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75 Historical Background of the Romantic Movement in England Romanticism is a response to neo-Classicism (or the Age of Reason) and in England

it lasted from 1789 to 1832. Historians often see the rise of Romanticism connected with the Industrial Revolution, or with the American War of Independence and the French Revolution. The Industrial Revolution: The term Industrial Revolution was first popularized by Arnold Toynbee (1852-83) to describe Englands economic development from 1760 to 1840, but it is not possible to fix this period of time exactly. The term generally means the development of improved spinning and weaving machines, James Watts steam engine, the railway locomotive and the factory system. But there was a long series of fundamental, technological, economic, social and cultural changes which, taken together, constitute the Industrial Revolution. It must be seen more as a process than as a period of time (not revolution, but evolution). The Industrial Revolution brought two kinds of changes, technological- and socio-economic-cultural changes. The technological changes included the use of new raw materials (iron, steel), new energy sources coal, the steam engine, electricity, petroleum and the internal combustion engine), the invention of new machines (spinning jenny, power loom), new organization of work (factory system), important developments in transportation and communication (steam locomotive, steamship, automobile, airplane, telegraph, radio)."These technological changes made possible a tremendously increased use of natural resources and the mass production of manufactured goods. The non-industrial changes included agricultural improvements, economic changes (wider distribution of wealth), political changes (new polical innovations corresponding to the needs of an industrialized society), sweeping social changes (growth of cities, development of working-class movements, the emergence of new patterns of authority, cultural transformations of a broad range. The worker acquired new skills, his relationship to his work changed. He became a machine operator, subject to factory discipline.. Finally there was a psychological change: mans confidence in his ability to use resources and to master nature was heightened.

The French Revolution: French Revolution means the movement in France, between 1787 and 1799, which reached its first climax in 1789 (Revolution of 1789). The events in France gave new hope to other revolutionaries in Europe. All who wanted changes in other countries too, viewed the Revolution with sympathy. Revolutionary clubs were founded and there were demonstrations in the streets in many European countries. The killing of Robespierre was a very important date for the other European movements. English political philosophers were deeply influenced by the French Revolution, Thomas Paine for example. In 1787 Thomas Paine (1737-1809) left for England, but after the outbreak of the French Revolution he became deeply involved in it. Paine supported the French Revolution and defended it against the attacks by Edmund Burke. Because of a book that opposed the monarchy in England he was to be arrested, but after having been elected to the National Convention, he was already on his way to France. But 1793 under Robespierre he was arrested, because he had voted against the

76 execution of the dethroned king Louis XVI. William Wordsworth (1770-1850) first viewed the revolution with sympathy too, but later under Robespierre and his reign of terror he was more and more disgusted with it and its violent excesses.

The Napoleonic Wars: The Napoleonic Wars were another big event at that time. Those were the wars led by Napoleon Bonaparte against Europe from the end of the 18th century until the year of 1815. The wars ended in 1815 when Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo. After the victory over France England became one of the strongest, richest and most powerful countries in the world.

The Romantic era was a period of great change and emancipation. While the Classical era had strict laws of balance and restraint, the Romantic era moved away from that by allowing artistic freedom, experimentation, and creativity. The music of this time period was very expressive, and melody became the dominant feature. Composers even used this expressive means to display nationalism . This became a driving force in the late Romantic period, as composers used elements of folk music to express their cultural identity. As in any time of change, new musical techniques came about to fit in with the current trends. Composers began to experiment with length of compositions, new harmonies, and tonal relationships. Additionally, there was the increased use of dissonance and extended use of chromaticism . Another important feature of Romantic music was the use of color. While new instruments were constantly being added to the orchestra, composers also tried to get new or different sounds out of the instruments already in use. One of the new forms was the symphonic poem , which was an orchestral work that portrayed a story or had some kind of literary or artistic background to it. Another was the art song , which was a vocal musical work with tremendous emphasis placed on the text or the symbolical meanings of words within the text. Likewise, opera became increasingly popular, as it continued to musically tell a story and to express the issues of the day. Some of the themes that composers wrote about were the escape from political oppression, the fates of national or religious groups, and the events which were taking place in far off settings or exotic climates. This allowed an element of fantasy to be used by composers. During the Romantic period, the virtuoso began to be focused. Exceptionally gifted performers pianists, violinists, and singers -- became enormously popular. Liszt, the great Hungarian pianist/composer, reportedly played with such passion and intensity that women in the audience would faint. Most composers were also virtuoso performers; it was inevitable that the music they wrote would be extremely challenging to play.

