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 Degree Discipline: History
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Significance of Feudal Law in Thirteenth-Century Law Codes

The Significance of Feudal Law in Thirteenth-Century Law Codes

Date: May 2011
Creator: Sijansky, Adam Wayne
Description: Although developments in feudal law in the thirteenth century influenced the legal environment of Europe for centuries, much of past and current historical research of feudalism examines the social system anthropologically but neglects an in-depth analysis of feudal law codes. My research combines the social-anthropological approach with relevant customary codes to demonstrate the importance of feudal law to a thirteenth-century society plagued by war, economic and social instability, and competing powers of the monarchy, judiciary, and religion. The assessment of feudal law within each legal code highlights its prominence as an accepted category of jurisprudence. This thesis provides a new perspective on the influence of feudalism in the thirteenth century, demonstrating the significance of feudal law as a mode of maintaining peace and prolonging land tenure.
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Portrait of a southern Progressive: The political life and times of Governor Pat M. Neff of Texas, 1871-1952

Portrait of a southern Progressive: The political life and times of Governor Pat M. Neff of Texas, 1871-1952

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Date: May 2011
Creator: Stanley, Mark
Description: Pat M. Neff was a product of his political place and time. Born in Texas in 1871, during Reconstruction, he matured and prospered while his native state did the same as it transitioned from Old South to New South. Neff spent most of his life in Waco, a town that combined New South Progressivism with religious conservatism. This duality was reflected in Neff's own personality. On moral or religious issues, he was conservative. On economic and social issues, he was Progressive. He thus was a typical Southern Progressive who de-emphasized social and political change in favor of economic development. For instance, as governor from 1921 to 1925, his work to develop and conserve Texas' water resources brought urbanization and industrialization that made the New South a reality in the state. Neff was a devout Baptist which influenced his politics and philosophy. He was president of Baylor University, a Baptist institution, for fifteen years after leaving the governor s office and he led the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in the 1940s. He combined Progressive and Christian values as he argued for the establishment of the United Nations and advocated forgiveness and brotherhood after World War II. The war's end marked the ...
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Victims of Hope: Explaining Jewish Behavior in the Treblinka, Sobibór and Birkenau Extermination Camps

Victims of Hope: Explaining Jewish Behavior in the Treblinka, Sobibór and Birkenau Extermination Camps

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Date: August 2000
Creator: Motl, Kevin C.
Description: I analyze the behavior of Jews imprisoned in the Treblinka, Sobibór, and Birkenau extermination camps in order to illustrate a systematic process of deception and psychological conditioning, which the Nazis employed during World War II to preclude Jewish resistance to the Final Solution. In Chapter I, I present resistance historiography as it has developed since the end of the war. In Chapter II, I delineate my own argument on Jewish behavior during the Final Solution, limiting my definition of resistance and the applicability of my thesis to behavior in the extermination camp, or closed, environment. In Chapters III, IV, and V, I present a detailed narrative of the Treblinka, Sobibór, and Birkenau revolts using secondary sources and selected survivor testimony. Finally, in Chapter VI, I isolate select parts of the previous narratives and apply my argument to demonstrate its validity as an explanation for Jewish behavior.
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May 1856: Southern Reaction to Conflict in Kansas and Congress

May 1856: Southern Reaction to Conflict in Kansas and Congress

Date: May 2007
Creator: Fossett, Victoria Lea
Description: This thesis examines southern reactions to events that occurred in May 1856: the outbreak of civil war in Kansas and the caning of Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts. I researched two newspapers from the upper South state of Virginia, the Richmond Enquirer and the Richmond Daily Whig, and two newspapers from the lower South state of Louisiana, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the New Orleans Bee to determine the extent to which political party sentiment and/or geographic location affected southern opinion towards the two events. Political party ties influenced the material each newspaper printed. Each newspaper worried that these events endangered the Union. Some, however, believed the Union could be saved while others argued that it was only a matter of time before the South seceded.
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Dem Schwerte Muss Der Pflug Folgen: Űber-Peasants and National Socialist Settlements in the Occupied Eastern Territories during World War Two

Dem Schwerte Muss Der Pflug Folgen: Űber-Peasants and National Socialist Settlements in the Occupied Eastern Territories during World War Two

