Romantic Period Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1400 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

Romantic Era

The Romantic Period

Important Contributions of the Romantic Period

Technology: The beginning of this period was marked by technological advancements, such as the building of the first steam engine in England in 1803. Its first sail took place in 1811 down the Mississippi river in America.

The Industrial Revolution began to spread throughout Europe.

World politics: In the politics of the early 1800's, Napoleon began his reign as emperor in France, and James Madison was elected President in the United States. In 1812, the United States would declare war on Great Britain.

There were many literary achievements of this era, including Austen's Sense and Sensibility, Hugo's the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Poe's the Raven and Other Poems, Douglass' the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Hawthorne's the Scarlet Letter, and Thoreau's Walden. Cultural imperialism and exploration were thought to motivate the expansion of literature during this time.

Steam Engines: In the 1820's, John Stevens built the steam engine and shortly after, the first railway was opened in Massachusetts. In another feat of steam power engines, the first steamship crossed the Atlantic in 1838.

War: After industrialization and revolutionary uprisings spread throughout Europe, the unification of Italy and Germany occurred between 1860-1870. In America, however, the Civil War was taking place, which would result in a unified America.

Science: In the field of science, Pasteur proved fermentation was a biological process, electromagnetic rotation, the cell nucleus, and the location of the North Pole were discovered, and Darwin presented his findings on natural selection to the Linnean Society.

Communication: Morse built the first American telegraph in 1835. Then in 1860, the Pony Express mail system made its first run, expanding communication efforts and techniques.

Exploration: The Lewis and Clark expedition helped to discover much of America in 1806. Other expeditionary missions revealed Amazonia and the Niger River.

Women: The role of women became increasingly important in intellectual and political pursuits in America and Europe. Women's rights became an increasing concern. One particularly influential woman was Madame Anne-Louise-Germaine de Stael, whose works were considered manifestos for the Romantic movement.

Slavery: In 1840, the World Anti-Slavery Convention was held in London. Great Britain abolished slavery in 1834, however the United States would have to undergo civil war in the 1860's for the issue of slavery in America to be settled.


An intellectual and artistic movement that was seen in politics, art, religion, and science marked the Romantic Era, which spanned roughly from 1800-1890. This time period emphasizes the rise of nationalism in much of Europe. It marks "the transformation of the individual not only into a 'citizen' but also a member of a 'national' group."

New nations were forming at this time, most notably through the unification of Germany and Italy, and a sense of national belonging was spreading due to recent conquests by Napoleon following the French Revolution.

The result was the consolidation of language, which carried over into print and accelerated the spread of the national identity concept.

While these roots of nationalism were seen first in France, other European countries quickly followed suit. In Germany, Johann Gottfried von Herder urged the use of the German language in education and worship to unify the state. He also would "expound the importance of a sense of the German volk (people)."

National pride came through national anthems and a celebration of sharing a cultural identity. This was made possible because of the surge of printed materials, including novels, dictionaries, patriotic songs, and national anthems that could easily be circulated due to the advancements of this time period.


While the Romantic period allowed for the "awakening of dormant nations from their centuries of slumber," the impact of literature cannot be understated.

The boom in literary works during this time was a result of the impact of imperialism. Exploration, particularly on the part of Britain, was expanding relationships between foreign lands, and thus, it was now possible to "imagine a relationship with people one would never meet."

Explorers, such as Cook, could use the power of narrative to convey the details of their voyages and this new sense of a "virtual journey" offered readers new perspectives.

Authors of the romantic era… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Romantic Period.  (2011, March 8).  Retrieved January 15, 2019, from

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"Romantic Period."  Essay.  March 8, 2011.  Accessed January 15, 2019.