Answer: a literary and philosophical movement
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Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the late 1820s and 1830s in the eastern United States. A core belief is in the inherent goodness of people and nature and while society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual people are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent.
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Transcendentalism is an American literary philosophical religious and political movement of the early nineteenth century centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other important transcendentalists were Henry David Thoreau Margaret Fuller Lydia Maria Child Amos Bronson Alcott Frederic Henry Hedge Elizabeth Palmer Peabody and Theodore Parker.
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The philosophy of transcendentalism arose in the 1830s in the eastern United States as a reaction to intellectualism. Its adherents yearned for intense spiritual experiences and sought to transcend the purely material world of reason and rationality.
English Language Learners Definition of transcendentalism : a philosophy which says that thought and spiritual things are more real than ordinary human experience and material things See the full definition for transcendentalism in the English Language Learners Dictionary More from Merriam-Webster on trans...