Date: May 2007
Creator: De Santiago Ramos, Simone C.
Description: German industrialization in the nineteenth century had brought forward a variety of conflicting ideas when it came to the agrarian community. One of them was the agrarian romantic movement led by Adam Műller, who feared the loss of the traditional German peasant. Műller influenced Reichdeutsche Richard Walther Darré, who argued that large cities were the downfall of the German people and that only a healthy peasant stock would be able to ‘save' Germany. Under Darré's definition, “Geopolitik” was the defense of the land, the defense with Pflug und Schwert (plow and sword) by Wehrbauern, an ‘Űberbauer-fusion' of soldier and peasant. In order to accomplish these goals, new settlements had to be established while moving from west to east. The specific focus of this study is on the original Hegewald resettlement ideas of Richard Walther Darré and how his philosophy was taken over by Himmler and fit into his personal needs and creed after 1941. It will shed some light on the interaction of Darré and Himmler and the notorious internal fights and power struggles between the various governmental agencies involved. The Ministry for Food and Agriculture under the leadership of Darré was systematically pushed into the background and all previous, ...
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Gladstone and the Bank of England: A Study in Mid-Victorian Finance, 1833-1866

Gladstone and the Bank of England: A Study in Mid-Victorian Finance, 1833-1866

Date: May 2007
Creator: Caernarven-Smith, Patricia
Description: The topic of this thesis is the confrontations between William Gladstone and the Bank of England. These confrontations have remained a mystery to authors who noted them, but have generally been ignored by others. This thesis demonstrates that Gladstone's measures taken against the Bank were reasonable, intelligent, and important for the development of nineteenth-century British government finance. To accomplish this task, this thesis refutes the opinions of three twentieth-century authors who have claimed that many of Gladstone's measures, as well as his reading, were irrational, ridiculous, and impolitic. My primary sources include the Gladstone Diaries, with special attention to a little-used source, Volume 14, the indexes to the Diaries. The day-to-day Diaries and the indexes show how much Gladstone read about financial matters, and suggest that his actions were based to a large extent upon his reading. In addition, I have used Hansard's Parliamentary Debates and nineteenth-century periodicals and books on banking and finance to understand the political and economic debates of the time.
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Skylab: The Human Side of a Scientific Mission

Skylab: The Human Side of a Scientific Mission

Date: May 2007
Creator: Johnson, Michael P.
Description: This work attempts to focus on the human side of Skylab, America's first space station, from 1973 to 1974. The thesis begins by showing some context for Skylab, especially in light of the Cold War and the “space race” between the United States and the Soviet Union. The development of the station, as well as the astronaut selection process, are traced from the beginnings of NASA. The focus then shifts to changes in NASA from the Apollo missions to Skylab, as well as training, before highlighting the three missions to the station. The work then attempts to show the significance of Skylab by focusing on the myriad of lessons that can be learned from it and applied to future programs.
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Famous Peace Plans of History

Famous Peace Plans of History

Date: 1946
Creator: Plummer, Marguerite K.
Description: The purpose of the present thesis, is to trace the development of the idea of world organization to secure world peace. An endeavor is made to give a brief survey of the best known peace plans of history with a critical evaluation of the contribution of each to the ideas embodied in the League of Nations and the United Nations.
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The Legacy of Purgatory: The Continuing English Eschatological Controversy

The Legacy of Purgatory: The Continuing English Eschatological Controversy

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Date: August 2006
Creator: Machen, Chase E.
Description: This work examines particular attributes of the purgatorial phenomena from pre-Christian history of the Indo-European world to the Early Modern Period of England. An attempt has been made to identify and concentrate attention upon examples which provide the most significant and penetrating look into this evolution. For example, a portion of this paper attempts to determine just how widespread purgatorial customs were throughout England and the various types of community that supported these beliefs pre and post Reformation. By comparing life before and after the reigns of Henry and Edward a conclusion is reached that reveals the Protestant Reformation in England stripped the laity of a fundamental instrument they needed to support their religiosity and custom. This becomes evident in further years as some of those same customs and rituals that had been considered anathema by Protestants, slowly crept back into the liturgy of the new religion. Strong evidence of this is provided, with a strong emphasis placed upon late seventeenth and early eighteenth century death eulogies, with a section of this paper being devoted to the phenomena of the Sin-Eater.
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Politics and Militarism in Japan

Politics and Militarism in Japan

Date: 1947
Creator: Smith, Cordell A.
Description: This study is a treatment of the conflicts between politics and militarism in Japan from the promulgation of the Constitution in 1889 to December 7, 1941, in four major divisions: (1) organization of the government; (2) the Elder Statesmen in power, 1889-1918; (3) the party politicians in power, 1918-1932; and (4) the militarists in power, 1932-1941.
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Prince Hall Freemasonry: The other invisible institution of the black community.

