UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse

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Adapting on the Plains: the United States Army's Evolution of Mobile Warfare in Texas, 1848-1859

Description: The Army, despite having been vexed for a century on how to effectively fight the Plains Indians, ultimately defeated them only a decade after the Civil War. This thesis will bring to the forefront those individuals who adapted fighting techniques and ultimately achieved victories on the Texas frontier before the Civil War. The majority of these victories came as a result of mounted warfare under the direction of lower ranking officers in control of smaller forces. The tactic of fighting Indians from horseback was shown to be effective by the Rangers and later emulated by the Army.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Buchy, Mark B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Argei: Sex, War, and Crucifixion in Rome and the Ancient Near East

Description: The purpose of the Roman Argei ceremony, during which the Vestal Virgins harvested made and paraded rush puppets only to throw them into the Tiber, is widely debated. Modern historians supply three main reasons for the purpose of the Argei: an agrarian act, a scapegoat, and finally as an offering averting deceased spirits or Lares. I suggest that the ceremony also related to war and the spectacle of displaying war casualties. I compare the ancient Near East and Rome and connect the element of war and husbandry and claim that the Argei paralleled the sacred marriage. in addition to an agricultural and purification rite, these rituals may have served as sympathetic magic for pre- and inter-war periods. As of yet, no author has proposed the Argei as a ceremony related to war. By looking at the Argei holistically I open the door for a new direction of inquiry on the Argei ceremony, fertility cults in the Near East and in Rome, and on the execution of war criminals.The Argei and new year’s sacred marriage both occurred during the initiation of campaign and spring planting and harvest season. Both in the ancient Near East and in Rome, animal victims were sacrificed and displayed through impaling, crucifixion, and hanging for fertility and in war. for both Rome and the Near East war casualties were displayed on sacred trees. Through the Near East cultures a strong correlation existed between impaling, hanging, and crucifixion in war and Sacred Tree fertility worship. By examining Roman tree worship, military rituals, and agricultural ceremonies a similar correlation becomes apparent. on the same day of the Argei, Mars was married to the anthropomorphized new year and within the month became a scapegoat expelled from the city. Additionally, on the first day of the Argei boys became soldiers.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Ewin, Kristan Foust
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Art-Union and Photography, 1839-1854: The First Fifteen Years of Critical Engagement between Two Cultural Icons of Nineteenth-Century Britain

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.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Boetcher, Derek Nicholas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bad Blood: Impurity and Danger in the Early Modern Spanish Mentality

Description: The current work is an intellectual history of how blood permeated early modern Spaniards' conceptions of morality and purity. This paper examines Spanish intellectuals' references to blood in their medical, theological, demonological, and historical works. Through these excerpts, this thesis demonstrates how this language of blood played a role in buttressing the church's conception of good morals. This, in turn, will show that blood was used as a way to persecute Jews and Muslims, and ultimately define the early modern Spanish identity.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Pyle, Rhonda
Partner: UNT Libraries

Banks and Bankers in Denton County, Texas, 1846-1940

Description: This thesis investigates the importance banks, and bankers had with the development of the Denton County Texas from the 1870s until the beginning of the Second World War. Specifically, their role in the formation of both private and public infrastructure as well as the facilitation towards a more diverse economy. Key elements of bank development are outlined in the study including private, national, and state bank operations.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Page, Shawn
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: August 2011
Creator: McLean, Erika
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Teel, Katherine
Partner: UNT Libraries

“Campaigns Replete with Instruction”: Garnet Wolseley’s Civil War Observations and Their Effect on British Senior Staff College Training Prior to the Great War

Description: This thesis addresses the importance of the American Civil War to nineteenth-century European military education, and its influence on British staff officer training prior to World War I. It focuses on Garnet Wolseley, a Civil War observer who eventually became Commander in Chief of the Forces of the British Army. In that position, he continued to write about the war he had observed a quarter-century earlier, and was instrumental in according the Civil War a key role in officer training. Indeed, he placed Stonewall Jackson historian G.F.R. Henderson in a key military professorship. The thesis examines Wolseley’s career and writings, as well as the extent to which the Civil War was studied at the Senior Staff College, in Camberly, after Wolseley’s influence had waned. Analysis of the curriculum from the College archives demonstrates that study of the Civil War diminished rapidly in the ten years prior to World War I.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Cohen, Bruce D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Capital Ships, Commerce, and Coalition: British Strategy in the Mediterranean Theater, 1793

