this American Dream. Rather than using reasoning and knowledge for guidance, the people of the Romantic period focused largely on the idea of using feelings and intuition to make decisions. The main foundation of the Romantic era was a reaction against rationalism and reasoning. Upward mobility and success through intellect was a major concept of the Rationalist period. “In an important respect, however, the Dream of Upward Mobility, particularly in the South, was actually too successful…” (Cullen 61). Unfortunately, during the rationalist movement, large cities and higher standards of living led to problems for Americans. Morality declined as Americans strove for money, power, and overall success. Poverty along with death rates increased as the small population of wealthy became wealthier as the poor became poorer. “The... ... middle of paper ... ...of Literature: Fifth Course. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. 308-309. Print. Irving, Washington. “The Devil and Tom Walker”. Elements of Literature: Fifth Course. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. 175-185. Print. Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls”. Elements of Literature: Fifth Course. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. 196. Print. Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. “The Cross of Snow”. Elements of Literature: Fifth Course. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. 198. Print. “Political and Social Milestones 1800-1860”. Elements of Literature: Fifth Course. Austin: Hold, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. 160-161. Print. Small, Miriam Rossiter. Oliver Wendell Holmes. New York: Twayne, 1963. Print. "Voices of the Night A Psalm of Life." Bartleby.com. Bartleby,2014. Web. 5 May 2014.