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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Degree Discipline: History
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte, comte de Guibert: Father of the Grande Armée

Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte, comte de Guibert: Father of the Grande Armée

Date: May 2011
Creator: Abel, Jonathan
Description: The eighteenth century was a time of intense upheaval in France. The death of Louis XIV in 1715 and the subsequent reign of Louis XV saw the end of French political and martial hegemony on the continent. While French culture and language remained dominant in Europe, Louis XV's disinterested rule and military stagnation led to the disastrous defeat of the French army at the hands of Frederick the Great of Prussia in the Seven Years War (1756-1763). The battle of Rossbach marked the nadir of the French army in the Seven Years War. Frederick's army routed the French infantry that had bumbled its way into massed Prussian cavalry. Following the war, two reformist elements emerged in the army. Reformers within the government, chiefly Etienne François, duc de Choiseul, sought to rectify the army's poor performance and reconstitute France's military establishment. Outside the traditional army structure, military thinkers looked to military theory to reinvigorate the army from within and without. Foremost among the latter was a young officer named Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte de Guibert, whose 1772 Essai général de tactique quickly became the most celebrated work of theory in European military circles. The Essai provided a new military constitution for France, proposing wholesale ...
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Jacques-antoine-hippolyte, Comte De Guibert: Father of the Grande Armée

Jacques-antoine-hippolyte, Comte De Guibert: Father of the Grande Armée

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Date: August 2014
Creator: Abel, Jonathan
Description: Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte, comte de Guibert (1743-1790) dedicated his life and career to creating a new doctrine for the French army. Little about this doctrine was revolutionary. Indeed, Guibert openly decried the anarchy of popular participation in government and looked askance at the early days of the Revolution. Rather, Guibert’s doctrine marked the culmination of an evolutionary process that commenced decades before his time and reached fruition in the Réglement of 1791, which remained in force until the 1830s. Not content with military reform, Guibert demanded a political and social constitution to match. His reforms required these changes, demanding a disciplined, service-oriented society and a functional, rational government to assist his reformed military. He delved deeply, like no other contemporary writer, into the linkages between society, politics, and the military throughout his career and his writings. Guibert exerted an overwhelming influence on military thought across Europe for the next fifty years. His military theories provided the foundation for military reform during the twilight of the Old Regime. The Revolution, which adopted most of Guibert’s doctrine in 1791, continued his work. A new army and way of war based on Guibert’s reforms emerged to defeat France’s major enemies. In Napoleon’s hands, Guibert’s army ...
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British Labour Government Policy in Iraq, 1945-1950

British Labour Government Policy in Iraq, 1945-1950

Date: December 2012
Creator: Alburaas, Theyab
Description: Britain during the Labour government's administration took a major step toward developing Iraq primarily due to the decision of Ernest Bevin, the Foreign Minister, to start a new British policy toward the Iraqi regimes that would increase the British influence in the area. This led to Bevin's strategy of depending on guiding the Iraqi regime to make economic and political reforms that would lead to social justice.
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The Rise of the Republicans: Party Realignment in Twentieth Century Texas

The Rise of the Republicans: Party Realignment in Twentieth Century Texas

Date: December 2012
Creator: Antle, Michael L.
Description: This dissertation is a study of the political transformation of Texas during the twentieth century from a predominantly Democratic to a two-party state. It is commonly asserted that the fundamental conservatism of Texas voters led them to abandon the national Democratic Party as it embraced more liberal reforms. This shift led to a rise in support in Texas for the Republican Party, which continued to advocate a more conservative agenda. But this change demands a more thorough explanation at the local level, in part because such a study can also reveal other factors at work. This dissertation first examines how prohibition impacted the state's political status quo and provided an opportunity for the Republican Party to increase its numbers. It then discusses the New Deal and the growth of Texas's oil industry, and how government regulation shaped political developments. The impact of urbanization and suburbanization on Republican growth are also addressed, along with numerous campaigns that reflected the changes occurring in Texas's electorate during this time. Although Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1952 and 1956 wins in Texas were a strong indication of the realignment among Texas voters, it was John G. Tower's election to the United States Senate that served as ...
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Paul and Slavery: a Conflict of Metaphor and Reality