Description: In 1793, Great Britain embarked on a war against Revolutionary France to reestablish a balance of power in Europe. Traditional assessments among historians consider British war planning at the ministerial level during the First Coalition to be incompetent and haphazard. This work reassesses decision making of the leading strategists in the British Cabinet in the development of a theater in the Mediterranean by examining political, diplomatic, and military influences. William Pitt the Younger and his controlling ministers pursued a conservative strategy in the Mediterranean, reliant on Allies in the region to contain French armies and ideas inside the Alps and the Pyrenees. Dependent on British naval power, the Cabinet sought to weaken the French war effort by targeting trade in the region. Throughout the first half of 1793, the British government remained fixed on this conservative, traditional approach to France. However, with the fall of Toulon in August of 1793, decisions made by Admiral Samuel Hood in command of forces in the Mediterranean radicalized British policy towards the Revolution while undermining the construct of the Coalition. The inconsistencies in strategic thought political decisions created stagnation, wasting the opportunities gained by the Counter-revolutionary movements in southern France. As a result, reinvigorated French forces defeated Allied forces in detail in the fall of 1793.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Baker, William C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Captain of the People in Renaissance Florence

Description: The Renaissance Florentine Captain of the People began as a court, which defended the common people or popolo from the magnates and tried crimes such as assault, murder and fraud. This study reveals how factionalism, economic stress and the rise of citizen magistrate courts eroded the jurisdiction and ended the Court of the Captain. The creation of the Captain in 1250 occurred during the external fight for dominance between the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope and the struggle between the Guelfs and Ghibellines within the city of Florence. The rise of the Ciompi in 1379, worried the Florentine aristocracy who believed the Ciompi was a threat to their power and they created the Otto di Guardia, a citizen magistrate court. This court began as a way to manage gaps in jurisdiction not covered by the Captain and his fellow rectors. However, by 1433 the Otto eroded the power of the Captain and his fellow rectors. Historians have argued that the Roman law jurists in this period became the tool for the aristocracy but in fact, the citizen magistrate courts acted as a source of power for the aristocracy. In the 1430s, the Albizzi and Medici fought for power. The Albizzi utilized a government mandate, which had the case already carried out or a bullectini to exile Medici adherents. However, by 1433, the Medici triumphed and Cosimo de Medici returned to the city of Florence. He expanded the power of the Otto in order to utilize the bullectini to exile his enemies. The expansion of jurisdiction of the Otto further eroded the power of the Captain. Factionalism, economic stress and the rise of the citizen magistrate courts eroded the power of the Captain of the people.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Hamilton, Desirae
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cattle Capitol: Misrepresented Environments, Nineteenth Century Symbols of Power, and the Construction of the Texas State House, 1879-1888

Description: State officials, between 1882 and 1888, exchanged three million acres of Texas Panhandle property for construction of the monumental Capitol that continues to house Texas government today. The project and the land went to a Chicago syndicate led by men influential in business and politics. The red granite Austin State House is a recognizable symbol of Texas around the world. So too, the massive tract given in exchange for the building, what became the "fabulous" XIT Ranch, also has come to symbolize the height of the nineteenth century cattle industry. That eastern and foreign capital dominated the cattle business during this period is lesser known, absorbed by the mythology built around the Texas cattle-trail period - all but at an end in 1885. This study examines the interaction of Illinois Republicans and Texas Democrats in their actions and efforts to create what have become two of Texas's most treasured symbols.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Miller, Michael M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Causes of the Jewish Diaspora Revolt in Alexandria: Regional Uprisings from the Margins of Greco-Roman Society

