Department of History (Fredericton)

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"Antisemitism is a barometer of democracy": confronting the Nazi past in the west German 'swastika epidemic', 1959-1960
"Antisemitism is a barometer of democracy": confronting the Nazi past in the west German 'swastika epidemic', 1959-1960
by Alan Jones, The vandalism of a synagogue in Cologne, West Germany on Christmas Day 1959 by two men in their mid-twenties sparked a wave of Antisemitic and Nazi vandalism across West Germany and the Western world. The “swastika epidemic,” as it came to be known, ignited serious debates surrounding public memory of the Second World War in Germany, and the extent to which West Germany had dealt with its Nazi past. The swastika epidemic became a powerful example of what critics at the time argued was the failure of West Germany to properly confront its Nazi past through the reconstruction policies of Konrad Adenauer. This thesis examines the reactions of West Germany’s government, led by Konrad Adenauer, to the swastika epidemic and its place in the shifting narratives of memory in the postwar era. Adenauer’s reactions to the epidemic were steeped in the status quo memory narratives of the preceding decade which would be increasingly challenged throughout the 1960s.
"Living weather" for survival: cultivating local climatic knowledge in New Brunswick, circa 1790-1870
"Living weather" for survival: cultivating local climatic knowledge in New Brunswick, circa 1790-1870
By Teresa Devor Hall, Settlers of British American descent farming in the Wolastoq/St. John River Valley of New Brunswick in the late 18th and 19th centuries learned to ‘live weather’ – to negotiate variable and changing local weather conditions, moment-by-moment, day-by-day, season-by-season, and year-by-year. ‘Living weather’ is conceptualized as a way of being-knowing, which recognizes that settlers learned through constant multisensory awareness while undertaking the daily tasks of farm life, attentive to various opportunities and challenges, with the weather framing the context in most instances. Farmers cultivated their own Local Traditional Knowledge (LTK) of weather by integrating experiential knowledge of the local effects of weather on physical and social landscapes, with the traditions of Euro-American agriculture. These included crop and livestock choices, as well as methods and practices of observation, communication, and record-keeping. Settlers’ LTK was central to their success as farmers in the River Valley because of the highly seasonal climate and consequent narrow margins for error in agriculture. This study reconstructs the learning processes of late-18th and 19th-century farmers through analyses of their household journals. It uncovers their adaptive strategies in response to the variable timing of seasons, diverse seasonal weather patterns, potentially devastating freshet floods, and the subsistence imperatives of settlement in colonial North America. Farmers were also influenced by an improvement imperative, which was often trumped by the ecological limits of their new homes. Farmers cultivated resilience in the face of vulnerability through strong relationships with one another, with plants and animals, and with place. This study recognizes the significant cultural influence of literary media and methods on a predominantly rural society that continued to be steeped in orality. As we contend with contemporary climate change and other ecological realities of life in the Anthropocene, works of climate history such as this one offer insight into practices of locality that can support the sustainable communities of the future.
"Restorative in its effect, economic in its result": a re-interpretation of occupational therapy in Canada, 1914-1928
"Restorative in its effect, economic in its result": a re-interpretation of occupational therapy in Canada, 1914-1928
by Christine Marie Hicks, This MA report examines the motivations behind creating the profession of occupational therapy in Canada between 1914 and 1928. It re-interprets the dominant historical view that occupational therapy programs were designed to holistically heal soldiers through rehabilitative work. Instead, it argues that occupational therapy was created with the goal of restoring soldiers as economically viable men. Guided by the ideology of possessive individualism, programs advanced the notion that men needed to be independent breadwinners to uphold Canada’s position in the global economy. Three groups of people involved in and associated with the founding of occupational therapy—its bureaucratic leaders, its professional leaders, and its practicing ward aides—believed occupational therapy’s main purpose was not to create a fully healthy man, but to ensure that he was able to function well enough to hold a job. The government, concerned with keeping the cost of vocational re-training low and its programs efficient, also viewed occupational therapy as a way to speed up convalescence by ensuring men began to work as soon as they left the battlefield. This trend continued in the post-war period with occupational therapy being used to save money for businesses and insurance companies by restoring workers in a cheap and efficient way. In this way, OT regimes were created as government-run programs of vocational re-training., A Report Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Arts in the Graduate Academic Unit of History
"There is considerable consternation": Lunenburg's quiet riot and other minority responses to the 1917 Military Service Act in the maritime provinces
"There is considerable consternation": Lunenburg's quiet riot and other minority responses to the 1917 Military Service Act in the maritime provinces
by Maryanne Elizabeth Lewell, Resistance to the imposition of the Military Service Act during the Great War took many forms in the seemingly compliant Maritime Provinces. Notable areas of resistance include the minority Acadian and African-Canadian populations of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and somewhat surprisingly in the minority-German township of Lunenburg Nova Scotia. Heavy-handed actions by the Dominion Police imposing conscription on this fisher-dependent town threatened to disrupt the deployment of the fleet to the Gran Banks, resulting in a 1918 confrontation. Still, they resisted: these generally mild Maritimers protested in spite of the very real potential economic consequences to the entire community. The is the legacy of this under explored event in our historical narrative, and that is why the people of Lunenburg's "quiet riot" and the subtle opposition shown by Maritime minority populations should be written back in to the history of resistance to the Conscription Act in the Maritime Provinces.
