Marching in step the Citadel and post World War II America /
Abstract (Summary)In 1941, W.J. Cash predicted correctly that “in the coming days and probably soon, [the South] is likely to have to prove its capacity for adjustment far beyond what has been true in the past.” From 1945 to 1995, The Citadel found its “capacity for adjustment” sorely tested, and the school’s attempts to define, defend, and adapt its identity to a nation and region undergoing significant cultural, political, and social change is the subject of my dissertation. Perceived and vigorously marketed as a profoundly southern institution, The Citadel’s post World War II experience speaks to issues of southern distinctiveness and should shed light on the South’s real and imagined relationship with the rest of America. Certain authors have depicted the “Southernization of America” as a relatively recent phenomenon, and for much of its history, the South has been viewed as an island within the United States; a region operating outside the ebb and flow of the American mainstream. In the decades following World War II Citadel personnel bolstered their defense of the school’s value with conveniently selected interpretations of the past and with carefully tailored definitions of citizenship. More often than not, however, these attitudes have reflected rather than stood apart from the political and cultural values of mainstream American society, and tracking The Citadel’s appeal as an American, and not just a southern, institution may well lead one to wonder if the rest of the nation needed “Southernizing” and convince some people to acknowledge the undistilled Americanism of The Citadel.
School:The University of Georgia
School Location:USA - Georgia
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication: