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Western Michigan University

Theses/Dissertations

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Full-Text Articles in United States History

From Love Canal To The Flint Water Crisis: Government, Public Opinion, And Environmental Crises, Sarah Hughey Dec 2016

From Love Canal To The Flint Water Crisis: Government, Public Opinion, And Environmental Crises, Sarah Hughey

Honors Theses

After the rise of the modern-day environmental movement, environmentalism in the United States focused more and more on issues and crises related to the areas in which people lived and to the aspects that impacted public health. In particular, the crisis at Love Canal in Niagara Falls, New York during the late 1970s and early 1980s provided a starting point to the awareness and activism of modern environmental history. Recently, an environmental crisis related to drinking water occurred in Flint, Michigan in the mid-2010s that showcases how various aspects of the environmental movement have developed over time since the Love ...


A Shrine For President Lincoln: An Analysis Of Lincoln Museums And Historic Sites, 1865-2015, Thomas D. Mackie Jr. Dec 2016

A Shrine For President Lincoln: An Analysis Of Lincoln Museums And Historic Sites, 1865-2015, Thomas D. Mackie Jr.

Dissertations

The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze how communities and special interest groups have presented Abraham Lincoln in historic sites and museums with significant Lincoln collections and interpretive themes. Commemoration of Abraham Lincoln began during the murdered president’s funeral trip and extended throughout the later nineteenth century with statues, biographies, Decoration Day oratories, historic sites, special exhibits, and museums. These sites devoted to the 16th president are among the earliest public historic museums and preserved sites. They include galleries, research exhibits, interactive galleries, pioneer villages, outdoor museums, and historic houses. After continued expansion in the twentieth and twenty-first ...


Only The River Remains: History And Memory Of The Eastland Disaster In The Great Lakes Region, 1915 – 2015, Caitlyn Perry Dial Aug 2016

Only The River Remains: History And Memory Of The Eastland Disaster In The Great Lakes Region, 1915 – 2015, Caitlyn Perry Dial

Dissertations

On July 24, 1915, the passenger boat Eastland capsized while docked in the Chicago River, killing 844 of its 2,500 passengers. The Eastland Disaster remains the greatest loss-of-life tragedy on the Great Lakes. Using museum exhibits, government documents, trial transcripts, period newspapers, oral interviews, images, ephemera, and popular culture materials, this study examines the century after the disaster in terms of the place the Eastland has held in regional and national public memory. For much of that period, the public memory of the tragedy had been lost, but private memories survived through storytelling within the families of survivors, rescuers ...


Alexander Hamilton: Slavery, Politics, And Class Status, Sara Weyenberg Apr 2014

Alexander Hamilton: Slavery, Politics, And Class Status, Sara Weyenberg

Honors Theses

Though slavery is often connected with the Civil War, it was also a topic of great interest during the Revolutionary period. Many people had strong opinions on the morality of slavery, and they were not afraid to voice them. There are countless writings that, if nothing else, at least touch on the subject briefly. As one might imagine, there were people on both sides of the fence – those who took offense and those who did not. A new country was about to be born, and slavery provided just one of the tensions that was in existence at the time. When ...


Change And Continuity: Euro-American And Native American Settlement Patterns In The St. Joseph River Valley, Allison M. Kohley Jun 2013

Change And Continuity: Euro-American And Native American Settlement Patterns In The St. Joseph River Valley, Allison M. Kohley

Master's Theses

In recent years there has been a particular interest in the fur trade and colonialism through identification and investigation of Fort St. Joseph. This fort was an 18th century French trading post in the St. Joseph River valley located in southwestern Michigan and northwestern Indiana. This study expands our current understanding of the change and continuity of the Euro- American and Native American settlement patterns in the valley during the periods immediately prior to, during, and after the abandonment of Fort St. Joseph through the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and statistical analyses.


Building A House Of Peace: The Origins Of The Imperial Presidency And The Framework For Executive Power, 1933-1960, Katherine Elizabeth Ellison Apr 2013

Building A House Of Peace: The Origins Of The Imperial Presidency And The Framework For Executive Power, 1933-1960, Katherine Elizabeth Ellison

Dissertations

This project offers a fundamental rethinking of the origins of the imperial presidency, taking an interdisciplinary approach as perceived through the interactions of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. In light of the end of the Cold War and twenty-first century recurrence of the imperial presidency after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the original thesis proposed by historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. in The Imperial Presidency and other works based on the periodization of the Cold War is in need of updating.

By utilizing legal theories, political science models, and historical analysis ...


