Romanticism was a secular and intellectual movement in the history of ideas that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. It followed the Enlightenment period and was in part inspired by a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the previous period, as well as a reaction against the rationalization of nature by the Enlightenment: Romanticism is an aspect of what has been called the Counter-Enlightenment. It stressed strong emotion (which now might include trepidation, awe, and horror as aesthetic experiences), legitimized the individual imagination as a critical authority (which permitted freedom within or from classical notions of form in art), and overturned some previous social conventions. There was a strong recourse to historical and natural inevitability in the representation of its ideas.
Romanticism stressed the awe of "nature" in art and language and the experience of sublimity through a connection with nature. An influence upon the Romantic movement by the ideologies and events of the French Revolution is thought to have characterized the movement. Romanticism is also noted for its elevation of the achievements of what it perceived as misunderstood heroic individuals and artists that altered society altogether.