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What is the relationship between transcendentalism and individualism Between transcendentalism and social reform Between transcendentalism and the middle class - Coursework Example

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It developed as a reaction to the perceived evils of organized religion which many believers of this movement sincerely thought to corrupt the individual with its teachings. The…
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What is the relationship between transcendentalism and individualism Between transcendentalism and social reform Between transcendentalism and the middle class
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full Transcendentalism and Individualism (a relationship between the two) 23 July Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement which advocated for a return to the simple life. It developed as a reaction to the perceived evils of organized religion which many believers of this movement sincerely thought to corrupt the individual with its teachings. The transcendental movement was actually a protest during the 1820s to 1830s against the evils of society (represented by political parties and organized religious groups) which remove from an individual his inherent goodness through twisted dogma and wrong ideas or thoughts.
As such, transcendentalism wanted people to be self-reliant and to be individualistic. People do not need organized society and its various institutions because the self-sufficient person is better off being alone and from this select group of individuals who believe in self-reliance can a true community of men be formed. It is an ideal achievable only if all people try to be self-reliant and form their own minds about matters that affect them the most. This philosophical and cultural movement of transcendentalism has its drawbacks, however.
An individualistic attitude can harm society because if all people will become self-reliant, there is no need for a democratic government (Newfield 17). Organized society will cease to exist, including all forms of governance which any civilized society needs for a group of people to survive and live peacefully. Transcendetalism can have an adverse effect as people will strive for personal independence regardless of the needs of a society, to include compliance with social rules and governmental regulations. Rampant and rabid individualism can harm society in the long term (Hankins 38) to the detriment of an organized central authority and the solidarity and spirit of communalism will disappear. But individualism can inspire people to do good too by not waiting for government to do something but just do it.
Works Cited
Hankins, Barry. The Second Great Awakening and the Transcendentalists. Santa Barbara, CA, USA: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004. Print.
Newfield, Christopher. The Emerson Effect: Individualism and Submission in America. Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press, 1996. Print.
Due: July 27, 2014 @ 2:36 a.m. (word count = 302 of text only, excluding works cited page). Read More
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