Faithful Remembering: Constructing Dutch America In The Twentieth Century, David E. Zwart Apr 2012

Faithful Remembering: Constructing Dutch America In The Twentieth Century, David E. Zwart

Dissertations

The people of the Dutch-American community constructed and maintained a strong ethnoreligion identity in the twentieth despite pressures to join the mainstream of the United States. A strong institutional completeness of congregations and schools resulted from and contributed to this identity. The people in these institutions created a shared identity by demanding the loyalty of members as well as constructing narratives that convinced people of the need for the ethnoreligious institutions.

The narratives of the Dutch-American community reflected and reinforced a shared identity, which relied on a collective memory. The framing, maintaining, altering, and remodeling of the collective memory from ...


A Position Of Strength: Arms Dealing As Diplomacy Under The Reagan Administration, William D. Watson Jun 2011

A Position Of Strength: Arms Dealing As Diplomacy Under The Reagan Administration, William D. Watson

Master's Theses

My thesis is an examination of the Cold War during the 1980s, with a focus on arms dealing and diplomacy under President Ronald Reagan from 1981-1989. I chose to write about three specific case studies based on the unique intersections of American diplomatic goals in relation to geography, the sophistication of weapons technology involved, and geopolitical considerations. The purpose of this thesis is to explain why and how the Reagan administration was able to carry out three separate arms deals, and in turn, how those deals fit into the broader, global Cold War between the United States and the Soviet ...


Undoing Plessy: Charles Hamilton Houston, Race, Labor, And The Law, Gordon Andrews Apr 2011

Undoing Plessy: Charles Hamilton Houston, Race, Labor, And The Law, Gordon Andrews

Dissertations

Undoing Plessy: Charles Hamilton Houston, Race, Labor, and the Law, 1895--1950, explores the manner in which African Americans countered racialized impediments during the first half of the twentieth century by attacking their legal underpinnings. Specifically, this work explores the professional life of Charles Hamilton Houston, and the degree to which it informs our understanding of change in the pre-Brown era. There were a wide range of forces at work, from individuals, organizations, and institutions, to government in its various forms (local, state, and federal), complicating any strategy to reformulate the parameters of equality. Using both labor and education law as ...


Lest We Forget: The Library Of Congress's Veterans History Project And "Radical Trust", Christopher Michael Jannings Dec 2010

Lest We Forget: The Library Of Congress's Veterans History Project And "Radical Trust", Christopher Michael Jannings

Dissertations

This dissertation examines the Veterans History Project (VHP), an official U.S. government project created under a bill signed into law by President William J. Clinton on October 27, 2000 to document the experiences of American veterans and their supporters in time of war. It explores the intersections between, cultural, social, public, and military history and addresses the following questions: Who created the VHP, what were the motivations, and what resources did Congress allocate the Library of Congress, the federal agency selected to fulfill the mandate? Who was charged with implementing the VHP, why, and what resources did they employ ...


My 21st Century Expedition: Following The Route Of Schoolcraft 1820, 1832 To The Source Of The Mississippi River, Lorah Patterson Oct 2010

My 21st Century Expedition: Following The Route Of Schoolcraft 1820, 1832 To The Source Of The Mississippi River, Lorah Patterson

Honors Theses

The journal of Lorah Patterson during her expedition from Schoolcraft, Michigan, to the source of the Mississippi River. Supplemental file contains complete Herbarium. The thesis includes only a few examples.


Bilingual Education, Federalism, And The Political Culture Of American Public Education, 1964-1980, Robert Harold Duke Aug 2008

Bilingual Education, Federalism, And The Political Culture Of American Public Education, 1964-1980, Robert Harold Duke

Dissertations

Five decades of English-only orthodoxy in American public schools came to an end with the passage of the Bilingual Education Act of 1968 (BEA). This research investigates how the convergence of community activism, ethnic pride, and union clout shaped and reshaped bilingual education programming at thelocal level within the broader context of post-WWII American society. By comparing and contrasting the experiences of communities in Texas and Michigan with the newly enacted BEA, this study illuminates the changing political culture of school governance from the high-water mark of Johnson-era liberalism tothe surging tide of Reaganite conservatism. It asserts that the tradition ...


Flights Past: The Wright Brothers’ Legacy And Dayton, Ohio, James Clayton Johnson Dec 2007

Flights Past: The Wright Brothers’ Legacy And Dayton, Ohio, James Clayton Johnson

Dissertations

During the early twentieth century, Wilbur and Orville Wright faced a lengthy struggle over their recognition as the inventors of the airplane. This controversy still lingers today. Even their hometown, Dayton, Ohio, where the brothers spent years engineering and perfecting the airplane, hesitated in acknowledging their success. Promoted by a small group of individuals from the Smithsonian Institution, a decades long struggle ensued over who first invented an aircraft capable of powered flight. During the "Smithsonian controversy," the institution embarked on a long and dangerous path of using its status as the nation's museum in an attempt to rewrite ...


