UNT Theses and Dissertations - 128 Matching Results

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Collective Security and Coalition: British Grand Strategy, 1783-1797

Description: On 1 February 1793, the National Convention of Revolutionary France declared war on Great Britain and the Netherlands, expanding the list of France's enemies in the War of the First Coalition. Although British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger had predicted fifteen years of peace one year earlier, the French declaration of war initiated nearly a quarter century of war between Britain and France with only a brief respite during the Peace of Amiens. Britain entered the war amid both a nadir in British diplomacy and internal political divisions over the direction of British foreign policy. After becoming prime minister in 1783 in the aftermath of the War of American Independence, Pitt pursued financial and naval reform to recover British strength and cautious interventionism to end Britain's diplomatic isolation in Europe. He hoped to create a collective security system based on the principles of the territorial status quo, trade agreements, neutral rights, and resolution of diplomatic disputes through mediation - armed mediation if necessary. While his domestic measures largely met with success, Pitt's foreign policy suffered from a paucity of like-minded allies, contradictions between traditional hostility to France and emergent opposition to Russian expansion, Britain's limited ability to project power on the continent, and the even more limited will of Parliament to support such interventionism. Nevertheless, Pitt's collective security goal continued to shape British strategy in the War of the First Coalition, and the same challenges continued to plague the British war effort. This led to failure in the war and left the British fighting on alone after the Treaty of Campo Formio secured peace between France and its last continental foe, Austria, on 18 October 1797.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Jarrett, Nathaniel W
Partner: UNT Libraries

Food and the Master-Servant Relationship in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Britain

Description: This thesis serves to highlight the significance of food and diet in the servant problem narrative of eighteenth and nineteenth-century Britain and the role of food in master-servant relationships as a source of conflict. The study also shows how attitudes towards servant labor, wages, and perquisites resulted in food-related theft. Employers customarily provided regular meals, food, drink, or board wages and tea money to their domestic servants in addition to an annual salary, yet food and meals often resulted in contention as evidenced by contemporary criticism and increased calls for legislative wage regulation. Differing expectations of wage components, including food and other perquisites, resulted in ongoing conflict between masters and servants. Existing historical scholarship on the relationship between British domestic servants and their masters or mistresses in context of the servant problem often tends to place focus on themes of gender and sexuality. Considering the role of food as a fundamental necessity in the lives of servants provides a new approach to understanding the servant problem and reveals sources of mistrust and resentment in the master-servant relationship.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Weiss, Victoria A
Partner: UNT Libraries

"On the Precipice in the Dark": Maryland in the Secession Crisis, 1860-1861

Description: This dissertation is a study of the State of Maryland in the secession crisis of 1860-1861. Previous historians have emphasized economic, political, societal, and geographical considerations as the reasons Maryland remained loyal to the Union. However, not adequately considered is the manner in which Maryland understood and reacted to the secession of the Lower South. Historians have tended to portray Maryland's inaction as inevitable and reasonable. This study offers another reason for Maryland's inaction by placing the state in time and space, following where the sources lead, and allowing for contingency. No one in Maryland could have known that their state would not secede in 1860-61. Seeing the crisis through their eyes is instructive. It becomes clear that Maryland was a state on the brink of secession, but its resentment, suspicion, and anger toward the Lower South isolated it from the larger secession movement. Marylanders regarded the Lower South's rush to separate as precipitous, dangerous, and coercive to the Old Line State. A focus on a single state like Maryland allows a deeper, richer understanding of the dynamics, forces, and characteristics of the secession movement and the federal government's response to it. It cuts through the larger debates about the causes of secession and instead focuses on the manner in which secession was carried out, the intended effect of it, the actual effect it generated in the vitally important state of Maryland, and what it all says about the nature of internal divisions in the South at large.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Hamilton, Matthew Kyle
Partner: UNT Libraries

