Imagining a New Nation: Patriotism and National Identity in the Writing of Late-18th Century American Women
Year of Graduation
Benedict Anderson defined the nation as “an imagined political community” that is “imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign.” The research for this paper began with a desire to know how American women in the time leading up to, during, and immediately after the American Revolution and War of Independence did or did not imagine themselves as members of the newly emerging political community eventually known as the United States of America. As tensions between the Colonies and Great Britain increased, as tea was dumped in Boston harbor, and as independence was declared in 1776, how did women make sense of these events and their significance for their own identities? As many colonists began to reject their previous identity as British subjects and colonial residents in favor of a new civic identity as members of a separate, sovereign nation, they needed to define what it meant to be American. Who was an American citizen? What did it mean to be an American citizen? What was it that bound the disparate thirteen colonies and their diverse populations together into one cohesive nation? Where were the limits to this newly imagined community, and did these limits include or exclude women?
Brenner, Aysia S., "Imagining a New Nation: Patriotism and National Identity in the Writing of Late-18th Century American Women" (2021). Undergraduate Honors Theses, Hollins University. 36.