Civic Signs: Disability and Citizenship in the Early United States
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A Presentation by Newhouse Fellow Sari Altschuler
The American Revolution ushered in an unprecedented optimism about the abilities of individuals—at least white men—to participate in civic life. Using Enlightenment-inspired rhetoric, Americans in the new nation espoused the belief that almost all such individuals could be made good citizens, and in the first decades of independence they created institutions for people with particular impairments to do this work. This had unanticipated reciprocal effects: As the institutions began to defineView more
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