77 Romanticism (or the Romantic era/Period) was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe and strengthened in reaction to the Industrial Revolution.[1] In part, it was a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature.[2] It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography,[3] education[4] and natural history.[5] The movement validated strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation, horror and terror and aweespecially that which is experienced in confronting the sublimity of untamed nature and its picturesque qualities, both new aesthetic categories. It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble, made spontaneity a desirable characteristic (as in the musical impromptu), and argued for a "natural" epistemology of human activities as conditioned by nature in the form of language and customary usage. Romanticism reached beyond the rational and Classicist ideal models to elevate a revived medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived to be authentically medieval, in an attempt to escape the confines of population growth, urban sprawl, and industrialism, and it also attempted to embrace the exotic, unfamiliar, and distant in modes more authentic than Rococo chinoiserie, harnessing the power of the imagination to envision and to escape. The modern sense of a romantic character may be expressed in Byronic ideals of a gifted, perhaps misunderstood loner, creatively following the dictates of his inspiration rather than the standard ways of contemporary society. Although the movement was rooted in the German Sturm und Drang movement, which prized intuition and emotion over Enlightenment rationalism, the ideologies and events of the French Revolution laid the background from which both Romanticism and the Counter-Enlightenment emerged. The confines of the Industrial Revolution also had their influence on Romanticism, which was in part an escape from modern realities; indeed, in the second half of the 19th century, "Realism" was offered as a polarized opposite to Romanticism.[6] Romanticism elevated the achievements of what it perceived as heroic individualists and artists, whose pioneering examples would elevate society. It also legitimized the individual imagination as a critical authority, which permitted freedom from classical notions of form in art. There was a strong recourse to historical and natural inevitability, a zeitgeist, in the representation of its ideas. In a basic sense, the term "Romanticism" has been used to refer to certain artists, poets, writers, musicians, as well as political, philosophical and social thinkers of the late 18th and early to mid 19th centuries. It has equally been used to refer to various artistic, intellectual, and social trends of that era. Despite this general usage of the term, a precise characterization and specific definition of Romanticism have been the subject of debate in the fields of intellectual history and literary history throughout the 20th century, without any great measure of consensus emerging. Arthur Lovejoy attempted to demonstrate the difficulty of defining Romanticism in his seminal article "On The Discrimination of Romanticisms" in his Essays in the History of Ideas (1948); some scholars see romanticism as essentially continuous with the present, some like Robert Hughes see in it the inaugural moment of modernity,[7] some like Chateaubriand, 'Novalis' and Samuel Taylor Coleridge see it as the beginning of a tradition of resistance to Enlightenment rationalisma 'Counter-Enlightenment' [8][9] to be associated most closely with German Romanticism. Still