Paul and Slavery: a Conflict of Metaphor and Reality

Date: December 2013
Creator: Baker, James C.
Description: The debate on Paul’s views on slavery has ranged from calling him criminal in his enforcement of the status quo to rallying behind his idea of equal Christians in a community. In this thesis I blend these two major views into the idea that Paul supported both the institution of slavery and the slave by legitimizing the role of the slave in Christian theology. This is done by reviewing the mainstream views of slavery, comparing them to Paul’s writing, both the non-disputed and disputed, and detailing how Paul’s presentation of slavery differed from mainstream views. It is this difference which protects the slave from their master and brings attention to the slave’s actions and devotion. To Paul, slavery was a natural institution which should be emulated Christian devotion. He did not challenge the Romans but called for Christians to challenge the mainstream views of the roles of slavery in the social hierarchy of their communities.
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Capital Ships, Commerce, and Coalition: British Strategy in the Mediterranean Theater, 1793

Capital Ships, Commerce, and Coalition: British Strategy in the Mediterranean Theater, 1793

Date: August 2014
Creator: Baker, William C.
Description: In 1793, Great Britain embarked on a war against Revolutionary France to reestablish a balance of power in Europe. Traditional assessments among historians consider British war planning at the ministerial level during the First Coalition to be incompetent and haphazard. This work reassesses decision making of the leading strategists in the British Cabinet in the development of a theater in the Mediterranean by examining political, diplomatic, and military influences. William Pitt the Younger and his controlling ministers pursued a conservative strategy in the Mediterranean, reliant on Allies in the region to contain French armies and ideas inside the Alps and the Pyrenees. Dependent on British naval power, the Cabinet sought to weaken the French war effort by targeting trade in the region. Throughout the first half of 1793, the British government remained fixed on this conservative, traditional approach to France. However, with the fall of Toulon in August of 1793, decisions made by Admiral Samuel Hood in command of forces in the Mediterranean radicalized British policy towards the Revolution while undermining the construct of the Coalition. The inconsistencies in strategic thought political decisions created stagnation, wasting the opportunities gained by the Counter-revolutionary movements in southern France. As a result, reinvigorated ...
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Soldier Boys of Texas: The Seventh Texas Infantry in World War I

Soldier Boys of Texas: The Seventh Texas Infantry in World War I

Date: August 2010
Creator: Ball, Gregory W.
Description: This study first offers a political, social, and economic overview of Texas during the first two decades of the twentieth century, including reaction in the Lone Star state to the declaration of war against Germany in April, 1917; the fear of saboteurs and foreign-born citizens; and the debate on raising a wartime army through a draft or by volunteerism. Then, focusing in-depth on northwest Texas, the study examines the Texas National Guard unit recruited there, the Seventh Texas Infantry Regiment. Using primarily the selective service registration cards of a sample of 1,096 members of the regiment, this study presents a portrait of the officers and enlisted soldiers of the Seventh Texas based on age, occupation, marital status, dependents and other criteria, something that has not been done in studies of World War I soldiers. Next, the regiment's training at Camp Bowie, near Fort Worth, Texas, is described, including the combining of the Seventh Texas with the First Oklahoma Infantry to form the 142nd Infantry Regiment of the Thirty-Sixth Division. After traveling to France and undergoing nearly two months of training, the regiment was assigned to the French Fourth Army in the Champagne region and went into combat for the first ...
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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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The Art-Union and Photography, 1839-1854: The First Fifteen Years of Critical Engagement between Two Cultural Icons of Nineteenth-Century Britain

The Art-Union and Photography, 1839-1854: The First Fifteen Years of Critical Engagement between Two Cultural Icons of Nineteenth-Century Britain

