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Transcendentalism is a conglomeration of similar, but diverse ideas about literature, religion, culture and philosophy. It has its roots in the Transcendental Club[?] established in Cambridge on September 8, 1836 by several prominent Americans including George Putnam[?], Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Hedge[?]. The club was a protest to the general state of culture and society at the time, and in particular, the state of intellectualism[?] at Cambridge and Harvard.

Transcendentalism itself is difficult to define concisely, due to the diverse expressions of those involved in the movement. However, the main tenet of trancendentalists is the desire to go beyond (transcend[?]) the prevailing literature and philosophies of the masses in order to improve society. One of the reasons that transcendentalism spans so many disciplines is due to this strength of this desire amongst those involved.

Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a novel, The Blithedale Romance, satirizing the movement, and based on his experiences at Brook farm[?].

More Prominent Transcendentalists

see also: Transcendental Generation

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