7 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. In conformity with the principles of our constitution, which places all sects of religion on an equal footing, with the jealousies of the different sects in guarding that equality from encroachment & surprise, and with the sentiments of the legislature in favor of freedom of religion manifested on former occasions, we have proposed no professor of Divinity; and tho rather, as the proofs of the being of a god, the creator, preserver, & supreme ruler of the universe, the author of all the relations of morality, & of the laws & obligations these infer, will be within the province of the professor of ethics;

      This passage highlights the founders inclusion of American ideals and values when creating this academic institution. Even though the majority of White men that would be attending the University would be Christian, the founders respected the freedom of religion that is an integral aspect of American society and government. The founders decided not to have a professor on divinity because that would promote the establishment of Christianity as an official religion of the university. This sets the University of Virginia a part from other academic institutions that were founded during this time period because it demonstrates the secular aspects of the University. Many Universities at the time were religiously affilaited, and religious teachings were a huge part of academics. But the founders of UVA stayed true to the ideals of American democracy that cherished the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. UVA was therefore founded on more secular values and teachings that aimed to produce global citizens who valued the ethics and ideals of American society and government.

    2. The considerations which have governed the specification of languages to be taught by the professor of Modern Languages were that the French is the language of general intercourse among nations, and as a depository of human Science is unsurpassed by any other language living or dead: that the Spanish is highly interesting to us, as the language spoken by so great a portion of the inhabitants of our Continents, with whom we shall possibly have great intercourse ere long; and is that also in which is written the greater part of the early history of America.

      This passage illuminates the founders intentions of producing truly global citizens that will be able to connect and engage in the international community. The purpose of the foreign language requirement was to create educated citizens that will be able to engage in leadership on a global scale. Emphasis was put on Spanish and French, which are two predominant languages used in the international world of business and government. Requiring a foreign language in academics also helps to create an academic learning environment that promotes diversity and immersion into various cultures. This also promotes the exploration and acceptance of other cultures which plays a key role in fostering an environment of diversity and inclusion. Because the founders created this institution for the sole purpose of educating and furthering the prosperity of White men, this is one aspect of the University that unintentionally promotes diversity. The irony is that the foreign language requirement truly promotes the acceptance and immersion of other cultures, but the creation of this intuition was rooted in White male supremacy.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. To understand his duties to his neighbours, & country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either.

      I find this quotation interesting compared to education as we know it today. At the University of Virginia we are tested in math and science, history and english. It is an interesting concept that education once included "to understand his duties to his neighbors and country" in the sense that they were being taught good morals in a place where only few were included.

    2. that these pavilions should be united by a range of Dormitories, sufficient each for the accommodation of two students only, this provision being deemed advantageous to morals, to order, & to uninterrupted study; and that a passage of some kind under cover from the weather should give a communication along the whole range.

      I think this part of the article gives us confidence back that University of Virginia is built in fully consideration of the safety of its students and is built for students to gain academic success. During this period that so many students protests and riots about race are taking place, the calling for more care and attention to students life and the condemnation of the lack of student's safety is getting more prevalent, however this part of the university legislature shed a light on regaining student's trust to this university, whose architecture was built on the emphasis of student's safety and academic progress.

    3. that of proposing a plan for its buildings; and they are of opinion that it should consist of distinct houses or pavilions, arranged at proper distances on each side of a lawn of a proper breadth, & of indefinite extent in one direction at least, in each of which should be a lecturing room with from two to four apartments for the accommodation of a professor and his family: that these pavilions should be united by a range of Dormitories, sufficient each for the accommodation of two students only, this provision being deemed advantageous to morals, to order, & to uninterrupted study;

      What is not mentioned in this quotation describing the building structure, is the whereabouts of the enslaved individuals. Standing on the lawn, the pavilions appear to only be two stories tall. However, when standing from what we now call the gardens, it is obvious that the pavilions are three stories tall while the dormitories have small spaces underneath them as well. Jefferson designed this lay out specifically for the enslaved individuals to reside. The reasoning behind this was so that there would not be a disturbance for the white, male students and professors when looking out across grounds. By not mentioning this fact, it is obvious that the enslaved individuals were hidden from the universities appearance depict their crucial role in its making.

    4. To understand his duties to his neighbours, & country

      This line shows Thomas Jefferson's focus on the state of Virginia, as he literally puts "& country" as an afterthought, with a focus on "neighbours". In Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia (http://web.archive.org/web/20080914030942/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu:80/toc/modeng/public/JefVirg.html) he answers multiple questions about the state in detail about the way that it is run. Virginia was very important to him, often referring to it as his "country", and I think that shows as he makes this a priority of the University and students that attend it. Who does Jefferson consider as his "neighbours"? Do only certain people qualify as these neighbours and what exactly are ones duties to them? Are ones duties different to people who are not considered to be their neighbours? I think there is a lot of ambiguity in this sentence and I think the answers to the questions I pose are extremely different now then they were back then, which answers who the University was created for: rich, white men, and not people of color, people of low-income, or women.

  3. Sep 2017
    1. and it’s centrality to the white population of the whole state:

      In this quote, the view of minorities in the state of Virginia is evident. Blacks were not accepted to the University until the 1950s and women were not accepted until 1970. Thomas Jefferson wrote of equality in the Declaration of Independence and condemned the Transatlantic Slave Trade, but only to benefit Virginia's economy. The Illusion of Progress (http://www.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=a31f53ca6a54439087085d6c313758a5) goes in depth about Thomas Jefferson's history with slavery and his motivations for equality, which are very clearly not for humanitarian purposes, but for the betterment of Virginia economically. As Thomas Jefferson played a large role in the founding of UVA, it is obvious to me that he would make it strictly a white university.