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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Degree Discipline: History
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
American Blitzkrieg: Courtney Hodges and the Advance Toward Aachen (August 1 - September 12, 1944)

American Blitzkrieg: Courtney Hodges and the Advance Toward Aachen (August 1 - September 12, 1944)

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Date: December 2012
Creator: Rinkleff, Adam J.
Description: This is an analysis of combat operations of US First Army under the command of Courtney Hodges, between August 1 and September 12, 1944, with an emphasis upon 1st, 4th, 9th, and 30th Divisions. However, other formations are necessarily discussed in order to maintain context. Indeed, many historians have failed to emphasize the complex interdependent nature of these efforts, and the traditional narrative has been distorted by inadequate situational awareness. This study argues that the army's operations were exceedingly difficult, resulting in approximately 40,000 casualties over a six week period. Although historians claim that the Germans were essentially defeated by the end of July, and that the Allied advance was subsequently halted by logistical difficulties, the official combat records clarify that logistical shortages were a tertiary factor, as the enemy remained capable of strong resistance. Consequently, defensive efforts were the primary factor hindering the advance, in conjunction with deteriorating weather conditions, rugged terrain, and surprisingly severe traffic congestion. Although this was mobile warfare, military theorists have overestimated the effectiveness of mechanization and underestimated the potential for antitank defenses. Ultimately, this study asserts that First Army was the primary American combat formation, and historians have exaggerated the importance of George Patton's ...
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Americans Who Would Not Wait:  The American Legion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1915-1917

Americans Who Would Not Wait: The American Legion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1915-1917

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Smylie, Eric Paul
Description: This dissertation examines the five battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force designated as the American Legion. Authorized in Canada between 1915 and 1917, these units were formed to recruit volunteers from the United States to serve in the Canadian Overseas Contingent during the First World War. This work reviews the organization of Canada’s militia and the history of Anglo-American relations before examining the Canadian war effort, the formation of the American Legion, the background of its men, and the diplomatic, political, and constitutional questions that it raised. Much of the research focuses on the internal documents of its individual battalions (the 97th, 211th, 212th, 213th and 237th) and the papers of Reverend Charles Bullock now housed at the Public Archives of Canada. Documentation for the diplomatic furor the American Legion caused comes largely through the published diplomatic documents, British Foreign Office records held at the Public Record Office at Kew, and United States Department of State files at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. The most useful sources for American Legion correspondence are the Beaverbrook papers held at the House of Lords Record Office, the papers of Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Laird Borden, and those of the Governor-General, ...
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Between Comancheros and Comanchería: a History of Fort Bascom, New Mexico

Between Comancheros and Comanchería: a History of Fort Bascom, New Mexico

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Blackshear, James Bailey
Description: In 1863, Fort Bascom was built along the Canadian River in the Eroded Plains of Territorial New Mexico. Its unique location placed it between the Comanches of Texas and the Comancheros of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This post was situated within Comanchería during the height of the United States Army's war against the Southern Plains Indians, yet it has garnered little attention. This study broadens the scholarly understanding of how the United States Army gained control of the Southwest by examining the role Fort Bascom played in this mission. This includes an exploration of the Canadian River Valley environment, an examination of the economic relationship that existed between the Southern Plains Indians and the mountain people of New Mexico, and an account of the daily life of soldiers posted to Fort Bascom. This dissertation thus provides an environmental and cultural history of the Canadian River Valley in New Mexico, a social history of the men stationed at Fort Bascom, and proof that the post played a key role in the Army's efforts to gain control of the Southern Plains Indians. This study argues that Fort Bascom should be recognized as Texas' northern-most frontier fort. Its men were closer to ...
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Child Rescue As Survival Resistance: Hidden Children in Nazi-occupied  Western Europe

Child Rescue As Survival Resistance: Hidden Children in Nazi-occupied Western Europe

