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We will walk on our own feet we will work with our own hands we will speak our own mindsA nation of men will for the first time exist because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men As Ralph Waldo Emerson concluded his lecture at Harvard in 1837 he issued this challenge to all men arguing for a new American culture freed from European bondage and for the rebirth of an intellectual and artistic life that the society had previously lost This renaissance was what would become known as modern transcendentalism a complex multi-faceted philosophy Decades before America had won its political independence and unlike any European style transcendentalism was a way to achieve literary independence Writers poets and musicians alike wanted to develop a style that all could call American Spawned from the writings of the era the other aspect of this theory is that it existed as a form of religion and spirituality Social reform later grew from these beliefs such as anti-slavery and womens rights movements So what set off these changes in our society Many trace the roots of these events back to the chief writers of the period Transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau preached beliefs in self-reliance non-conformity and in the Over-Soul Ralph Waldo Emerson greatly accepted the concept of self-reliance which is the dependence on ones own judgments powers or resources rather than those of others Emerson focused on this topic in one of his essays There is a time in every mans education when he learns that no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till Self-Reliance 24 This quote sums up the fact that that nothing in life comes without some efforteach person must work hard to achieve hisher goals The following excerpt shows how a truly
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