Theses and Dissertations - Department of History

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    General Benjamin F. Butler in New Orleans
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1949) Shelnutt, Jack Prentice; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
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    French Louisiana: Early Explorations and Settlements 1673-1719
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1949) Saleeby, Samir Shaheen; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This study is an attempt to present the history of French Louisiana. The story begins with the early explorations of Jolliet, Marquette and La Salle; next comes a description of the Indians who populated the area. All the explorers who came into contact with these people were impressed by their manner of living and their institutional life. These early reports are consequently of value and interest both to the historian and the ethnographer.
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    A Social and Economic History of Sumter County, Alabama, in the Antebellum Period
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1953) Reynolds, Marylee; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Sumter County was created in 1832. Long before this, its land had been traversed by European settlers, such as the Spanish, French, and English. One of these nationalities, the French, was so interested in its location that they erected a fort on the Tombigbee River, Fort Tombeckbee, in 1735. The first government factory for the Choctaws was located at Factory Creek, near the Tombigbee River. Fort Tombeckbee later passed into the hands of the English. By the Treaty of 1830 between the Choctaw nation and the United States, the Choctaws ceded the last of their country to the white man. Due to this treaty, some fifty settlers alone in the present Sumter County received sections of land, or parts thereof. The first official land entry was made in Sumter County in 1833 by John Cook. By 1834 practically half of the county was entered by settlers for the most part from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, in that order. What land was not entered in 1834 was entered in 1835, with the exception of the southwestern part, which was poor soil, and a wooded area. Generally speaking, the early settlers entered rich, river bottom soil, and in numerous cases were planters who brought their slaves with them. They were a literate group of people, as is evinced by the Census of 1840. By 1840 Sumter had become the most populous county in the state of Alabama with 29,937 persons.
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    The History of Mount Sterling
    (1931) DuBose, Euba Eugenia; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
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    Mobile, Alabama in the 1880's
    (1951) Berkstresser, Alma Esther; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
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    Disease, Disuse, and Disappointment: The Volunteer Experience and the Modernization of the American National Guard, 1898-1902
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Boyd, Kari Lee; Dorr, Lisa L; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This dissertation combines an intimate study of the common volunteers during the Spanish American War with a look into larger institutional changes within the American military at the turn of the Twentieth Century and the development of a modern National Guard. The Spanish American War left a stronger imprint on the form and function of the United States military than previous scholarship has ascribed to it. Particularly silent in scholarly discussions of the war are the voices and experiences of the common men that volunteered to serve in April and May of 1898. Their experiences in the service reveal the serious flaws that existed in the American military at the end of the Nineteenth Century and helped define the service experiences of citizen soldiers and veterans in future wars. Foregrounding the letters, diaries, and memoirs of the volunteers provides a rich source base from which to tell the story of how the volunteers of 1898 helped spark the modernization of the American military, sources that have long been overlooked. A result of the focus previous historians had on issues of empire and imperialism, this omission in the scholarship prevents historians from fully understanding how the Army grappled with new technology, new medicine, and new styles of combat. In addition to adding a new layer of perspective to discussions of disease and military operations during the Spanish American War, focusing on the experiences of the volunteers reveals why conditions in American military camps deteriorated so quickly during the summer of 1898, how integral the actions of the volunteers were to altering the shape and function of the Army, and why the militia was willing to support the creation of the modern National Guard after the war had ended.
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    The prohibition movement in Alabama
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1927) Friedman, Emmeline Lurie; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
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    The developments leading to the Reformation Parliament of Henry VIII and the first two session
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1971) Sloan, Bernard James; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
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    The National and International Church: National Socialism, German Protestantism, and the Watching World
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) McKinney, Blake Owen; Wasserman, Janek; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The German Protestant Church Struggle was an international story. German Protestants were leading participants in international Protestantism, and the global ecumenical community took keen interest in German church affairs under National Socialism. International concerns affected German state church policies, and international Protestant interventions proved effective in the early years of the Third Reich. This dissertation considers the complicated interplay of German Protestantism, international Protestantism, and the National Socialist state from 1933-1937. The following examination incorporates analysis of a broad cross section of German Protestant groups, the German state, and global Protestantism to demonstrate the impact of international Protestant concern on German domestic church politics. It employs a strict chronological approach in order to demonstrate the dynamic nature of church/state relations in Nazi Germany, which were neither monolithic nor static. It considers German Protestant minorities alongside the state-supported churches in order to make sense of the government’s conflicting attitudes towards global Protestantism. World Protestantism exerted significant influence on the German state’s church policy considerations and the agency of German Protestants from Hitler’s accession to power until reaching a zenith of influence in the autumn of 1934. After a shift in state church policy in 1935, global Protestant interventions carried diminishing weight until the state-mandated withdrawal of German Protestants from ecumenical engagement in 1937.
