Matching Items (62)

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"Though the Heavens Fall" - Abolitionist Thought and the Future of American Justice.

Description

Abolitionist activism in 1850's America was divided among two groups of thought: disunionists, who understood the American Constitution to be a pro-slavery document, and political abolitionists, who believed the Constitution

Abolitionist activism in 1850's America was divided among two groups of thought: disunionists, who understood the American Constitution to be a pro-slavery document, and political abolitionists, who believed the Constitution was antislavery. This paper traces the origins and structures of each argument, specifically focusing on the philosophies of Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. It supplements their views with the works of other prominent abolitionists such as Lysander Spooner, Wendell Phillips and Gerrit Smith. In analyzing their rhetoric and beliefs, this paper examines the core of the contention between disunionists and political abolitionists and asserts that the chief divide between the two groups involved questions of whether the wording of the Constitution supported slavery, whether the drafters of the Constitution intended the document to condone slavery, and whether the intentions of the Constitution could be divorced from its interpretation at the hands of the American government and public. Furthermore, this paper argues that the conflict between disunionists and political abolitionists is not confined to the pages of history. It makes parallels between modern activism and the abolitionist writings of the 1850's, attempting to show that the same anti-Constitution reasoning of the disunionists permeates many present-day activists and scholars. It presents Frederick Douglass, Wendell Phillips and Gerrit Smith as proponents of a philosophy of radical constitutionalism which supports legal and cultural reform grounded in a respect for the ideals they believed were embedded within the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. This paper advocates constitutional radicalism as the most just and effective method of American reform, echoing Douglass in his faith in American idealism and the power of law and civic duty to promote national justice.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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The Not-So-Lost Cause: Neo-Confederates, Confederados, and the Empowerment of Mythic White Heritage

Description

The Confederate States of America folded as a political project in 1865, but ex-Confederates refused to surrender the ideological cornerstones of a culture of white supremacy. That Lost Cause was

The Confederate States of America folded as a political project in 1865, but ex-Confederates refused to surrender the ideological cornerstones of a culture of white supremacy. That Lost Cause was a Confederacy of ideas that seized the imaginations of those who claimed a stake in the failed republic. But a curious thing happened to a backwards-looking mythos that idealized local democracy over distant tyranny, white over black, and agrarian manhood over industrial mechanization. Like the ex-Confederate leaders who fled the United States after defeat, the Lost Cause migrated from the vanquished South to South America, finding fertile soil in Brazil, a nation with a deep history of analogous conflicts over race, power, and the allure of an immaculate historical myth. From there, the confederados, as they would come to be called, challenged by a Brazilian society that defied their preconceived notions of race and slavery, would amalgamate their white heritage and local Brazilian culture into an identity that was both wholly unique yet still distinctly Confederate, an identity that manages to persist to this day. Confederados in Brazil today recover an imagined heritage that was portable: like the CSA in North America, Confederados romanticize and mythologize racial identity and a struggle against a distant federal tyranny threatening individual rights. Yet at the same time, an even more curious thing has happened: they have seemingly betrayed their white heritage in certain aspects and adopted distinctly un-Confederate attitudes towards race, the very same attitudes that they had struggled to. Through analyzing both this movement and the analogous Lost Cause movement in the United States, one can begin to understand the allure that such movements have for particular groups of people, as well as how these movements have persisted so long after their initial founding.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Against the Grain: Principle over Popularity, A Case for George Mason

Description

The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. James Madison is often credited with writing these first ten amendments. Although technically true, it