78 others place it firmly in the direct aftermath of the French Revolution.[citation needed] An earlier definition comes from Charles Baudelaire: "Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor exact truth, but in the way of feeling."[10] [edit] Counter-Enlightenment Many intellectual historians have seen Romanticism as a key movement in the CounterEnlightenment, a reaction against the Age of Enlightenment. While the thinkers of the Enlightenment emphasized the primacy of reason, Romanticism emphasized intuition, imagination, and feeling, to a point that has led to some Romantic thinkers being accused of irrationalism[citation needed]. Romanticism focuses on Nature: a place free from society's judgment and restrictions. Romanticism blossomed after the age of Rationalism, a time that focused on scientific reasoning. [edit] Genius, originality, authorship The Romantic movement developed the idea of the absolute originality and artistic inspiration by the individual genius, which performs a "creation from nothingness;" this is the so-called Romantic ideology of literary authorship, which created the notion of plagiarism and the guilt of a derivativeness.[11][12][13][14] This idea is often called "romantic originality."[15][16][17] The romantic poets turned their beliefs on originality into "the institution of originality."[18][19] The English poet John Milton, who lived in the 17th century, was part of the origin of the concept.[20] This idea was in contrast with the preceding artistic tradition, in which copying had been seen as a fundamental practice of the creative process; and has been especially challenged since the beginning of the 20th century, with the boom of the modernist and postmodern movements.[14][21][22] In literature, Romanticism found recurrent themes in the evocation or criticism of the past, the cult of "sensibility" with its emphasis on women and children, the heroic isolation of the artist or narrator, and respect for a new, wilder, untrammeled and "pure" nature. Furthermore, several romantic authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, based their writings on the supernatural/occult and human psychology. Romanticism also helped in the emergence of new ideas and in the process led to the emergence of positive voices that were beneficial for the marginalized sections of the society. The roots of romanticism in poetry go back to the time of Alexander Pope (16881744).[25] Early pioneers include Joseph Warton (headmaster at Winchester College) and his brother Thomas Warton, professor of Poetry at Oxford University.[25] Joseph maintained that invention and imagination were the chief qualities of a poet. The "poet's poet" Thomas Chatterton is generally considered to be the first Romantic poet in English.[26] The Scottish poet James Macpherson influenced the early development of Romanticism with the international success of his Ossian cycle of poems published in 1762, inspiring both Goethe and the young Walter Scott. Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770), the first Romantic poet in the English language[26]

79 An early German influence came from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose 1774 novel The Sorrows of Young Werther had young men throughout Europe emulating its protagonist, a young artist with a very sensitive and passionate temperament. At that time Germany was a multitude of small separate states, and Goethe's works would have a seminal influence in developing a unifying sense of nationalism. Another philosophic influence came from the German idealism of Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Schelling, making Jena (where Fichte lived, as well as Schelling, Hegel, Schiller and the brothers Schlegel) a center for early German romanticism ("Jenaer Romantik"). Important writers were Ludwig Tieck, Novalis (Heinrich von Ofterdingen, 1799), Heinrich von Kleist and Friedrich Hlderlin. Heidelberg later became a center of German romanticism, where writers and poets such as Clemens Brentano, Achim von Arnim, and Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff met regularly in literary circles. Important motifs in German Romanticism are travelling, nature, and ancient myths. The later German Romanticism of, for example, E. T. A. Hoffmann's Der Sandmann (The Sandman), 1817, and Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff's Das Marmorbild (The Marble Statue), 1819, was darker in its motifs and has gothic elements. Early Russian Romanticism is associated with the writers Konstantin Batyushkov (A Vision on the Shores of the Lethe, 1809), Vasily Zhukovsky (The Bard, 1811; Svetlana, 1813) and Nikolay Karamzin (Poor Liza, 1792; Julia, 1796; Martha the Mayoress, 1802; The Sensitive and the Cold, 1803). However the principal exponent of Romanticism in Russia is Alexander Pushkin (The Prisoner of the Caucasus, 18201821; The Robber Brothers, 1822; Ruslan and Ludmila, 1820; Eugene Onegin, 18251832). Pushkin's work influenced many writers in the 19th century and led to his eventual recognition as Russia's greatest poet.[27] Other Russian poets include Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time, 1839), Fyodor Tyutchev (Silentium!, 1830), Yevgeny Baratynsky's (Eda, 1826), Anton Delvig, and Wilhelm Kchelbecker. Influenced heavily by Lord Byron, the foremost British Romantic poet of the time period, Lermontov sought to explore the Romantic emphasis on metaphysical discontent with society and self, while Tyutchev's poems often described scenes of nature or passions of love. Tyutchev commonly operated with such categories as night and day, north and south, dream and reality, cosmos and chaos, and the still world of winter and spring teeming with life. Baratynsky's style was fairly classical in nature, dwelling on the models of the previous century. Konstantin Batyushkov (1787-1855)-one of the notable poets of Russian Romantism Polish Romanticism's unique qualities was its relation to and inspiration from Polish history.[28] Polish Romanticism revived the old "Sarmatism" traditions of Polish nobility (the szlachta). Old traditions and customs were revived and portrayed in a positive light in the Polish messianic movement and in works of great Polish poets such as Adam Mickiewicz (Pan Tadeusz), Juliusz Sowacki and Zygmunt Krasiski, as well as the writers (Henryk Sienkiewicz's Trylogia). This close connection between Polish Romanticism and Polish history became one of the defining qualities of the literature of Polish Romanticism period, differentiating it from that of other countries. They had not suffered the loss of national statehood as was the case with Poland.[29] In Spain, the Romantic movement developed a well-known literature with a huge variety of poets and playwrights. The most important Spanish poet during this movement was Jos de Espronceda. After him there were other poets like Gustavo Adolfo Bcquer, Mariano Jos de Larra and the

