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Watch out, world, Emerson is a rebel with a cause. A Transcendental cause, of course. He hands in his resignation to signify that he's growing dissatisfied with the Unitarian Church, and he's got better plans for humanity—spiritually and otherwise.
A bunch of literary brainiacs start getting together to talk smack about the Unitarian Church. Then they decide that's not so productive and decide to discuss literature, spirituality, and nature. And a movement is born.
Emerson's book-length essay is—brace yourself—all about the wonders of nature. And how to incorporate those wonders into a more meaningful way of life. Buckle your (metaphysical, eco-friendly) seat-belts, Transcendentalism is about to go full steam ahead!
And so this is the journal that becomes the Transcendentalist mouthpiece. Many writers of the movement publish work in it. Dial that up!
Huzzah for women's rights! Fuller gives men an (insightful and tactful) earful in this political tract.
In this essay, Thoreau shows us how civil disobedience gets itself done, and inspires future generations of civilly disobedient folk.
Thoreau lives in the woods. He does it all alone. Doesn't talk to anyone for years. Until he gets a publisher and sends this hotcake to the presses.
Walt Whitman's got a draft of some pretty sweet poems but has yet to make his mark on the literary scene. So it's way inspiring when he meets his hero Emerson. That deserves a poem or two!
The publication of this book would change the face of American poetry. Forever.
The battle over slavery—not to mention America's soul—begins for realz. Try getting Transcendental about that.