American Romanticism Timeline

Bell Ringer
I can explain influences and values of
American Romantic Period authors.
Essential Question: How does literature
shape or reflect society?
Answer on your daily sheet What are American values?
What traits are important to most
What traits or values are important to
Video – Compare/Contrast
O Video introduction (compare/contrast)
kxFWdP08WogmR43jYsy individualism
O values from parents
O pineapple
O education
O What did you notice about the values
promoted in the commercials? How are
they similar or different? Do any of them
reflect American values?
American Renaissance
American Romantic
The first literary movement in the U.S.
O These authors were influenced by the
Romantic movement from Britain.
O They were preoccupied with questions about
democracy and freedom (Independence
from Britain was in 1776).
O Their work emphasized
O Emotion
O Nature
O Imagination
Why should we care?
O The romantic writers reflected the values that
make “American character” unique. Many
writers began to question slavery and cruel
social conditions, which led to positive changes.
O They were part of the first literary movement in a
very young America.
O The U.S. is a super power, and understanding
what made American values unique in its early
history (right after the American Revolution to
right before the Civil War) helps us understand
current U.S. values.
American Romanticism
Top Ten
1. The Novel
2. Formal Experimentation
3. Symbolism
4. Nature
5. Individualism
6. Emotion
7. Imagination
8. The American Revolution
9. Democracy and Freedom
10.The Frontier
Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). American Romanticism Top 10 List. Retrieved January 23, 2016, from
Timeline - Before
O 1765-1783: The American Revolution
O The thirteen American colonies manage to free
themselves from British rule. Way to go for selfreliance!
O 1803: The Louisiana Purchase
O The U.S. government buys a chunk of territory from
the French in the west, and the American frontier is
Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). American Romanticism Timeline.
Retrieved January 23, 2016, from
Timeline - During
1841: Ralph Waldo Emerson publishes Essays: First Series
With this collection of essays, Emerson establishes himself as an important figure in
the American Romantic age. And his first lesson: let's be self-reliant.
1850: Nathaniel Hawthorne publishes The Scarlet Letter
Thanks to this novel, the scarlet letter "A" becomes a part of the American popular
1850: Congress passes The Fugitive Slave Act
This act, which mandated that slaves who escaped to the north were to be returned to
their masters in the south, provoked an uproar in Abolitionists like Henry David Thoreau.
1851: Herman Melville publishes Moby-Dick
The white whale chews off Captain Ahab's leg, and sets us off on a long adventure.
1854: David Henry Thoreau publishes Walden
Spending two years alone in the woods will really help us get in touch with our inner
selves, according to Thoreau in this book.
1855: Walt Whitman publishes the first edition of Leaves of Grass
Whitman would continue revising this collection of poems for over thirty years. Thank
goodness we don't have to spend that long revising our English papers
Timeline - After
O 1861-1865: The American Civil War
O The country's going to pieces. Will America live up to
its ideal of being the "land of the free"? Or will African
Americans continue to be enslaved? We know who
won this one, thankfully.
O 1892: Walt Whitman's funeral
O When Walt Whitman dies in 1892, his funeral is
mobbed by thousands of people. He was a pretty
popular guy by this point.
Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). American Romanticism
Timeline. Retrieved January 23, 2016, from