80 dramatist Jos Zorrilla, author of Don Juan Tenorio. Before them may be mentioned the preromantics Jos Cadalso and Manuel Jos Quintana.[30] Spanish Romanticism also influenced regional literatures. For example, in Catalonia and in Galicia there was a national boom of writers in the local languages, like the Catalan Jacint Verdaguer and the Galician Rosala de Castro, the main figures of the national revivalist movements Renaixena and Rexurdimento, respectively.[31] Brazilian Romanticism is characterized and divided in three different periods. The first one is basically focused in the creation of a sense of national identity, using the ideal of the heroic Indian. Some examples include Jos de Alencar, who wrote "Iracema" and "O Guarani", and Gonalves Dias, renowned by the poem "Cano do Exlio" (Song of the Exile). The second period is marked by a profound influence of European themes and traditions, involving the melancholy, sadness and despair related to unobtainable love. Goethe and Lord Byron are commonly quoted in these works. The third cycle is marked by social poetry, especially the abolitionist movement; the greatest writer of this period is Castro Alves.[32] Romanticism in British literature developed in a different form slightly later, mostly associated with the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose co-authored book Lyrical Ballads (1798) sought to reject Augustan poetry in favour of more direct speech derived from folk traditions. Both poets were also involved in utopian social thought in the wake of the French Revolution. The poet and painter William Blake is the most extreme example of the Romantic sensibility in Britain, epitomized by his claim I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's. Blake's artistic work is also strongly influenced by Medieval illuminated books. The painters J. M. W. Turner and John Constable are also generally associated with Romanticism. Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, John Keats and John Clare constitute another phase of Romanticism in Britain. In predominantly Roman Catholic countries Romanticism was less pronounced than in Germany and Britain, and tended to develop later, after the rise of Napoleon. Franois-Ren de Chateaubriand is often called the "Father of French Romanticism". In France, the movement is associated with the 19th century, particularly in the paintings of Thodore Gricault and Eugne Delacroix, the plays, poems and novels of Victor Hugo (such as Les Misrables and NinetyThree)(also, Victor Hugo, in the preface to "Cromwell" states that " there are no rules, or models" in Romanticism), and the novels of Alexandre Dumas and Stendhal. Modern Portuguese poetry definitely develops its outstanding character from the work of its Romantic epitome, Almeida Garrett, a very prolific writer who helped shape the genre with the masterpiece Folhas Cadas (1853). This late arrival of a truly personal Romantic style would linger on to the beginning of the 20th century, notably through the works of poets such as Cesrio Verde and Antnio Nobre, segueing seamlessly to Modernism. However, an early Portuguese expression of Romanticism is found already in the genius of Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage, especially in his sonnets dated at the end of the 18th century. In the United States, romantic Gothic literature made an early appearance with Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820) and Rip Van Winkle (1819), followed from 1823 onwards by the Leatherstocking Tales of James Fenimore Cooper, with their emphasis on heroic simplicity and their fervent landscape descriptions of an already-exotic mythicized frontier peopled by "noble savages", similar to the philosophical theory of Rousseau, exemplified by Uncas, from The Last of

