Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of History

Committee Chair

Kyle Volk

Commitee Members

Anya Jabour, Dave Beck


Civil War, Nationalism, Historical Memory, Reconstruction


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Cultural History | Intellectual History | United States History


The eighty-ninth anniversary of the declaration of American independence from Britain, on July 4, 1865, caught the nation at a critical time in its history. The great national crisis of civil war was over, but the nation had not yet re-united. The thesis argues that in the aftermath of the Civil War, American nationalism could not be reconstituted on neither an ethnic nor a civic model. Rather, on the eighty-ninth anniversary of Independence, the course of American Nationalism fell out along lines decreed by historical memory. The narrative construction of the past in the present constituted the only common thread on which to build a sense of national identity. In short, the thesis represents an in-depth study of national identity on the first anniversary of independence after the end of the Civil War.



© Copyright 2015 Sorn A. Jessen