Emerson, transcendentalist philosophy, study, history
[Emerson, transcendentalist philosophy] Emerson, philosophy, history, transcendentalism

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Emerson's call for a
transcendentalist approach
to the study of history

In his famous essay entitled History Emerson wrote that:-
"There is one mind common to all individual men.
  Of the works of this mind history is the record. Man is explicable by nothing less than all his history. all the facts of history pre-exist as laws. Each law in turn is made by circumstances predominant. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded already in the first man. Epoch after epoch, camp, kingdom, empire, republic, democracy, are merely the application of this manifold spirit to the manifold world".
and also wrote that:-
"Man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose flower and fruitage is the world."
and also wrote that:-
" every history should be written in a wisdom which divined the range of our affinities and looked at facts as symbols. I am ashamed to see what a shallow village tale our so-called History is".
     

Emerson suggests that it is by looking at facts as symbolic of the application of human affinities that people may hope for a broader and deeper writing of history that would more truly express, and constructively demonstrate, Humanity's central and wide-related nature.

We have prepared a special introductory page to these fascinating issues and it is available from the following link:-     Emerson's transcendentalist approach


Emerson's call for a
transcendentalist approach
to the study of History

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Philosophy of History

Oswald Spengler
Decline of the West
Karl Marx
Historical Materialism
The Whig Interpretation
of History

Popular European History pages
at Age-of-the-Sage


The preparation of these pages was influenced to some degree by a particular "Philosophy of History" as suggested by this quote from the famous Essay "History" by Ralph Waldo Emerson:-
There is one mind common to all individual men...
Of the works of this mind history is the record. Its genius is illustrated by the entire series of days. Man is explicable by nothing less than all his history. Without hurry, without rest, the human spirit goes forth from the beginning to embody every faculty, every thought, every emotion, which belongs to it in appropriate events. But the thought is always prior to the fact; all the facts of history preexist in the mind as laws. Each law in turn is made by circumstances predominant, and the limits of nature give power to but one at a time. A man is the whole encyclopaedia of facts. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded already in the first man. Epoch after epoch, camp, kingdom, empire, republic, democracy, are merely the application of his manifold spirit to the manifold world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson's Essay "History"
Italian Unification - Cavour, Garibaldi and
the Unification of Risorgimento Italy
Otto von Bismarck &
The wars of German unification
Italian unification map
Risorgimento Italy
Map of German unification
1 The European Revolution of 1848 begins
A broad outline of the background to the onset of the turmoils and a consideration of some of the early events.

2 The French Revolution of 1848
A particular focus on France - as the influential Austrian minister Prince Metternich, who sought to encourage the re-establishment of "Order" in the wake of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic turmoils of 1789-1815, said:-"When France sneezes Europe catches a cold".

3 The Revolution of 1848 in the German Lands and central Europe
"Germany" had a movement for a single parliament in 1848 and many central European would-be "nations" attempted to assert a distinct existence separate from the dynastic sovereignties they had been living under.

4 The "Italian" Revolution of 1848
A "liberal" Papacy after 1846 helps allow the embers of an "Italian" national aspiration to rekindle across the Italian Peninsula.

5 The Monarchs recover power 1848-1849
Some instances of social and political extremism allow previously pro-reform conservative elements to support the return of traditional authority. Louis Napoleon, (who later became the Emperor Napoleon III), attains to power in France offering social stability at home but ultimately follows policies productive of dramatic change in the wider European structure of states and their sovereignty.

Introductory quotations
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"Central" mysticism insights
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"Other" spiritual wisdom
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"Central" poetry insights
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"Other" poetry wisdom
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Spirituality & the wider world