REMEMBERING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION IN TIMES OF CRISIS, 1939-1945
AuthorFISCHER, DANA ELIZABETH
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractIn American society, the collective memory of the American past has historically been characterized by consensus, intended to support social stability. However, from 1939 to 1945, this pattern breaks off as the past is politicized –becoming the beacon of democracy against the totalitarian regimes characterized by the Axis powers during World War II. Newspaper articles for the New Year, cultural events such as children’s literature, plays, and memorials, as well as academic work all reexamine the American past, and the American Revolution in particular, drawing distinct connections between the two eras. This use of the past supported democracy in the face of oppressive regimes, and signaled a desire to encourage democratic traditions throughout the world. The imagery and characters of the Revolution colored the cultural dialogue of the World War II era in the United States, changing the way Americans considered their own past and inherited legacies.