List of MA Theses


Houston, Benjamin. Creating the Consumer-Runner: The Impact of Medicine, Commercialization, and Public Awareness on the Popularization of Long-Distance Running in the United States During the Twentieth Century. 2015. (Simon Cordery, Chairperson)

 This study challenges the individualist theory of running’s popularization by reexamining the period 1972 to 1985 through a multi-causal lens. It demonstrates that the popularization of long-distance running in America was the result of social, scientific, and commercial trends which developed as early as the 1940s and 1950s. By examining shifts in medical knowledge, changing attitudes on fitness, improved technology, increased demand for fitness apparel, the media’s attention to jogging, and corporate marketing strategies between 1960 and 1985, it is possible to understand not just the monumental spread in long-distance running’s popularity, but also the growth of companies such as Nike and Adidas into major fashion brands which have come to dominate the sporting goods industry in the late twentieth- and early-twenty first century and the validation of marathoning as an acceptable pastime in American society.


Hiltunen, Lindsay.  Cultural Memory and the Power of Place: One Hundred Years of Remembering the Italian Hall Tragedy and the 1913-1914 Michigan Copper Strike. 2014. (Peter Cole, Chairperson)

This thesis examines the history and the cultural memory of the 1913-1914 Michigan copper miners’ strike, especially the tragedy at Calumet’s Italian Hall on December 24, 1913. In order to examine the role that cultural memory plays in how the strike and the Italian Hall tragedy is conceptualized, this project explores the historical events of the strike in conjunction with popular instances of cultural memory related to the strike. For purposes of this project, cultural memory is defined as the texts, ceremonies, objects, and monuments that memorialize the past. By analyzing the official record of the Italian Hall inquest, Woody Guthrie’s song “1913 Massacre,” and the Italian Hall Memorial Park it becomes possible to see how instances of symbolic heritage generate collective memory by allowing the public to engage with the past, shaping how history is discussed. Written records, songs, and memorials shape the way the past is considered and understood. The memory of the Italian Hall tragedy and the Michigan copper strike of 1913-1914 is a case study to show how historical and cultural texts contextualize past events.


Heien, Adam. Where Military Needs and Politics Collide: The Interwar Naval Arms Limitation Treaties and the Naval Building Programs of the 1920s. 2014. (Richard Filipink, Chairperson)

This thesis argues that the heavy cruiser building programs of the 1920s did not reflect an escalating naval arms race, but were instead launched in response to each nation’s individual naval needs and requirements. Instead of building in response to the construction programs of the other major powers, Great Britain, the United States, and Japan built heavy cruisers in response to their own domestic political and budgetary concerns, as well as to meet the individual military requirements of each country’s navy.


Fairfield, Katherine A. The Anglicization of politics and religion in Elizabethan Ireland. 2013. (Jennifer McNabb, Chairperson)

This thesis considers how English attitudes about Irish deficiencies shaped the Anglicization of politics and religion in Elizabethan Ireland. The author utilizes a variety of contemporary sources including private correspondence, journals, political treatises, travel chronicles, poetry, woodcuts, statutes, depositions, and ecclesiastical records in order to explore how elite as well as popular English and Irish audiences responded to reform measures. Special attention is paid to the political discourse provided by Elizabethan writers such as Edmund Campion, William Camden, Fynes Moryson, and Barnabe Rich. The author that the introduction of the New English settlers, the obstructions caused by traditional Irish customs, and the weakness in English leadership were the leading causes of the inability to Anglicize the Irish, which compelled the crown towards a policy of outright conquest during the last decade of Elizabeth's reign.


Zimmerman, Cassandra J. “Elites and patronage in late medieval and early modern England. 2013. (Jennifer McNabb, Chairperson)

This thesis examines the role of patronage in the lives of late medieval and early modern English elites and landed gentry. The author used two late medieval and two early modern letter collections to determine the prevalence of patronage requests and the primary purpose for such requests. These collections focused on the correspondence of the Stonor, Paston, and Lisle families in addition to the letters of Thomas Cromwell. Letter samples from each collection were chosen by time span, 1473-1500 and 1524-1540, as well as size, to maintain comparability The author argues that participation in patronage networks was required to gain influence and reputation within the elite social group and that non-participation negatively impacted one’s familial and non-kin relationships.


