Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Morphing Monument: The Lincoln Memorial Across Time
by Rine, Julia, M.S.Arch., University of Cincinnati, 2014, 87; 1559779
Abstract (Summary)

The Lincoln Memorial Monument is one of the most successful monuments in Washington D.C. Abraham Lincoln's achievements in his presidency left imprints on every American's life. His memory lives on through the generations. The monument was originally considered a Union Civil War and Presidential memorial, but has evolved into something more. This thesis will analyze the evolution on this monument. This memorial has adapted to a shifting nature of its meaning to different generations throughout the history of the United States. This nature is attributed to its location, the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil War, and the personal character of Abraham Lincoln.

A major aspect of success comes from the location and iconography of the site. The statue alone inspires a spiritual connection to the struggles of Lincoln. The memorial was placed on the direct axis of the National Mall. This is considered a location of great honor and is easily accessible to visitors. The site and design also allows a massive amount of people to gather and participate in events on the grounds of the monument. A visit to the Lincoln Memorial is a remarkable journey though American history and the extraordinary memorials and monuments of the National Mall.

Another crucial aspect to the success of this monument in Washington D.C. is the struggle for civil rights. The Civil Rights Movement was able to use the monument as a stage for protest. The movement could then use the Lincoln Memorial and the character of Lincoln as part of its iconography. This fundamentally changed the meaning of the Lincoln Memorial Monument. This allowed a major shift in the meaning of the movement, allowing the monument to grow within another generation of Americans.

The personal life and views of Lincoln led to many of his successes and accomplishments throughout his political career. His experiences in life impacted many of his policies and the laws that he stood for in the United States. Lincoln's character proved to be inspirational in a time of need and slavery. His political stances paved the way for sociopolitical changes in the United States. His character is a crucial aspect in understanding the need to honor such a great man. The circumstances of Lincoln's death have also made him into a martyr for abolition. The assassination created a legacy in the history of the United States.

Events of the Civil War and its time period also played a crucial matter in the Lincoln memorial's success. The American Civil War and the division of the United States of America proved to be an altering time in American history. Many Southern politicians fought for the right to maintain individual states' rights. These rights mainly pertained to slavery. As the conflict over slavery continued, a total of eleven states seceded from the Union to create the Confederate States of America. The Civil War lasted four years with hundreds of thousands of deaths. In the end, the Union triumphed and the United States remained one nation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Snadon, Patrick
Commitee: Elleh, Nnamdi
School: University of Cincinnati
Department: Architecture
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: MAI 53/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, Art history, Architecture
Keywords: Civil rights movement, Civil war, Lincoln memorial, Lincoln, abraham, Monument, National mall
Publication Number: 1559779
ISBN: 978-1-321-00786-2
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