What was Transcendentalism? Transcendentalism, which came about in the mid 1800’s, was a philosophical and literary movement that celebrated nature, personal emotions, imagination, and emphasis on living a simple life. It exalted the dignity of the individual and also stressed the idea of optimism, freedom, and self-reliance in America. The term was coined by the German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, “who wrote of “transcendent forms” of knowledge that exist beyond reason and experience,” ( “The Transcendentalists.” Literature: Grade 11, Holt McDougal, 2012, p. 311. Paragraph II). Transcendentalism first arose among the Congregationalists, these are people who lived in liberal New England. They departed the Orthodox into two respects: “they believed in the importance and efficacy of human striving, as opposed to the bleaker Puritan picture of complete and inescapable human depravity; and they emphasized the unity rather than the “Trinity” of God,” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Russell Goodman). They called these people “Unitarians”, who believed that Jesus was greater than human beings and was connected to God in a certain way. They believed that the Bible provided them “the overwhelming evidence for the truth of the religion,”(Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Russell Goodman). However; transcendentalists are convinced that the Unitarians are wrong. Emerson wrote on his journals “”We have no experience of a Creator” and therefore we “know of none”” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Russell Goodman)Transcendentalism focused on nature, simplicity and personal emotion in order to enforce their ideals. They emphasized to live a simple life, which means that they encouraged spiritual well-being over the financial well-being. They wanted people to focus on their inner long lasting belief rather than the short time values such as money. They focused more on celebrating the emotions and imaginations but also individualism and self-reliance. They believed that only through individualism and self-reliance could make a person success since he would be outstanding from all the others. We still admire famous philosophers such as Socrates, Jesus etc. Not only they emphasized individualism but also that intuition can lead to knowledge. As already mentioned, they stressed a close relationship to nature, they believed that everything originated in nature. This focus was for the purpose of persuading readers to become more in tune with nature which was one of the goals of the movement.Transcendentalism deeply affect us and people back then. One big example is the industrial revolution, which is completely against the morals of Transcendentalism. This is one of the reason why transcendentalism most likely started. As already mentioned, Transcendentalism focused on the relationship with nature. Industrial revolution is the polar opposite of what Transcendentalism believes. They focused on machinery, making everything technologicolized. They make people seperate themselves from nature since people got addicted of the ideal use of technology. Transcendentalism wanted people to go back to nature and stop relying on technology. They wanted to tell us the beauty of nature. This belief was most likely influenced by the Romanticism era, as they admire the beauty of nature. The world today is still fascinated from the beauty of nature, and still admiring all those fascinating philosophers of the history. Nowadays children learns about the impact of transcendentalism in their daily school routine. This was then taken by Ralph Waldo Emerson, a transcendentalist writer from New England, and furthered developed to take a more American approach. Americans were taking new pride in this transcendentalist culture and Emerson nurtured this pride by writing persuasive essays such as “Self-Reliance” which emphasized the importance of intuition and individuality. One of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writing is “Self-Reliance”. He extremely emphasized the importance of Individualism and the use of it. He said that “whose would be a man, must be a nonconformists” (Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Self Reliance.” Literature: Grade 11, Holt McDougal, 2012, pp. 370), which was a person who does not follow the generally accepted beliefs,customs or practice. Emerson mentioned that the world wouldn’t like nonconformists, “they whip you with displeasure,” (Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Self Reliance.” Literature: Grade 11, Holt McDougal, 2012, pp. 372) since But people should be strong and believe themselves. Did not let others influence you, because their “sour face” would be on going changing, just like the wind blow. He used simile to emphasize the fast on and off judgment from the people. He also wrote that the people are influenced by the newspaper, which indicated the news and social media that are existing today- continuously influence people how to judge a person. He also mentioned that even though you might get misunderstood due to your different belief, but that didn’t mean that is negative. He argued that all the great philosophers, such as Socrates, Jesus etc. They all got misunderstood but nowadays they are one of the most important people in our entire history.