81

the Mohicans. There are picturesque "local color" elements in Washington Irving's essays and

especially his travel books. Edgar Allan Poe's tales of the macabre and his balladic poetry were more influential in France than at home, but the romantic American novel developed fully in Nathaniel Hawthorne's atmosphere and melodrama. Later Transcendentalist writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson still show elements of its influence and imagination, as does the romantic realism of Walt Whitman. The poetry of Emily Dickinsonnearly unread in her own timeand Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick can be taken as epitomes of American Romantic literature. By the 1880s, however, psychological and social realism was competing with romanticism in the novel. [edit] Influence of European Romanticism on American writers The European Romantic movement reached America in the early 19th century. American Romanticism was just as multifaceted and individualistic as it was in Europe. Like the Europeans, the American Romantics demonstrated a high level of moral enthusiasm, commitment to individualism and the unfolding of the self, an emphasis on intuitive perception, and the assumption that the natural world was inherently good, while human society was filled with corruption.[33] Romanticism became popular in American politics, philosophy and art. The movement appealed to the revolutionary spirit of America as well as to those longing to break free of the strict religious traditions of early settlement. The Romantics rejected rationalism and religious intellect. It appealed to those in opposition of Calvinism, which includes the belief that the destiny of each individual is preordained. The Romantic movement gave rise to New England Transcendentalism which portrayed a less restrictive relationship between God and Universe. The new religion presented the individual with a more personal relationship with God. Transcendentalism and Romanticism appealed to Americans in a similar fashion, for both privileged feeling over reason, individual freedom of expression over the restraints of tradition and custom. It often involved a rapturous response to nature. It encouraged the rejection of harsh, rigid Calvinism, and promised a new blossoming of American culture.[33][34] American Romanticism embraced the individual and rebelled against the confinement of neoclassicism and religious tradition. The Romantic movement in America created a new literary genre that continues to influence American writers. Novels, short stories, and poems replaced the sermons and manifestos of yore. Romantic literature was personal, intense, and portrayed more emotion than ever seen in neoclassical literature. America's preoccupation with freedom became a great source of motivation for Romantic writers as many were delighted in free expression and emotion without so much fear of ridicule and controversy. They also put more effort into the psychological development of their characters, and the main characters typically displayed extremes of sensitivity and excitement.[35] [edit] Influence of war on Romantic writings The Romantic Era is a time in history that was surrounded by war. The Seven Years' War (1756 1763), the French and Indian War (17541763), and the American Revolution (17751783) which directly preceded the French Revolution (17891799)are all examples. These wars, along with the political and social turmoil that went along with them, served as the background for Romanticism. The strong feelings that wartime produces served as a catalyst for an

82 outpouring of art and literature, the likes of which had never been seen before. The writing was so different in fact, that it sparked its own new "era": The Romantic Era[36] The works of the Romantic Era are a vast and unique collection of literary works. However, they can all be said to have at least these characteristics: A love of nature, a sense of nationalism, and a sense of exoticism/the supernatural. These simple characteristics can be linked back to the fact that these works were being written in time of political turmoil. For example, the nationalism seen in Romantic works may be attributed to the fact that the authors of the time took pride in their country, their people, and their cause. It was the writers way of contributing to the fight.[36] The works of the Romantic Era also differed from preceding works in that they spoke to the common people. Romantics strove towards literature and arts that were for everyone, not just wealthy aristocracy. Much of the writing predating the Romantic Era was written for, and in the style of, only the wealthy upper classes. Romantics had a hand in changing this aroundand it may have been because they were trying to connect with the commoners. In a time of war and political uneasiness, the writers were reaching out for a connection with their equals, not to those above them, the ones fueling the wars.[36] During the Romantic period there was an increase in female authors as well. This can be attributed to the fact that this period was submerged in wartime. The women were at home, without a way to express their feelings, fight for the cause, or even connect to those around them. The writings of female Romantic writers, such as Mary Favret, are infused with feeling, and sometime even reference the war itself, e.g. Favret's War in the Air.[36]