Barnett, Leevia. Civil rights from Macomb to Peoria to Nashville : Reverend Cordy Tindell (C. T.) Vivian and the Communities that Cultivated his Growth as a Prominent Civil Rights Activist. 2012. (Barclay Key, Chairperson)

This thesis examines the context in which civil rights activist Cordy Tindell (C.T.) Vivian lived his early life and addresses how Vivian’s formative years in west central Illinois helped mold him into the civil rights activist and man of faith that he became. The thesis also explores the transformation Vivian experienced as he progressed from being a young black man living in a small town in west central Illinois to an established pastor and influential member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Nashville. Evidence demonstrates that Vivian’s experiences in Macomb and Peoria shaped his perspectives regarding civil rights and influenced his later actions as a minister and civil rights activist.


Lowe, Michael James. Rights and Research: Institutional Change and Student Activism at SIU Carbondale and UW-Madison in the Vietnam Era. 2012. (Richard M. Filipink, Chairperson)

This work focuses on Midwestern university student activism in the Vietnam War / Cold War era as seen through the balanced lenses of both administrative papers and the records of student activist organizations. Through analysis of the history, reception, and legacy of the Army Mathematics Research Center at the University of Wisconsin and the Center for Vietnamese Studies and Programs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, this work sheds light on the specifically Midwestern aspect of student activism, as well as the role of universities in military strategy.


Benson, Kaitlin N. Before the Compromise: Slavery in Missouri, 1804 – 1821. 2012. (Virginia Jelatis, Chairperson)

Spanning the years between the US acquisition of Missouri territory until the year of the famous Missouri Compromise, this thesis explores the daily duties and occupations held by Missouri’s African-American slaves. In an attempt to fill gaps in historical enquiry, Benson utilizes court documents, probate records, and newspaper sources to create a portrait of the lives of the slaves who were such contested and invaluable parts of the Missouri economy during the first decades of the nineteenth century.


Stewart, Victoria Bryant. “May it Please the Court:” Analysis of the First Amendment Protection of Anti-War and Anti-Draft Protest during World War I and the Vietnam War. 2011. (Richard Filipink, Chairperson)

This thesis explores the legal usage of the First Amendment as it relates to the protection of free speech in anti-war protests during the First World War and the Vietnam War. Through examination of case briefs, case transcripts, court rulings, laws and statutes, the author comes to the conclusion that free speech was not a legally feasible argument in cases where the act of protest was itself illegal.


Lagemann, Abby. “To the Great Honour of this Realme, and of the Gouernment Thereof: Justices of the Peace in Tudor England. 2011. (Jennifer McNabb, Chairperson) 

This thesis examines the responsibilities and significance of the office of justice of the peace in sixteenth-century England, using prescriptive texts such as statute law and early modern guidebooks for justices as well as contemporary descriptive sources in the form of records from the county Quarter Sessions, the courts over which the JPs presided. This investigation highlights the role of the justices as both arbiters of national law and protectors of local peace, enforcing national law and answering complaints from residents of their counties; it also demonstrates the degree to which the justices used their own discretion when determining how best to execute laws and enforce order. 


Carlson, Elizabeth A. Studying the "damned art": Elite demonologists and the construction of witchcraft in England, 1580-1620. 2010. (Jennifer McNabb, Chairperson)

This thesis examines English demonologies of the late 16th and early 17th century to investigate the forms and functions of a pervasive climate of fear driven by anxieties about political, religious, social, and economic disorder that stimulated witchcraft beliefs in early modern England. The author focuses specifically on powers attributed to supposed witches, the processes by which witches could be identified, and the proper procedures for prosecuting accused witches. Her analysis reveals a complex relationship between women and witchcraft while also highlighting the extensive powers which each demonologist granted English courts in determining and punishing those who pled guilty of witchcraft.


