Connecting The Dots: An Examination Of The Relationship Between Civil Unrest, City Planning, And Civil Liberties
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The urban environment shapes our experiences within our worlds by creating the background for our everyday lives. The importance of the planning of public space cannot be underestimated, so we must ask the question of where plans came from and what are their effects. As society fluctuates with civil unrest and revolution, the urban atmosphere evolves with it. This thesis examines this dynamic, the relationship between civil unrest, city planning, and civil liberties. It looks at how the urban environment shapes historical revolutions, as well as how, in turn, city planning is shaped by civil unrest. By looking at two cases, Paris during and after the French Revolution in 1789 and Washington D.C. after the American Revolution, this thesis examines how city planning changed as a result of these revolutions. It also looks at the effects the planning of cities has on civil liberties, specifically the freedom of speech through assembly, that are guaranteed by the constitutions that also came out of these revolutionary periods. The first section creates operational definitions of civil unrest, city planning, and freedom of assembly that will be used in the cases that follow. The second section looks at Paris during and after the French Revolution. It examines how city planning shaped the revolution, as revolutionaries targeted symbolic structures from the old regime and the streets shaped the formation of protests. The second section also looks at how city planning changed after the revolution, disrupting the spaces that had shaped the revolution. The third section studies the formation of Washington D.C. after the American Revolution, and looks at how the ideals of forming a new, powerful government shaped the way that the monumental core of the city was planned.