Chapter

Three Foundational Documents and Their Indelibility

Michael T. Gilmore

in Surface and Depth

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780195157765
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199787784 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195157765.003.0002
Three Foundational Documents and Their Indelibility

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This chapter investigates three of the foundational texts of American culture: John Winthrop’s Model of Christian Charity, William Penn’s plan for the city of Philadelphia, and Thomas Jeffersons Declaration of Independence. Each document is analyzed in itself and as a prototype for later cultural practices. Legacies include religious and psychological confessionalism; phrenology; the grid system of the American landscape; the passion for numeracy; and the occlusion of racial minorities, especially Blacks.

Keywords: John Winthrop; Model of Christian Charity; William Penn; Thomas Jefferson; Declaration of Independence; confessionalism; phrenology; numeracy

Chapter.  22399 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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