I. Historical Background In America: The 1776 revolution seemed far away and relatively unimportant to most of the British, more an economic concern than a matter of significant social upheaval. Edmund Burke, the late-18thcentury English conservative even argued in favor of the American cause: besides the inherent unfairness of taxation without representation, he thought the British were violating the property rights of the American colonists, who were, after all, often relatives of the British upper classes. The ideals of the American Revolution did have more significant impact in France (see Thomas Paine's 1791-1792 Rights of Man in particular). In France: Rousseau's 1762 Social Contract opens with the words: "Man is born free, and is everywhere in chains." The writings of Rousseau, Diderot, and Voltaire suggested that all men are by nature free and equal. These egalitarian, democratic ideals gave rise to the battle cry "liberty, equality, fraternity" in the revolution of the French masses against an oppressive nobility. "Joyous Revolution" The July 14, 1789 storming of the Bastille by the Parisian mob began the French Revolution. In France, England, and all over Europe, there were ecstatic hopes among common people for freedom and equality in a new age of dissolved social barriers. At the beginning, the French Revolution was

83 seen not just as the overthrow of an unjust ruling class but of traditional society altogether: this would be the dawn of the age of the common man, the privileges of birth and heredity would be no more. The revolutionary spirit inspired individual energies and lifted the limits on personal ambition. The idea of a commoner becoming leader of a country ruled for centuries by absolute monarchs was not out of the questionNapoleon, for instance, could happen.

William Wordsworth: "Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, / But to be young was very Heaven!" (The Prelude, Book XI, 108-9).
"Europe at that time was thrilled with joy, / France, standing on the top of golden hours, / And human nature seeming born again" (The Prelude, Book VI, 340-42).

William Hazlitt: "It was the dawn of a new era, a new impulse had been given to men's

minds, and the sun of Liberty rose upon the sun of life in the same day, and both were proud to run their race together." Revolution grows bloody In September, 1792, after the moderate Girondin party had been replaced in power by the radical Jacobins, more than a thousand royalist prisoners were massacred by the Parisian mob. In the Reign of Terror under Maximilien Robespierre (May, 1793-July, 1794), thousands of supposed counterrevolutionaries were guillotined, including nobility, royalist sympathizers, and Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. After five years of growing disillusionment with political activism and a decline in popular sympathy for the "glorious cause," the Revolution culminated in Napoleon establishing himself as absolute ruler. Napoleon, as you recall, led French armies in wars of aggression all over Europe. In England: The British aristocracy and government responded to the excitement generated by the French Revolution among the English lower and middle classes with strong reactionary measures; those in power feared the revolutionary contagion would spread to England. The channel coast was watched for possible invasion; the rights of free speech and habeas corpus (no imprisonment without trial) were curtailed; mass public meetings were forbidden without governmental permission; known liberals, radicals and revolutionary sympathizers were spied upon and berated as "Jacobins," and many, including William Blake, were arrested. After the Revolution turned bloody, most British sympathizers were disappointed and abandoned the French cause. With only one brief pause, from 1793-1815 England was at war with France, who promised aid to any countries who overthrew their rulers and attempted under Napoleon to dominate all of Europe, and English patriotism ran high. English liberals and radicals, though, were still inspired by the ideals behind the French Revolution, "liberty, equality, fraternity"; to an extent, they held the attitude that the French were barbarians with a few good ideas. The seeds of revolutionary change were sown in England in the 1790s, and the cries for reform and a radical new vision in society, politics, and in art gave rise to the English "Romantic Era." Meanwhile A more insidious and profound revolution was born within England herself, the Industrial Revolution. The turn of the 19th century saw the rise of modern technology in the dawning age of