Deveraux, Robert H. “Chronicler of a Forgotten Fleet: Dudley W. Knox and the Historiography of the Early US Sailing Navy.” 2010. (Walter E. Kretchik, Chairperson)

In the 1930’s, Dudley W. Knox, Director of Naval History, published a multi-volume collection of primary sources detailing the creation and dissolution of America’s first navy, dating from 1789 to 1801 during a ‘Quasi-War’ with France. Devereaux discusses the impact that this collection of primary sources has had on contemporary and subsequent scholarship on the topic, and also contrasts the differences in scholarship before the collection of material. In Devereaux’s analysis, Knox’s collection significantly altered both scholarship on the ‘Quasi-War’ as well as American naval history in general.


Schwartz, Austin W.  Unprepared in the Face of Hell: The Impact of World War I on Pre-Commission Officer Training.  2009. (Walter E. Kretchik, Chairperson)

The thesis examines post-World War I government reforms in pre-commission Army officer training at West Point and through the 1916 university/college Reserve Officer Training Corps program.  Positing that junior leader combat effectiveness in directing professional soldiers, draftees, and volunteers was inadequate despite battlefield victories, the thesis scrutinizes Army documents and non-official sources to reveal numerous pre-war junior officer pre-commissioning training and education deficiencies.  The author compares his finding with post-war reforms to reveal that pre-commission officer training responsibility remained with senior Army leaders but since 1920 also included input from civilian academics.  The blending of American professor progressive education methods with Army officer values produced curriculum reform and a more flexible and intellectually disciplined junior officer in the 1920s and 1930s.  Many of those progressively educated officers later became the American generals who led the citizen-soldier Army in World War II.


Edwards-Ring, Jennifer. Chattel, Soldier, Citizens: The United States Colored Troops in the Battle of Nashville, 15-16 December 1864. 2005. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson)

This thesis presents an examination of the two brigades of United States Colored Troops (USCT), the 1st and 2nd Brigades, Provisional Detachment (District of Etowah) which saw action during the Battle of Nashville, 15-16 of December, 1864. The author seeks to determine how participation in the engagement affected the perceived ‘manhood’ of the African American soldiers involved. The author grounds her study in a thorough background of the enlistment and training of the units as well as the prejudices and unique difficulties they faced as colored soldiers. In doing so, the author seeks to fill a gap in Civil War knowledge concerning the USCT in its performance in the Western Theater of the war.


Herold, Irene M.H., Hope on, Hope Ever: Josephine Garis Cochran and the Dish-Washing Machine. 2004. (Virginia R. Boynton, Chairperson)

This thesis examines the life of Josephine Garis Cochran and her work to develop and market the dish-washing machine during the late 19th and early 20th century. Herold places Cochran’s work in the greater context of the late-19th century Progressive Era of political and social reforms in the United States, specifically as it affected the woman’s role in society. The author then examines Cochran’s role as a business owner during this period was both unique for her gender and status but also an outgrowth of the societal factors at work.


Johnson, Scott. Crossing the Line: International Politics and the Olympic Games. 2004. (Virginia R. Boynton, Chairperson)

This thesis examines how modern Olympic Games of the 20th century were influenced by or used to fulfill political aims. The author examines the 1936 Berlin Games, 1968 Mexico City Games, 1972 Munich Games, 1980 Moscow games and 1984 Los Angeles Games in each of their political contexts. The author determines that the intrusion of politics into the Olympics exists, that such intrusion is not a Cold War-specific occurrence and that clashes of ethnic and cultural politics were the motivating factors of this intrusion.


Sanders, Holly C. Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fort Pillow: Racism, Propaganda and Partisan Politics in the Civil War. 2004. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson)

This thesis examines the 1864 Battle of Fort Pillow and the subsequent investigation over the massacre of Union African-American troops which took place there. Specifically, the author examines the role Senator Benjamin Wade played in sensationalizing the massacre and in placing blame entirely on Confederate commander Nathan Bedford Forrest. Through the use of extensive primary sources, the author brings to light the largely ignored other factors which led to the massacre and analyzes the political ramifications of this event in the North and South.


