Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson - New England Reformers Summary & Analysis

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New England Reformers Summary and Analysis

Everywhere he looks in the society of 1844—religion, education, politics—Emerson sees evidence of a defiant reformist mentality based on the worth of the individual. This is a natural consequence of the revolutionary heritage of America and something to be embraced rather than feared, Emerson says. This reformist attitude challenges the use of manure in farming, the credibility of the lawyer and clergyman, the institution of marriage, and traditional medicine with homeopathy. Early adherents to antinomianism (the belief that God's grace allows an individual to ignore all laws, divine and terrestrial) would be shocked by the upwelling of dissent, Emerson remarks. The establishment of three egalitarian communities, that would much later likely be called communes, so long as each member is willing to work as hard as every other. If not, Emerson predicts, the superior...

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This section contains 216 words
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Buy the Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson Study Guide
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