"We caught the torch you threw:" Great War memorials in New Brunswick, 1918–1926
"We caught the torch you threw:" Great War memorials in New Brunswick, 1918–1926
by Thomas M. Littlewood, The Great War was a global conflict that engulfed participant nations, including Canada, on a scale never before seen. Most Canadian households had a personal connection to the war. After the Armistice, communities in Canada and throughout the British Empire erected memorials to those who lost in the great conflagration. Each memorial has its own story of development which is intrinsically linked to the community that built it. Nearly a century later, these war memorials still stand in central places, serving as historical documents full of clues about the people who built them. This thesis examines the process of memorial construction in five New Brunswick communities in the wake of the Great War. Woodstock, St. Stephen, Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton represent southern New Brunswick’s three major urban centres and two rural centres. Each community built a memorial unique in shape, design, and history; yet each fulfills a similar commemorative purpose. These five memorials collectively remember individual soldiers lost and became mechanisms for public and private grief. Great War memorials are public manifestations of a community, province, and nation in mourning. This case study of how five New Brunswick memorials came into being sheds light on a process that took place in thousands of communities, large and small, across what became the British Commonwealth.
Away but still at home: a history of south shore Nova Scotian Acadians during the second World War
Away but still at home: a history of south shore Nova Scotian Acadians during the second World War
by Ryan Alan d'Eon, This thesis focuses specifically on south shore Nova Scotian Acadians. The first chapter discusses Acadian identity and demonstrates their support for the war which derived from wanting to protect their religion. Their connectedness to their communities, fostering of good relations, and support for the nation and Empire is also highlighted. The second chapter then focuses on how Acadian civilians supported the war through community gatherings and demonstrates that their support, which benefited the nation and the Empire, also aided their communities. The third and final chapter highlights how many Acadians from south shore Nova Scotia served during the war and how they were dedicated and patriotic despite facing discrimination. The thesis concludes that south shore Nova Scotian Acadians were motivated to protect their religion as it was being stripped from Europeans. They also recognised the importance of supporting the nation and Empire while at the same time, staying loyal to their communities.
Conceiving Christianity: Anglican women and lived religion in mid-20th century Conception Bay, Newfoundland
Conceiving Christianity: Anglican women and lived religion in mid-20th century Conception Bay, Newfoundland
by Laura Bonnie Colleen Morgan, Employing previously unexamined primary documents, nominal census data, official Anglican publications, oral history and material culture methodologies, this study explores lived religious beliefs and practices among Anglican women who lived on the south shore of Conception Bay, Newfoundland, in the middle decades of the 20th century. It demonstrates the making of a female theological culture informed by the material and social circumstances of ordinary women's lives as well as by the doctrines and discipline of official Anglicanism. While domestic matters influenced women's religiosity, this influence is not rooted in Anglican women's acceptance of prescribed roles related to "motherhood" or middle-class notions of women being the safe keepers of religious practice within the home. Instead, women's Christian belief and practice were shaped by the household labour they performed within the family economy. Women's popular theology was not a response to prescribed notions of what they should be domestically, but a reflection of what they were: labourers within a domestic workplace. The study considers especially connections between Christian belief and traditional female work in childbirth and mortuary services, caring for the sick, textile production, and feeding the household. Women's lived religious practices demonstrated a commitment to benevolent mutuality, the negotiation of gender roles, and resistance to male authority, suggesting a theological culture more informed by feminist consciousness than "patriarchal piety." This changed somewhat in the 1960s, as the study area transitioned from a rural, household economy to a wage-based economy largely dependent on male breadwinning. Anglican women's theological culture began to reflect their acceptance of middle-class gender expectations, as well as their emerging commitment to domesticity as an appropriate female identity within households, church and community.