Compton III, Cecil Garland. “Dust and Ashes:” The Meridian Mississippi Race Riot of 1871. 2003. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson)

This thesis is a case study over the Meridian, Mississippi Race Riot of 1871 based on recorded testimony of the Congressional Committee formed to investigate the riot, Freedmen’s Bureau records, the records of local and state authorities of the time, eyewitness testimony and newspaper reports. The author seeks to provide the first thorough narrative of the Meridian Race Riot as well as to challenge the established belief on who was at fault for its start.


Kealey Jr., John Keane. “Je Te Dois Tout” Mathieu Dreyfus and l’Affaire: 1894-1899. 2003. (Sharon B. Watkins, Chairperson)

This work explores the background and events of the 1894 trial and subsequent incarceration of French Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Specifically, Kealey Jr. focuses on the role which Captain Dreyfus’s brother Mathieu played in organizing the supporters of his accosted brother, or ‘Dreyfusards’ as they came to be called. He argues that is was the persistent efforts of Mathieu and not those of Alfred as has been widely accepted by historians, which lifted the case to its international fame.


Mottaz, Timothy Ray. Copperheads Squirming in the Military Tract? A Reexamination of Peace Democratic Sentiment in Western Illinois During the Civil War. 2003. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson)

This work explores the history of the Copperheads, the peace wing of the Northern Democratic Party during the Civil War. Copperheads opposed many of Lincoln’s policies including conscription, emancipation, and even his efforts to reunite the Union. Mattaz argues that partisan politics strongly influenced these sentiments, and attempts to nuance readers’ understandings of the Copperheads as more than a simplistic anti-war and pro-Southern advocacy group. The work focuses on the Midwest, specifically Western Illinois, and draws on sources such as contemporary newspapers, census, military, and government records.


McIntosh, Daniel Craig. Adventures in Nation Building: The CIA’s Role in Coups During the 1950s. 2003. (Peter J. Cole, Chairperson)

This thesis studies events during the Eisenhower Administration in Iran, Guatemala, and Cuba to conclude that the US used unfounded claims of Soviet Communist influence to justify the removal of popular nationalist leaders from each of these countries. Attention is given to the proposed nationalization of certain industries in each of these countries, as well as opposition to those plans by American corporate interests. Opposition often took the form of labeling the leaders “Communists,” prompting Eisenhower to involve the CIA to fight an exaggerated threat from the Soviet Union.


Patton, Joni Kay. The Imperial Builder: Hadrian and the Roman Empire. 2002. (Thomas H. Watkins, Chairperson)

In an attempt to shed light on the character of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, Patton bases her analysis of Hadrian’s roles as both a leader and an individual on his imperial building program. In an attempt to fill in gaps left from the relatively small cache of literary sources about this enigmatic man, emphasis is placed on Hadrian’s projects in Rome, Trivoli, and Britain. Patton argues that the totality of his architectural record reveals Hadrian to be cosmopolitan in his concept of empire.


Sartore, Melissa. Backdrop and Origins of the Bayeux Tapestry. 2002. (Thomas H. Watkins, Chairperson)

This exploration of the facts and controversies regarding the Bayeux Tapestry provides both context and assessment of the known historical record. Few details are known regarding the creation of the Tapestry, but Sartore provides background information on topics such as Norman culture, the Norman Invasion of England in 1066, the history of the town of Bayeux (from which the Tapestry derives its name), and a biography of the man thought to have commissioned it. While admitting the inability to draw concrete conclusions given the available information, Sartore still provides readers with a detailed historiography of one of Western civilization’s most widely-known artistic textiles.


Werling, Dennis Henry. “Why Hungary Turned Soviet and Finland Did Not.” 2001. (Sterling Kernek, Chairperson)

This thesis contrasts the reasons behind the different fates of Hungary and Finland following the end of World War II. Werling argues that Finland’s ability to negotiate an armistice in 1944, coupled with Finnish national unity in the fact of Soviet pressure, resulted in less Soviet control and influence filtering into the country. Hungary, with its very different set of internal conditions, is used as a foil for Finland’s ability to negotiate the Cold War without completely absorbing the rhetoric of the US or the USSR.


