Transcendental Generation

Last Updated: Mar. 12, 2008

The Transcendental Generation (Prophet, born 1792–1821), the proud offspring of a secure new nation, were the first American children to be portraited (and named at birth) as individuals. Coming of age as evangelists, reformers, and campus rioters, they triggered 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 Civil War, their zeal fired by the moral pronouncements of an aging clergy. The victors achieved emancipation but were blocked from imposing as punishing a peace as the old radicals wished. In elderhood, their feminists and poets (many with flowing beards) became unyielding expositors of truth and justice. (AMERICAN: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Susan B. Anthony, Nat Turner, William Lloyd Garrison; FOREIGN: Queen Victoria, Karl Marx)

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