Unitarianism, the more liberal Christianity, was the dominant religion in Boston in the 1800s and it became one of the main influences of Transcendentalism. The only differences between the two was that Transcendentalism separated from the strict religious limitations and it focused even further on individualism.
Primarily emerging in the 1830s, Transcendentalism developed in a time of American nationalism and industrialism. After the War of 1812, where Americans completely escaped from the British control, there was the push for more creativity in every area of American culture. On the other hand there was a tremendous increase in industrialism from factories to mills. This was the complete opposite of Transcendental beliefs since it destroyed self reliance,disregarded nature's importance and diminished the superiority of the individual compared to government. Nevertheless, Transcendentalism beliefs still shaped American philosophy regardless of the oppositions, some of its beliefs are still followed today.
With this new feeling of freedom, not only did transcendentalism emerge but also the Second Great Awakening, Abolitionism, and the fight for equality for women. Transcendentalists supported both women rights and abolition because they believed in importance of the individual above government and believed that all people were divine so women and African Americans deserved this equality.