Berquist, Robert John. “Nixon and the Press.” 2001. (George Hopkins, Chairperson)

In an attempt to explore President Nixon’s complicated relationship with the American press, Berquist utilizes a variety of newspaper and periodical sources specifically chosen to represent different segments of the political ideological spectrum. He gives a biography of Nixon through his portrayal in the media, covering the Alger Hiss case, the “Checkers” speech, and Nixon’s subsequent presidential campaigns. Berquist concludes that Nixon was supported by conservative publications received fair treatment from left & centrist publications, suggesting he was in deed paranoid in regards to the press.


Reynolds, R. Philip. “’Spokes of the Wheel:’ Mormon Settlement Patterns in Illinois Between 1838 and 1846.” 2000. (Robert P. Sutton, Chairperson)

Reynolds attempts to fill in the gaps of knowledge concerning Mormon settlement patterns in Western Illinois outside of the city of Nauvoo. In 1845, estimates of the Mormon population are as high as 30,000, with roughly half of those people living within Nauvoo and half living in other parts of the state. Reynolds argues that the impact and influence of these settlements can be seen as being more important to Mormon history and development than the large group centered in Nauvoo.


Powers, Eugene P. “German Army War Crimes and Military Thought, 1862 to 1914.” 1999. (William Combs, Chairperson)

Powers explores the rationale behind German troops’ portrayal as particularly vile war criminals, basing his study in the influences which shaped the German military as a whole. He covers the attitudes of such men as Carl von Clausewitz, Helmuth von Moltke, and Alfred von Schlieffen, each of whom furthered German military tactical aggression, as well as other factors such as propaganda and beliefs held by the German population as a whole. He concludes by showing how this mentality led to the war crimes committed by the German army during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Hidalgo, Dennis R. “The Company of Scotland and the Darien Scheme, 1695 – 1701.” 1998. (Virginia W. Leonard, Chairperson)

The Company of Scotland, a joint-stock colonial enterprise, planted a short-lived colony in 1695 in Darien, Panama, despite international opposition. Various individual and collective influences merged in the company, which served as a unifying symbol of an independent and international Scotland in the decade before its Union with England in 1707. Hidalgo argues that patriotism played a larger role in the financial support generated for the colony than pure profit, a distinction which sets Scottish colonial enterprises apart from other European models.


Renner, Lyn M. “An Analysis of the Differential Treatment Given to the Hawaiian Japanese, and the Mainland Japanese, During World War II.” 1998. (Virginia R. Boynton, Chairperson)

American attitudes concerning Japanese immigrants in the US following Pearl Harbor varied based on location and culture. For multiple reasons, Hawaiian Japanese were not placed in internment camps as Japanese living on the mainland were. Renner cites the assimilation of Japanese immigrants into aspects of Hawaiian society, economy, and agriculture as a reason for this, as well as an attitude of openness present within Hawaiian culture. Census data is utilized, as are newspapers and public opinion pieces.


Fentem, Matthew A. “Costly Lessons: Captain Edward John Smith and the Crew of ‘Titanic.’” 1998. (Virginia R. Boynton, Chairperson)

In this examination at the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, Fentem scrutinizes the role of the crew and captain in creating the conditions necessary for the disastrous loss of life. Fentem raises two different questions of culpability: Were the captain and crew negligent or incompetent in their actions before the collision? Why were the lifeboats not loaded to capacity once the gravity of the situation was known? US and British investigations of the disaster are utilized, and the lack of established wireless communication procedures is cited as a major cause of both the collision and the lack of rescue efforts from other ships.


Griffis, Ted A. “The Legal Struggles of Early Mormonism.” 1998. (Robert P. Sutton, Chairperson)

This work explores the legal and social tensions by the rapidly-growing Mormon population in the Midwest during the early- to mid-1800s. As Mormon groups moved into new areas, the native inhabitants often felt threatened by the Mormons’ close-knit communities and domination of local politics, resulting in lawsuits and ostracism. In Ohio and Missouri the Mormons were resented and expelled, until the received a charter in Illinois providing for the establishment of Nauvoo. However, this arrangement was short-lived and led to more resentment, culminating in the murder of Joseph Smith.


