This site is a hypertextual extension to the project on Alan Trachtenberg's The Incorporation of America by the American Studies program at the University of Virginia. The overall purpose of the project is two-fold. It explores the meaning and significance of what Trachtenberg reveals to be a creation of the public sphere in America's Gilded Age. I have taken a look at public art, specifically, confederate monuments created in this time period, as an entryway into a discussion of this emerging public sphere. My hope is that the project reveals some of the characteristics and functions of the public sphere in both the post - Civil War South and in general. I also hope that it reveals the public sphere to be more than the world of parks and politics, but an ever-changing medium by which Americans seek to define themselves and their country.

This project also compliments Trachtenberg's discussion of the World's Fair as an event which sought to define America in the post - Civil War era. I wish to show that while the World's Fair sought to appeal to, portray, and thereby create a nation unified through an amalgam of culture, science, industry, and progress, an equally public and equally sizable though localized movement in the South bore witness to the differences that divided the country before the war and the differences and division that continue as its legacy. In short, this widespread movement of local Confederate monuments was a formidable opponent for the World's Fair in the struggle to define America through the public sphere.

Site Created and Maintained by Elizabeth Paul

January 18, 1999

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