Department of History (Fredericton)

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The ties that bind: the mutual identity crises of Black and Jewish Americans in the late 1960s
The ties that bind: the mutual identity crises of Black and Jewish Americans in the late 1960s
by Michael Nason, During the late 1960s, American Jews and black Americans went through strikingly similar situations and changes. Each minority struggled with an identity crisis that drove their attention inward to question culture and understand heritage. Both minorities also contended with controversy over racism and prejudice, both within their own ethnic communities and nationally. Furthermore, both groups experienced ideological rifts that sharply divided them in terms of politics and culture. What is even more striking, however, is that these developments were often a product of the tumultuous relationship between each other. Though it is often suggested that the two minorities were allies, I argue that the alliance, even at the best of times, was never clear-cut. This thesis examines the ways in which each group depended on the other for furthering its own purposes and, in doing so, shaped its identities in the process., (UNB thesis number) Thesis 9103. (OCoLC) 840640920., M.A. University of New Brunswick, Dept. of History 2013
The urban battle of Ortona
The urban battle of Ortona
by Jayson Geroux, This thesis closely examines 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade's day-by-day decisions and combat actions during the urban battle for Ortona in December 1943. Ortona stands among the most famous historical cases of urban warfare that have been harvested for lessons and doctrinal formulas for modern armies. Existing histories reveal how the story is often simplified into glimpses of its most dramatic moments that are seldom cross-referenced or connected chronologically. This study links the tangled nest of dramatic stories in time and space to reveal the chain of historical cause and consequence. Additionally, this study considers how geography, force composition, weapons systems, and the presence of substantial numbers of Italian civilians all factored in the outcome. The thesis follows 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade's day-to-day struggle through Ortona's streets to understand how they attempted to impose order on what has historically been labelled as chaos.
The victory engineers: Anglo-Canadian and American engineering operations in northwest Europe 1944–1945
The victory engineers: Anglo-Canadian and American engineering operations in northwest Europe 1944–1945
by Eric Burton Greisinger, Volumes of studies have investigated the strategy and tactics used in pursuit of Allied victory in Northwest Europe during World War II. These focus primarily on the actions of the combat arms – infantry, armor, and artillery – with vital supporting elements such as engineering given limited exposure. This is unfortunate, since the victory of mechanized Allied armies would have been impossible without effective combat engineer support. This study presents the operations of Anglo-Canadian and American engineering troops during the Northwest European campaign, highlighting the efforts of such troops as vibrant, necessary elements in the pursuit and final defeat of German forces in 1945. Drawing upon extant source material this study highlights Allied engineering equipment, doctrine and operations as the foundation for Allied operational and tactical mobility. Basing their doctrine on historical models and preparing to support “mechanized” armies during the inter-war period, Allied engineers developed methods, equipment and procedures to support armies engaged in highly mobile, mechanized combat. Practices developed during the training stages of the inter-war period were first used on the battlefield in the North African, Sicilian and Italian Campaigns. As a result of lessons learned in those early campaigns, Allied engineers refined their doctrine and equipment in order to provide unimpeded avenues of advance for the Allied armies driving across Northwest Europe. Without demolition removal missions, road, rail, bridge reconstruction efforts and river assault crossing operations of front-line engineers, Allied combat forces would have never landed on the Normandy coast nor been able to drive into Germany to achieve final victory. This study draws on Allied engineer documents, reports and publications to demonstrate how Anglo-Canadian and American engineers approached fundamental problems of battlefield mobility. It outlines equipment, method and doctrine evolution over the course of the war, and then focuses on engineering maturity in the final push into Germany in 1945. It reveals that despite the different and unconnected starting points, Allied combat engineers developed a professional approach to sharing ideas, equipment and methods resulting in an approach that laid the ground work for what eventually became the NATO standard for military engineering in the field.