Black Power In Green And White: Integration And Black Protest In Michigan State University Football, 1947-1972, John Matthew Smith Apr 2006

Black Power In Green And White: Integration And Black Protest In Michigan State University Football, 1947-1972, John Matthew Smith

Master's Theses

While southern college football teams remained all white until the late 1960s and early 1970s, Michigan State University head football coach Duffy Daugherty formed championship teams in 1965 and 1966 by recruiting the best southern black players. While coaches in the North recruited black athletes and played them regularly by the mid-1950s, no other coach took the risks Daugherty did to integrate his teams. Duffy Daugherty's path-breaking teams broke all the rules of integrated competition and forced southern schools to reconsider their stance on segregated college football.

The ground breaking integration of black athletes in the mid-1950s and 1960s ...


Selfhood And The Search For An Identity: Explaining The Emergence Of The Nineteenth-Century Holiness Movement And Early Church Of The Nazarene, Paul R. George Jr. Dec 2004

Selfhood And The Search For An Identity: Explaining The Emergence Of The Nineteenth-Century Holiness Movement And Early Church Of The Nazarene, Paul R. George Jr.

Dissertations

This dissertation seeks to explain the emergence of the nineteenth-century Holiness Movement and subsequent organization of a national holiness church asthe result of a reconstruction of the cultural-linguistic system of John Wesley. In the process of contact and exchange with American religious pluralism, Wesley's doctrine of Christian perfection and his system of societies were reconstructed by charismatic leaders who selected discursive and nondiscursive elements which they found efficacious. Theological and social changes in the Methodist Episcopal Church compelled holiness advocates to emphasize theinstantaneous aspect of Wesley's doctrine of Christian perfection (entire sanctification) and construct a ritual form which ...


“Imagined Communities” In Showcases: The Nationality Rooms Program At The University Of Pittsburgh (1926-1945), Lucia Curta Jun 2004

“Imagined Communities” In Showcases: The Nationality Rooms Program At The University Of Pittsburgh (1926-1945), Lucia Curta

Dissertations

From the inception of the program in 1926, the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh were viewed as apolitical in their iconography. Their purpose was primarily didactic. Designed as classrooms meant for lectures and seminars, they were however ad-hoc museums for the display of symbols of national identity. In many ways, they constitute an excellent illustration in terms of the decorative arts of Benedict Anderson's concept of "imagined communities."

The identity referent of the symbolism attached to the decorative arrangements of these rooms was not that of the ethnic communities in Pittsburgh, for whom the rooms were supposedly ...


Recipes For Reform: Americanization And Foodways In Chicago Settlement Houses, 1890-1920, Stephanie J. Jass Jun 2004

Recipes For Reform: Americanization And Foodways In Chicago Settlement Houses, 1890-1920, Stephanie J. Jass

Dissertations

During the late nineteenth century as tens of thousands of immigrants flooded American cities, public debate among reformers--who tended to be middle-class, white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants--began to center on the best ways to assimilate these foreigners into American society. Although some Americanization groups stressed language and citizenship training, two major reform movements focused on foodways as an important tool of assimilation.

This dissertation examines how both the home economics and settlement house movements attempted to Americanize ethnic food practices. It describes why reformers saw foodways as a viable and meaningful avenue for reform, as well as the varied responses that reformers ...


Perspectives On Power: John F. Kennedy And U.S.-Middle East Relations, April R. Summitt Dec 2002

Perspectives On Power: John F. Kennedy And U.S.-Middle East Relations, April R. Summitt

Dissertations

A study of President John F. Kennedy's policy toward the Middle East illustrates the agency and unexpected power wielded by so-called "third world" countries during the Cold War era. In spite of careful planning in Washington, Middle East leaders often manipulated and directed Kennedy's approach to the region. Regional actors used American fears of Communism to gain increased financial aid, military support, and influence in the United Nations. Although seeming to submit to Western pressures in exchange for such support, these leaders played both superpowers against each other and shaped policy according to local needs. While this relationship ...