Date: August 2011
Creator: Boetcher, Derek Nicholas
Description: This study analyzes how the Art-Union, a British journal interested only in the fine arts, approached photography between 1839 and 1854. It is informed by Karl Marx’s materialism-informed commodity fetishism, Gerry Beegan’s conception of knowingness, Benedict Anderson’s imagined community, and an art critical discourse that was defined by Roger de Piles and Joshua Reynolds. The individual chapters are each sites in which to examine these multiple theoretical approaches to the journal’s and photography’s association in separate, yet sometimes overlapping, periods. One particular focus of this study concerns the method through which the journal viewed photography—as an artistic or scientific enterprise. A second important focus of this study is the commodification of both the journal and photography in Britain. Also, it determines how the journal’s critical engagement with photography fits into the structure and development of a nineteenth-century British social collectivity focused on art and the photographic enterprise.
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Lone Star Insanity: Efforts to Treat the Mentally Ill in Texas, 1861-1929

Lone Star Insanity: Efforts to Treat the Mentally Ill in Texas, 1861-1929

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Date: December 2015
Creator: Boyd, Dalton T.
Description: During the mid-nineteenth century, the citizens of Texas were forced to keep their mentally disturbed family members at home which caused stress on the caregivers and the further debilitation of the afflicted. To remedy this situation, mental health experts and Texas politicians began to create a system of healing known as state asylums. The purpose of this study is to determine how Texas mental health care came into being, the research and theories behind the prevention and treatment programs that asylum physicians employed to overcome mental illness, in addition to the victories and shortcomings of the system. Through this work, it will be shown that during the 1850s until the 1920s institutions faced difficulty in achieving success from many adverse conditions including, but not limited to, overcrowding, large geographical conditions, poor health practices, faulty construction, insufficient funding, ineffective prevention and treatment methods, disorganization, cases of patient abuse, incompetent employees, prejudice, and legal improprieties. As a result, by 1930, these asylums were merely places to detain the mentally ill in order to rid them from society. This thesis will also confirm that while both Texas politicians and mental health experts desired to address and overcome mental illness in Texas, they were ...
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Southern Promise and Necessity:  Texas, Regional Identity, and the National Woman Suffrage Movement, 1868-1920

Southern Promise and Necessity: Texas, Regional Identity, and the National Woman Suffrage Movement, 1868-1920

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Date: August 2010
Creator: Brannon-Wranosky, Jessica S.
Description: This study offers a concentrated view of how a national movement developed networks from the grassroots up and how regional identity can influence national campaign strategies by examining the roles Texas and Texans played in the woman suffrage movement in the United States. The interest that multiple generations of national woman suffrage leaders showed in Texas, from Reconstruction through the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, provides new insights into the reciprocal nature of national movements. Increasingly, from 1868 to 1920, a bilateral flow of resources existed between national women's rights leaders and woman suffrage activists in Texas. Additionally, this study nationalizes the woman suffrage movement earlier than previously thought. Cross-regional woman suffrage activity has been marginalized by the belief that campaigning in the South did not exist or had not connected with the national associations until the 1890s. This closer examination provides a different view. Early woman's rights leaders aimed at a nationwide movement from the beginning. This national goal included the South, and woman suffrage interest soon spread to the region. One of the major factors in this relationship was that the primarily northeastern-based national leadership desperately needed southern support to aid in their larger goals. Texas' ability to ...
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Skiddy Street: Prostitution and Vice in Denison, Texas, 1872-1922

Skiddy Street: Prostitution and Vice in Denison, Texas, 1872-1922

Date: December 2011
Creator: Bridges, Jennifer
Description: Prostitution was a rampant and thriving industry in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Texas. Due to the arrival of the M.K. and T. Railroad, the city of Denison became a frontier boomtown and prostitution as well as other vice elements grew alongside the town. Skiddy Street was one road south of Main Street in Denison and housed the most notorious brothels and saloons in the city. In the late nineteenth century, few national laws were present to regulate red-light districts and those that existed were largely ignored. Economically, prostitution was an important addition to the coffers of cities such as Denison, and through taxing and licensing of prostitutes, city leaders profited off of the vice industry. The early decades of the twentieth century led to changes in the toleration of prostitution and red-light districts on the national level. Progressive reform movements, temperance, World War I, and the National Railroad Shopmen’s strike, each contributed to the dissolution of Skiddy Street in Denison as toleration and open acceptance of prostitution waned. This study attempts to understand how and why prostitution thrived during Denison’s early frontier days, who some of the prostitutes were that plied their trade on Skiddy Street, and how ...
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Cultural Exchange: the Role of Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theatre’s 1923 and 1924 American Tours

