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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.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cure, Stephen Scott

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.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Maxwell, Nancy

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 ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Roberts, Mervyn Edwin

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.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Du Bon-Atmai, Evelyn

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 ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Northrop, Chloe A.

The Forty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment: the Washburne Lead Mine Regiment in the Civil War

Description: Of the roughly 3,500 volunteer regiments and batteries organized by the Union army during the American Civil War, only a small fraction has been studied in any scholarly depth. Among those not yet examined by historians was one that typified the western armies commanded by the two greatest Federal generals, Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman. The Forty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry was at Fort Donelson and Shiloh with Grant in 1862, with Grant and Sherman during the long Vicksburg campaign of 1862 and 1863, and with Sherman in the Meridian, Atlanta, Savannah, and Carolinas campaigns in the second half of the war. These Illinois men fought in several of the most important engagements in the western theater of the war and, in the spring of 1865, were present when the last important Confederate army in the east surrendered. The Forty-fifth was also well connected in western politics. Its unofficial name was the “Washburne Lead Mine Regiment,” in honor of U.S Representative Elihu B. Washburne, who used his contacts and influences to arm the regiment with the best weapons and equipment available early in the war. (The Lead Mine designation referred to the mining industry in northern Illinois.) In addition, several officers and enlisted men were personal friends and acquaintances of Ulysses Grant of Galena, Illinois, who honored the regiment for their bravery in the final attempt to break through the Confederate defenses at Vicksburg. The study of the Forty-fifth Illinois is important to the overall study of the Civil War because of the campaigns and battles the unit participated and fought in. The regiment was also one of the many Union regiments at the forefront of the Union leadership’s changing policy toward the Confederate populace and war making industry. In this role the regiment witnessed the impact of President ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Mack, Thomas B.

Lone Star Insanity: Efforts to Treat the Mentally Ill in Texas, 1861-1929

Description: During the mid-nineteenth century, the citizens of Texas were forced to keep their mentally disturbed family members at home which caused stress on the caregivers and the further debilitation of the afflicted. To remedy this situation, mental health experts and Texas politicians began to create a system of healing known as state asylums. The purpose of this study is to determine how Texas mental health care came into being, the research and theories behind the prevention and treatment programs that asylum physicians employed to overcome mental illness, in addition to the victories and shortcomings of the system. Through this work, it will be shown that during the 1850s until the 1920s institutions faced difficulty in achieving success from many adverse conditions including, but not limited to, overcrowding, large geographical conditions, poor health practices, faulty construction, insufficient funding, ineffective prevention and treatment methods, disorganization, cases of patient abuse, incompetent employees, prejudice, and legal improprieties. As a result, by 1930, these asylums were merely places to detain the mentally ill in order to rid them from society. This thesis will also confirm that while both Texas politicians and mental health experts desired to address and overcome mental illness in Texas, they were unable to do so due to arguments, selfishness, corruption, failures, and inaction on the part of both sides. However, this thesis will ultimately reveal it was lack of full support from Texas legislators, deriving from the idea that this system was not one of their top priorities among the state’s concerns, that led to the inability of the Texas mental health care system to properly assist their patients.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Boyd, Dalton T.

Reckoning in the Redlands: the Texas Rangers’ Clean-up of San Augustine in 1935

Description: The subject of this manuscript is the Texas Rangers “clean-up” of San Augustine, which was undertaken between late January 1935 until approximately July 1936 at the direction of then newly-elected Governor James V. Allred, in response to the local “troubles” that arose from an near decade long “crime wave.” Allred had been elected on a platform advocating dramatic reform of state law enforcement, and the success of the “clean-up” was heralded as validation of those reforms, which included the creation of – and the Rangers’ integration into – the Texas Department of Public Safety that same year. Despite such historic significance for the community of San Augustine, the state, and the Texas Rangers, no detailed account has ever been published. The few existing published accounts are terse, vague, and inadequate to address the relevant issues. They are often also overly reliant on limited oral accounts and substantially factually flawed, thereby rendering their interpretive analysis moot in regard to certain issues. Additionally, it is a period of San Augustine’s history that haunts that community to this day, particularly as a result of the wide-ranging myths that have taken hold in the absence of a thoroughly researched and documented published account. Concerns over offending the descendants of the key antagonists, many of whom still live in the area, has long made local historians wary of taking on the topic. Nevertheless, many of them have privately expressed the need for just such a treatment, as they have crossed paths with enough evidence in pursuit of other topics that they recognize and appreciate the historical significance, and lack of an accurate modern understanding, of those events. Furthermore, descendants of some of the victims have expressed frustration over the lack of such an account, because it makes them feel victimized once more to see the ...
Date: December 2014
Creator: Ginn, Jody Edward

Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte, Comte De Guibert: Father of the Grande Armée

Description: Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte, comte de Guibert (1743-1790) dedicated his life and career to creating a new doctrine for the French army. Little about this doctrine was revolutionary. Indeed, Guibert openly decried the anarchy of popular participation in government and looked askance at the early days of the Revolution. Rather, Guibert’s doctrine marked the culmination of an evolutionary process that commenced decades before his time and reached fruition in the Réglement of 1791, which remained in force until the 1830s. Not content with military reform, Guibert demanded a political and social constitution to match. His reforms required these changes, demanding a disciplined, service-oriented society and a functional, rational government to assist his reformed military. He delved deeply, like no other contemporary writer, into the linkages between society, politics, and the military throughout his career and his writings. Guibert exerted an overwhelming influence on military thought across Europe for the next fifty years. His military theories provided the foundation for military reform during the twilight of the Old Regime. The Revolution, which adopted most of Guibert’s doctrine in 1791, continued his work. A new army and way of war based on Guibert’s reforms emerged to defeat France’s major enemies. In Napoleon’s hands, Guibert’s army all but conquered Europe by 1807. As other nations adopted French methods, Guibert’s influence spread across the Continent, reigning supreme until the 1830s. This dissertation adopts a biographical approach to examine Guibert’s life and influence on the creation of the French military system that led to Napoleon’s conquest of Europe. As no such biography exists in Anglophone literature, such a work will fill a crucial gap in understanding French military success to 1807. It examines the period of French military reform from 1760 to the creation and use of Napoleon’s Grande Armée from 1803 to 1807, illustrating the importance of ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Abel, Jonathan, 1985-

Forgotten Glory - Us Corps Cavalry in the ETO

Description: The American military experience in the European Theater of Operations during the Second World War is one of the most heavily documented topics in modern historiography. However, within this plethora of scholarship, very little has been written on the contributions of the American corps cavalry to the operational success of the Allied forces. The 13 mechanized cavalry groups deployed by the U.S. Army served in a variety of roles, conducting screens, counter-reconnaissance, as well as a number of other associated security missions for their parent corps and armies. Although unheralded, these groups made substantial and war-altering impacts for the U.S. Army.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Nance, William Stuart

Ethnogenesis and Captivity: Structuring Transatlantic Difference in the Early Republic, 1776-1823

Description: This study seeks to understand the development of early American ideas of race, religion, and gender as reflected in Indian and Barbary captivity narratives (tales of individuals taken captive by privateers in North Africa) and in plays that take American captives as their subject. Writers of both Indian and Barbary captivity narratives used racial and religious language – references to Indians and North Africans as demonic, physically monstrous, and animal – simultaneously to delineate Native American and North African otherness. The narrative writers reserved particular scorn for the figure of the Renegade – the willful cultural convert who chose to live among the Native Americans or adopt Islam and live among his North African captors. The narratives, too, reflect Early American gendered norms by defining the role of men as heads of household and women’s protectors, and by defining women by their status as dutiful wives and mothers. Furthermore, the narratives carefully treat the figure of the female captive with particular care – resisting implications of captive rape, even while describing graphic scenes of physical torture, and denying the possibility of willful transcultural sexual relationships.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Siddiqi, M. Omar

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

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.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Duch, Anna M.

American Blitzkrieg: Courtney Hodges and the Advance Toward Aachen (August 1 - September 12, 1944)

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 Third Army. Therefore, in order to understand an American way of war, the combat operations of First Army deserve far more attention than they have previously received. This narrative thus emphasizes forgotten battles, including: Tessy, St. Sever, Tete, Perriers, Mayenne, Ranes, Flers, Mace, Elbeuf, Mantes, Corbeil, Sevran, Mons, Cambrai, Philippeville, Dinant, and Aubel.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Rinkleff, Adam J.