Third World Decolonization: The Pan Africanist Movement in the Age of Nasserism

Description: In the mid-twentieth century Egyptian President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, along with President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana rose to international prominence as leaders and visionaries who were able to achieve political independence in their respective home countries while attempting to shape a destiny for Africa that did not involve Western imperialism. For Nasser's part, he first secured independence for Egypt, then turned his attention to the Middle East, but soon became as active in the politics of Sub Saharan Africa, also known as black Africa, as he was in the Arab world. This thesis explores Nasser's forays into Sub Saharan Africa during the period of decolonization on the continent and how his aspirations for Africa were equally a part of his political agenda that came to be known as Nasserism. Considering Nasser was the leader of the Third bloc, Egypt's fate was tied to Africa just as much as it was to the Middle East. Beyond the aspects of Nasser's involvement in Africa, this work also explores the active role Africans played in their quest for independence from European colonizers. Many African leaders during this time were as prominent and as shrewd as Nasser and were committed to establishing an anti-imperialist continent while developing modern African states based on the principles of Pan Africanism. While this occurred, new countries began to enter Africa and it became up to the African heads of state to determine how much involvement they wanted from these outsiders and at what cost. As these many dynamics played out in Africa, Pan Africanism was simultaneously occurring in the United States that linked black America's fate with Africa in movements that emphasized black nationalism and Third World political ideology.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Pendegraft, Gregory
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

The Duality of the Hitler Youth: Ideological Indoctrination and Premilitary Education

Description: This thesis examines the National Socialists' ultimate designs for Germany's youth, conveniently organized within the Hitlerjugend. Prevailing scholarship portrays the Hitler Youth as a place for ideological indoctrination and activities akin to the modern Boy Scouts. Furthermore, it often implies that the Hitler Youth was paramilitary but always lacks support for this claim. These claims are not incorrect, but in regard to the paramilitary nature of the organization, they do not delve nearly deeply enough. The National Socialists ultimately desired to consolidate their control over the nation and to prepare the nation for a future war. Therefore, they needed to simultaneously indoctrinate German youth, securing the future existence of National Socialism but also ensuring that German youth carry out their orders and defend Germany, and train the youth in premilitary skills, deliberately attempting to increase the quality of the Wehrmacht and furnish it with a massive, trained reserve in case of war. This paper relies on published training manuals, translated propaganda, memoirs of former Hitler Youth members and secondary literature to examine the form and extent of the ideological indoctrination and premilitary training--which included the general Hitler Youth, special Hitler Youth subdivisions, military preparedness camps akin to boot camp, and elaborate war games which tested the youths' military knowledge. This thesis clearly demonstrates that the National Socialists desired to train the youth in skills that assisted them later in the Wehrmacht and reveals the process implemented by the National Socialists to instill these abilities in Germany's impressionable youth.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Miller, Aaron Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Walling Family of Nineteenth-Century Texas: An Examination of Movement and Opportunity on the Texas Frontier

Description: The Walling Family of Nineteenth-Century Texas recounts the actions of the first four generations of the John Walling family. Through a heavily quantitative study, the study focuses on the patterns of movement, service, and seizing opportunity demonstrated by the family as they took full advantage of the benefits of frontier expansion in the Old South and particularly Texas. In doing so, it chronicles the role of a relatively unknown family in many of the most defining events of the nineteenth-century Texas experience such as the Texas Revolution, Mexican War, Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Close of the Frontier. Based on extensive research in census, tax, election, land, military, family paper, newspaper, and existing genealogical records; the study documents the contributions of family members to the settlement of more than forty counties while, at the same time, noting its less positive behaviors such as its open hostility to American Indians, and significant slave ownership. This study seeks to extend the work of other quantitative studies that looked at movement and political influence in the Old South, Texas, and specific communities to the microcosm of a single extended family. As a result, it should be of use to those wanting a greater understanding of how events in nineteenth-century Texas shaped, and were shaped by, families outside the political and social elite.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Cure, Stephen Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

Imagining the Empire: Germany Through the Eyes of Early Modern English Travellers

Description: This thesis is a study of early modern English travel narratives and the ways they presented the German states and their people to the public through the medium of print. It is based on an analysis of forty seven published travel narratives written by men and women who toured Germany and wrote about their experiences. The study situates these writings in the context of the growing sense of national identity in early modern Europe and offers an assessment of how these travel narratives contributed to a uniquely English understanding of Germany. As English travel narratives about Germany in the early modern period evolved, writers highlighted distinctive characteristics they believed Germans possessed, and compared their subjects to themselves. Travelers presented diverse and even conflicting views on a variety of subjects related to Germany. Nevertheless, by the late eighteenth century, English travelers had fashioned a common set of images, stereotypes, and characteristics of Germany and its people.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Micheals, Isaac
Partner: UNT Libraries

