This end-of-term paper was for a course titled “Interamericanism” which compared the founding myths of both North and South America and the history of the cultural interactions between the two.
I compared Davy Crockett’s autobiography to Benito Juarez’s short summary of his life addressed to his children. My focus was the image these two prominent but very different people sought to project out to the world.
The Introduction reads:
“When one reads and compares Frederic Jackson Turner’s “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” (1893) and José Martí’s “Nuestra América” (1889) some things become apparent: the constructions of what “makes” an American in these texts differ, these constructions are not entirely new, and these constructions are deliberate. Many historical figures could be said to represent exactly the Americans described in Turner’s or Martí’s text. Two of these will be more closely analyzed in this paper: David Crockett and Benito Juárez. The basis for this analysis will be their autobiographies. Juárez and Crockett are part of a line of famous Americans, both North and South, that wrote autobiographies with different intents and varying degrees of success. The following paragraphs will discuss the construction of their public personas through their autobiographies, the purpose of the autobiographies, and to what extent the intended result was achieved.”
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