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 Department: Department of History
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
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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Southern Roots, Western Foundations: the Peculiar Institution and the Livestock Industry on the Northwestern Frontier of Texas, 1846-1864

Southern Roots, Western Foundations: the Peculiar Institution and the Livestock Industry on the Northwestern Frontier of Texas, 1846-1864

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Liles, Deborah Marie
Description: This dissertation challenges Charles W. Ramsdell's needless war theory, which argued that profitable slavery would not have existed west of the 98th meridian and that slavery would have died a natural death. It uses statistical information that is mined from the county tax records to show how slave-owners on the northwestern frontier of Texas raised livestock rather than market crops, before and during the Civil War. This enterprise was so strong that it not only continued to expand throughout this period, but it also became the foundation for the recovery of the Texas economy after the war.
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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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My Crown Is in My Heart, Not on My Head: Heart Burial in England, France, and the Holy Roman Empire From Medieval Times to the Present

My Crown Is in My Heart, Not on My Head: Heart Burial in England, France, and the Holy Roman Empire From Medieval Times to the Present

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Date: May 2013
Creator: Duch, Anna M.
Description: Heart burial is a funerary practice that has been performed since the early medieval period. However, relatively little scholarship has been published on it in English. Heart burial began as a pragmatic way to preserve a body, but it became a meaningful tradition in Western Europe during the medieval and early modern periods. In an anthropological context, the ritual served the needs of elites and the societies they governed. Elites used heart burial not only to preserve their bodies, but to express devotion, stabilize the social order and advocate legitimacy, and even gain heaven. Heart burial assisted in the elite Christian, his or her family, and society pass through the liminal period of death. Over the centuries, heart burial evolved to remain relevant. The practice is extant to the present day, though the motivations behind it are very different from those of the medieval and early modern periods.
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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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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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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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A Revolution in Warfare?  the Army of the Sambre and Meuse and the 1794 Fleurus Campaign

A Revolution in Warfare? the Army of the Sambre and Meuse and the 1794 Fleurus Campaign

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Hayworth, Jordan R.
Description: During the War of the First Coalition, the Army of the Sambre and Meuse, commanded by Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, played the decisive role against Coalition forces in the Low Countries. Created in June 1794, the army defeated the Allies at the battle of Second Fleurus on 26 June 1794 and commenced the Coalition’s retreat to the Rhine River. At the end of the year, Jourdan led the army to winter quarters along the left bank of the Rhine and achieved France’s historically momentous “natural frontier.” Despite its historical significance, the Army of the Sambre and Meuse has suffered from scant historical attention. Based largely on archival research, this thesis provides a detailed examination of the army’s performance during the Fleurus campaign. In addition, this thesis pursues several broader themes. A detailed study of the Sambre and Meuse Army provides insight into institutional military change during the late eighteenth century. While historians traditionally argue that the French Revolution inaugurated an attendant “revolution in military affairs,” this thesis presents evidence of evolutionary changes and continuities. Another important theme is the question of the combat effectiveness of French field armies during the Revolutionary epoch. Although historians typically present the French armies as unique and ...
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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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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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