Description: This thesis examines the progression from relatively peaceful relations between Alexandrians and Jews under the Ptolemies to the Diaspora Revolt under the Romans. A close analysis of the literature evidences that the transition from Ptolemaic to Roman Alexandria had critical effects on Jewish status in the Diaspora. One of the most far reaching consequences of the shift from the Ptolemies to Romans was forcing the Alexandrians to participate in the struggle for imperial patronage. Alexandrian involvement introduced a new element to the ongoing conflict among Egypt’s Jews and native Egyptians. The Alexandrian citizens consciously cut back privileges the Jews previously enjoyed under the Ptolemies and sought to block the Jews from advancing within the Roman system. Soon the Jews were confronted with rhetoric slandering their civility and culture. Faced with a choice, many Jews forsook Judaism and their traditions for more upwardly mobile life. After the outbreak of the First Jewish War Jewish life took a turn for the worse. Many Jews found themselves in a system that classified them according to their heritage and ancestry, limiting advancement even for apostates. With the resulting Jewish tax (fiscus Judaicus) Jews were becoming more economically and socially marginalized. The Alexandrian Jews were a literate society in their own right, and sought to reverse their diminishing prestige with a rhetoric of their own. This thesis analyzes Jewish writings and pagan writings about the Jews, which evidences their changing socio-political position in Greco-Roman society. Increasingly the Jews wrote with an urgent rhetoric in attempts to persuade their fellow Jews to remain loyal to Judaism and to seek their rights within the construct of the Roman system. Meanwhile, tensions between their community and the Alexandrian community grew. In less than 100 years, from 30 CE to 117 CE, the Alexandrians attacked the Jewish community on ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Vargas, Miguel M
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Century of Overproduction in American Agriculture

Description: American agriculture in the twentieth century underwent immense transformations. The triumphs in agriculture are emblematic of post-war American progress and expansion but do not accurately depict the evolution of American agriculture throughout an entire century of agricultural depression and economic failure. Some characteristics of this evolution are unprecedented efficiency in terms of output per capita, rapid industrialization and mechanization, the gradual slip of agriculture's portion of GNP, and an exodus of millions of farmers from agriculture leading to fewer and larger farms. The purpose of this thesis is to provide an environmental history and political ecology of overproduction, which has lead to constant surpluses, federal price and subsidy intervention, and environmental concerns about sustainability and food safety. This project explores the political economy of output maximization during these years, roughly from WWI through the present, studying various environmental, economic, and social effects of overproduction and output maximization. The complex eco system of modern agriculture is heavily impacted by the political and economic systems in which it is intrinsically embedded, obfuscating hopes of food and agricultural reforms on many different levels. Overproduction and surplus are central to modern agriculture and to the food that has fueled American bodies for decades. Studying overproduction, or operating at rapidly expanding levels of output maximization, will provide a unique lens through which to look at the profound impact that the previous century of technological advance and farm legislation has had on agriculture in America.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Ruffing, Jason L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Champion for the Chicano Community: Anita N. Martínez and Her Contributions to the City of Dallas, 1969-1973

Description: Much has been published in Chicano studies over the past thirty to forty years; lacking in the historiography are the roles that Chicanas have played, specifically concerning politics in Dallas, Texas. How were Chicanas able to advance El Movimiento (the Mexican American civil rights movement)? Anita Martínez was the first woman to serve on the Dallas City Council and the first Mexican American woman to be elected to the city council in any major U.S. city. She served on the council from 1969 to 1973 and remained active on various state and local boards until 1984. Although the political system of Dallas has systematically marginalized Mexican American political voices and eradicated Mexican American barrios, some Mexican Americans fought the status quo and actively sought out the improvement of Mexican barrios and an increase in Mexican American political representation, Anita N. Martínez was one of these advocates. Long before she was elected to office, she began her activism with efforts to improve her children’s access to education and efforts to improve the safety of her community. Martinez was a champion for the Chicano community, especially for the youth. Her work for and with young Chicanos has earned her the moniker, “Defender of Dreams.” She created a chicano recreation center in Dallas, as well as various poverty programs and neighborhood beautification projects. Although she has remained relatively unknown, during her tenure on the Dallas City Council, between the years 1969 and 1973, Anita Martínez made invaluable, lasting contributions to the Chicano community in Dallas.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Cloer, Katherine Reguero
Partner: UNT Libraries