Kovac, Josette C. “The Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857: A Case of Conservative Reform.” 1998. (Virginia R. Boynton, Chairperson)

Kovac examines this policy, which changed divorce and matrimonial property law in England by removing the power of final decision from ecclesiastical courts and placing it in regular civil courts. The doctrine of coverture (seeing a woman as economically ‘covered’ by her husband) was legally overturned by giving women property rights as wives. Lord Lynhurst, a proponent of reform in these issues, is seen as a major force in the passage of this and other acts relating to women’s rights, but is also portrayed as being legalistically motivated rather than sincerely egalitarian in his beliefs.


Wignall, Scott David. “Woodrow Wilson, the Mandates Controversy, and the Disposition of the German Overseas Possessions at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.” 1997. (Sterling Kernek, Chairperson)

Following Germany’s defeat in World War I, their former colonial possessions in Africa, the Pacific, and Asia were a topic of major discussion. Wilson’s policies of self-determination and espousal of the League of Nations would be tested as these territories were eventually annexed, rather than taken under League of Nations control as he had advocated. Wilson’s willingness to compromise on this issue is used to belie his image as a rigid idealist, and to underscore his willingness to bend on ‘small’ issues (annexation of territories) to further ‘larger’ aims (the League’s survival).


Hatch, Tobias Lance. “Fulfilling Uncle Sam’s Fiber Needs: Illinois’ Hum Crop During the Second World War, 1942 – 1945.” 1997. (Virginia R. Boynton, Chairperson)

During World War II, the US federal government implemented a program designed to increase hemp production for the war effort. Previous scholarship on this topic has concluded that the program was only minimally successful; however, in the course of his research Hatch determined that at least in Illinois, the revival of hemp production was successful both on an economic level and in terms of aid given to the war effort. Hatch concludes that previous scholarship has neglected key angles of observation.


Nelson, Edward F. “The Economic Motivations Behind the Foreign Aid Colonial Policy of Joseph Caillaux, 1899 – 1914.” 1997. (Sharon K. Watkins, Chairperson).

This thesis explores the motivations for the colonial policy held by Joseph Caillaux during his tenure as France’s Prime Minister. Of particular emphasis is the relationship between France and Germany, as well as Caillaux’s focus on France’s economic well-being as opposed to propagating the rhetoric of anti-German nationalistic sentiment. Nelson utilizes Caillaux’s own memoirs, as well as other contemporary records and accounts, to paint a picture of one of France’s more influential policy-makers.


Browne, Gregory Michael. “Fort Mercer and Fort Mifflin: The Battle for the Delaware River and the Importance of the American Riverine Defenses during Washington’s Siege of Philadelphia.” 1996. (John Werner, Chairperson).

In 1777 the British General William Howe intended to capture Philadelphia, then the capital of the American colonies, and end the American Revolutionary War. It was believed that taking the city would effectively serve to cut off the northern colonies from the rest of the area, allow British control of a vital waterway, and psychologically and economically defeat the American rebels. However, Howe wasted months of good weather, counted on more Loyalist support than he received, and faced a challenge from various American forts along the Delaware River, ending the 1777 campaign.


Danna, Dionne A. “Maudelle Bousfield and the Transformation of Black Chicago Education, 1922 – 1950.” 1996. (Felix Armfield, Chairperson).

This thesis discusses the role of Maudelle Bousfield in transforming the role of African-American women in education leadership roles. Promoted to the role of principal in 1928, Bousfield then spent the next 22 years as principal of various Chicago elementary and high schools. Bousfield’s experience shows the intersection of the politics of race, class, segregation, and gender in Chicago during the early 20th century, as well as the overwhelming impact of the Great Migration on the field of American education and the doors opened for other Black women by Bousfield’s pioneering work and appointments.


Lyttaker, Melvin L. “Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover and the Regulation of Radio Broadcasting, 1921 – 1927.” 1995. (Darrel R. Cady, Chairperson).