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Decoster, Charlotte Marie-Cecile Marguerite
Description: The phenomenon of rescue organizations that devoted themselves specifically to hiding and saving Jewish children appeared throughout Nazi-occupied Western Europe (France, Belgium, and the Netherlands). Jewish and non-Jewish rescuers risked their lives to save thousands of children from extermination. This dissertation adds to the historiographical understanding of Holocaust resistance by analyzing the efforts of these child rescue organizations as a form of “survival resistance.” Researching the key aspects of traditional resistance (conscious intent, extensive organization, and effective turn-out) demonstrates that, while child rescue did not present armed resistance, it still was a form of active resistance against the Nazi Final Solution. By looking at rescuers’ testimonies and archival sources (from Yad Vashem, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Centre de documentation juive contemporaine, and Kazerne Dossin), this dissertation first outlines the extensive organization and intent of Jewish rescue groups, such as the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE) and Comité de défense des Juifs (CDJ), in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The second part looks at rescue organization and intent by Catholic, Protestant, and humanitarian groups. The dissertation concludes by discussing the effectiveness of organized child rescue. In the end, the rescue groups saved thousands of children and proofs that Child ...
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Cosmology, Extraterrestrial Life, and the Development and Character of Western European Thought in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Cosmology, Extraterrestrial Life, and the Development and Character of Western European Thought in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

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Date: August 2011
Creator: Simpson, Emily
Description: Cosmology, as an all-encompassing theoretical construction of universal reality, serves as one of the best indicators for a variety of philosophical, scientific, and cultural values. Within any cosmological system, the question of extraterrestrial life is an important element. Mere existence or nonexistence, however, only exposes a small portion of the ideological significance behind the contemplation of life outside of earth. The manners by which both believers and disbelievers justify their opinions and the ways they characterize other worlds and their inhabitants show much more about the particular ideas behind such decisions and the general climate of thought surrounding those who consider the topic. By exploring both physical and abstract structures of the universe, and specifically concepts on the plurality of worlds and extraterrestrial life, Western European thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries reveals not an era of pure advancement and modernization, but as a time of both tradition and change.
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Culture and self-representation in the Este court: Ercole Strozzi's funeral Elegy of Eleonora of Aragon, a Text, Translation, and Commentary.

Culture and self-representation in the Este court: Ercole Strozzi's funeral Elegy of Eleonora of Aragon, a Text, Translation, and Commentary.

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Date: December 2010
Creator: Cassella, Dean Marcel
Description: This dissertation presents a previously unedited text by one of the most distinguished- yet neglected-Latin writers of the Italian Renaissance, Ercole Strozzi (1471-1508), a poet and administrator in the court of Ferrara. Under the Este Dukes, Ferrara became a major center of literary and artistic patronage. The Latin literary output of the court, however, has received insufficient scholarly scrutiny. The text is a verse funeral elegy of Eleonora of Aragon (1450-1493), the first Duchess of Ferrara. Eleonora was a remarkable woman whose talents and indefatigable efforts on behalf of her husband, her children, and her state, won her accolades both at home and abroad. She also served as a prototype for the remarkable careers of her two daughters, Isabella d'Este, and Beatrice d'Este, who are celebrated for their erudition and patronage of arts and letters. The text is a mirror of the Estense court and reveals to us how its members no doubt saw themselves, at the very peak of its temporal power and the height of its prestige as a center of cultural creativity. It is also important for the striking portrait it presents of Eleonora. Ercole Strozzi chose to call his poem an epicedium, an ancient minor literary ...
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Dolores Dyer: Women's Basketball and the American Dream

Dolores Dyer: Women's Basketball and the American Dream

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Date: December 2012
Creator: Roberts, Jackie
Description: Dolores Dyer played from 1952-1953 for the Texas Cowgirls, a barnstorming women's basketball team that provided a form of entertainment popular throughout the United States in that era. The story of Dyer's life demonstrates how a woman could attempt to achieve the American dream—a major theme in American history—through success in athletic competition. Dyer's participation with the Texas Cowgirls also provides a look into the circumstances that limited women's participation in professional sport during the mid-twentieth century. Women's sports studies, although some are very thorough, have gaps in the research, and women's barnstorming basketball is one of the areas often overlooked. In light of this gap, this thesis relies on a variety of sources, including primary documents from unpublished collections, archived materials, and original oral histories from several members of the Texas Cowgirls team. This thesis contains analysis of the socioeconomic factors that influenced Dolores Dyer's maturation into a professional basketball player, examines what the American dream meant to her, and evaluates the extent to which she achieved it. Overall, it constructs a social history that can serve as a foundational source for further study of women in sports during the twentieth century.
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Economic Mobility into the Planter Class in Texas, 1846-1860

