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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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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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Southland, The Completion Of a Dream: The Story Behind Southern Newsprint's Improbable Beginnings

Southland, The Completion Of a Dream: The Story Behind Southern Newsprint's Improbable Beginnings

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Date: May 2001
Creator: McGrath, Charles
Description: The purpose of this thesis is to explore the creative process behind Southland Paper Mills, the South's first newsprint factory. The thesis describes the conditions leading to the need for southern newsprint. It then chronicles, through the use of company records, the difficult challenges southern newsprint pioneers faced. The thesis follows the company history from the gem of an idea during the mid 1930's through the first decade of the Southland's existence. The paper concludes with the formative years of the company in the 1940's.
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The Role of Violence in Hunt County, Texas, during Reconstruction

The Role of Violence in Hunt County, Texas, during Reconstruction

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Date: December 2004
Creator: Hathcock, James A.
Description: The post Civil War period known as Reconstruction remains a topic of interest for historians. Having avoided the experience of invasion by Northern troops during the Civil War, the people living in the interior of the state of Texas accepted Confederate defeat at first. However, with the instituting of Northern efforts at Reconstruction, such as the installation of Republican interim government officials, the arrival of Freedmen's Bureau agents, and in some parts the stationing of federal troops, conservative whites throughout the state became defiant toward the federal government and its policies. Some white southerners even went so far as to take up arms and become embroiled in open conflict with the federal government and its local institutions. As a result, Unionist whites and freedmen found themselves to be the targets of groups of desperados committed to upholding the Southern Cause and ensuring the return of the conservative Democratic party to power in Texas politics. This study focuses on Hunt County from the years 1860 - 1873 to determine to what extent violence played a role in the era of Reconstruction. An analysis of data primarily from county, state, and federal records forms the basis of this study. The information obtained ...
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The "Sixties" Come to North Texas State University, 1968-1972

The "Sixties" Come to North Texas State University, 1968-1972

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Date: December 2004
Creator: Phelps, Wesley Gordon
Description: North Texas State University and the surrounding Denton community enjoyed a quiet college atmosphere throughout most of the 1960s. With the retirement of President J. C. Matthews in 1968, however, North Texas began witnessing the issues most commonly associated with the turbulent decade, such as the struggle for civil rights, the anti-Vietnam War movement, the fight for student rights on campus, and the emergence of the Counterculture. Over the last two years of the decade, North Texas State University and the surrounding community dealt directly with the 1960s and, under the astute leadership of President John J. Kamerick, successfully endured trying times.
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The Martial Arts of Medieval Europe

The Martial Arts of Medieval Europe

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Date: August 2011
Creator: Price, Brian R.
Description: During the late Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, fighting books—Fechtbücher—were produced in northern Italy, among the German states, in Burgundy, and on the Iberian peninsula. Long dismissed by fencing historians as “rough and untutored,” and largely unknown to military historians, these enigmatic treatises offer important insights into the cultural realities for all three orders in medieval society: those who fought, those who prayed, and those who labored. The intent of this dissertation is to demonstrate, contrary to the view of fencing historians, that the medieval works were systematic and logical approaches to personal defense rooted in optimizing available technology and regulating the appropriate use of the skills and technology through the lens of chivalric conduct. I argue further that these approaches were principle-based, that they built on Aristotelian conceptions of arte, and that by both contemporary and modern usage, they were martial arts. Finally, I argue that the existence of these martial arts lends important insights into the world-view across the spectrum of Medieval and early Renaissance society, but particularly with the tactical understanding held by professional combatants, the knights and men-at-arms. Three treatises are analyzed in detail. These include the anonymous RA I.33 Latin manuscript in the Royal ...
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Mary Jones: Last First Lady of the Republic of Texas

Mary Jones: Last First Lady of the Republic of Texas

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Date: December 2011
Creator: Fish, Birney Mark
Description: Abstract This dissertation uses archival and interpretive methods to examine the life and contributions of Mary Smith McCrory Jones in Texas. Specifically, this project investigates the ways in which Mary Jones emerged into the public sphere, utilized myth and memory, and managed her life as a widow. Each of these larger areas is examined in relation to historiographicaly accepted patterns and in the larger context of women in Texas, the South, and the nation during this period. Mary Jones, 1819-1907, experienced many of the key early periods in Anglo Texas history. The research traces her family’s immigration to Austin’s Colony and their early years under Mexican sovereignty. The Texas Revolution resulted in her move to Houston and her first brief marriage. Following the death of her husband she met and married Anson Jones, a physician who served in public posts throughout the period of the Texas Republic. Over time Anson was politically and personally rejected to the point that he committed suicide. This dissertation studies the effects this death had upon Mary’s personal goals, her use of a widow’s status to achieve her objectives, and her eventual emergence as a “Professional Widow.” Mary Jones’s attempts to rehabilitate her husband’s public ...
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Economic Mobility into the Planter Class in Texas, 1846-1860

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

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

The Confederate Pension Systems in Texas, Georgia, and Virginia: The Programs and the People

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Date: December 2004
Creator: Wilson, Mary L.
Description: The United States government began paying pensions to disabled Union veterans before the Civil War ended in April 1865. By 1890 its pension programs included any Union veteran who had fought in the Civil War, regardless of his financial means, as well as surviving family members, including mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. Union veterans did not hesitate to "wave the bloody shirt" in their attempts to liberalize pension laws. Pension programs for Confederate veterans were much slower to develop. Lacking any higher organization, each southern state assumed the responsibility of caring for disabled and/or indigent Confederate veterans and widows. Texas began paying Confederate pensions in 1899, Georgia in 1888 and Virginia in 1889. Unlike Texas, Georgia and Virginia provided artificial limbs for their veterans long before they started paying pensions. At the time of his enlistment in the 1860s, the typical future pensioner was twenty-five years of age, and fewer than half were married heads of households. Very few could be considered wealthy and most were employed in agriculture. The pensioners of Georgia, Texas, and Virginia were remarkably similar, although there were some differences in nativity and marital status. They were all elderly and needy by the time they asked ...
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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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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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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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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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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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