A major radio broadcasting boom in 1920 prompted a re-examination of the Radio Act of 1912, which created a system of oversight of the industry by the Commerce Secretary. In response to the rapid growth of broadcasting, Hoover began lobbying to use his position as Secretary of Commerce to regulate the industry from the inside. Using industry-wide cooperative measures to create stopgap measures until Congress could pass official legislation, Hoover successfully utilized his power of oversight to create standards for the new medium of broadcasting which kept its rich history as a medium of public service.


Sutton, Abigail L. “The Rise and Fall of the Illinois Know Nothing Party, 1854 – 1856.” 1994. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson).

In the mid-1800s, discontent with the two dominant political parties coupled with a rise of nativistic sentiments and unrest over the Kansas-Nebraska Act resulted in the creation of the Know-Nothing Party. The other available works on this topic focus only on the 1856 election or the Chicago branches of the party, while this thesis attempts to paint a much broader picture of the movement. Sutton concludes that the Know-Nothing party began as a nativist movement in Chicago, and ended when its members began searching for a northern anti-slavery party.


Parry, Stephen Edward. “Moments of Decision: The Kennedy Administration and Three Civil Rights Crises.” 1994. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

This thesis explores three distinct moments in three successive years during Kennedy’s presidency and his reactions to them. Traditional historical consciousness paints a portrait of a President Kennedy who was initially reluctant to engage with issues of discrimination and civil rights but who later emerged with a stronger stance on the importance of equality, and Parry’s research confirms this conventional attitude. Parry also argues that Kennedy’s concept of “federalism” strongly influenced his actions regarding civil rights.


Atarodi, Habibollah. “Great Powers, Oil and the Kurds in Mosul (Southern Kurdistan), 1910 – 1925.” 1994. (Sterling J. Kernek, Chairperson).

Atarodi recounts the history of the transformation of Mosul from a major population center of the Kurds to a small part of a larger, Arab-dominated Iraq. The main reason cited is Great Britain’s desire for access to oil, a commodity whose value only came to be realized during WWI. Atarodi does not hesitate to express his sympathy for the Kurdish people, calling the actions a “tragedy” and linking this chain of cause-and-effect to modern tensions between Arabs and Kurds. He also sees Kurdish rebellion against Iraq as justified, given the unnatural partitioning of territories to suit outside economic interests.


Jome, Eric R. “After the Invasion: Some Steps Toward Romanization and Successful Provincial Government in Britain in the First Century A.D.” 1993. (Thomas H. Watkins, Chairperson).

Jome explores almost four centuries’ of Roman rule in Britain, focusing on the successes of the Roman approach to controlling territories. He argues that by establishing a civil government rather than military leadership, the Romans created a positive rapport and their rule was less disputed. Romanizing elements such as road building, the spread of Latin, and the inclusion of Britons in Roman trade networks are also cited as elements leading to the successful maintenance of the territory.


Fiedler, William J. “American Opinion Journals and McCarthyism: An Examination of Traditional Images.” 1993. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

This thesis studies six American opinion journals (the Nation, New Republic, Commonweal, Christian Century, America, and American Mercury) in an attempt to discover if they remained consistent with their established liberal or conservative image in light of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s influence during the 1950s. Extensive primary sources are utilized, ranging from the journals themselves to other periodicals, as well as secondary sources such as biographies of McCarthy and histories of magazines as a cultural phenomenon. Fiedler concludes by affirming the traditional belief, claiming these journals stayed true to their documented positions on issues in the face of McCarthyism.


Zedric, Lance Quintin. “The Alamo Scouts: Eyes Behind the Lines – Sixth Army’s Special Reconnaissance Unite of World War II.” 1993. (William Combs, Chairperson).

Used from 1943 – 1945 in the Southwest Pacific campaign of World War II, the Alamo Scouts were an elite intelligence unit which can arguably be seen as a forerunner to the Special Forces. Zedric discusses their selection, training, formation of teams, mission equipment, and campaigns, basing his research off of extensive primary source documents and interviews with Alamo Scout veterans and trainers. Zedric concludes by discussing the deactivation of the unit, and by arguing that the Alamo Scouts were an important forerunner to modern Special Forces training and operational doctrine.