Through a royalist lens
Through a royalist lens
by Barry Richard MacKenzie, Over a nearly-sixty-year period, three generations of the Canadian royal family visited New Brunswick, sometimes at important moments in the province’s history. Each of these tours provided an opportunity for local leaders and boosters in Saint John, Fredericton, and Moncton to present a carefully staged version of their communities to an assortment of royal tourists, all the while supported in their work by the local anglophone press. These royal itineraries, supervised by Ottawa but largely of local design, varied only slightly in many respects, and yet by examining a variety of elements of these tours, the historian can learn a great deal about the times in which they took place, specifically with respect to the status of the military in civil society, the role of women, the variety of competing identities, the reinforcement of tradition, and various local issues which emerged during the planning and execution of the visits. Drawing upon coverage of these tours which appeared in the anglophone press, this dissertation contributes to a greater understanding of New Brunswick identities, specifically how the anglophone majority, and especially its middle class, perceived the province during the first six decades of the twentieth century, a period of important constitutional and cultural evolution. It fills gaps in our historical understanding of the period, while also building on the work which has been carried out on topics such as Britishness and the Loyalist Myth. Specifically, it adds to an ongoing debate about imperialism and Canada’s place in the British World after the Great War. Most importantly, this study adds another dimension to the expanding field of commemoration, and demonstrates the value of ceremonial occasions as markers of identity. The people of New Brunswick gathered by the thousands in the streets and along railroad sidings to catch glimpses of kings and princesses on every occasion between 1901 and 1959. The press suggested that these royal tourists captured the hearts and imaginations of the people who came out to cheer them. While spectators may have thought they were getting to know these royal guests, in fact they were learning far more about themselves.
Thunder in the Argonne! Alvin York, the reluctant hero : the story behind the man, the myths and the events of 8 October 1918.
Thunder in the Argonne! Alvin York, the reluctant hero : the story behind the man, the myths and the events of 8 October 1918.
by Douglas V. Mastriano, Sergeant Alvin C. York is America's most highly decorated "Doughboy" of the First World War. His awards included; the Medal of Honor, the French Croix de Guerre, the Italian Croce de Guerra, and the American Distinguished Service Cross. York’s iconic image is honored today in America's collective memory and he is hailed as the idyllic citizen-solider that we should emulate. The current US Army Leadership Field Manual retells the story of York's journey to prominence. But the passage of Sergeant York's image from conscientious objector, to reluctant hero, was not without controversy. York struggled with the fame and opportunity that this brought him, and he discovered the truth of the British adage that it is easier to win the Victorian Cross than to wear it. In the years following his gallant action on 8 October 1918, York was dogged by fame, detractors sniped at the description of events in his citation, the Germans refuted his story the location of York's exploit was lost to history, while many objected to the use of his story to foster support for America's entry into another, even bloodier World War. This dissertation takes a hard look at the York story to delineate fact from fiction, to discern the role that both the US Army and the US government played in the elevation of York to hero status, and strives – in the end to uncover the truth behind the legend., A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate Academic Unit History, Ph.D. University of New Brunswick, Department of History, 2013.
Tracing the destruction of women's bodies: survivor testimonies of menstruation in the holocaust
Tracing the destruction of women's bodies: survivor testimonies of menstruation in the holocaust
by Emily Ann Wood, This thesis, based on 132 survivor testimonies, examines menstruation during the Holocaust as another way National Socialism assaulted, abused, and decimated women’s bodies. Women reveal that due to the lack of bathrooms, adequate sanitary napkins, and proper hygienic practices in concentration, slave labour, and death camps, experiencing a monthly cycle while imprisoned resulted in a gendered form of terror. Survivors detail the short and long-term effects of their experiences with menstruation, including physical violence and fear of death, infertility, and a loss of feminine identity. This form of gendered humiliation and the dehumanizing nature of the camps affected women’s bodies into the post-war period. This thesis, the first scholarly work to look specifically this topic, further complicates the narrative of women’s lives in the Holocaust, by exploring the ways menstruation, in both its occurrence and disappearance, impacted how women lived and died.
