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Even though the French Revolution ended in a dictatorship, the Romantic poets saw it as a glorious event in that it represented the power of ordinary citizens and the power of the individual to rise up against tyranny. The American Revolution also occurred during the heart of the Romantic period. America's version of Romanticism was Transcendentalism, most notably the authors Thoreau, Emerson and Walt Whitman, who all wrote about the individual. So the political influence on Romanticism was a celebration of democracy and the power and ingenuity of the individual - from any social class. Whitman's "Song of Myself" is the anthem of this idea, just as Emerson's "Self-Reliance," is the lecture to the individual and the mantra is Thoreau's "march to the beat of your own drummer." In general, the political background of the Romantic period is revolution and the struggle for individual freedom in democracy. On both sides of the Atlantic.
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