Ladies' Library Associations Of Michigan: Women, Reform, And Use Of Public Space, Sharon Carlson Apr 2002

Ladies' Library Associations Of Michigan: Women, Reform, And Use Of Public Space, Sharon Carlson

Dissertations

This dissertation investigates the ladies' library associations in Southwestern Michigan from the middle nineteenth century through the early twentieth century to explore the impact of these organizations as agents of reform and in shaping public space. Ladies' library association records provide a major component of this study. Association records, consisting of constitutions, bylaws, minutes, treasurer records, book catalogs, yearbooks, and published reports yield valuable information to analyze and interpret the activities of ladies' library associations. Plat maps, panoramic maps, photographs, architectural drawings, and tax records offer evidence about the built environment and material culture of ladies' library associations. The actual ...


"A Conflict Of Truth With Error": Southern Preachers, Their Worldview, And Sectional Tensions, 1830-1865, Timothy A. Ehrhardt Apr 2002

"A Conflict Of Truth With Error": Southern Preachers, Their Worldview, And Sectional Tensions, 1830-1865, Timothy A. Ehrhardt

Master's Theses

White evangelical preachers of the antebellum era presented the American South with a cosmology that was rooted in the Bible as God's revelation to all humans, with God as sovereign over a strict social hierarchy that placed the white male as household head, and women, children, and black slaves (in that order) as subordinates. This cosmology contributed to sectional tensions, as southern pastors were at the forefront of advocating a proslavery worldview, and supported secession from the Union and war as an act of purification from northern infidels who did not endorse the ministers' brand of biblical literalism.

Southern ...


The National German-American Alliance, 1901 -1918: Cultural Politics And Ethnicity In Peace And War, Charles Thomas Johnson Dec 1997

The National German-American Alliance, 1901 -1918: Cultural Politics And Ethnicity In Peace And War, Charles Thomas Johnson

Dissertations

The purpose of this dissertation is to tell the story of the National German- American Alliance, an organization of middle to upper-middle class well-educated professionals formed in 1901 to promote and preserve aspects of German culture in the United States. Increasingly, however, it found itself drawn into controversial political and diplomatic issues in the rapid political, social and international change that marked the first two decades of the twentieth century.

The dissertation begins with a review of German-America from colonial times to 1899 and serves as a background for the founding of the Alliance within the context of the growth ...


Facets Of Courage: Colonel Charles Victor Deland And The American Civil War, Anthony P. Glesner Dec 1996

Facets Of Courage: Colonel Charles Victor Deland And The American Civil War, Anthony P. Glesner

Master's Theses

This work constitutes a case study of a historical paradigm, that during the course of the Civil War civilians came to view the concepts of valor and virtue very much differently than soldiers, and that this caused tension within communities, both during the war, and after, when civilians continued to judge returning soldiers by an outdated sense of values, while the soldiers themselves, disillusioned by war, only wanted to forget. As time dimmed the memories of war, many veterans began to once again see it in terms of valor and virtue, and thus they reshaped their visions of war and ...


A Summary Of The Contributions Of Four Key African American Female Figures Of The Civil Rights Movement, Michelle Margaret Viera Dec 1994

A Summary Of The Contributions Of Four Key African American Female Figures Of The Civil Rights Movement, Michelle Margaret Viera

Master's Theses

This thesis will present historical data to summarize the contributions of four key African-American female figures of the civil rights era. The theme is devoted to the historical contributions of these women. Their achievements will be shown to have answered to human needs during the struggle for African American civil and human rights. These achievements were preceded by their personal perceptions as to what constituted tenable rights and needs, introspection, and their willingness to assume a leadership stance and leadership roles.

This written historical assessment will illustrate the chain of events, social and geographical particulars which triggered participation in the ...


Assassination In Modern America: Political Participation Through A Gun Barrel?, Richard Grossenbacher Dec 1993

Assassination In Modern America: Political Participation Through A Gun Barrel?, Richard Grossenbacher

Master's Theses

Assassination has been a constant companion of the world's societies from the beginning of recorded history. Only relatively recently have social scientists begun empirical study of these acts in an effort to reveal any commonalties and possible predictive traits. Investigation of the assassination phenomenon assumed a special urgency in America as violence seemed to escalate in the 1960s, which resulted in some notable research.

The present research collected data of presidential and non-presidential assassinations and attempts that occurred from 1969 through 1992 and compared the findings with the results of earlier studies.

The data indicate that presidential assaults increased ...