The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. James Madison is often credited with writing these first ten amendments. Although technically true, it is not the whole story. These essential amendments lay the foundation for what it means to be a United States citizen as well as define the overarching American ideals of liberty and freedom. There have been many great thinkers dubbed 'founding fathers' that have contributed to the great American experiment. George Mason, the eccentric Virginia statesman and planter, undoubtedly deserves this title. Unfortunately, George Mason has too often been forgotten. This injustice on behalf of the mainstream history curriculum has left out the actual Father of the Bill of Rights. The failure at any reference of Mason can partially be attributed to Mason's later decision to refuse ratifying the Constitution at the Constitutional Convention-even after he had contributed immensely to the document. Mason's decision to not ratify the Constitution unless it contained a Bill of Rights was crucial to the anti-Federalist movement as well as resulted in social and political backlash. It was not a cowardly decision for Mason to make. It would have been much easier for Mason to just sign and go along with the majority. This thesis acts as a case study examining Mason's life in the context of the American Revolution and the later formation of our nation's modern government system. It is intended to once again inject Mason into the mainstream story of American history while dispelling many of the attacks that Mason receives in regard to his character. The paper explores Mason's contributions to the American war effort as well as highlights his role in the creation of the foundation for the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and their state counterparts. Most importantly, it examines Mason's crucial decision to not sign the Constitution and the effects of this decision.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-12

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The Good, the Bad, and the Deadly: Gendered Moral Teachings in American Murder Ballads

Description

Once planted firmly in America, murder ballads old and new sparked the Southern imagination, and familiar motifs and formulas were sung with a distinct American twist. The moral standards and

Once planted firmly in America, murder ballads old and new sparked the Southern imagination, and familiar motifs and formulas were sung with a distinct American twist. The moral standards and beliefs of Christianity, specifically those of Baptist and Methodist denominations, are weaved through a majority of Southern murder ballads, which reflects the impact of the Second Great Awakening, a religious revival founded in the South during the 1790s and early 1800s. Murder ballads found in the American South from 1800 to 1950 follow a structure that reinforces southern expectations for men and women, emphasizing moral and immoral traits in a way that encourages the listener to adhere to strict gender roles. The question of who the villain is and who the victim is must be confronted while examining American murder ballads, because the answer is not as clear cut as one would assume. Virginal women and sinful women, hapless men and cold-blooded men, each play a role in these ballads and the way in which they are perceived shifts the moral weight of the song. Heterosexuality and gender norms are heavily enforced in murder ballads from the South, and any deviations from these norms leads to murder, execution, or eternal damnation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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American History State Standards: The Curation of Native American and Latino History

Description

The public education system in the United States is one of the nation's most powerful and influential institutions. Although this system was and continues to be viewed as a societal

The public education system in the United States is one of the nation's most powerful and influential institutions. Although this system was and continues to be viewed as a societal equalizer, the institution of public education was never constructed to support equity. This paper examines educational inequity by analyzing American history state standards in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Montana, and Oklahoma. American history state standards are carefully curated to construct a dominant "American story." For this project three frameworks were utilized to analyze the five state standards: Timeframe of Inclusion, Life Domains, and Population Characterization. These three frameworks helped unpack the state standards, which overall do not holistically include Latino or Native American historical elements. This paper supports the need to reconstruct the American history state standards in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Montana, and Oklahoma to more accurately represent Native American and Latino contributions and historical elements.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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The career of Clifford Demarest (1874-1946): organist, social advocate, and educator

Description

As an organist, church musician, and educator, Clifford Demarest (1874-1946) was a prominent figure in New York during the first half of the twentieth century. However, prior to this thesis,

As an organist, church musician, and educator, Clifford Demarest (1874-1946) was a prominent figure in New York during the first half of the twentieth century. However, prior to this thesis, Demarest's place within the history of American music, like that of many of his contemporaries, was all but neglected. This research reveals Clifford Demarest as an influential figure in American musical history from around 1900 to his retirement in 1937. Led by contemporary accounts, I trace Demarest's musical influence through his three musical careers: professional organist, church musician, and educator. As a prominent figure in the fledgling American Guild of Organists, Demarest was dedicated to the unification of its members and the artistic legitimacy of the organist profession. As the organist and choir director of the Church of the Messiah, later the Community Church of New York (1911-1946, inclusive), Demarest played an integral part in the liberal atmosphere fostered by the congregation's minister, John Haynes Holmes (1879-1964). Together Holmes and Demarest directly influenced the nascent National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and supported luminaries of the Harlem Renaissance. Influential figures such as Langston Hughes (1902-1967), Augustus Granville Dill (1881-1956), Egbert Ethelred Brown (1875-1956), and Countee Cullen (1903-1946) were inspired by the liberal environment in the Church of the Messiah; however, prior to this research, their connections to the church were unexplored. As the music supervisor of Tenafly High School and later, for the state of New Jersey, Demarest influenced countless students through his passion for music. His compositions for student orchestras are among the earliest to elevate the artistic standards of school music ensembles during the first four decades of the twentieth century. Archival sources such as church records, letters, and newspaper editorials, are synthesized with current research to characterize Demarest's place in these three professional orbits of the early twentieth century. His story also represents those of countless other working musicians from his era that have been forgotten. Therefore, this research opens an important new research field – a window into the dynamic world of the American organist.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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A state of words: writing about Arizona, 1912-2012

