The Fireside Poets Were Popular At A Time When The United States

1382 Words Nov 22nd, 2016 6 Pages
The fireside poets were popular at a time when the United States was a new nation, suffering pressure from outside governments as well as growing pains of its own. Historical events such as the War of 1812 threatened to overwhelm the young democracy. At the same time, there was the beginning of the push for westward expansion, and the beginnings of the schism over slavery which would culminate in the Civil War. The fireside poets represented a movement to involve the reader in events of the current day through literature. Most of them had causes about which they were passionate, and they incorporated this into their writing, inviting readers to consider highly charged issues such as abolition, workers’ rights, and immigration on a level that was more personal than had previously been done. Literature has frequently been reflective of the social and political climate in which it is written. The fireside poets were one of the first groups to take their views to a more real-world level, in founding magazines such as the Atlantic Monthly (John Greenleaf Whittier), supporting public projects such as Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (William Cullen Bryant), and even founding a political party and running for Congress (John Greenleaf Whittier). The lead-up to the Civil War was also weighing on the minds of many, which prompted Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to write “Paul Revere’s Ride”, an encouragement to a young country facing a serious conflict. Far from…
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