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Categoria: Letras

Enviado por: lucianemlt 14 junho 2013

Palavras: 525 | Páginas: 3

With the establishment of its Constitution the

United States became a functional democracy, in

contrast to European monarchies and aristocracies

this newly created country was radical in its distribu-

tion of land titles. Practically all citizens were farmers

and owned the land they farmed, quite different from

the system in old Europe where peasants labored on

the estates owned by the nobles and were not enti-

tled to ownership of land.

Many immigrants from Europe were attracted

to America due to the opportunity to become an in-

dependent landowner. Therefore, an ever increasing

population moved towards the west, beyond the

original thirteen states on the Atlantic coast. By the

early 19th century, a great frontier movement had be-

gun in the United States, bringing wealth and in-

creasing the size of the country.

American culture steadily flourished with such

growth and in the beginning half of the 19th century,

there appeared many of the major and most influen-

tial figures in American literature. Writers of fiction, of

novels, romances, and short stories, now emerged.

This growth occurred under the influence of a Euro-

pean cultural movement, Romanticism.

Romanticism initially emerged as a response to

the age of reason, characterized by an emphasis on

individual freedom from social conventions or

political restraints, on human imagination, and on

nature in a typically idealized form. Romantic

literature rebelled against the formalism of 18th

century reason. Many Romantic writers had an

interest in the culture of the Middle Ages, an age

noted for its faith, which stood in contrast to the age

of the Enlightenment and pure logic..

The Romantic Movement appeared in America

at the beginning of the 19th century and greatly influ-

enced American culture until the middle of the cen-

tury. Romanticism based its beliefs upon emotion

rather than reason. Feelings other than logic were

the best way of knowing the secrets of life. Poets and

artists were the representatives and celebrities of


The writers of the Romantic Movement put

huge importance on nature in their works. They

wanted to demonstrate how nature could bring out

deep feelings in man. The American thought was in

favor of Romanticism because since the United

States was an agricultural society which was moving

and expanding at a fast pace across the American

continent, intimately in contact with nature.

Romanticism fought against the inflexibility and

uniformity demanded by the rationalism of the

Enlightenment; it encouraged men to free them-

selves from these restrictions. Individual freedom

was the most important thing for individuals to wan-

der freely in nature, experiencing its richness and

abundant emotions. This idea of individual freedom,

of personal liberty, greatly fascinated Americans.

They believed this was the center of their society,

because it had been the basis of the American

struggle for independence.

Due to this insistence upon personal freedom,

Romanticism also emphasized individualism. The in-

tegrity of each person was assumed and respected.

This attitude also impressed Americans. They had

struggled previously for individual rights and liberties;

they had assured these rights for themselves in the

democracy which they had established. Americans in

their daily drive to settle the land and acquire their

own property were constantly proving their individual


Romanticism proclaimed the love of nature, of

freedom, and of individualism which were so admired

by Americans, which guaranteed that this movement

held lasting influence upon American literature and

society. Practically all writers expressed themselves

in the early 19th century under the effect of the Ro-

mantic movement. One of these great American

novelists is Nathaniel Hawthorne whose allegorical

novels explore such themes as guilt, pride, and

emotional repression in his native New England