Chronic Myopia: Foundations of Contemporary Western Perspectives on the Balkans

Description: The construction of Southeastern Europe in Western imagination is the result of assertions of imperial power from some of the first recorded histories onward to modern time. Instead of providing alternative narratives gaping differences in time period, literary genres and geographical origins ballast stereotypical racist tropes and derogatory images of the countries of Southeastern Europe. For example, Roman histories, secondary historical works, twentieth century travel literature, and Central Intelligence Agency estimates all exhibit the same perception. The narrative created by these accounts is limited, remarkably racist and counterfactual. While there has been an abundance of new scholarship aimed at debunking the myths surrounding the area, much of the revisionist histories focus on placing blame, proving ethnogenesis, and serving political purposes. Understanding how the sources continue to influence perception is a pivotal step to understanding Southeastern Europe.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Kelley, Brittany
Partner: UNT Libraries

Commercial Diplomacy: The Berlin-Baghdad Railway and Its Peaceful Effects on Pre-World War I Anglo-German Relations

Description: Slated as an economic outlet for Germany, the Baghdad Railway was designed to funnel political influence into the strategically viable regions of the Near East. The Railway was also designed to enrich Germany's coffers with natural resources with natural resources and trade with the Ottomans, their subjects, and their port cities... Over time, the Railway became the only significant route for Germany to reach its "place in the sun," and what began as an international enterprise escalated into a bid for diplomatic influence in the waning Ottoman Empire.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Bukaty, Ryan Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Companion to the Gods, Friend to the Empire: the Experiences and Education of the Emperor Julian and How It Influenced His Reign 361-363 AD

Description: This thesis explores the life and reign of Julian the Apostate the man who ruled over the Roman Empire from A.D. 361-363. The study of Julian the Apostate’s reign has historically been eclipsed due to his clash with Christianity. After the murder of his family in 337 by his Christian cousin Constantius, Julian was sent into exile. These emotional experiences would impact his view of the Christian religion for the remainder of his life. Julian did have conflict with the Christians but his main goal in the end was the revival of ancient paganism and the restoration of the Empire back to her glory. The purpose of this study is to trace the education and experiences that Julian had undergone and the effects they it had on his reign. Julian was able to have both a Christian and pagan education that would have a lifelong influence on his reign. Julian’s career was a short but significant one. Julian restored the cities of the empire and made beneficial reforms to the legal, educational, political and religious institutions throughout the Empire. The pagan historians praised him for his public services to the empire while the Christians have focused on his apostasy and “persecution” of their faith. With his untimely death in Persia, Julian’s successor Jovian, reversed most of his previous reforms and as such left Julian as the last pagan emperor of the Roman Empire.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Lilly, Marshall
Partner: UNT Libraries

Company A, Nineteenth Texas Infantry: a History of a Small Town Fighting Unit

Description: I focus on Company A of the Nineteenth Texas Infantry, C.S.A., and its unique status among other Confederate military units. The raising of the company within the narrative of the regiment, its battles and campaigns, and the post-war experience of its men are the primary focal points of the thesis. In the first chapter, a systematic analysis of various aspects of the recruit’s background is given, highlighting the wealth of Company A’s officers and men. The following two chapters focus on the campaigns and battles experienced by the company and the praise bestowed on the men by brigade and divisional staff. The final chapter includes a postwar analysis of the survivors from Company A, concentrating on their locations, professions, and contributions to society, which again illustrate the achievements accomplished by the veterans of this unique Confederate unit. As a company largely drawn from Jefferson, Texas, a growing inland port community, Company A of the Nineteenth Texas Infantry differed from other companies in the regiment, and from most units raised across the Confederacy. Their unusual backgrounds, together with their experiences during and after the war, provide interesting perspectives on persistent questions concerning the motives and achievements of Texas Confederates.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Williams, David J. (History teacher)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Competing Models of Hegemonic Masculinity in English Civil War Memoirs by Women

Description: This thesis examines the descriptions of Royalist and Parliamentarian masculinity in English Civil War memoirs by women through a close reading of three biographical memoirs written by Margaret Cavendish, duchess of Newcastle; Lady Ann Fanshawe; and Lucy Hutchinson. Descriptions of masculinity are evaluated through the lens of Raewyn Connell's theory of hegemonic masculinity to understand the impact two competing models of masculinity had on the social and political culture of the period. The prevailing Parliamentarian hegemonic masculinity in English Civil War memoirs is traced to its origins before the English Civil War to demonstrate how hegemonic masculinity changes over time. The thesis argues that these memoirs provide evidence of two competing models of Royalist and Parliamentarian masculinities during the Civil War that date back to changes in the Puritan meaning of the phrase “man of merit”, which influenced the development of a Parliamentarian model of masculinity.
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Date: December 2015
Creator: Du Bon-Atmai, Evelyn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Continuity of Caste: Free People of Color in the Vieux Carré of New Orleans, 1804-1820