Married in a Frisky Mode: Clandestine and Irregular Marriages in Eighteenth-Century Britain

Description: The practice of irregular and clandestine marriage ran rampant throughout Britain for centuries, but when the upper class felt they needed to reassert their social supremacy, marriage was one arena in which they sought to do so. The restrictions placed on irregular marriages were specifically aimed at protecting the elite and maintaining a separation between themselves and the lower echelon of society. The political, social, and economic importance of marriage motivated its regulation, as the connections made with the matrimonial bond did not affect only the couple, but their family, and, possibly, their country. Current historiography addresses this issue extensively, particularly in regards to Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1753 in England. There is, however, a lack of investigation into other groups that influenced and were influenced by the English approach to clandestine marriage. The Scots, Irish, and British military all factor into the greater landscape of clandestine marriage in eighteenth-century Britain and an investigation of them yields a more complete explanation of marital practices, regulations, and reactions to both that led to and stemmed from Hardwicke's Act. This explanation shows the commonality of ideas among Britons regarding marriage and the necessity of maintaining endogamous unions for the benefit of the elite.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Smith, Summer
Partner: UNT Libraries

Peculiar Pairings: Texas Confederates and Their Body Servants

Description: Peculiar Pairings: Texas Confederates and their Body Servants is an examination of the relationship between Texas Confederates and the slaves they brought with them during and after the American Civil War. The five chapter study seeks to make sense of the complex relationships shared by some Confederate masters and their black body servants in order to better understand the place of "black Confederates" in Civil War memory. This thesis begins with an examination of what kind of Texans brought body servants to war with them and the motivations they may have had for doing so. Chapter three explores the interactions between master and slave while on the march. Chapter four, the crux of the study, focuses on a number of examples that demonstrate the complex nature of the master slave relationship in a war time environment, and the effects of these relationships during the post-Civil War era.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Elliott, Brian
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

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

Forgotten Legacies: The U.S. Glider Pilot Training Program and Lamesa Field, Texas, During World War II

Description: Rapidly initiated at the national, regional, and local levels, the American glider pilot training program came about due to a perceived need after successful German operations at the outset of World War II. Although the national program successfully produced the required number of pilots to facilitate combat operations, numerous changes and improvisation came to characterize the program. Like other American military initiatives in the twentieth century, the War Department applied massive amounts of effort, dollars, and time to a program that proved to be short-lived in duration because it was quickly discarded when new technologies appeared. At the local level, the real loser was Lamesa, Texas. Bearing the brunt of these changes by military decision makers, the citizens of Lamesa saw their hard-fought efforts to secure an airfield fall quickly by the wayside in the wake of changing national defense priorities. As generations continue to pass and memories gradually fade, it is important to document and understand the relationship between this military platform that saw limited action and a small Texas town that had a similarly short period of significance to train the pilots who flew the aircraft.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Garner, Christian A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Humping it on their Backs: A Material Culture Examination of the Vietnam Veterans’ Experience as Told Through the Objects they Carried

Description: The materials of war, defined as what soldiers carry into battle and off the battlefield, have much to offer as a means of identifying and analyzing the culture of those combatants. The Vietnam War is extremely rich in culture when considered against the changing political and social climate of the United States during the 1960s and 70s. Determining the meaning of the materials carried by Vietnam War soldiers can help identify why a soldier is fighting, what the soldier’s fears are, explain certain actions or inactions in a given situation, or describe the values and moral beliefs that governed that soldier’s conduct. “Carry,” as a word, often refers to something physical that can be seen, touched, smelled, or heard, but there is also the mental material, which does not exist in the physical space, that soldiers collect in their experiences prior to, during, and after battle. War changes the individual soldier, and by analyzing what he or she took (both physical and mental), attempts at self-preservation or defense mechanisms to harden the body and mind from the harsh realities of war are revealed. In the same respect, what the soldiers brought home is also a means of preservation; preserving those memories of their experiences adds validity and meaning to their experiences. An approach employing aspects of psychology, sociology, and cultural theory demonstrates that any cookie-cutter answer or characterization of Vietnam veterans is unstable at best, and that a much more complex picture develops from a multidisciplinary analysis of the soldiers who fought the war in Vietnam.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Herman, Thomas Shannon
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hungering for Independence: The Relationship between Food and Morale in the Continental Army, 1775-1783