Trial and error
Trial and error
by Josh Sheppard, Examining key events between 1958 and 1964, this report reassesses General Charles de Gaulle’s foreign policy during his early years in power. De Gaulle returned to office as president aiming to restore France’s grandeur after a humiliating Nazi occupation and subsequent troubles after 1945. Several historians have stressed that in doing so he pursued a consistent policy of pursuing French international autonomy during the Cold War, culminating in improved relations with the Soviet Union. This report argues that de Gaulle’s foreign policy was in fact significantly characterized by a trial and error approach. He first attempted to reconfigure relations with the United States and Britain, and then sought to deepen relations with West Germany. De Gaulle’s strong preference was towards the Western allies; it was only after these initiatives fell short that Franco-Soviet relations truly improved. The coherence of his foreign policy during this period should not be overstated., A Report Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Arts in the Graduate Academic Unit of History
‘Noble-Hearted Ladies’: Women's Response to the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars, 1898–1905
‘Noble-Hearted Ladies’: Women's Response to the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars, 1898–1905
by Kathryn Alexandra Rogers, In 1898 the United States declared war on Spain, aiding the Cuban people in their fight for independence from colonialism. The Spanish-American and Philippine- American wars (1898–1902) ushered in a debate over imperialism and overseas expansion. The Anti-Imperialist League was created in response by a group of prominent men concerned with keeping the country true to its founding, republican principles. Historians have analyzed the men involved, but the voices of women have remained largely unheard. At a time when women were entering public life through reform activism, and concerning themselves with the country's well-being, it is essential that we listen to their voices in order to gain new perspectives on why Americans supported or opposed imperialism. An analysis of material from the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, suffragists and the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and anti-imperialist organizations from 1898–1905 begins to reveal women's response to these wars. It appears for the most part that women's reactions were bound to the various agendas of their organizations. Specific causes like suffrage or temperance required a narrower focus, and many were not in a good position to take up the cause of the Filipinos or publicly oppose the government. Women, like the Anti-Imperialist League, were ultimately more concerned with the effects of imperialism on their own causes and the country, than with supporting the cause of Filipino independence. Women activists were unprepared to respond strongly against imperialism in 1898, but their experiences laid the groundwork for a strong female role in the fight for peace during later conflicts.
“Superstition is the offspring of ignorance,” the suppression of African spirituality in the British Caribbean, 1650-1834
“Superstition is the offspring of ignorance,” the suppression of African spirituality in the British Caribbean, 1650-1834
by Carlie H. Manners, This thesis interrogates the suppression of the enslaved spiritual practice, Obeah, through African slavery in the British Caribbean from 1650-1834. Obeah is a syncretic spiritual practice derived from West African religious epistemologies. Practitioners of Obeah invoked the spiritual world for healing, divination, and protection. What is more, under the constant threat of colonial violence, they practiced Obeah for insurrectionary purposes. This thesis reveals and contextualizes the many ways in which Obeah faced cultural suppression at the hands of religious, colonial, and imperial authorities as a means to comply with and respond to sociopolitical conflicts occurring within the British Empire. British writers conceived of Obeah as ‘ignorant’ superstition and used this against Africans as justification for their subjugation by the British empire. Furthermore, this project traces the development of the English concern for Obeah alongside their preexisting conceptions of magic and religion, which influenced the ways in which British colonists confronted African practitioners.
“The worst winds of revolt”: connections between civilian and military dissidence during the French Crisis of 1917
“The worst winds of revolt”: connections between civilian and military dissidence during the French Crisis of 1917
by Cora Jackson, This thesis, rooted in the fields of social, cultural, and military history, examines connections and correlations between civilian and military dissidence during the French Crisis of 1917. Previous studies on the Crisis have isolated moments of unrest on the home-front from those occurring on the Western Front, which has in turn created a significant gap in historiography and in popular memory. This research seeks to complicate the narrative of the Crisis by connecting mutinies in the French Army on the Western Front to labour actions at home, arguing that both movements are key to a better understanding of civil-military relations in France during the Great War. This thesis explores their shared motivations and further analyses the ways in which soldiers and civilians shaped, influenced, and legitimized each other’s dissent in an effort to reclaim their political voice from their war-time state.
“Why bilingual? Why not?”
“Why bilingual? Why not?”
by Gabrielle Rogers, This report examines the social history of French immersion in New Brunswick. It uses statistical evidence from the provincial Department of Education as a complement to oral interviews to describe the birth and growth of immersion programming in Canada’s only bilingual province. Provincial education for French immersion is situated within the broader scope of emerging national and provincial bilingualism and bilingual identity. It also considers the regional perspective. The growing immersion program was a times in conflict with the spirit of Louis J. Robichaud-era policies such as the Program for Equal Opportunity. It also speaks to the growth and evolution of institutional and personal bilingualism in the province., A Report Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in the Graduate Academic Unit of History

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