Description: Because of its trademark racial diversity, historians have often presented New Orleans as a place transformed by incorporation into the American South following 1804. Assertions that a comparatively relaxed, racially ambiguous Spanish slaveholding regime was converted into a two-caste system of dedicated racial segregation by the advent of American assumption have been posited by scholars like Frank Tannenbaum, Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, and a host of others. Citing dependence on patronage, concubinage, and the decline in slave manumissions during the antebellum period, such studies have employed descriptions of the city’s prominent free people of color to suggest that the daily lives of non-whites in New Orleans experienced uniform restriction following 1804, and that the Crescent City’s transformation from Atlantic society with slaves to rigid slave society forced free people of color out of the heart of the city, known as the Vieux Carré, and into “black neighborhoods” on the margins of town. Despite the popularity of such generalized themes in the historiography, however, the extant sources housed in New Orleans’s valuable archival repositories can be used to support a vastly divergent narrative. By focusing on individual free people of color, or libres, rather than the non-white community as a whole, this paper seeks to show that free people of color were self determined in both public and private aspects of daily life, irrespective of governmental regime, and that their physical presence and political agency were not entirely eroded by the change in administration. Through evaluation of the geography of free black-owned properties listed in the city’s notarial archives, as well as baptisms, births, deaths, and marriages listed in archdiocese ledgers, I show that the family and community lives of free people of color in New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood appeared alive and well throughout the territorial period.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Foreman, Nicholas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cosmology, Extraterrestrial Life, and the Development and Character of Western European Thought in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

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.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Simpson, Emily
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Countess of Counter-revolution: Madame Du Barry and the 1791 Theft of Her Jewelry

Description: Jeanne Bécu, an illegitimate child from the Vaucouleurs area in France, ascended the ranks of the Ancien régime to become the Countess du Barry and take her place as Royal Mistress of Louis XV. During her tenure as Royal Mistress, Jeanne amassed a jewel collection that rivaled all private collections. During the course of the French Revolution, more specifically the Reign of Terror, Jeanne was forced to hatch a plot to secure the remainder of her wealth as she lost a significant portion of her revenue on the night of 4 August 1789. To protect her wealth, Jeanne enlisted Nathaniel Parker Forth, a British spy, to help her plan a fake jewel theft at Louveciennes so that she could remove her economic capital from France while also reducing her total wealth and capital with the intent of reducing her tax payments. As a result of the theft, her jewelry was transported to London, where she would travel four times during the French Revolution on the pretext of recovering her jewelry. This thesis examines her actions while abroad during the Revolution and her culpability in the plot. While traveling to and from London, Jeanne was able to move information, money, and people out of France. Jeanne was arrested and charged with aiding the counter-revolution, for which the Revolutionary Tribunal sentenced her to death. Madame du Barry represented the extravagance and waste of Versailles and of Bourbon absolutism, and this symbolic representation of waste was what eventually inhibited Jeanne’s success.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Lewis, Erik Braeden
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cowboys, “Queers,” and Community: the AIDS Crisis in Houston and Dallas, 1981-1996

Description: This thesis examines the response to the AIDS crisis in Houston and Dallas, two cities in Texas with the most established gay communities highest number of AIDS incidences. Devoting particular attention to the struggles of the Texas’ gay men, this work analyzes the roadblocks to equal and compassionate care for AIDS, including access to affordable treatment, medical insurance, and the closure of the nation’s first AIDS hospital. In addition, this thesis describes the ways in which the peculiar nature of AIDS as an illness transformed the public perception of sickness and infection. This work contributes to the growing study of gay and lesbian history by exploring the transformative effects of AIDS on the gay community in Texas, a location often forgotten within the context of the AIDS epidemic.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Bundschuh, Molly Ellen
Partner: UNT Libraries