Conflicting Christianities
Conflicting Christianities
by Erin Lee Isaac, Manifestations of strident anti-Catholic sentiment during the Seven Years’ War (1754/56-1763)—a conflict seen in North America as being between “Protestant Britain” and “Catholic France”—reveal that discriminatory religious rhetoric was not based on religious sentiment alone. In the early modern era, the term “Catholic” often inferred other characteristics including ethnic, political, and imperial affiliations, as well as religious ones. In the post-Reformation era, it also evoked memories of violent clashes and wars between Protestants and Catholics. In British North America, elites used anti-Catholic tropes to hide political concerns behind religious language, implying that military conflicts were “divinely ordained” or motivated by religious imperatives. Focusing on the years between the Seven Years’ War and Franco-American alliance (1778), this study explores how people manipulated Protestant and Catholic religious identities to accommodate changing political agendas. During the years of imperial crisis after the Seven Years War, British subjects, both in Britain and the colonies, grappled with the implications of absorbing tens of thousands of people into British America who were neither ethnically British nor Protestant. Indeed, the religious identity of many of these new members of the Empire was Catholic. Protestant leaders, both religious and political, clashed over how best to accommodate these religious “others” and significant divergences emerged between people who became citizens of the new United States and people who remained within to the broader Anglo-Atlantic world. Culturally specific praxes coalesced and hardened, praxes that continue to influence the form and function of religious rhetoric in the Anglo-Atlantic world, and particularly in Canada and the United States.
Contrasting silences: the public memory of German women's experiences of the second world war in a divided Germany, 1945-present
Contrasting silences: the public memory of German women's experiences of the second world war in a divided Germany, 1945-present
by Emily McPherson, More than 800,000 German women were victims of the sexual violence perpetrated by Allied troops at war’s end, however, rape victims have not been the dominant image in public memories of the German wartime experience. Instead, memorials, ceremonies, speeches, and books lauded women as post-war Trümmerfrauen, “rubble women” who worked to reconstruct war-torn cities after 1945. This thesis sits at the intersection of changing perceptions of German victimhood and theories of memorialization, and examines, through a gendered lens, wartime diaries such as A Woman in Berlin, novels, newspaper articles, documentary films, and stone memorials, including the Soviet War Memorial in Berlin’s Treptower Park, and statues erected in honour of Trümmerfrauen. Both the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany instilled female wartime experiences into the public memory landscape of their nations; however, they did so in limited and intentional ways, in an effort to construct histories that aligned with their political goals. German memory politics shifted throughout the Cold War, and changed again after reunification, to reflect new nation-building projects.
Demonizing the fairies: Scottish ministers and preternatural beliefs during the Scottish witch-hunts, 1550–1700
Demonizing the fairies: Scottish ministers and preternatural beliefs during the Scottish witch-hunts, 1550–1700
by Jarrett Weston, This study argues that through sermons and their participation in trials for witchcraft, the demonizing rhetoric of the clergy was absorbed by the Scottish peasantry. Consequently, the fairy – belief in which was a major component of Scottish popular culture – went from being perceived as its own distinct entity to a type of demon. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the period between 1550 and 1700, identifying key events in the development of Scottish Protestantism. Chapter 2 builds on these terms by using the written works and sermons of Protestant theologians from Scotland, defining how each perceived the witch, fairies, and Satan as time progressed. While not every theologian during this period saw fairies as demons, the majority viewed these spirits as the Devil's agents. Finally, chapter 3 shifts the focus to the chronological study of testimonies of men and women who were accused of witchcraft, showing how fairies and the Devil became interchangeable entities over time. This chapter affirms that, by the end of the seventeenth century, the Scottish peasantry had reinterpreted these spirits as demons. This study reminds historians of the impact of polemical discourse and its ability to shift culture, considering the demonizing of preternatural traditions changed how people from this period saw themselves and understood the world around them.
