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 Department: Department of History
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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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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James Earl Rudder: A Lesson in Leadership

James Earl Rudder: A Lesson in Leadership

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Date: December 2003
Creator: Bean, Christopher B.
Description: This thesis is the about the life of Rudder. The emphasis of this work, however, is that Rudder was successful primarily because of his character and leadership style. Much of the study was drawn from primary sources. Secondary sources were also consulted. This thesis opens with a brief Introduction, which discusses the need for this work. Chapter 1 discusses Rudder's life prior to WW II, emphasizing particular characteristics that benefited his leadership ability. Chapter 2 examines the 2nd Ranger Battalion's transformation under Rudder's leadership and guidance. Chapter 3 chronicles the 2nd Ranger Battalion's assault on the Pointe du Hoc battery, ending in December 1944, when Col. Rudder was reassigned to the 109th Infantry Regiment. Moreover, the controversy surrounding the Ranger's mission is also examined in this chapter. Chapter 4 describes Col. Rudder's leadership with the 109th in the Battle of the Bulge. A chapter accounting Rudder's political career and leadership follows. Chapter 6 examines his term as chancellor and president of the Texas A&M University system, until his death in 1970, and the major institutional changes that he enacted during his tenure, which resulted in A&M becoming the respected research university it is today. This significance and recapitulation of Rudder's ...
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Southern Attitudes Toward the West, 1783 to 1803

Southern Attitudes Toward the West, 1783 to 1803

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Date: May 2011
Creator: Zemler, Jeffrey Allen
Description: This dissertation argues that the strong relationship that historians see between the South and West in the early 19th century, which allowed them to form what scholars have termed the Old South, had its origins in the twenty-year period after the American Revolution when a group of far-sighted southerners worked to form a political bond between the two regions. They did so by tirelessly defending the West and westerners against political and economic attacks, often from northerners but sometimes from people within their own region. Within the ongoing debate over the emergence of a southern consciousness, historians have overlooked one important factor in its development-the West. Although it would be incorrect to argue that southern consciousness began in the 1780s or 1790s, it would not be remiss to argue that southerners began to look at the trans-Appalachian West during this period as something more than just virgin territory. A few southerners, particularly James Madison, saw the South's political future entwined with the West's advancement and worked to ensure that a strong political relationship developed between the two regions. For people like Madison, this political merger of the two sections is what they meant when they talked about a "southern and ...
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Texas Annexation and the Presidential Election of 1844 in the Richmond, Virginia, and New Orleans, Louisiana, Newspaper

Texas Annexation and the Presidential Election of 1844 in the Richmond, Virginia, and New Orleans, Louisiana, Newspaper

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Date: December 2001
Creator: Short, Steven W.
Description: This thesis examines the issue of Texas annexation from the viewpoints of two southern cities: Richmond, Virginia, and New Orleans, Louisiana. It looks primarily at four major newspapers, two in each city: the Richmond Enquirer and the Richmond Whig; and the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the New Orleans Whig. These four newspapers were examined thoroughly from January 1844 to July 1845. In addition to the above newspapers, the Congressional Globe and national voting patterns on Texas annexation were examined. Analysis of the editorial articles in the above newspapers offers the best possibility of understanding public sentiment toward Texas annexation and the presidential election of 1844. The evidence examined in this study indicates that Texas annexation became a decisive issue in the presidential election of 1844. It also shows that, although the press and elements within both Democratic and Whig parties were aware that the slavery question was intricately linked to the Texas annexation issue, slavery and sectional politics were not the primary factors influencing annexation. Ultimately, fundamental concerns regarding western expansion in general, especially for the Whigs, and political party loyalty proved the decisive factors in the presidential election of 1844 and Texas annexation. The evidence gathered in this study ...
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From Stockyards to Defense Plants, the Transformation of a City: Fort Worth, Texas, and World War II

From Stockyards to Defense Plants, the Transformation of a City: Fort Worth, Texas, and World War II

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Date: December 2003
Creator: Pinkney, Kathryn Currie
Description: World War II represented a watershed event in the history of the United States and affected political, economic, and social systems at all levels. In particular, the war unleashed forces that caused rapid industrialization, immigration, and urbanization in two regions, the South and the West. This study examines one community's place in that experience as those forces forever altered the city of Fort Worth, Texas. Prior to World War II, Fort Worth's economy revolved around cattle, food-processing, and oil, industries that depended largely on an unskilled labor force. The Fort Worth Stockyards laid claim to the single largest workforce in the city, while manufacturing lagged far behind. After an aggressive campaign waged by city civic and business leaders, Fort Worth acquired a Consolidated Aircraft Corporation assembly plant in early 1941. The presence of that facility initiated an economic transformation that resulted in a major shift away from agriculture and toward manufacturing, particularly the aviation industry. The Consolidated plant sparked industrial development, triggered an influx of newcomers, trained a skilled workforce, and stimulated an economic recovery that lifted the city out of the Depression-era doldrums. When hostilities ended and the United States entered the Cold War period, Consolidated and the adjacent ...
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The Public Polemics of Baldur von Schirach: A Study of National Socialist Rhetoric and Aesthetics, 1922-1945

The Public Polemics of Baldur von Schirach: A Study of National Socialist Rhetoric and Aesthetics, 1922-1945

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Date: December 2003
Creator: Koontz, Christopher N.
Description: This dissertation examines the political writings and speeches of Baldur von Schirach, a leading figure of the National Socialist German Worker's Party, and the means by which he chose to transmit his beliefs in totalitarianism, racism, and militarism. Schirach's activities serve as a case study of the Third Reich's artistic and cultural programs and the means by which these programs served as conduits for propaganda and public education. Throughout his career as the leader of the National Socialist Student's League, Reich Youth Leader, and Gauleiter of Vienna, Schirach promulgated a political theory which interpreted the rise of the Third Reich as an expression of an innately superior German culture. He put this theory forth through the use of artistic means, including his own poetry and prose, and theoretical exegeses of artistic and literary works that explained them within a fascist, totalitarian idiom. The dissertation discusses Schirach's personal adherence to Nazism and its roots; the ways in which he interpreted fascist philosophical tenets, symbols, messages, and archetypes; his concepts of youth and adult education; his attempts to mold the artistic community of Vienna into an aesthetically progressive, yet politically coherent, means of propaganda; and his role in the destruction of the ...
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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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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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The Break-up of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Army, 1865

The Break-up of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Army, 1865

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Date: May 2001
Creator: Clampitt, Brad R.
Description: Unlike other Confederate armies at the conclusion of the Civil War, General Edmund Kirby Smith's Trans-Mississippi Army disbanded, often without orders, rather than surrender formally. Despite entreaties from military and civilian leaders to fight on, for Confederate soldiers west of the Mississippi River, the surrender of armies led by Generals Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston ended the war. After a significant decline in morale and discipline throughout the spring of 1865, soldiers of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department chose to break-up and return home. As compensation for months of unpaid service, soldiers seized both public and private property. Civilians joined the soldiers to create disorder that swept many Texas communities until the arrival of Federal troops in late June.
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