Prince Hall Freemasonry: The other invisible institution of the black community.

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Date: August 2006
Creator: Dunbar, Paul Lawrence
Description: The black church and Prince Hall Freemasonry both played important roles in the black experience in America. Freemasonry and the black church; one secular, the other spiritual, played equally important, interrelated roles in the way the black community addressed social, political, and economic problems in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
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Germanic Women: Mundium and Property, 400-1000

Germanic Women: Mundium and Property, 400-1000

Date: August 2006
Creator: Dunn, Kimberlee Harper
Description: Abstract Many historians would like to discover a time of relative freedom, security and independence for women of the past. The Germanic era, from 400-1000 AD, was a time of stability, and security due to limitations the law placed upon the mundwald and the legal ability of women to possess property. The system of compensations that the Germans initiated in an effort to stop the blood feuds between Germanic families, served as a deterrent to men that might physically or sexually abuse women. The majority of the sources used in this work were the Germanic Codes generally dated from 498-1024 AD. Ancient Roman and Germanic sources provide background information about the individual tribes. Secondary sources provide a contrast to the ideas of this thesis, and information.
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Expropriation of American Oil Interests and its Effect on United States-Mexican Relations since 1938

Expropriation of American Oil Interests and its Effect on United States-Mexican Relations since 1938

Date: 1947
Creator: Buell, Erwin C.
Description: This thesis discusses the seizure of all foreign owned oil property by the Mexican government in 1938 and the historical events leading up to the seizure.
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Beyond the Cabinet: Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Expansion of the National Security Adviser Position

Beyond the Cabinet: Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Expansion of the National Security Adviser Position

Date: August 2011
Creator: McLean, Erika
Description: The argument illustrated in the thesis outlines Zbigniew Brzezinski’s ability to manipulate himself and his agenda to top priority as the national security advisor to President Carter. It further argues that Brzezinski deserves more blame for the failure of American foreign policy towards Iran; not President Carter. The sources include primary sources such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and President Jimmy Carter’s memoirs as well as information from President Carter’s library in Atlanta, Georgia. Secondary sources include historians who focus on both presidential policy and President Carter and his staff. The thesis is organized as follows: the introduction of Brzezinski, then the focus turns to his time in the White House, Iran, then what he is doing today.
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China's Industry and the Impact of the War Upon It

China's Industry and the Impact of the War Upon It

Date: 1946
Creator: Harris, Margaret B.
Description: This thesis is a study of China's industry and how it was impacted by war.
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Educational Opportunities Available for Women in Antebellum Texas

Educational Opportunities Available for Women in Antebellum Texas

Date: August 2006
Creator: Cochrane, Michelle L.
Description: The matter of formal education for women in the antebellum South raises many questions, especially for the frontier state of Texas. Were there schools for young women in antebellum Texas? If so, did these schools emphasize academic or ornamental subjects? Did only women from wealthy families attend? This study answered these questions by examining educational opportunities in five antebellum Texas counties. Utilizing newspapers, probate records, tax records, and the federal census, it identified schools for girls in all of the counties and found that those schools offered academic as well as ornamental subjects. Almost all of the girls who attended those schools came from privileged families. Schools were available for young women in antebellum Texas, but generally only those from wealthy families were able to attend.
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Ethnic Minorities and Prohibition in Texas, 1887 to 1919

Ethnic Minorities and Prohibition in Texas, 1887 to 1919

Date: August 2006
Creator: Sutton, Jared Paul
Description: Historians of the prohibition movement in Texas have assumed that the state's main ethnic minorities-Germans, Mexican Americans and African Americans-strongly opposed restrictions on the production, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages. This study focuses on the voting patterns in fifteen counties chosen to represent varying percentages of these ethnic minorities in their populations during three statewide anti-alcohol elections (1997, 1911, and 1919) in an effort to determine exactly the extent of opposition to prohibition on the part of ethnic minorities in Texas. It also examines the actions of the prohibitionists and anti-prohibitionists in courting the vote of ethnic minority groups. This analysis and comparison of election results in fifteen counties confirms overwhelming opposition to prohibition on the part of all three of Texas's ethnic minorities.
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The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Oran M. Roberts

