"The American Scholar," delivered in 1837, puts forth, as its title suggests, a distinctly American view. At the beginning of the speech, Emerson distinguishes American scholars from those of Europe and elsewhere and says, "The millions, that around us are rushing into life, cannot always be fed on the sere remains of foreign harvests." In other words, Americans must find their own studies and truths, separate from those of Europe, which he believes have "sere" or dry harvests and little to offer. In this way, the speech is nationalistic and calls for a distinctly American way of thinking.
The speech is also Romantic and Transcendentalist, as Emerson states, after presenting the allegory that there is one man, that "man is thus metamorphosed into a thing, into many things." He does not believe that people should be divided into their professional or occupational categories, such as farmers or professors, but instead believes that one person can be everything and all things, which follows from the Romantic and Transcendentalist idea in the potential for the perfection of humans. Also like a true Romantic and Transcendentalist, Emerson believes in the power of nature to teach people and writes, "The first in time and the first in importance of the influences upon the mind is that of nature." His belief in the ability of nature to impart eternal truths is a core belief of Transcendentalism and also follows from the spirit of Romanticism. He also believes, like Romantics, in the power of the individual and writes, "it becomes him to feel all confidence in himself, and to defer never to the popular cry." Emerson calls for people to trust their own inner truths--a core idea of Transcendentalism.