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City of Second SightNineteenth-Century Boston and the Making of American Visual Culture$
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Justin T. Clark

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469638737

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469638737.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CSO for personal use (for details see www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 19 May 2019

Ordering Boston’s Landscape

Ordering Boston’s Landscape

Chapter:
(p.9) 1 Ordering Boston’s Landscape
Source:
City of Second Sight
Author(s):

Justin T. Clark

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469638737.003.0002

Starting in the late 1820s, Unitarian intellectuals began to argue that vision was a miracle for the masses, a God-given channel of mental and moral self-culture. Steering parishioners between the extremes of deistic materialism and religious irrationalism, Unitarian ministers assured Bostonians that by becoming pious but rational witnesses to the world’s natural beauty, they could avoid “visionary” religious enthusiasm and the sensory dazzlement of fashion and drink. By creating a sacred urban geography of genteel parks, vistas, public buildings and monuments, Federalist and later Whig reformers hoped to forge a civic culture based on patriotic “associations” that would survive the city’s topographical and social transience.

Keywords:   City Planning, Built environment, History of Boston (Massachusetts), Federalism, Unitarianism

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