Dolores Dyer: Women's Basketball and the American Dream

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.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Roberts, Jackie

Americans Who Would Not Wait: The American Legion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1915-1917

Description: This dissertation examines the five battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force designated as the American Legion. Authorized in Canada between 1915 and 1917, these units were formed to recruit volunteers from the United States to serve in the Canadian Overseas Contingent during the First World War. This work reviews the organization of Canada’s militia and the history of Anglo-American relations before examining the Canadian war effort, the formation of the American Legion, the background of its men, and the diplomatic, political, and constitutional questions that it raised. Much of the research focuses on the internal documents of its individual battalions (the 97th, 211th, 212th, 213th and 237th) and the papers of Reverend Charles Bullock now housed at the Public Archives of Canada. Documentation for the diplomatic furor the American Legion caused comes largely through the published diplomatic documents, British Foreign Office records held at the Public Record Office at Kew, and United States Department of State files at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. The most useful sources for American Legion correspondence are the Beaverbrook papers held at the House of Lords Record Office, the papers of Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Laird Borden, and those of the Governor-General, the Duke of Connaught found in the Public Archives of Canada. During its brief existence the American Legion precipitated diplomatic and political problems in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Dominion of Canada. Among the issues raised by the controversy surrounding the American Legion were: the relationship between the dominion government in Canada and the British government; the structural problems of imperial communications; the rise of a Canadian national identity and the desire for greater autonomy; and, the nature of citizenship and expatriation. This dissertation is also a long overdue account of the thousands of United States citizens ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Smylie, Eric Paul

Between Comancheros and Comanchería: a History of Fort Bascom, New Mexico

Description: In 1863, Fort Bascom was built along the Canadian River in the Eroded Plains of Territorial New Mexico. Its unique location placed it between the Comanches of Texas and the Comancheros of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This post was situated within Comanchería during the height of the United States Army's war against the Southern Plains Indians, yet it has garnered little attention. This study broadens the scholarly understanding of how the United States Army gained control of the Southwest by examining the role Fort Bascom played in this mission. This includes an exploration of the Canadian River Valley environment, an examination of the economic relationship that existed between the Southern Plains Indians and the mountain people of New Mexico, and an account of the daily life of soldiers posted to Fort Bascom. This dissertation thus provides an environmental and cultural history of the Canadian River Valley in New Mexico, a social history of the men stationed at Fort Bascom, and proof that the post played a key role in the Army's efforts to gain control of the Southern Plains Indians. This study argues that Fort Bascom should be recognized as Texas' northern-most frontier fort. Its men were closer to the Comanche homeland than any Texas post of the period. Its records clearly show that the Army used Fort Bascom as a key forward base of operations against Comanches and Kiowas. An examination of Bascom's post returns, daily patrols, and major expeditions allows its history to provide a useful perspective on the nineteenth-century American Southwest.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Blackshear, James Bailey

Child Rescue As Survival Resistance: Hidden Children in Nazi-occupied Western Europe

Description: The phenomenon of rescue organizations that devoted themselves specifically to hiding and saving Jewish children appeared throughout Nazi-occupied Western Europe (France, Belgium, and the Netherlands). Jewish and non-Jewish rescuers risked their lives to save thousands of children from extermination. This dissertation adds to the historiographical understanding of Holocaust resistance by analyzing the efforts of these child rescue organizations as a form of “survival resistance.” Researching the key aspects of traditional resistance (conscious intent, extensive organization, and effective turn-out) demonstrates that, while child rescue did not present armed resistance, it still was a form of active resistance against the Nazi Final Solution. By looking at rescuers’ testimonies and archival sources (from Yad Vashem, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Centre de documentation juive contemporaine, and Kazerne Dossin), this dissertation first outlines the extensive organization and intent of Jewish rescue groups, such as the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE) and Comité de défense des Juifs (CDJ), in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The second part looks at rescue organization and intent by Catholic, Protestant, and humanitarian groups. The dissertation concludes by discussing the effectiveness of organized child rescue. In the end, the rescue groups saved thousands of children and proofs that Child rescue in Nazi-occupied Western Europe was a valid--not to mention heroic--form of survival resistance.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Decoster, Charlotte Marie-Cecile Marguerite

The Enemy of My Enemy Is What, Exactly? the British Flanders Expedition of 1793 and Coalition Diplomacy

Description: The British entered the War of the First Coalition against Revolutionary France in 1793 diplomatically isolated and militarily unprepared for a major war. Nonetheless, a French attack on the Dutch Republic in February 1793 forced the British to dispatch a small expeditionary force to defend their ally. Throughout the Flanders campaign of 1793, the British expeditionary force served London as a tool to end British isolation and enlist Austrian commitment to securing British war objectives. The 1793 Flanders campaign and the Allied war effort in general have received little attention from historians, and they generally receive dismissive condemnation in general histories of the French Revolutionary Wars. This thesis examines the British participation in the 1793 Flanders campaign a broader diplomatic context through the published correspondence of relevant Allied military and political leaders. Traditional accounts of this campaign present a narrative of defeat and condemn the Allies for their failure to achieve in 1793 the accomplishments of the sixth coalition twenty years later. Such a perspective obscures a clear understanding of the reasons for Allied actions. This thesis seeks to correct this distortion by critically analyzing the relationship between British diplomacy within the Coalition and operations in Flanders. Unable to achieve victory on their own strength, the British used their expeditionary force in Flanders as diplomatic leverage to impose their objectives on the other powers at war with France.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Jarrett, Nathaniel W.