Description

This dissertation explores how the written word and natural and cultural landscapes entwine to create a place, the process by which Arizona's landscapes affected narratives written about the place and

This dissertation explores how the written word and natural and cultural landscapes entwine to create a place, the process by which Arizona's landscapes affected narratives written about the place and how those narratives created representations of Arizona over time. From before Arizona became a state in 1912 to the day its citizens celebrated one hundred years as a state in 2012, words have played a role in making it the place it is. The literature about Arizona and narratives drawn from its landscapes reveal writers' perceptions, what they believe is important and useful, what motivates or attracts them to the place. Those perceptions translated into words organized in various ways create an image of Arizona for readers. I explore written works taken at twenty-five year intervals--1912 and subsequent twenty-five year anniversaries--synthesizing narratives about Arizona and examining how those representations of the place changed (or did not change). To capture one hundred years of published material, I chose sources from several genres including official state publications, newspapers, novels, poetry, autobiography, journals, federal publications, and the Arizona Highways magazine. I chose sources that would have been available to the reading public, publications that demonstrated a wide readership. In examining the words about Arizona that have been readily available to the English-reading public, the importance of the power of the printed word becomes clear. Arizona became the place it is in the twenty-first century, in part, because people with power--in the federal and state governments, boosters, and business leaders--wrote about it in such a way as to influence growth and tourism sometimes at the expense of minority groups and the environment. Minority groups' narratives in their own words were absent from Arizona's written narrative landscape until the second half of the twentieth century when they began publishing their own stories. The narratives about Arizona changed over time, from literature dominated by boosting and promotion to a body of literature with many layers, many voices. Women, Native American, and Hispanic narratives, and environmentalists' and boosters' words created a more complex representation of Arizona in the twenty-first century, and more accurately reflected its cultural landscape, than the Arizona represented in earlier narratives.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Too good to be true: discursive construction of the ideal girl in 20th century popular American girls' series

Description

This dissertation examines the discursive construction of the trope of the ideal girl in popular American girls' series in the twentieth century. Girls' cultural artifacts, including girls' literature series, provide

This dissertation examines the discursive construction of the trope of the ideal girl in popular American girls' series in the twentieth century. Girls' cultural artifacts, including girls' literature series, provide sites for understanding girls' experiences and exploring girlhood itself as a socially constructed identity, yet are often overlooked due to their presumed insignificance. Simple dismissal of these texts ignores the weight of their popularity and the processes through which they reach such status. This project challenges the derisive attitude towards girls' culture and begins with the assumption that these cultural texts do ideological work and therefore require consideration. The dissertation traces the development of the ideal and non-ideal girl over time, taking into account the cultural, political, and economic factors that facilitate the production of the discourses of girlhood. I include analysis of texts from six popular American girls' series as primary texts; visual elements or media productions related to the series; and supporting historical documents such as newspapers, "expert" texts, popular parents' and girls' magazines, film; and advertising. Methodological approach incorporates elements of literary criticism and discourse analysis, combining literary, historical, and cultural approaches to primary texts and supporting documents to trace the moments of production, resistance, and response in the figure of the ideal girl. Throughout the project, I pay particular attention to the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality in the figure of the ideal girl and her non-ideal counterparts. I argue that girls' series, slipping under the radar as a denigrated cultural medium, capture and perpetuate cultural anxieties around heterosexuality, whiteness and American identity, appropriate gender roles, and class mobility. These texts discipline the non-ideal girl toward the ideal, always with the expectation of failure.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Revolt, religion, and dissent in the Dutch-American Atlantic: Francis Adrian van der Kemp's pursuit of civil and religious liberty

Description

This project explores the histories of the Dutch Republic and the United States during the Age of Revolutions, using as a lens the life of Francis Adrian van der Kemp.

