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The Apologist Tradition: A Transitional Period in Southern Proslavery Thought, 1831-1845

Description: Early antebellum defenders of slavery acknowledged that slavery created problems for southern society. They contended, however, that slave society was better and more natural than other forms of social organization. Thomas R. Dew, William Harper, and James Henry Hammond each expressed a social philosophy in which slavery had a crucial role in preserving social order. They argued from the basis of social organicism, the idea that society should have an elite that controlled the masses. For all three men, slavery represented a system of order that helped balance the dangers of democracy. Significantly, however, all three men recognized that the slave system was not perfect, and despite their defense of slavery, argued that it was a human institution and therefore corruptible.
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Date: December 2000
Creator: Austin, Clara
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Evolution of Gentility in Eighteenth-Century England and Colonial Virginia

Description: This study analyzes the impact of eighteenth-century commercialization on the evolution of the English and southern American landed classes with regard to three genteel leadership qualities--education, vocation, and personal characteristics. A simultaneous comparison provides a clearer view of how each adapted, or failed to adapt, to the social and economic change of the period. The analysis demonstrates that the English gentry did not lose a class struggle with the commercial ranks as much as they were overwhelmed by economic changes they could not understand. The southern landed class established an economy based on production of cash crops and thus adapted better to a commercial economy. The work addresses the development of class-consciousness in England and the origins of Virginia's landed class.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Nitcholas, Mark C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Connecting Ireland and America: Early English Colonial Theory 1560-1620

Description: This work demonstrates the connections that exist in rhetoric and planning between the Irish plantation projects in the Ards, Munster , Ulster and the Jamestown colony in Virginia . The planners of these projects focused on the creation of internal stability rather than the mission to 'civilize' the natives. The continuity between these projects is examined on several points: the rhetoric the English used to describe the native peoples and the lands to be colonized, who initiated each project, funding and financial terms, the manner of establishing title, the manner of granting the lands to settlers, and the status the natives were expected to hold in the plantation. Comparison of these points highlights the early English colonial idea and the variance between rhetoric and planning.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Nelson, Robert Nicholas
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

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.
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Date: December 2012
Creator: Roberts, Jackie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sarah T. Hughes: Her Influence in Texas Politics

Description: Conservative males traditionally dominated Texas politics. In 1930, however, Sarah T. Hughes, a liberal woman from Maryland, began a spectacular career in state politics despite obstacles because of her gender and progressive ideas. First elected to the Texas Legislature in 1930, she remained active in politics for the next fifty years. Hard work, intelligence, and ability allowed her to form solid friendships with Texas's most powerful politicians. She became the first woman in Texas to hold a district judgeship, the first woman from Texas appointed to the federal bench, and the only woman to swear in a U.S. president. Hughes profoundly influenced state politics, challenging the long-standing conservative male domination. She helped to create a more diverse political field that today encompasses different ideologies and both genders.
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Date: December 2000
Creator: Justiss, Charnita Spring
Partner: UNT Libraries

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.
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Date: August 2013
Creator: Siddiqi, M. Omar
Partner: UNT Libraries

Space Race: African American Newspapers Respond to Sputnik and Apollo 11

Description: Using African American newspapers, this study examines the consensual opinion of articles and editorials regarding two events associated with the space race. One event is the Soviet launch of Sputnik on October 4, 1957. The second is the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969. Space Race investigates how two scientific accomplishments achieved during the Cold War and the civil rights movement stimulated debate within the newspapers, and that ultimately centered around two questions: why the Soviets were successful in launching a satellite before the US, and what benefits could come from landing on the moon. Anti-intellectualism, inferior public schools, and a lack of commitment on the part of the US government are arguments offered for analysis by black writers in the two years studied. This topic involves the social conditions of African Americans living within the United States during an era when major civil rights objectives were achieved. Also included are considerations of how living in a "space age" contributed to thoughts about civil rights, as African Americans were now living during a period in which science fiction was becoming reality. In addition, this thesis examines how two scientific accomplishments achieved during this time affected ideas about education, science, and living conditions in the U.S. that were debated by black writers and editors, and subsequently circulated for readers to ponder and debate. This paper argues that black newspapers viewed Sputnik as constituting evidence for an inferior US public school system, contrasted with the Soviet system. Due to segregation between the races and anti-intellectual antecedents in America, black newspapers believed that African Americans were an "untapped resource" that could aid in the Cold War if their brains were utilized. The Apollo moon landing was greeted with enthusiasm because of the universal wonder at landing on the moon itself and ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Thompson, Mark A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

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

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

Cracking the Closed Society: James W. Silver and the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi

Description: This thesis examines the life of James Wesley Silver, a professor of history at the University of Mississippi for twenty-six years and author of Mississippi: The Closed Society, a scathing attack on the Magnolia State's history of racial oppression. In 1962, Silver witnessed the campus riot resulting from James Meredith's enrollment as the first black student at the state's hallowed public university and claims this was the catalyst for writing his book. However, by examining James Silver's personal and professional activities and comparing them with the political, cultural, and social events taking place concurrently, this paper demonstrates that his entire life, the gamut of his experiences, culminated in the creation of his own rebel yell, Mississippi: The Closed Society. Chapter 1 establishes Silver's environment by exploring the history and sociology of the South during the years of his residency. Chapter 2 discusses Silver's background and early years, culminating with his appointment as a faculty member of the University of Mississippi in 1936. Chapter 3 reveals Silver's personal and professional life during the 1940s, as well as the era's notable historical events. The decade of the 1950s is discussed in chapter 4, particularly the civil rights movement, Silver's response to these changes, and those in his own life. Chapter 5 follows the path of James Meredith's integration of Ole Miss, the publication of Silver's book, and its aftermath. The conclusion is a brief epilogue of Silver's post-Mississippi life.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Fox, Lisa Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Break-up of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Army, 1865

Description: Unlike other Confederate armies at the conclusion of the Civil War, General Edmund Kirby Smith's Trans-Mississippi Army disbanded, often without orders, rather than surrender formally. Despite entreaties from military and civilian leaders to fight on, for Confederate soldiers west of the Mississippi River, the surrender of armies led by Generals Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston ended the war. After a significant decline in morale and discipline throughout the spring of 1865, soldiers of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department chose to break-up and return home. As compensation for months of unpaid service, soldiers seized both public and private property. Civilians joined the soldiers to create disorder that swept many Texas communities until the arrival of Federal troops in late June.
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Date: May 2001
Creator: Clampitt, Brad R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Gritos de la Frontera: Giving Voice to Tejano Contributions in the Formation of the Republic of Texas, 1700-1850

Description: The intent of this thesis is to convey the distinctiveness and the contributions of Tejano culture in Texas. It focuses on the traditions of governance employed by Tejanos as well as their contributions to industry, economy and defense that Texas benefited from and still enjoys today. .given by Spain and México to Tejanos in establishing their settlements affected the development of a distinct Tejano culture. Furthermore, this study will also examine Anglo-Tejano interaction and Anglo American intentions toward Texas. It will also outline how Anglo Americans made determine efforts to wrest Texas away from Spain and México. Finally, the thesis examines Tejano cultural perseverance whose indelible imprint still resonates today.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Guzmán, Roberto
Partner: UNT Libraries

May 1856: Southern Reaction to Conflict in Kansas and Congress

Description: This thesis examines southern reactions to events that occurred in May 1856: the outbreak of civil war in Kansas and the caning of Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts. I researched two newspapers from the upper South state of Virginia, the Richmond Enquirer and the Richmond Daily Whig, and two newspapers from the lower South state of Louisiana, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the New Orleans Bee to determine the extent to which political party sentiment and/or geographic location affected southern opinion towards the two events. Political party ties influenced the material each newspaper printed. Each newspaper worried that these events endangered the Union. Some, however, believed the Union could be saved while others argued that it was only a matter of time before the South seceded.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Fossett, Victoria Lea
Partner: UNT Libraries

Prince Hall Freemasonry: The other invisible institution of the black community.

Description: The black church and Prince Hall Freemasonry both played important roles in the black experience in America. Freemasonry and the black church; one secular, the other spiritual, played equally important, interrelated roles in the way the black community addressed social, political, and economic problems in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Dunbar, Paul Lawrence
Partner: UNT Libraries

Creole Angel: The Self-Identity of the Free People of Color of Antebellum New Orleans

Description: This thesis is about the self-identity of antebellum New Orleans's free people of color. The emphasis of this work is that French culture, mixed Gallic and African ancestry, and freedom from slavery served as the three keys to the identity of this class of people. Taken together, these three factors separated the free people of color from the other major groups residing in New Orleans - Anglo-Americans, white Creoles and black slaves. The introduction provides an overview of the topic and states the need for this study. Chapter 1 provides a look at New Orleans from the perspective of the free people of color. Chapter 2 investigates the slaveownership of these people. Chapter 3 examines the published literature of the free people of color. The conclusion summarizes the significance found in the preceding three chapters and puts their findings into a broader interpretive framework.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Hobratsch, Ben Melvin
Partner: UNT Libraries

School Spirit or School Hate: The Confederate Battle Flag, Texas High Schools, and Memory, 1953-2002

Description: The debate over the display of the Confederate battle flag in public places throughout the South focus on the flag's display by state governments such South Carolina and Mississippi. The state of Texas is rarely placed in this debate, and neither has the debate adequately explore the role of high schools' use of Confederate symbols. Schools represent the community and serve as a symbol of its values. A school represented by Confederate symbols can communicate a message of intolerance to a rival community or opposing school during sports contests. Within the community, conflict arose when an opposition group to the symbols formed and asked for the symbols' removal in favor of symbols that were seen more acceptable by outside observers. Many times, an outside party needed to step in to resolve the conflict. In Texas, the conflict between those in favor and those oppose centered on the Confederate battle flag, and the memory each side associated with the flag. Anglos saw the flag as their school spirit. African Americans saw hatred.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Dirickson, Perry
Partner: UNT Libraries

Jewish Hidden Children in Belgium during the Holocaust: A Comparative Study of Their Hiding Places at Christian Establishments, Private Families, and Jewish Orphanages

