Chapter 10 Moravians and the Celebration of American Figures and Holidays, 1776–1826

In: Moravian Americans and their Neighbors, 1772-1822
Author:
Thomas J. McCullough
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Abstract

In an attempt to better understand how Moravians in North America “became American,” this paper discusses Moravian reactions to mainstream developments during the period of the Early Republic (1780s-1820s). While there are many aspects of Americanization to consider, such as political orientation, shifting architectural styles in Moravian communities, involvement in the Whiskey Rebellion and responses to the War of 1812, particular emphasis here is placed on commemorative activities in Moravian congregations, missions, and church settlements as evidence of identity transformation.

The study seeks to examine the following questions: how politicizing were these Moravian episodes of commemoration and memorialization, and in what ways do they demonstrate engagement with “outwardly” regional and national socio-political trends? Further, how did Moravians assess the commemorative and celebratory activities of others, and how do such views express a sense of national identity?

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