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Civil War Monuments and the Militarization of America$
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Thomas J. Brown

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653747

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653747.001.0001

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Models of Leadership

Models of Leadership

(p.130) 3 Models of Leadership
Civil War Monuments and the Militarization of America

Thomas J. Brown

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter situates monuments to Union and Confederate leaders within longstanding traditions in art history. Early tributes to Civil War commanders extended antebellum efforts to develop democratic variations on the equestrian statue, a form associated with imperial sovereigns. Monuments to orators illustrated the fading of the lyceum oratory that had shaped public culture during the Civil War era and the increasing emphasis on military commanders as exemplars of leadership. The equestrian statues that proliferated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century offered allegories of public authority, gradually shifting from popular election of leaders to rank-and-file submission to review by captains of industry. Some monuments explored the possibilities of charismatic democratic leadership, but the prevailing models illustrated the growing influence of professionalization in art as well as in government. The US Army was an important site of professionalization, and the equestrian statue most informed by current military thinking celebrated the establishment of the army general staff as a landmark in American bureaucracy.

Keywords:   bureaucracy, equestrian statue, oratory, professionalization, US Army

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