Bachelor of Arts
Dr. Adam W. Dean
Dr. Brian E. Crim
Dr. Clifton W. Potter, Jr.
In the cultures of Scotland after the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion and the American South after the Civil War, defeatist memories and art featured prominently in mythmaking and served as a focal point for many who wished to make political statements or critiques of current realities. In Scotland, romanticism revolving around “Bonnie Prince Charlie” and the Jacobites in 1745 lessened the burden of defeat for many. Contextualizing their loss within a broader historical framework, which stressed different features depending on the group’s purpose, some Scots utilized Jacobite memory as a potent political critique of Scotland’s place within Great Britain. Others, like Walter Scott, fabricated a romantic, fatalistic, and depoliticized memory to argue for the benefits of union and to criticize the perceived erosion of more traditional values. In Southern culture, the Lost Cause soothed disgruntled southerners by defending idyllic and often flawed views of antebellum society and the cause. Since 1861, Lost Cause art has served as a dynamic and evolving vehicle for communicating tenets of this pseudo-historical construction. Emphasizing the South’s innocence, solidarity, and heroism, this art carried political overtones that white southerners could utilize for their political agendas. Unfortunately, white supremacy often lurked just underneath the surface of these agendas and artworks.
This thesis aims to demonstrate key similarities and differences in the respective visual memories of Scotland and the white South by examining multiple aspects of persistent historical myths revolving around the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion and the American Civil War. Focusing on art depicting the home front, specifically portrayals of women, destruction, and an idyllic past, this paper uses historical art as touchstones to uncover the role of art in influencing, constructing, and supporting lost cause narratives.
Tharp, William, "Manipulated Memories: Post-War Confederate and Jacobite Memory through Art of the Homefront" (2019). Undergraduate Theses and Capstone Projects. 108.