This project explores the histories of the Dutch Republic and the United States during the Age of Revolutions, using as a lens the life of Francis Adrian van der Kemp. Connections between the Netherlands and the United States have been understudied in histories of the Revolutionary Atlantic. Yet the nations' political and religious histories are entwined both thematically and practically. Van der Kemp's life makes it possible to examine republicanism and liberal religion anew, as they developed and changed during the era of Atlantic revolutions. The project draws on numerous archival collections that house van der Kemp's voluminous correspondence, political and religious writings, his autobiography, and the unpublished records of the Reformed Christian Church, now the Unitarian Church of Barneveld. With his activity in both countries, van der Kemp offers a unique perspective into the continued role of the Dutch in the development of the United States. The dissertation argues that the political divisions and incomplete religious freedom that frustrated van der Kemp in the Dutch Republic similarly manifested in America. Politically, the partisanship that became the hallmark of the early American republic echoed the experiences van der Kemp had during the Patriot Revolt. While parties would eventually stabilize radical politics, the collapse of the Dutch Republic in the Atlantic world and the divisiveness of American politics in those early decades, led van der Kemp to blunt his once radically democratic opinions. Heavily influenced by John Adams, he adopted a more conservative politics of balance that guaranteed religious and civil liberty regardless of governmental structure. In the realm of religion, van der Kemp discovered that American religious freedom reflected the same begrudging acceptance that constituted Dutch religious tolerance. Van der Kemp found that even in one of the most pluralistic states, New York, his belief in the unlimited liberty of conscience remained a dissenting opinion. The democracy and individualism celebrated in early American politics were controversial in religion, given the growing authority of denominations and hierarchical church institutions.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Oral tradition, activist journalism and the legacy of "Red power: indigenous cosmopolitics in American Indian poetry

Description

This dissertation explores how American Indian literature and the legacy of the Red Power movement are linked in the literary representations of what I call "Indigenous Cosmopolitics." This occurs by

This dissertation explores how American Indian literature and the legacy of the Red Power movement are linked in the literary representations of what I call "Indigenous Cosmopolitics." This occurs by way of oral tradition's role in the movement's Pan-Indigenous consciousness and rhetoric. By appealing to communal values and ideals such as solidarity and resistance, homeland, and land-based sovereignty, Red Power activist-writers of 1960s and 1970s mobilized oral tradition to challenge the US-Indigenous colonial relationship, speak for Native communities, and decolonize Native consciousness. The introductory chapter points to Pan-Indigenous practices that constructed a positive identity for the alienated and disempowered experience of Native Americans since Relocation. Chapter one examines the Red Power newspapers and newsletters ABC: Americans Before Columbus, The Warpath, and Alcatraz Newsletter among others. These periodicals served as venues for many Natives to publish their poems in collaborating with the politics of the Red Power movement. Among the poems considered is Miguel Hernandez's "ALCATRAZ," which supports the Native resistance and journey towards sovereignty during the Island's occupation. Chapters two and three explore the use of oral tradition in the journalism of Simon Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo), who was then working within the collaborative contexts of the National Indian Youth Council (NIYC) and ABC: Americans Before Columbus, which represents the Indigenous cosmos and appeal to Indigenous peoples' cosmopolitical alliance and resistance throughout the hemisphere and across the world. The final chapter turns to the work of two poets, Joy Harjo (Muskogee Creek), Wendy Rose (Hopi/Miwok), and a singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree), showing their appropriation of storytelling modes and topics from within the inclusive functions of oral tradition - storyweaving, employing persona, and performing folk music. Harjo, Rose and Sainte-Marie push on the boundaries of the movement's rhetoric as they promote solidarity between colonized women in and beyond the US. The Red Power movement's cosmopolitics remains persistent and influential in Native nationalism, which stands as the master expression of the decolonizing process. The flexibility of oral tradition operates as a common ground for reciprocal, transformational, and inclusive interactions between tribal
ational identity and Pan-Indigenous identity, developing Native nationhood's interactions with the world.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014