84 machines, factories, and mass production. As Britain moved from a rural, agrarian economy with home-production of textiles and other goods to urban industrialization, there was great material progress for the wealthy manufacturers, which included not just aristocratic landowners but also the more enterprising among the middle class. But the lower classes paid a heavy price for industrial "progress": manufacturing towns quickly became slums, housing was inadequate, working conditions were terrible, with long hours, tiny wages, and children and women laborers suffering worst of all. Poverty, vice, sickness, early deaththese new "city" problems went largely unchecked by intervention of the "authorities"; laissez-faire policies held that free-market economics would sort out all problemssocial Darwinism before its time. The result: the poor got poorer, the rich richer. Civil Unrest As times got harder for the working classes, social tensions rose. In 1816 workers petitioned and rioted and destroyed industrial machinery. In August, 1819 more than 50,000 disgruntled workers gathered in St. Peter's Field in Manchester to hear poet and activist Leigh Hunt speak. The assembly was peaceable, but nervous authorities called out the military to disperse the crowd. 11 were killed and hundreds wounded in the "Peterloo Massacre." Continued social tensions resulted in the Reform Bill of 1832, which established new Parliamentary districts to account for the population shift from rural areas to urban and expanded voting rights to include more of the middle class.

The Romantic era was a period of great change and emancipation. While the Classical era had strict laws of balance and restraint, the Romantic era moved away from that by allowing artistic freedom, experimentation, and creativity. The music of this time period was very expressive, and melody became the dominant feature. Composers even used this expressive means to display nationalism . This became a driving force in the late Romantic period, as composers used elements of folk music to express their cultural identity. As in any time of change, new musical techniques came about to fit in with the current trends. Composers began to experiment with length of compositions, new harmonies, and tonal relationships. Additionally, there was the increased use of dissonance and extended use of chromaticism . Another important feature of Romantic music was the use of color. While new instruments were constantly being added to the orchestra, composers also tried to get new or different sounds out of the instruments already in use. One of the new forms was the symphonic poem , which was an orchestral work that portrayed a story or had some kind of literary or artistic background to it. Another was the art song , which was a vocal musical work with tremendous emphasis placed on the text or the symbolical meanings of words within the text. Likewise, opera became increasingly popular, as it continued to musically tell a story and to express the issues of the day. Some of the themes that composers wrote about were the escape from political oppression, the fates of national or religious groups, and the events which were taking place in far off settings or exotic climates. This allowed an element of fantasy to be used by composers.

85 During the Romantic period, the virtuoso began to be focused. Exceptionally gifted performers pianists, violinists, and singers -- became enormously popular. Liszt, the great Hungarian pianist/composer, reportedly played with such passion and intensity that women in the audience would faint. Most composers were also virtuoso performers; it was inevitable that the music they wrote would be extremely challenging to play. Some of the important features of the social background of the Romantic Period (1770-1850) are as follows: 1. At the beginning of the Romantic Period Britain was still largely an agrarian economy. However, by the end of the period it had become a rapidly industrializing nation. This was possible because of both the agrarian and industrial revolutions of the time. 2. During this period the population of the country more than doubled. This dramatic increase in the population expanded the labor force and it increased the demand for goods and services. This indirectly further spurred the industrial revolution which proved economically beneficial. 3. The rapid industrialization and the increasing population contributed to the process of urbanization and soon Britain became the world's first urbanized society. 4. There were remarkable developments in the transportation system. Better roads and the canal system enabled goods to be transported cheaply and quickly. The revolution in transportation culminated in the beginnings of the railway system. 5. The Agrarian and Industrial Revolutions resulted in the rise of a newly rich bourgeois or middle class. However, ownership of land was the single important marker of social status. The newly rich industrial and commercial class often tried to purchase social status by buying up land from the rural gentry. 6. Gender roles and sensibilities were clearly defined. Society was organized along patriarchal lines with the women confined to the domestic sphere so that men could play an active role in the public sphere. 7.In religion, Wesleyan Methodism led to an evangelical revival which led to a large number of poor down trodden people becoming Christian believers. Scholars believe that this to a large extent prevented a revolution like that of the French Revolution taking place in Britain. 8. A major historical and political event of this period was the French Revolution. All the Romantic poets initially supported the French Revolution with its promise of 'Liberty Equality and Fraternity.' However, this was soon followed by a reaction against the French Revolution by these same poets because of the excesses committed during the revolution which was followed by the rise of Napoleon who wanted to invade England.