The Romantic movement began in the late eighteenth century and reached its apex of popularity during the first half of the nineteenth century. It is often said to be a response or reaction to the Enlightenment, which began in the very early eighteenth century. Romanticism championed all the things that the Enlightenment did not. While Enlightenment philosophers prized rational thought, the scientific method, and empirical evidence collected from experimentation, the Romantics appreciated intense emotion, creative genius, and imagination. The Romantics found nature to be a major source of inspiration as well as a purifying, improving influence on humanity. They believed that emotion is more central to the human experience than reason because we must be taught to reason, but we are born knowing how to feel deeply.