Cultural Exchange: the Role of Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theatre’s 1923 and 1924 American Tours

Date: August 2014
Creator: Brooks, Cassandra M.
Description: The following is a historical analysis on the Moscow Art Theatre’s (MAT) tours to the United States in 1923 and 1924, and the developments and changes that occurred in Russian and American theatre cultures as a result of those visits. Konstantin Stanislavsky, the MAT’s co-founder and director, developed the System as a new tool used to help train actors—it provided techniques employed to develop their craft and get into character. This would drastically change modern acting in Russia, the United States and throughout the world. The MAT’s first (January 2, 1923 – June 7, 1923) and second (November 23, 1923 – May 24, 1924) tours provided a vehicle for the transmission of the System. In addition, the tour itself impacted the culture of the countries involved. Thus far, the implications of the 1923 and 1924 tours have been ignored by the historians, and have mostly been briefly discussed by the theatre professionals. This thesis fills the gap in historical knowledge.
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The Ultimate Ethos: Challenges, Cooptation and Survival During Ultimate’s Adolescence

The Ultimate Ethos: Challenges, Cooptation and Survival During Ultimate’s Adolescence

Date: August 2013
Creator: Brooks, David
Description: Ultimate is the fastest growing field sport in America. Created in 1968, forty-five years later the sport was still on the periphery of the mainstream but reached new heights in 2013 – two professional leagues, over 800 college teams and a broadcasting deal with ESPN – and the discussions throughout the sports’ history have never been as relevant. Self-officiation and the Spirit of the Game are the main tenets that make up the ethos of the sport and its community. These unique aspects differentiate Ultimate’s predominate culture from that of mainstream sports culture. This study shows the countercultural ties and survival of the ethos during the adolescent period of Ultimate’s evolution (1987-2010). It examines the progression of the community’s established grassroots culture and the governing body of the sport alongside the influx of young players with mainstream sports attitudes who bolstered certain organizers’ attempts to alter Ultimate in the hopes of gaining “legitimacy” through adding third-party officials, commercialization and corporate sponsorship.
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Adapting on the Plains: the United States Army's Evolution of Mobile Warfare in Texas, 1848-1859

Adapting on the Plains: the United States Army's Evolution of Mobile Warfare in Texas, 1848-1859

Date: May 2013
Creator: Buchy, Mark B.
Description: The Army, despite having been vexed for a century on how to effectively fight the Plains Indians, ultimately defeated them only a decade after the Civil War. This thesis will bring to the forefront those individuals who adapted fighting techniques and ultimately achieved victories on the Texas frontier before the Civil War. The majority of these victories came as a result of mounted warfare under the direction of lower ranking officers in control of smaller forces. The tactic of fighting Indians from horseback was shown to be effective by the Rangers and later emulated by the Army.
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Commercial Diplomacy: The Berlin-Baghdad Railway and Its Peaceful Effects on Pre-World War I Anglo-German Relations

Commercial Diplomacy: The Berlin-Baghdad Railway and Its Peaceful Effects on Pre-World War I Anglo-German Relations

Date: May 2016
Creator: Bukaty, Ryan Michael
Description: Slated as an economic outlet for Germany, the Baghdad Railway was designed to funnel political influence into the strategically viable regions of the Near East. The Railway was also designed to enrich Germany's coffers with natural resources with natural resources and trade with the Ottomans, their subjects, and their port cities... Over time, the Railway became the only significant route for Germany to reach its "place in the sun," and what began as an international enterprise escalated into a bid for diplomatic influence in the waning Ottoman Empire.
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Cowboys, “Queers,” and Community: the Aids Crisis in Houston and Dallas, 1981-1996

