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Date of Graduation
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of History
Prior to the events in Charlottesville, Virginia in August of 2017, there has been debate about what should or should not be done with Confederate monuments that dot the Southern landscape. The debate continues as to what these monuments mean to those in the communities they are located. Many individuals see them as a symbol of heritage and history, while others see them as racist and glorifying men who fought to maintain slavery. Public opinion and memory surrounding these monuments has not always been negative however. During the time of their creation Lost Cause ideology played a large part in their creation which would continue well over 100 years after the end of the war.
This thesis will examine newspaper articles as well as other online forums, in order to gather information about how the public felt about three specific Confederate monuments in Virginia: the Jefferson Davis Monument in Richmond, Virginia, Lee Chapel in Lexington, Virginia, and the Stonewall Jackson statue in Charlottesville, Virginia. The first chapter will discuss the three monuments and opinion during their creation from the late 1890s to the 1920s. The second chapter will focus on these monuments during the 1960s with the height of the Civil Rights Movement as well as the Civil War Centennial celebration. Finally, the last chapter will examine the public opinion gathered from the mid-2010s until current memory.
Pendleton, Morgan Brittany, "Memorializing Men of the Lost Cause: Public Opinion of Confederate Monuments in Virginia 1900-Present" (2019). Masters Theses, 2010-2019. 634.