Description: An adequate supply of the right kinds of foods is critical to an army's success on the march and on the battlefield. Good food supplies and a dire lack of provisions have profound effects on the regulation, confidence, esprit de corps, and physical state of an army. The American War of Independence (1775-1783) provides a challenging case study of this principle. The relationship between food and troop morale has been previously discussed as just one of many factors that contributed to the success of the Continental Army, but has not been fully explored as a single issue in its own right. I argue that despite the failures of three provisioning system adopted by the Continental Congress - the Commissariat, the state system of specific supplies, and the contract system - the army did keep up its morale and achieve the victory that resulted in independence from Great Britain. The evidence reveals that despite the poor provisioning, the American army was fed in the field for eight years thanks largely to its ability to forage for its food. This foraging system, if it can be called a system, was adequate to sustain morale and perseverance.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Maxwell, Nancy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Let the Dogs Bark: The Psychological War in Vietnam, 1960-1968

Description: Between 1960 and 1968 the United States conducted intensive psychological operations (PSYOP) in Vietnam. To date, no comprehensive study of the psychological war there has been conducted. This dissertation fills that void, describing the development of American PSYOP forces and their employment in Vietnam. By looking at the complex interplay of American, North Vietnamese, National Liberation Front (NLF) and South Vietnamese propaganda programs, a deeper understanding of these activities and the larger war emerges. The time period covered is important because it comprises the initial introduction of American PSYOP advisory forces and the transition to active participation in the war. It also allows enough time to determine the long-term effects of both the North Vietnamese/NLF and American/South Vietnamese programs. Ending with the 1968 Tet Offensive is fitting because it marks both a major change in the war and the establishment of the 4th Psychological Operations Group to manage the American PSYOP effort. This dissertation challenges the argument that the Northern/Viet Cong program was much more effective that the opposing one. Contrary to common perceptions, the North Vietnamese propaganda increasingly fell on deaf ears in the south by 1968. This study also provides support for understanding the Tet Offensive as a desperate gamble born out of knowledge the tide of war favored the Allies by mid-1967. The trend was solidly towards the government and the NLF increasingly depended on violence to maintain control. The American PSYOP forces went to Vietnam with little knowledge of the history and culture of Vietnam or experience conducting psychological operations in a counterinsurgency. As this dissertation demonstrates, despite these drawbacks, they had considerable success in the period covered. Although facing an experienced enemy in the psychological war, the U.S. forces made great strides in advising, innovating techniques, and developing equipment. I rely extensively on untapped sources ...
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Roberts, Mervyn Edwin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Manhood in Spain: Feminine Perspectives of Masculinity in the Seventeenth Century

Description: The question of decline in the historiography of seventeenth-century Spain originally included socio-economic analyses that determined the decline of Spain was an economic recession. Eventually, the historiographical debate shifted to include cultural elements of seventeenth-century Spanish society. Gender within the context of decline provides further insight into how the deterioration of the Spanish economy and the deterioration of Spanish political power in Europe affected Spanish self-perception. The prolific Spanish women writers, in addition, featured their points of view on manhood in their works and created a model of masculinity known as virtuous masculinity. They expected Spanish men to perform their masculine duties as protectors and providers both in public and in private. Seventeenth-century decline influenced how women viewed masculinity. Their new model of masculinity was based on ideas that male authors had developed, but went further by emphasizing men treating their wives well.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Gomez, Clemente
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Old Alcalde: Oran Milo Roberts, Texas's Forgotten Fire-Eater

