B1 Intermediate US 145 Folder Collection
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The Romantic Period; 1780 to 1850; by Rachael Phillips
There are several social and political events that helped establish the Romantic period.
Historians often refer to this era as “the Age of Revolution”
because there were many areas of the world fighting for independence at that time.
In America, the British colonies split from England and fought in the American Revolution from 1775-1783.
This spurred the French Revolution, which was fought for ten years, 1789-1799.
In addition, Napoleon, who became emperor in 1804,
dominated Europe and led the Napoleonic Wars from 1803-1815.
These wars created social and political turmoil.
The middle class of many countries often felt lost and ignored; they fought for a better, more equal, world.
In addition, the Romantic Period was a response against the Age of Enlightenment.
The Age of Enlightenment promoted logic and reason; but the Romantic Period was exactly the opposite.
It was also a response to the growing idea of political radicalism.
The middle class revolted against aristocratic ideals, especially in France.
In Britain, there was a movement known as British Radicalism in which the middle class pushed for universal suffrage.
The radicals believed Parliament should represent the entire population, not just the wealthy landowners.
Ultimately, the Romantic Period was a response to the revolutionary spirit and growth of nationalism.
The Romantic Period was also a response to the Industrial Revolution, which took place from 1815-1843.
This was a time of rapid economic growth due to technological innovations and the agricultural revolution.
New technology produced the factory system, which created new jobs and employed more people.
The agricultural revolution led to the production of more food, allowing countries to support a growing population.
The largest growth in numbers was seen in the working class.
Literary works from the Romantic Period tended to focus on the mind and heart.
The works were often sublime and invoked great emotion.
The goal of each work was to make the reader rethink “normal,” and they were used as a way to escape average life.
In addition, these works tended to glorify human reason by retelling folklore.
Many of the literary works, and especially poetry, featured detailed nature scenes.
During this time period, the literary works often had a more spiritual element
There was an increase in prophetic texts, especially in works concerning Judeo-Christian thoughts and beliefs.
An increasingly popular aspect of religion during this time period was pantheism,
that is, the belief that God can be found in everything. There was also a dominant belief in afterlife.
It was not uncommon for people to wonder if the world was ending,
based on the increased conflict present in the world at that time.
This idea largely stemmed from the apocalyptic prophecies in Hebrew and Christian scriptures.
In the end, both the authors and the readers simply wanted to break free of their
strict religious traditions so that they may explore more of the world.
Finally, the Romantic Period represented a cultural return to the Middle Ages.
This could be seen especially by the presence of the guillotine in France.
It also represented a return to the belief of God in nature.
People believed God was in the rain, helping farmers grow extra produce.
People also believed God was in the flowers, granting little pieces of joy to the working class as they went through their tedious lives.
Finally, the Romantic Period placed a greater importance on the individual rather than society
because they believed society was made up of thousands of unique individuals, each with their own talents and gifts.
Because of this, people often sought stories from the past that featured traditional customs.
This movement started as a revolt against a changing world.
It is also important to know that literary works written during the Romantic Period often had an inner-outer relationship.
This means that works focused on the development of the inner self while exploring the outdoors.
In this way, Romantic Period authors could separate their works from everyday society.
Because a majority of the works from this time period were set outdoors,
the innerself of the characters in the literary works were often touched by nature’s spirit.
Also, it is important to note that literary works created during the Romantic period are not necessarily about love.
This time period does not exclude love, but it is not limited to love either.
Finally, the Romantic Period has had a lasting effect on the world of literature, and it still influences us today
such as through the love of nature and children, our reflections on the past, and the value our society places on nature and innocence.
The most popular genre of the Romantic Period was poetry, but not all literary works created during this time period were poems.
Other common forms of literature include political pamphlets, such as those written by Thomas Paine, reviews, dramas, and novels.
There was also a wide range of style prevalent during the Romantic Period.
One branch of the romantic literature was Gothic romanticism, which detailed a darker side of humanity.
Both Poe and Hawthorne were critical to the success of Gothic romanticism.
In addition, authors such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, and Margaret Fuller
were important to the success of abolitionist and feminist romantic period works.
If there is one thing to remember about the Romantic Period, it is this:
all Romantic Period texts had one common characteristic-
they value something unattainable or lost, and try to create an alternate reality that challenges or transforms everyday life.
Examples of Romantic Period authors include William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson,
Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas Paine, Henry David Thoreau, and William Wordsworth.
“The Lamb” by William Blake, is a great example of a Romantic Period literary work.
This poem is from the perspective of a young, innocent child.
In his discussion with the lamb, he explores the foundation of his religion.
This piece represents the Romantic Period because it features nature (the lamb and the pasture), focuses on the boy’s mind and heart,
focuses on the boy’s mind and heart, and is largely based on Judeo-Christian texts that name Jesus as both the child of God and a lamb.
“The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian Woman” by William Wordsworth also represents the Romantic Period.
Nature plays a large part in this poem. In this excerpt, Wordsworth mentions the stars and the sky.
This poem also mentions the search for clothes, for food, and for warmth, all comforts of living.
This reflects the working class’s daily struggles.
Finally, the speaker in the poem says “Alone I cannot fear to die.”
First, the word alone signifies the importance of self in this poem rather than society.
Second, the speaker does not fear death because of her belief in the afterlife,
where she believes life will be better than her current situation.
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The Romantic Period 1780-1850

145 Folder Collection
cindylin published on December 10, 2016
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