The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Oran M. Roberts

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Date: May 2004
Creator: Klemme, A. Christian
Description: This thesis analyzes the political career of Oran M. Roberts during the critical period from 1850 to 1873. Through a reassessment of Roberts's extensive personal papers in the context of modern historical scholarship, the author explains how Roberts's political philosophy reflected the biases and prejudices typical of his era, as well as his own material interests and ambitions. Topic areas covered include Roberts's position on the Compromise of 1850, his constitutional philosophy, his involvement in the secession movement in Texas (including his service as president of the state secession convention), his military career during the Civil War, his participation in Presidential Reconstruction, his views on Congressional Reconstruction, and his role in the process of "redemption" in Texas.
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Pursuit of Happiness: Struggling to Preserve Status Quo in Revolutionary Era Nova Scotia

Pursuit of Happiness: Struggling to Preserve Status Quo in Revolutionary Era Nova Scotia

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Date: August 2006
Creator: Langston, Paul D.
Description: Following the Glorious Revolution in 1688, the British North American colonies interpreted Parliament's success in removing arbitrary governmental practices and establishing a balanced government as a victory for local representative government. Within these colonies, merchants secured their influence in local government in order to protect their profits and trade networks. The New England merchants that resettled in Nova Scotia in the 1750s successfully established a local government founded upon their rights as British subjects. The attempt by the British government to centralize the imperial administration in 1763 and the perceived threat of reintroducing arbitrary rule by Parliament was a direct threat to the colonial governmental system. Although Nova Scotia chose loyalism in 1775-1776, this decision did not stem from isolation or a differing political philosophy. In fact, it was their cultural and political similarities that led Nova Scotia and New England to separate paths in 1776. Nova Scotia merchants controlling the Assembly were able to confront and defeat attempts that threatened their influence in local politics and on the local economy. With the threat to their authority defeated and new markets opening for the colony, the Nova Scotia merchant class was able to preserve the status quo in local government.
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Toward an Ecological Understanding of the Vendée: Old Myths and New Paradigms

Toward an Ecological Understanding of the Vendée: Old Myths and New Paradigms

Date: August 2011
Creator: Strietelmeier, Paul
Description: This work explores the motivations of the two major parties in the civil war in the Vendée from 1793 to 1796. It suggests that traditional understandings overemphasize simplistic notions of the idealistic crusade; the Revolutionaries fought for Republican ideals, while the locals fought to defend traditional Catholicism. This thesis suggests that the major motive for both sides was a fight for survival that was framed and expressed in political and religious terms rather than motivated by them. The reason that these motives have been confused is a long misunderstood connection between the means of discourse, the structure of social values, and their connection to any individual’s perceived sense of safety, which suggests an ecological, or holistic, rather than a Manichaean framework.
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The Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District: A Case Study in Texas Groundwater Conservation

The Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District: A Case Study in Texas Groundwater Conservation

Date: August 2011
Creator: Teel, Katherine
Description: This thesis examines the history of groundwater management through the development of groundwater conservation districts in Texas. Political, economic, ideological, and scientific understandings of groundwater and its regulation varied across the state, as did the natural resource types and quantities, which created a diverse and complicated position for lawmakers and landowners. Groundwater was consistently interpreted as a private property right and case law protected unrestricted use for the majority of the twentieth-century even as groundwater resources crossed property and political boundaries, and water tables declined particularly during the second-half of the century. The case study of the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District describes the complicated history of groundwater in Texas as the state attempted to balance natural resource legislation and private property rights and illuminate groundwater’s importance for the future.
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Ruinous Pride: The Construction of the Scottish Military Identity, 1745-1918

Ruinous Pride: The Construction of the Scottish Military Identity, 1745-1918

Date: August 2011
Creator: Matheson, Calum Lister
Description: Following the failed Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46 many Highlanders fought for the British Army in the Seven Years War and American Revolutionary War. Although these soldiers were primarily motivated by economic considerations, their experiences were romanticized after Waterloo and helped to create a new, unified Scottish martial identity. This militaristic narrative, reinforced throughout the nineteenth century, explains why Scots fought and died in disproportionately large numbers during the First World War.
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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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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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