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 Department: Department of History
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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A General Diffusion of Knowledge: Republican Efforts to Build a Public School System in Reconstruction Texas

A General Diffusion of Knowledge: Republican Efforts to Build a Public School System in Reconstruction Texas

Date: December 2011
Creator: Hathcock, James A.
Description: From the early days as a Spanish colony Texas attracted settlers with the promise of cheap fertile land. During the period of Mexican control the population of Texas increased and a desire for public education manifested among the people. Through the end of the Civil War government in Texas never provided an adequate means for educating the children of the region. Even when funds became available with the Compromise of 1850 the state only established a school fund to help offset the costs of education, but did not provide a public school system. The first truly successful attempt at mass education in Texas came after the Civil War with the work of the Freedmen’s Bureau. The bureau helped the former slaves adjust to the emerging post war society through a variety of means such as education. In spite of its short existence the bureau managed to educate thousands of African Americans. By 1870 the former slaves wanted more education for their children, and Texans of all races began to see the need for a public school system. This study focuses on Republican efforts during Reconstruction to establish a public school system in Texas to meet the educational needs of its ...
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Fields and Armor: A Comparative Analysis of English Feudalism and Japanese Hokensei

Fields and Armor: A Comparative Analysis of English Feudalism and Japanese Hokensei

Date: December 2011
Creator: Garrison, Arthur Thomas
Description: Fields and Armor is a comparative study of English feudalism from the Norman Conquest until the reign of King Henry II (1154-1189) and Japan’s first military government, the Kamakura Bakufu (1185- 1333). This thesis was designed to examine the validity of a European-Japanese comparison. Such comparisons have been attempted in the past. However, many historians on both sides of the equation have levied some serious criticism against these endeavors. In light, of these valid criticisms, this thesis has been a comparison of medieval English government and that of the Kamakura-Samurai, because of a variety of geographic, cultural and social similarities that existed in both regions. These similarities include similar military organizations and parallel developments, which resulted in the formation of two of most centralized military governments in either Western Europe or East Asia, and finally, the presence and real enforcement of two forms of unitary inheritance in both locales.
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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 Financial History of the War of 1812

The Financial History of the War of 1812

Date: May 2009
Creator: Morales, Lisa R.
Description: The War of 1812 brought daunting financial challenges to the national government of the United States. At the onset of war, policymakers were still in the process of sifting through a developing body of American economic thought while contemplating the practicalities of banking and public finance. The young nation's wartime experience encompassed the travails of incompetent and cautious leadership, the incautious optimism that stemmed from several previous years of economic growth, the inadequacies of the banking system, and, ultimately, the temporary deterioration of the financial position of the United States. While not equivalent to great tragedy, the war did force Americans to attend to the financial infrastructure of the country and reevaluate what kinds of institutions were truly necessary. This study of the financing of the War of 1812 provides a greater understanding of how the early American economy functioned and the sources of its economic progress during that era. Financial studies have typically not been a primary focus of historians, and certainly with regard to the War of 1812, it is easy to understand a preoccupation with political and military affairs. To a large degree, however, economic realities and financial infrastructure determine a nation's capacity for growth and change ...
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The Rebirth of Poland

The Rebirth of Poland

Date: 1941
Creator: McCarty, Tom R.
Description: A study of the rebirth and development of Poland after World War I.
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The Growth of German Militarism

The Growth of German Militarism

Date: 1941
Creator: Williams, Preston Buckner
Description: A study of the history of Germany as a militaristic country.
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American Ambassadorial Representation to England from John Adams to Charles Francis Adams

American Ambassadorial Representation to England from John Adams to Charles Francis Adams

Date: 1945
Creator: Parker, Mary Lois
Description: This thesis outlines the history of American ambassadorial representation in England through 1868.
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The Development of Railroads in Oklahoma

The Development of Railroads in Oklahoma

Date: 1948
Creator: McDonough, Terrence C.
Description: This thesis is a study of the growth and expansion of railroads in Oklahoma.
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