Economic Mobility into the Planter Class in Texas, 1846-1860

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Date: December 2011
Creator: Nelson, Robert Nicholas
Description: This study examines upward economic mobility into the planter class in Texas during the antebellum statehood period, 1846-1860. Using quantitative methods to analyze data from census and tax records, this study addresses several questions regarding the property owning experience of Texas planters. Did any of the 1860 planters, men or women, rise to that status from another class? If so, how many rose from small slaveholder or small planter origins, and how many advanced from plain folk origins? In what ways did the amount and nature of wealth of these individuals change in the period studied? In what ways do these findings provide insights into the debate over planter dominance versus ‘plain folk’ inclusive herrenvolk democracy and the relationship between the planters and the other classes? Did the experiences of female planters differ from that of male planters? Did female planter experiences in Texas differ from female planters in other parts of the Old South? The results of these questions demonstrate that economic class mobility into the richest class was significant but limited and that women’s experiences were closely tied to those of male kin.
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The Enemy of My Enemy Is What, Exactly? the British Flanders Expedition of 1793 and Coalition Diplomacy

The Enemy of My Enemy Is What, Exactly? the British Flanders Expedition of 1793 and Coalition Diplomacy

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Jarrett, Nathaniel W.
Description: The British entered the War of the First Coalition against Revolutionary France in 1793 diplomatically isolated and militarily unprepared for a major war. Nonetheless, a French attack on the Dutch Republic in February 1793 forced the British to dispatch a small expeditionary force to defend their ally. Throughout the Flanders campaign of 1793, the British expeditionary force served London as a tool to end British isolation and enlist Austrian commitment to securing British war objectives. The 1793 Flanders campaign and the Allied war effort in general have received little attention from historians, and they generally receive dismissive condemnation in general histories of the French Revolutionary Wars. This thesis examines the British participation in the 1793 Flanders campaign a broader diplomatic context through the published correspondence of relevant Allied military and political leaders. Traditional accounts of this campaign present a narrative of defeat and condemn the Allies for their failure to achieve in 1793 the accomplishments of the sixth coalition twenty years later. Such a perspective obscures a clear understanding of the reasons for Allied actions. This thesis seeks to correct this distortion by critically analyzing the relationship between British diplomacy within the Coalition and operations in Flanders. Unable to achieve ...
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Looting and Restitution During World War II: a Comparison Between the Soviet Union Trophy Commission and the Western Allies Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Commission

Looting and Restitution During World War II: a Comparison Between the Soviet Union Trophy Commission and the Western Allies Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Commission

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Date: May 2012
Creator: Zelman, Laura Holsomback
Description: From the earliest civilizations, victorious armies would loot defeated cities or nations. the practice evolved into art theft as a symbol of power. Cultural superiority confirmed a country or empire’s regime. Throughout history, the Greeks and Romans cultivated, Napoleon Bonaparte refined, and Adolf Hitler perfected the practice of plunder. As the tides of Second World War began to shift in favor of the Allied Powers, special commissions, established to locate the Germans’ hoards of treasure, discovered Nazi art repositories filled with art objects looted from throughout Europe. the Soviet Union Trophy Commission and the Western Allies Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Commission competed to discover Nazi war loot. the two organizations not only approached the subject of plunder as a treasure hunt, but the ideology motivating both commissions made uncovering the depositories first, a priority. the Soviet trophy brigades’ mission was to dismantle all items of financial worth and ship them eastward to help rebuild a devastated Soviet economy. the Soviet Union wished for the re-compensation of cultural valuables destroyed by the Nazis’ purification practices regarding “inferior” Slavic art and architecture; however, the defeated German nation did not have the ability to reimburse the Soviet State. the trophy brigades implemented ...
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