From Welfare To Liberation: A Socio-Historical Analysis Of The Animal Rights Movement, Linda J. Rynbrandt Apr 1992

From Welfare To Liberation: A Socio-Historical Analysis Of The Animal Rights Movement, Linda J. Rynbrandt

Master's Theses

This thesis is a socio-historical analysis of the animal rights social movement in the United States of America at the end of the 19th and 20th centuries. The theoretical model is resource mobilization theory, especially McCarthy and Zald's (1973) entrepreneurial model. The method, which contrasts this social movement at two points in time, is informed by Skocpol's (1984) interpretative historical sociology. In particular, leadership, ideology, organizational structure, and strategy tactics in both eras are examined. Comparing the two manifestations of animal rights protest, the data show that: (a) Leadership and organizational structure, though similar in many respects, are ...


Of Berry Pickers, Shanty Boys, And The Jack Pine Bird: Patterns Of Settlement And Subsistence In Nineteenth Century Oscoda County, Rose Lockwood Moore Aug 1990

Of Berry Pickers, Shanty Boys, And The Jack Pine Bird: Patterns Of Settlement And Subsistence In Nineteenth Century Oscoda County, Rose Lockwood Moore

Master's Theses

The provisions of the Homestead Act of 1863 (U.S. Congress 1862a) required a settlement pattern of dispersed single families on small tracts of land, which, in turn, affected the subsistence strategies available to the homesteaders. The interaction of federal land legislation with the ecosystem of southern Oscoda County resulted in marked spatial and temporal differences between the tracts that were homesteaded as opposed to those acquired for their timber. A sample population of quarter sections was analyzed in terms of the physical and biotic environments, date of entry, and use. The analysis confirmed that the timber lands were located ...


Gay Masquerade: Male Homosexuals In American Cities, 1910 To 1940, Steven L. Lewis Dec 1988

Gay Masquerade: Male Homosexuals In American Cities, 1910 To 1940, Steven L. Lewis

Master's Theses

Prior to 1900, American scientists struggled to formulate a sexual norm. Their categorization of sexuality ironically led to the creation of a label (homosexual) by which individuals created and expressed a sexual identity at variance with the newly created norm.

By 1910, the climate of moral reform (Progressivism) led to the discovery (and documentation) of a homosexual subculture in larger American cities. With Chicago and New York City as examples, the author documents the growth of this sexual underground in the period between 1910 and 1940. Using primary sources such as diaries, letters, autobiographies and novels, the world of the ...


Patent Medicine Town A Social History Of Patent Medicines In Marshall, Michigan, Teresa Lou Trupiano Apr 1985

Patent Medicine Town A Social History Of Patent Medicines In Marshall, Michigan, Teresa Lou Trupiano

Master's Theses

Marshall, Michigan, once known as "patent medicine town," had over fifty medicine companies. The medicine industry flourished in America until the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 regulated the trade. Marshall provides a microcosm of the industry.

The H. A. Peterman Co. (1870-1890) and Sharpsteen's Family Medicines (1873-1950) introduced Marshall to many techniques, from mail-order marketing to medicine shows. The Voltaic Belt Co. OSSIES) , Chrystal’s Electric Belts (1893-1905), L. F. Page Co. (1891— 1901), and H. A. Horton (1916-1928) sold remedies for "lost manhood." Success of the F. A. Stuart Co. (1893-1956) and Brooks Appliance Co. (1880-present ...


A History Of Bronson Park, Kalamazoo, Michigan From 1829 To 1940, Carol Knauss Dec 1982

A History Of Bronson Park, Kalamazoo, Michigan From 1829 To 1940, Carol Knauss

Master's Theses

Bronson Park is a 3.6-acre tract of land in the center of downtown Kalamazoo. For over 130 years the city has used this land for a public park. The land originally was donated to the county for a school and a jail by the men who owned and platted the area. Interested citizens converted the two squares into a park which, in the following years, was improved with trees, walks, and a fountain. This park became an important meeting place for the villagers who held political rallies and celebrations there. From 1829 to 1940 both the appearance and the ...


Early History And Influence Of Harvard College’S Hollis Professorship Of Divinity (The First Endowed Professorial Chair In America), Russell Vernon Kohr Dec 1981

Early History And Influence Of Harvard College’S Hollis Professorship Of Divinity (The First Endowed Professorial Chair In America), Russell Vernon Kohr

Master's Theses

The creation by Thomas Hollis of London of the Hollis Professorship of Divinity at Harvard College in 1721, the first endowed professorial chair in America, had three effects. First, it elevated to the chair a series of distinguished minister professors from whose classroom came most of the clergy of eighteenth century Massachusetts, to say nothing of those of the remainder of New England. Secondly, the establishment of the chair broke the lockstep of the practice inherited by Harvard College from Oxford and Cambridge Universities, by which a tutor taught all members of a class all subjects. Henceforth the divinity professor ...