Description: Oran Milo Roberts was at the center of every important event in Texas between 1857 and 1883. He served on the state supreme court on three separate occasions, twice as chief justice. As president of the 1861 Secession Convention he was instrumental in leading Texas out of the Union. He then raised and commanded an infantry regiment in the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, Roberts was a delegate to the 1866 Constitutional Convention and was elected by the state legislature to the United States Senate, though Republicans in Congress refused to seat him. He served two terms as governor from 1879 to 1883. Despite being a major figure in Texas history, there are no published biographies of Roberts. This dissertation seeks to examine Roberts's place in Texas history and analyze the factors that drove him to seek power. It will also explore the major events in which he participated and determine his historical legacy to the state.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Yancey, William C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Russian Peasant Women's Resistance Against the State during the Antireligious Campaigns of 1928-1932

Description: This study seeks to explore the role of peasant women in resistance to the antireligious campaigns during collectivization and analyze how the interplay of the state and resistors formed a new culture of religion in the countryside. I argue that while the state’s succeeded in controlling most of the public sphere, peasant women, engaging in subversive activities and exploiting the state’s ideology, succeeded in preserving a strong peasant adherence to religion prior to World War II. It was peasant women’s determination and adaptation that thwarted the party’s goal of nation-wide atheism.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Millier, Callie Anne
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

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

Creating Community in Isolation: the History of Corpus Christi’s Molina Addition, 1954-1970

Description: “Creating Community in Isolation: The History of Corpus Christi’s Molina Addition, 1954-1970” examines the history of the Molina Addition in Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Texas, and its serving district, the West Oso Independent School District, from 1954 to 1970. Specifically, this essay begins with an analysis of the elite-driven campaign to annex the blighted Molina Addition in September and October 1954. The city intended to raze the neighborhood and develop middle-class homes in place of the newly annexed neighborhood. Following the annexation of the Molina Addition, African American and ethnic Mexican residents initiated protracted struggles to desegregate and integrate schools that served their area, the West Oso Independent School District, as detailed in the chapter, “The West Oso School Board Revolution.” The chapter examines the electoral “revolution” in which Anglo rural elites were unseated from their positions on the school board and replaced by African American and ethnic Mexican Molina Addition residents. The third chapter, “Building Mo-Town, Texas,” focuses on residents’ struggle to install indoor plumbing, eliminate pit privies, construct paved roads, and introduce War on Poverty grants to rehabilitate the neighborhood. This chapter also offers a glimpse into the social life of Molina youth during the 1960s.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Gurrola, Moisés A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fashioning Society in Eighteenth-century British Jamaica

Description: White women who inhabited the West Indies in the eighteenth century fascinated the metropole. In popular prints, novels, and serial publications, these women appeared to stray from “proper” British societal norms. Inhabiting a space dominated by a tropical climate and the presence of a large enslaved African population opened white women to censure. Almost from the moment of colonial encounter, they were perceived not as proper British women but as an imperial “other,” inhabiting a middle space between the ideal woman and the supposed indigenous “savage.” Furthermore, white women seemed to be lacking the sensibility prized in eighteenth-century England. However, the correspondence that survives from white women in Jamaica reveals the language of sensibility. “Creolized” in this imperial landscape, sensibility extended beyond written words to the material objects exchanged during their tenure on these sugar plantations. Although many women who lived in the Caribbean island of Jamaica might have fit the model, extant writings from Ann Brodbelt, Sarah Dwarris, Margaret and Mary Cowper, Lady Maria Nugent, and Ann Appleton Storrow, show a longing to remain connected with metropolitan society and their loved ones separated by the Atlantic. This sensibility and awareness of metropolitan material culture masked a lack of empathy towards subordinates, and opened the white women these islands to censure, particularly during the era of the British abolitionist movement. Novels and popular publications portrayed white women in the Caribbean as prone to overconsumption, but these women seem to prize items not for their inherent value. They treasured items most when they came from beloved connections. This colonial interchange forged and preserved bonds with loved ones and comforted the women in the West Indies during their residence in these sugar plantation islands. This dissertation seeks to complicate the stereotype of insensibility and overconsumption that characterized the perception of white women ...
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Date: December 2015
Creator: Northrop, Chloe Aubra
Partner: UNT Libraries