The many changes besting the American lifestyle in the mid-nineteenth century: the industrial revolution, universities, westward expansion, urbanization and immigration, gave rise to a new form of American literature known as romanticism or transcendentalism. The Transcendental movement in America gave rise to the authors of romanticism studied for in our class; therefore the two are interchangeable for the purpose of this essay. Transcendentalism allowed for a new way of looking at philosophy, literature, and religion; feeding on the American mans desire to redefine himself and his place in the world in response to an innovative and changing society. It was a response to the insolvency of religion and mechanization of the no longer satisfying rational consciousness of eighteenth century.
In the nineteenth century, America was immersed in the Industrial Revolution. Unlike the eighteenth century, were goods had been produced in homes and on small farms, the mechanization of the nineteenth century led to huge factories and cities, who's populations grew at alarming rates. The development of transportation also increased the pace of urbanization of the east and expansion into the western territories. The first successful steamboat, Clermont, was launched in 1807; the Cumberland Turnpike was built in 1811 and the Erie Canal, finished in 1825, connected Hudson River with the Great Lakes. And the possibly the most important transportation dream was realized in 1828, when the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Steam Railroad System was completed, linking the country.
The total population of America ballooned from 4 million to 23 million between 1789 and 1850. More states were added during this time, taking the area of the country from 1 million to 3 million square miles. Spain gave up eastern Florida in 1819, completing the southeastern expansion for the time being and California was admitted as the 31st state in 1850, completing th