Cowboys, “Queers,” and Community: the Aids Crisis in Houston and Dallas, 1981-1996

Date: August 2014
Creator: Bundschuh, Molly Ellen
Description: This thesis examines the response to the AIDS crisis in Houston and Dallas, two cities in Texas with the most established gay communities highest number of AIDS incidences. Devoting particular attention to the struggles of the Texas’ gay men, this work analyzes the roadblocks to equal and compassionate care for AIDS, including access to affordable treatment, medical insurance, and the closure of the nation’s first AIDS hospital. In addition, this thesis describes the ways in which the peculiar nature of AIDS as an illness transformed the public perception of sickness and infection. This work contributes to the growing study of gay and lesbian history by exploring the transformative effects of AIDS on the gay community in Texas, a location often forgotten within the context of the AIDS epidemic.
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Weeding Out the Undesirables: the Red Scare in Texas Higher Education, 1936-1958

Weeding Out the Undesirables: the Red Scare in Texas Higher Education, 1936-1958

Date: August 2014
Creator: Bynum, Katherine E.
Description: When the national Democratic Party began to transform to progressive era politics because of the New Deal, conservative reactionaries turned against the social welfare programs and used red scare tactics to discredit liberal and progressive New Deal Democrat professors in higher education. This process continued during the Second World War, when the conservatives in Texas lumped fascism and communism in order to anchor support and fire and threaten professors and administrators for advocating or teaching “subversive doctrine.” In 1948 Texas joined other southern states and followed the Dixiecrat movement designed to return the Democratic Party to its original pro-business and segregationist philosophy. Conservatives who wanted to bolster their Cold Warrior status in Texas also played upon the fears of spreading communism during the Cold War, and passed several repressive laws intended to silence unruly students and entrap professors by claiming they advocated communist doctrine. The fight culminated during the Civil Rights movement, when conservatives in the state attributed subversive or communist behavior to civil rights organizations, and targeted higher education to protect segregated universities. In order to return the national Democratic Party to the pro-business, segregationist philosophy established at the early twentieth century, conservatives used redbaiting tactics to thwart the ...
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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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A History of the Phenomenon of the Maras of El Salvador, 1971- 1992

A History of the Phenomenon of the Maras of El Salvador, 1971- 1992

Date: May 2014
Creator: Castillo, Vogel Vladimir
Description: This thesis grounds its examination of the maras of El Salvador in the historical past (1971-1992) rather than the present, which constitutes a departure from current scholarship on the subject. This thesis revises our current understanding of the emergence and development of maras in El Salvador through the recovery, insertion and examination of key local events, conditions, and historical actors of the 1970s and 1980s. From signifying friendship and camaraderie prior to the late 1980s, the maras increasingly became the target of public concern and Salvadoran security forces over the course of the 1980. By the late 1980s the maras increasingly became associated with criminal activity in Salvadoran society and popular culture. To document these changed conditions, this thesis relies extensively on previously untapped and ignored primary sources: newspapers and oral history interviews.
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The Shifting Borders of Egypt

The Shifting Borders of Egypt

Date: May 2015
Creator: Chavez, Miguel Angel
Description: The formation of state borders is often told through the history of war and diplomacy. What is neglected is the tale of how borders of seemingly peaceful and long-extant places were set. In drawing Egypt’s borders, nineteenth-century cartographers were drawing upon a well of knowledge that stretched back into antiquity. Relying on the works of Greco-Roman writers and the Bible itself, cartographers and explorers used the authority of these works to make sense of unfamiliar lands, regardless of any current circumstances. The border with Palestine was determined through the usage of the Old Testament, while classical scholars like Herodotus and Ptolemy set the southern border at the Cataracts. The ancient cartography of Rome was overlaid upon the Egypt of Muhammad Ali. Given the increasing importance Egypt had to the burgeoning British Empire of the nineteenth century, how did this mesh with the influences informing cartographical representations of Egypt? This study argues that the imagined spaces created by Western cartographers informed the trajectory of Britain’s eventual conquest of Egypt. While receding as geopolitical concerns took hold, the classical and biblical influences were nonetheless part of a larger trend of Orientalism that colored the way Westerners interacted with and treated the people ...
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A Champion for the Chicano Community: Anita N. Martínez  and Her Contributions to the City of Dallas, 1969-1973