Description: This thesis compares the different trauma received at the three major hiding places for Jewish children in Belgium during the Holocaust: Christian establishments, private families, and Jewish orphanages. Jewish children hidden at Christian establishments received mainly religious trauma and nutritional, sanitary, and medical neglect. Hiding with private families caused separation trauma and extreme hiding situations. Children staying at Jewish orphanages lived with a continuous fear of being deported, because these institutions were under constant supervision of the German occupiers. No Jewish child survived their hiding experience without receiving some major trauma that would affect them for the rest of their life. This thesis is based on video interviews at Shoah Visual History Foundation and Blum Archives, as well as autobiographies published by hidden children.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Decoster, Charlotte
Partner: UNT Libraries

Dallas, Poverty, and Race: Community Action Programs in the War on Poverty

Description: Dallas is a unique city whose history has been overshadowed by its elite. The War on Poverty in Dallas, Texas, has been largely overlooked in the historical collective. This thesis examines the War on Poverty, more specifically, Community Action Programs (Dallas County Community Action Committee) and its origin and decline. It also exams race within the federal program and the push for federal funding among the African American and Mexican American communities. The thesis concludes with findings of the politicization of the Mexican American community and the struggle with African Americans for political equality.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Rose, Harriett DeAnn
Partner: UNT Libraries

What Went Wrong? How Arrogant Ignorance and Cultural Misconceptions Turned Deadly at the San Antonio Courthouse, March 19, 1840

Description: Although the Council House Fight is well written about in the annals of early Texas history, this all-encompassing study will reveal a whole new picture. Unlike previous works that maintained one point of view, multiple perspectives were analyzed and explored to allow a more comprehensive view of the Council House Fight to emerge. Primary focus on social and cultural misunderstandings, as well as the mounting hostility between the Penateka Comanche and Texians across the frontier, will demonstrate their general distrust and hatred of the other. Detailing their complicated relationship will prove that neither the Texians nor the Comanche were without blame, and both shared responsibility for the deterioration of events on and before March 19, 1840.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Copeland, Cristen Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries

Slaveholders and Slaves of Hempstead County, Arkansas

Description: A largely quantitative view of the institution of slavery in Hempstead County, Arkansas, this work does not describe the everyday lives of slaveholders and slaves. Chapters examine the origins, expansion, economics, and demise of slavery in the county. Slavery was established as an important institution in Hempstead County at an early date. The institution grew and expanded quickly as slaveholders moved into the area and focused the economy on cotton production. Slavery as an economic institution was profitable to masters, but it may have detracted from the overall economic development of the county. Hempstead County slaveholders sought to protect their slave property by supporting the Confederacy and housing Arkansas's Confederate government through the last half of the war.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Houston, Kelly E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Rise of a Two-Party State: A Case Study of Houston and Harris County, Texas, 1952-1962

Description: This thesis discusses the rise of the Republican party in Texas and specifically Harris County. The time period is the decade between the Presidential election of Dwight D. Eisenhower and the campaign of Jack Cox for Governor. Changes in the structure and leadership of the Republican party at the state level and specific precincts are examined in detail in chapter one. Leaders in Houston during this time period, such as Jesse Jones, Roy Cullen, and Oveta Culp Hobby are discussed in chapter two. The elections of Eisenhower, Cox, and Republican John Tower are analyzed in chapter three. The conclusion finds six major factors for the political changes occurring in Harris County, including economic and demographic changes. Main sources for this work included the Harris County Democratic party records and the Jack Cox Papers at the Center for American History, the Eisenhower Library, and the John Tower Papers.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Dunbar, Crystal Rose
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Description: The United States government began paying pensions to disabled Union veterans before the Civil War ended in April 1865. By 1890 its pension programs included any Union veteran who had fought in the Civil War, regardless of his financial means, as well as surviving family members, including mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. Union veterans did not hesitate to "wave the bloody shirt" in their attempts to liberalize pension laws. Pension programs for Confederate veterans were much slower to develop. Lacking any higher organization, each southern state assumed the responsibility of caring for disabled and/or indigent Confederate veterans and widows. Texas began paying Confederate pensions in 1899, Georgia in 1888 and Virginia in 1889. Unlike Texas, Georgia and Virginia provided artificial limbs for their veterans long before they started paying pensions. At the time of his enlistment in the 1860s, the typical future pensioner was twenty-five years of age, and fewer than half were married heads of households. Very few could be considered wealthy and most were employed in agriculture. The pensioners of Georgia, Texas, and Virginia were remarkably similar, although there were some differences in nativity and marital status. They were all elderly and needy by the time they asked for assistance from their governments. The Confederate pension programs emerged about the same time the Lost Cause began to gain popularity. This movement probably had more influence in Georgia and Virginia than in Texas. Texas tended more to look to the future rather than the past, and although Confederate veterans dominated its legislature for years, its pension program could not be called generous. The Civil War pension programs died out with the veterans and widows they were designed to care for and did not evolve directly into any other programs. Because they helped to remove the stigma of receiving government ...
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Date: December 2004
Creator: Wilson, Mary L.
Partner: UNT Libraries