The Transcendental Generation
is the name given by William Strauss[?]
and Neil Howe[?]
in their book Generations
for that generation
of Americans born from 1792
. The proud offspring of a secular new nation, this generation included the first children to be portraited (and named at birth) as individuals. Coming of age as evangelists, reformers, and campus rioters, they triggered the Second Great Awakening
, a spiritual paroxysm across the nation. As crusading young adults, their divergent inner visions exacerbated sectional divisions. Entering midlife, graying abolitionists and Southrons[?]
spurned compromise and led the nation into the American Civil War
, their zeal fired by the moral pronouncements of an aging clergy. The victors achieved emancipation but were blocked from imposing a peace as punishing as the old radicals would like to have wished. In elderhood, their feminists and poets (many with flowing beards) became unyielding expositors of truth and justice.
The Transcendentals' typical grandparents were of the Liberty Generation[?]. Their parents were of the Republican Generation and Compromise Generation. Their children were of the Gilded Generation and Progressive Generation and their typical grandchildren were of the Missionary Generation.
Altogether, there were about 11 million Americans born from 1792 to 1821. 20 percent were immigrants and 13 percent were slaves at any point in their lives.
Sample Transcendentals with birth and death dates as this generation is fully ancestral include the following:
The Transcendentals had five U.S. Presidents:
The Transcendentals held a plurality in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1835 to 1869, a plurality in the U.S. Senate from 1841 to 1873, and the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1861 to 1889.
Prominent foreign-born peers of the Transcendentals include Thomas Carlyle, Alexis de Tocqueville, Richard Wagner, Karl Marx, and Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
Sample cultural endowments of the Transcendentals include the following:
- The Liberator[?], William L. Garrison
- Walden[?], "Civil Disobedience", Henry D. Thoreau
- Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln
- The Encyclopedia Americana[?], Francis Lieber[?]
- Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
- The Transcendentalist[?], Ralph W. Emerson
- The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
- "The Battle Hymn of the Republic[?]", (song, Julia Ward Howe)
- The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith (although he claimed to have received the translation of it from God)
- The Scarlet Letter[?], Nathaniel Hawthorne
- The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government[?], Jefferson Davis
see also: Transcendentalism
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