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Title: An American cosmogony : the mythical dimension of the Declaration of Independence
Author: Kahn, Verity Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 9740
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2017
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The Declaration of Independence commands a special status in American culture. For this reason, it has often been called mythic by Revolutionary historians and scholars of the Declaration alike. Such characterisations tend to be hastily made and pejorative, but the Declaration of Independence takes on a new significance when the characterisation of the Declaration as myth is studied seriously. For Americans, the Declaration serves both a specific and beneficial function which the mere naming of it as myth fails to identify. This identification of the Declaration as myth is one that draws specifically on ideas of the birth of the American nation and the role its authors had in creating that nation. Nowhere is this more obvious than the Declaration's continued use in American political rhetoric today which demonstrates its ever-constant presence as a living document. This understanding of the Declaration has heretofore remained unexplored. By taking the Declaration of Independence seriously as myth, this study looks to both identify the story of the myth of the Declaration and its function in American society by applying to it a theory of myth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Aberdeen ; Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Myth ; United States Declaration of Independence