A Champion for the Chicano Community: Anita N. Martínez and Her Contributions to the City of Dallas, 1969-1973

Date: August 2011
Creator: Cloer, Katherine Reguero
Description: Much has been published in Chicano studies over the past thirty to forty years; lacking in the historiography are the roles that Chicanas have played, specifically concerning politics in Dallas, Texas. How were Chicanas able to advance El Movimiento (the Mexican American civil rights movement)? Anita Martínez was the first woman to serve on the Dallas City Council and the first Mexican American woman to be elected to the city council in any major U.S. city. She served on the council from 1969 to 1973 and remained active on various state and local boards until 1984. Although the political system of Dallas has systematically marginalized Mexican American political voices and eradicated Mexican American barrios, some Mexican Americans fought the status quo and actively sought out the improvement of Mexican barrios and an increase in Mexican American political representation, Anita N. Martínez was one of these advocates. Long before she was elected to office, she began her activism with efforts to improve her children’s access to education and efforts to improve the safety of her community. Martinez was a champion for the Chicano community, especially for the youth. Her work for and with young Chicanos has earned her the moniker, “Defender ...
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“Campaigns Replete with Instruction”: Garnet Wolseley’s Civil War Observations and Their Effect on British Senior Staff College Training Prior to the Great War

“Campaigns Replete with Instruction”: Garnet Wolseley’s Civil War Observations and Their Effect on British Senior Staff College Training Prior to the Great War

Date: August 2011
Creator: Cohen, Bruce D.
Description: This thesis addresses the importance of the American Civil War to nineteenth-century European military education, and its influence on British staff officer training prior to World War I. It focuses on Garnet Wolseley, a Civil War observer who eventually became Commander in Chief of the Forces of the British Army. In that position, he continued to write about the war he had observed a quarter-century earlier, and was instrumental in according the Civil War a key role in officer training. Indeed, he placed Stonewall Jackson historian G.F.R. Henderson in a key military professorship. The thesis examines Wolseley’s career and writings, as well as the extent to which the Civil War was studied at the Senior Staff College, in Camberly, after Wolseley’s influence had waned. Analysis of the curriculum from the College archives demonstrates that study of the Civil War diminished rapidly in the ten years prior to World War I.
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Why the Fuse Blew: the Reasons for Colonial America’s Transformation From Proto-nationalists to Revolutionary Patriots: 1772-1775

Why the Fuse Blew: the Reasons for Colonial America’s Transformation From Proto-nationalists to Revolutionary Patriots: 1772-1775

Date: August 2015
Creator: Davis, Camille Marie
Description: The most well-known events and occurrences that caused the American Revolution are well-documented. No scholar debates the importance of matters such as the colonists’ frustration with taxation without representation, the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and the Coercive Acts. However, very few scholars have paid attention to how the 1772 English court case that freed James Somerset from slavery impacted American Independence. This case occurred during a two-year stall in the conflict between the English government and her colonies that began in 1763. Between 1763 and 1770, there was ongoing conflict between the two parties, but the conflict temporarily subsided in 1770. Two years later, in 1772, the Somerset decision reignited tension and frustration between the mother country and her colonies. This paper does not claim that the Somerset decision was the cause of colonial separation from England. Instead it argues that the Somerset decision played a significant yet rarely discussed role in the colonists’ willingness to begin meeting with one another to discuss their common problem of shared grievance with British governance. It prompted the colonists to begin relating to one another and to the British in a way that they never had previously. This case’s impact on ...
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