American Values Embodied : Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, and Jeffersonian Architecture

Varga Edina (2018) American Values Embodied : Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, and Jeffersonian Architecture. BA/Bsc, Szegedi Tudományegyetem.

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This thesis investigates the ways in which Thomas Jefferson was able to express his political values of the American Declaration of Independence through his architectural designs. With the help of the employment of Erwin Panofsky’s iconological interpretation it is shown that Jefferson intended to demonstrate the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness through his self-designed public and private buildings. Firstly, it is examined how Jefferson saw the realization of the notion of Life in the University of Virginia, as he believed “a democratic society depends upon an informed and educated citizenry”. Secondly, an account of the encounter of the Notion of Freedom with the Virginia State Capitol is provided, whereas Jefferson did not only intend the separation of the United States from British politics, but also the creation of something different, especially from the Georgian Colonial architecture. Thirdly, it is shown how the right given by the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, the pursuit of Happiness is represented by Jefferson’s private architectural masterpiece, Monticello. Moreover, the Thesis also provides an architectural description on Jefferson Neoclassical buildings through which he intended to symbolize the values of the ancient Greek Democracy and that of the ancient Roman Republic.


Szegedi Tudományegyetem


Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Angol Tanszék




Angol-Amerikai Intézet




SupervisorSupervisor scientific name labelEmailEHA

Item Type: Thesis (BA/Bsc)
Date: 2018
Fieldofstudy: amerikanisztika
Depositing User: BTK szerkesztő
Date Deposited: 2019. Apr. 25. 10:20
Last Modified: 2019. Apr. 26. 09:55

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