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    Trading Silk for Khaki: the Women's Army Corps and the Contest Over Soldier Womanhood, 1963-1978
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Montgomery, Margaret; Huebner, Andrew J.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This dissertation examines how the Women’s Army Corps in its last two decades of existence mobilized postwar American gender norms to protect its existence and garner the approval of the American public. The WAC accomplished this by employing what I call the “WAC ideal.” The WAC ideal was a standard that recruits had to meet in order to enlist, but it was also a culture perpetuated by the Women’s Army Corps. According to the WAC ideal, the typical women within its ranks were white, heterosexual, and feminine. They behaved according to middle class social norms. They were the “girls next door” in the American postwar imagination. The Women’s Army Corps promoted this ideal to the American culture through pageants and recruitment literature. It indoctrinated its ideal through the curriculum design of its basic training. And yet, not all women who served in the Corps met the WAC ideal. African American women and queer women also served along their white counterparts. African American women utilized methods of protest, including mutiny, to have their voices heard about discriminatory practices in the WAC. Women who did not cleanly fit into the normative view of heterosexuality argued they deserved a place in the WAC, and when thwarted and dismissed, sued the Army. These two groups exposed the oppressiveness of the WAC ideal as well as took advantage of its vulnerabilities. The WAC ideal protected some of its soldiers while marginalizing others all in the efforts to hold onto its legitimacy in the American postwar military.
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    The Impact of Ascension Island and the South Atlantic Air Route on the Allied North African Campaigns 1941-1943
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1994) Richardson, Robert C. IV; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Looking at a map of the South Atlantic, Ascension Island is strategically located exactly between the Eastern bulge of South America and the Western bulge of Africa. As a result, Ascension Island is a key point on an air route from the United States to Africa.
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    Life of Samuel B. Moore
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1936) Smith, Clyde Marshall; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Throughout the course of history, there have been characters who have over shadowed their contemporaries. It is natural that we point with pride to our favorite statesmen who have played such an important part in shaping the outline for the progress of our state and nation. Yet there are those who rendered worthy service but have long since faded into the background, if not altogether forgotten. Their importance lies in the fact that they took part in noteworthy events. Samuel B. Moore was such a man. Born of poor parents, he never obtained much formal educations, yet he constantly added to his knowledge by active and prolonged study in his home. He may be described as a "self-made man". Although educated men were not found in every household, during Moore's time, very few men lacking in education were able to elevate themselves to a position such as he enjoyed during the latter years of his life.
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    Magic city jews: integration and public memory in birmingham, alabama, 1871-1911
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020-08) Young, Melissa Farah; Giggie, John M.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The numerous books and articles that record the actions of Birmingham’s first Jewish residents generally discuss the actions of these transatlantic and domestic migrants in two ways. They either frame the individuals’ daily interactions in relation to common patterns of American Jewish community building or replicate the commercial tropes and ideals of nineteenth-century Protestant boosters. Neither captures the full diversity of the settlers or the numerous ways they contributed to Birmingham’s early growth and expansion. Using the lives of Jewish men and women who settled in the city between 1872 and 1911, including Herman Simon, Isaac Hochstadter, Emil Lesser, and Bertha Gelders, this dissertation explores the waves of immigration that brought Jewish residents to the town and the various paths that local Jews took to accomplish their professional, political, and religious goals. Like many of their counterparts in other American towns, the Jewish families who came to Birmingham in its first four decades drew from their experiences in other cities to form new connections and integrate into their local community. Although most remained socially and religiously distinct, they defined and practiced Judaism in different ways and possessed a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds. The activities of Birmingham’s most prominent Jewish citizens, however, can also be linked to their extensive networks with many non-Jewish white residents, including skilled laborers, civic-commercial elites, and German immigrants. The role they played in the city and its history was also deeply tied to upper- and middle-class boosters’ conceptions of success, progress, ideal citizenship, and social order. In contrast to other studies, this dissertation compares previous accounts of Jewish settlers to the city’s promotional materials, newspaper articles, and oral testimonies. In so doing, it highlights the work of Orthodox Jews, non-practicing residents, and Jewish women and investigates how local Jews minimized antisemitism through their daily interactions and the active role they played in public memory.
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    The Equal Suffrage Movement in Alabama, 1912-1919
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1949) Lumpkin, John Irvin; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Suffragists were not united in support of a federal amendment. The National Woman Suffrage Association was founded May 15, 1869, with the object of promoting a sixteenth amendment to enfranchise women. Another organization known as the American Woman Suffrage Association was formed in November, 1870, to get suffrage through amendments to the state constitutions. In 1890 the two groups united as the National American Woman Suffrage Association following both the state and federal amendment methods. Leaders of the movement were convinced that they could not hope for action by Congress until several states had experimented with woman suffrage. Alabama suffragists tried both the state and federal amendment methods of gaining equal suffrage. They failed to achieve their aim in either case. This paper attempts to tell the story of those failures.
