The Rise and Fall of Monument Avenue

Dublin Core


The Rise and Fall of Monument Avenue


This collection is on the history of Monument Avenue. Rather than focusing on each individual monument, this collection aims to present a holistic view of Monument Avenue's development and history. Monument Avenue is located in Richmond, Virginia and it is an area filled with controversy due to its historic ties to the Confederacy.

Richmond, Virgina is just 100 miles from Washington DC. Following the succession of Virginia and the fall of Fort Sumter at the start of the Civil War, the city served as the capitol of the Confederacy beginning in 1861. The Civil War ended when the city fell to Union forces in April of 1865 which signaled the end of the Confederate government with Robert E. Lee surrending his army at Appomattox shortly after. While most government records were destoyed during the evacuation and due to subsequent fire, the city has since become home to various monuments and museums remembering the Confederacy.

Beggining with the construction of the Robert E. Lee memorial in 1890, and four additional monuments in the following decades, Monument Avenue quickly developed into the symbolic center of Richmond's Confederate past. Both beloved and despised by different segments of Richmond's diverse population, the battle over Monument Avenue's future continues as citizens debate the meaning and legacy of the Confederacy.


Yuan Chiang, Art Hernandez, Melanie Vigil, Steven Mang, Monique Garcia, Sean Ghafourian, Max Bezanilla


HIST 402A (Fall 2020 and 2021)


Richmond, Virginia

Collection Items

4. 2020-2021 Monument Removal
On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin while under arrest for allegedly spending a counterfeit $20 bill. When video of the killing surfaced, showing a white officer murdering an unarmed black…

3. The Impact of Charlottesville on Monument Avenue
On August 12, 2017, the “Unite the Right” rally was held by white supremacists and white nationalists in Charlottesville to protest against the removal of a confederate statue. There were counter protests and it ended in violence. It was televised…

2. Monument Avenue in the Civil Rights Era and After
The practice of memorializing Virginia’s role in the Civil War emphasized the Lost Cause ideology and primarily avoided the issue on race. The Civil Rights Era signified a shift in the debate for Monument Avenue. The centennial of the Civil War…

1. The Construction of Monument Avenue
During the post-Civil War era, conservative Democrats attempted to revive the fading passions for the Lost Cause. The nephew of Robert E. Lee, Fitzhugh Lee, led the charge to assemble a memorial association in 1886. In May 1890 dedication was timed…
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