A Revolution in Warfare? the Army of the Sambre and Meuse and the 1794 Fleurus Campaign

Description: During the War of the First Coalition, the Army of the Sambre and Meuse, commanded by Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, played the decisive role against Coalition forces in the Low Countries. Created in June 1794, the army defeated the Allies at the battle of Second Fleurus on 26 June 1794 and commenced the Coalition’s retreat to the Rhine River. At the end of the year, Jourdan led the army to winter quarters along the left bank of the Rhine and achieved France’s historically momentous “natural frontier.” Despite its historical significance, the Army of the Sambre and Meuse has suffered from scant historical attention. Based largely on archival research, this thesis provides a detailed examination of the army’s performance during the Fleurus campaign. In addition, this thesis pursues several broader themes. A detailed study of the Sambre and Meuse Army provides insight into institutional military change during the late eighteenth century. While historians traditionally argue that the French Revolution inaugurated an attendant “revolution in military affairs,” this thesis presents evidence of evolutionary changes and continuities. Another important theme is the question of the combat effectiveness of French field armies during the Revolutionary epoch. Although historians typically present the French armies as unique and superior to their Old Regime opponents, this thesis demonstrates the effective parity between the armies of Revolutionary France and the Old Regime on the battlefield.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Hayworth, Jordan R.

Southern Roots, Western Foundations: the Peculiar Institution and the Livestock Industry on the Northwestern Frontier of Texas, 1846-1864

Description: This dissertation challenges Charles W. Ramsdell's needless war theory, which argued that profitable slavery would not have existed west of the 98th meridian and that slavery would have died a natural death. It uses statistical information that is mined from the county tax records to show how slave-owners on the northwestern frontier of Texas raised livestock rather than market crops, before and during the Civil War. This enterprise was so strong that it not only continued to expand throughout this period, but it also became the foundation for the recovery of the Texas economy after the war.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Liles, Deborah Marie

Looting and Restitution During World War II: a Comparison Between the Soviet Union Trophy Commission and the Western Allies Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Commission

Description: From the earliest civilizations, victorious armies would loot defeated cities or nations. the practice evolved into art theft as a symbol of power. Cultural superiority confirmed a country or empire’s regime. Throughout history, the Greeks and Romans cultivated, Napoleon Bonaparte refined, and Adolf Hitler perfected the practice of plunder. As the tides of Second World War began to shift in favor of the Allied Powers, special commissions, established to locate the Germans’ hoards of treasure, discovered Nazi art repositories filled with art objects looted from throughout Europe. the Soviet Union Trophy Commission and the Western Allies Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Commission competed to discover Nazi war loot. the two organizations not only approached the subject of plunder as a treasure hunt, but the ideology motivating both commissions made uncovering the depositories first, a priority. the Soviet trophy brigades’ mission was to dismantle all items of financial worth and ship them eastward to help rebuild a devastated Soviet economy. the Soviet Union wished for the re-compensation of cultural valuables destroyed by the Nazis’ purification practices regarding “inferior” Slavic art and architecture; however, the defeated German nation did not have the ability to reimburse the Soviet State. the trophy brigades implemented a process of restitution in kind to make physical reparations through the confiscation of Nazi war loot. the Western Allies disagreed with the Soviet Union’s policy. the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Commission endeavored to return artwork looted by the Germans to the rightful owners or surviving descendants. Historically, the Western perspective of the Soviet Union’s actions was that the trophy brigades looted the conquered German Reich; however, during the period of Glasnost and after the fall of the Soviet Union, personal memoirs and interviews of Soviet trophy brigade members and museum officials have become available, and the Soviet viewpoint ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Zelman, Laura Holsomback

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

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.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Nelson, Robert Nicholas

Mary Jones: Last First Lady of the Republic of Texas

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 image provided her with opportunities which in turn led her into a larger public sphere, enabled her to maintain her social-economic status as a widow, and to shape the public image of both her husband and parts of the Texas image. Mary Jones attempted to publish Anson’s papers, rehabilitate his memory, and preserve papers and artifacts from the period of the Republic. Directly and indirectly this led to the preservation of the San Jacinto battlefield, the reburial of her husband, the discovery of a copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence, the founding of the Daughters of the Republic of ...
Date: December 2011
Creator: Fish, Birney Mark

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.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Simpson, Emily