Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Professor John J. Pitney, Jr.

Reader 2

Professor Emily Pears


In this paper, I explore the ways that monuments can be used to craft an inclusive national identity in a diverse democracy, such as the United States. After the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin apocryphally told the people gathered outside Constitution Hall that the Founders had created "a republic, if you can keep it." The Founders knew that the health of our democracy is reliant on an engaged and informed electorate. Since the Founding, however, Americans have struggled to actualize our values for all people living in the United States and to inculcate a civic identity that honors, if not celebrates, the diversity of our country. Today, the American monument landscape reflects the iterations of national histories negotiated by various constituencies and our monument clashes encapsulate our collective struggle to define who should and shouldn't be a part of the American story. Using educational history and contemporary civic education standards, my thesis posits that monuments constitute a form of civic education and seeks to explore the ways that this idea can help us to resolve debate about which monuments should stay and which need to go.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.