Denominationalism in a Loyalist county: a social history of Charlotte, 1783–1940
Denominationalism in a Loyalist county: a social history of Charlotte, 1783–1940
by Thomas William Acheson, This thesis is a study of changing conditions and the factors that produced them in a segment of New Brunswick colonial society, Charlotte County, over a period of more than a century and a half. The purpose has been twofold, to demonstrate the social, economic and political changes which occurred within the period and to analyze the reasons for these changes. This examination of the social structure and ideas of the county has been accomplished through the medium of the religious denominations of the area. These denominations are generally the earliest and frequently the only social organizations in the communities under study and thus provide the most complete picture of the changes occurring over a period of time. Four major social movements may be observed throughout the period under study. The first of these was the arrival of the diverse Loyalist groups in the county in 1783–84, and their settlement, in many cases with the pre-Loyalist Americans. The second was a period of social and economic depression, extending to the end of the Napoleonic Wars, during which there was little growth but during which a distinctive colonial culture began to emerge among the county's inhabitants. The third movement was one of buoyant expansion engendered both by economic prosperity and a prolonged influx of British immigrants. This movement created a conflict between the traditions of the earlier colonial and later British settlers. By 1865 fully half the population of the county was of lrish, mostly Ulster, descent, and it is doubtful if one-quarter of the population could show male descent from a Loyalist. The principal reason for Charlotte's affirmative Confederation vote in 1866 probably stems from the antipathy between the county's Ulster Irish population and the American Fenian group: Finally, particularly after 1870, county society entered a period of economic regression. Increasingly the population became homogeneous in composition and parochial in outlook. This period also is marked by the triumph of the colonial American tradition within Charlotte. Throughout the entire period, two dominant themes can be traced, one economic and one social. Practically the whole economic history of Charlotte was shaped by the market demand for its rather specialized products: timber and fish. Prior to 1830, the principal market was primarily the British West Indies; from 1830 to 1860, it was primarily the British market; and from 1860 to 1875, the American. When the timber markets largely disappeared after 1875, the mainland economy split. Under the aegis of the National Policy, the middle St. Croix Valley developed an industrial manufacturing economy to provide for an internal Maritime market. The South Shore areas of the county reverted to a fishing economy similar to the islands with its major market in the United States. Thus, with the exception of brief periods, the county produced for market in which New Brunswick products were protected: the West Indies prior to 1830; the United Kingdom 1809–1860; the Canadian market after 1879. The social theme prevalent throughout the pre-1900 period is the conflict between the British and colonial American traditions. The conflict is discernible even within the early Loyalist Establishment. Its resolution in favour of the colonial tradition was complicated and delayed for at least a generation by the arrival of the British immigrants between 1816 and 1849. Only in the generation after 1870 did a value system, based upon the early puritan ethic of poverty with strong evangelical overtones, became generally accepted throughout the county. Over a period of time, every denomination in the county, regardless of its origins, has tended to become more staid and rational. Consequently there developed in almost every generation a radical Arminian sect to meet the social and emotional needs of a large segment of the population which deserted a real or nominal allegiance to the older denomination in which it felt a dissatisfaction. Of particular significance in the development of Charlotte were the demographic patterns of settlement and the population movements within the county. In periods of depression, emigration from the county generally occurred in a two generation cycle. The first generation moved from rural to village areas within the county, the second migrated from the county itself. Thus in each succeeding generation after 1860 it was the offspring of the rural inhabitants of the previous generation who came to dominate the county., Scanned from archival print submission, M.A. University of New Brunswick, Department of History, 1964.
Engineering equal opportunity: technocracy and modernity in New Brunswick during the long 1960s
Engineering equal opportunity: technocracy and modernity in New Brunswick during the long 1960s
by William Bliss White, The Program of Equal Opportunity (EO) marked a period of wide-reaching reform in New Brunswick for the areas of local government, education, health, social welfare, as well as province’s court and jail system during the Long 1960s. The province was considered by many observers to be the “social laboratory” of Canada. Devised by the government of Louis Robichaud, EO was entrenched by the Acadian premier’s immediate successor Richard Hatfield. While consistent with the literature, this project is more forceful in its assertion that the two governments constituted one policy regime. New Brunswick flirted with government by technocracy at mid-century. These technocrats, actually a cadre of officials, consultants, and bureaucrats from a wide variety of backgrounds, espoused the tenets of high and low modernism in an effort to engineer a modern polity. They provided the main bridge between the two administrations. By applying this framework and engaging with a broad literature, a nuanced account of social change in the province is revealed. Technocrats and government officials looked out and looked within the province and ultimately brought top-down change to New Brunswick during the era of Equal Opportunity.

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