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    Redrawing the "blueprints" for the early Church: historical ecclesiology in and around the Stone-Campbell Movement
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Young, John Marvin; Giggie, John M.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Members of the Stone-Campbell Movement, a loosely organized collective of restorationist Christians which arose alongside the fervor of the Second Great Awakening, are often criticized for a purported apathy or even antipathy toward the past. These believers, it is often supposed, jettisoned the broad sweep of history in favor of a return to an idealized, mythologized, even Eliadean or otherworldly vision of the earliest followers of Jesus. Yet as this study shows, these restorationist Christians actually participated in a distinctly historical project, because their efforts necessarily involved reading sources from and about the past and drawing conclusions about those readings in their own day and age. This is not to say that all restorationism is historically sound by modern professional standards, only that it is historically driven. Drawing on a variety of books, newspaper articles, graduate projects, blog posts, podcasts, sermons, and pamphlets from three SCM-affiliated fellowships (the Christadelphians, the non-institutional Churches of Christ, and the International Churches of Christ) as well as a modern movement with striking parallels to the SCM (the Emerging Church Movement), this dissertation illustrates that restorationist groups remain united in the pursuit of the historical early church even as they diverge in the paths they take to reach that goal. Restorationist conceptions of the early church—“historical ecclesiologies,” or group members’ mental pictures of the early church—are multifaceted and vary across time, space, and denominational lines in a number of respects. Restorationists frequently differ in their hermeneutical and philosophical approaches to divining the proper “blueprints” for the early church out of the revelation of Scripture. On a related note, they come to widely varying conclusions regarding how fully the early church experience—its beliefs, practices, and structures—can and should be replicated in the present. Restorationists also differ in their underlying assumptions about which era of the Christian past is normative for modern believers; they have at times both consciously chosen to recalibrate that era to include a longer or shorter portion of the church’s history and unconsciously adopted their own movement’s origins as the normative baseline for an unwitting “recursive restoration.”
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    Life of Ryland Randolph
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1932) Ward, Gladys; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    According to contemporaries, one of the most interesting characters in Tuscaloosa County during the Reconstruction period was the young newspaper editor, Ryland Randolph. He made a brave fight for the county in those dark days: no one was truer to the white man's cause than he. For a period conservative people of the Democratic party fairly idolized him.
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    Basil Manly and His Administration at The University of Alabama, 1837-1855
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1955) Pate, James August; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Basil Manly II was born January 29, 1798, in Chatham County, North Carolina, near Pittsboro. His father, a farmer who had settled in Bladen County and had spent most of his early life there, had led a band of homeguards in the Revolutionary War. He held the rank of Captain and did valiant service for the cause of the Colonies. At the end of the war the "Farmer-Soldier" had attained a place of honor and esteem among his fellow citizens and neighbors. After he returned home he was trampled upon by a vicious bull. Thus disabled, he had to turn over the management of his farm to his sons. "Determined to give them...a liberal education," Captain Manly took advantage of the school at Pittsboro, where he could send the boys daily. Later "he sent one after another to the even then celebrated Bingham School in Orange County."
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    History of Washington County, Alabama to 1860
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1929) Avant, G. B.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    When Spain ceded Florida to Great Britain in 1763, the northern boundary was the thirty-first parallel. But Great Britain soon divided the territory into East Florida and West Florida and extended the northern boundary of West Florida to the parallel of thirty-two degrees and twenty-eight minutes. At teh close of the American Revolution, Spain recovered the Floridas. It was understood between the United States and Great Britain that if England kept the Floridas, she was to have the parallel of thirty-two degrees, twenty-eight minutes. But if she had to cede it to Spain, the United States was to have to the thirty-first parallel. Great Britain signed the treaty of 1783 with Spain and did not define the northern boundary of Florida. Naturally, Spain insisted on the boundary held by England. This situation left the United States and Spain in dispute. *NOTICE: The map included in this document was presented as two parts but these were combined during digitization.*
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    A History of Centre Ridge Dallas County, Alabama
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1936) Moulder, William Palmer; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Centre Ridge is located in the southern part of Dallas County, Alabama. From its southern end the Ridge runs in a northwesterly direction. A little over two thirds of it is in township thirteen, North, and the remainder of it is in township fourteen, North, in range ten East, St. Stephens Meridian. In length, it measures from five to six miles depending upon the points measured, while its greatest width is a little over one mile.
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    Mobile: 1818-1859 As her Newspapers Pictured Her
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1951) Taylor, Paul Wayne; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    To draw a general picture of life in the Southern ante-bellum city of Mobile is the aim of this paper. The first chapter is intended to set the social, economic, and political scene, being given over to no specific phase of history. Social and cultural interests follow as a background upon which life in the city revolved. Economic and commercial interests were most significant factors in the stature and success of the ante-bellum city, and are therefore treated in some detail. Transportation and communication are delineated as separated chapters due to the strategic location of Mobile as a river and seaport town. Separate chapters have also been devoted to journalism, crime and slavery in Mobile because these factors played such vital roles in determining the character of the place. Education has also received separate attention for it was in ante-bellum Mobile that free schools in Alabama had their origin and example. The general welfare of the city is portrayed in accounts of religion, health, and disaster there during the period. The last chapter is devoted to drawing a general picture of life and labor in Mobile on the eve of war.