Coatney, Louis Robert. “The Katyn Massacre: An Assessment of its Significance as a Public and Historical Issue in the United States and Great Britain, 1940 – 1993.” 1993. (Nicholas Pano, Chairperson).

In Spring 1940, 4,000 Polish officers and officials were executed by the Soviet NKVD secret police at Katyn just west of Smolensk and 21,000 others at other extermination sites in Ukraine and Russia.  Coatney examines the crime and analyzes the response among Polish expatriates and the U.S. and British governments' initially reluctant responses, from when the crime - a major event in World War II diplomacy, Soviet-Western relations, and the Cold War - happened until the truth was finally told.  News media, the 1952 Congressional hearings, and academic writings are examined and critiqued.

The thesis can be read online at https://www.ibiblio.org/pub/academic/history/marshall/military/wwii/special.studies/katyn.massacre/katynlrc.txt


 Meeker, Frederick Edward. “The Black Hawk War: Background and Justification.” 1993. (Robert Sutton, Chairperson).

This study argues that the British band of Sauk and Fox Indians were justified in their precipitation of the Black Hawk War of 1832. Meeker traces the origin of hostilities back to the first encounters between natives and whites in the 1600s, and also cites the illegality of treaties between the parties which were signed under duress or went unratified. Given this climate, the Black Hawk wars seem both justified and inevitable.


Heissinger, Ralph William. “How the Cold War Played in Peoria: Perceptions of Communism and Soviet Russia on the Prairie.” 1992. (Sterling Kernek, Chairperson).

This newspaper-based analysis discusses the public perceptions of communism and the USSR held by residents of Peoria, Illinois during the years of 1939 – 1954. Emphasis is given to editorial sections and national polls broken down by region. Heissinger concludes that the citizens of Peoria entered the Cold War years as much more isolationist than the rest of the nation, but shifted to an internationalist stance later in the era. Heissinger uses Peoria as a testing ground for Midwestern Cold War public opinion.


Hutchcroft, Joel James. “The Decisions of the Indian Claims Commission Concerning Indian Title and Land Values for Claims in Illinois by the Kaskaskia, the Kickapoo, and the Potawotami Indians.” 1991. (Darrel Cady, Chairperson).

This thesis discusses the findings of the Indian Claims Commission (ICC), founded in 1946 to address historical wrongs perpetuated against Native Americans, particularly in the case of land treaties. Hutchcroft concludes that the ICC was a valuable part of the reexamination process by correctly assessing the value of lands lost at the time of their cession to white settlers.


Bennett, Michael T. “The Economic and Social Effects of World War II on the City of Macomb, and McDonough County, Illinois.” 1991. (Darrel Cady, Chairperson).

Bennett discusses the World War II experience of the Western Illinois region, and divides the topic into three main portions. He discusses economic changes through agricultural, industrial, and commercial sector, and discusses the social changes through studies of population, crime, race, education, and housing. He also ties local participation in rationing, scrap drives, bond sales, and military participation into the larger body of knowledge in an attempt to compare and contrast the specific experience of WWII within McDonough County, Illinois.


Poulter, Emma. “Roman Women: Their Role in the Politics of the Late Republican and Early Empire.” 1991. (Thomas H. Watkins, Chairperson).

This thesis explores the political roles held by Fulvia, the wife of Mark Antony, and Livia, the wife of Augustus, during the late Republic / early Empire period of Roman history. Poulter argues that while women were denied equal access to political positions, particularly driven and powerful women were able to exert specific and measurable power behind the scenes. Primary sources are used heavily, and an overview of women’s traditional place in aristocratic Roman society is provided. Livia’s legacy is also explored in an attempt to provide a more complete picture of Roman women’s place in society.


Richards, David E. “A Biography of Lucius Cornelius Balbus: Pompey’s Veteran, Caesar’s Agent, and Cicero’s Acquaintance.” 1990. (Thomas H. Watkins, Chairperson).

Balbus, a Spaniard born far from Rome ca. 100 BCE, emerged on the Roman scene as a pivotal figure in the drama of the Triumvirate as played out through the 50s BCE. As Caesar’s agent, Balbus had emerged as a figure of suspicion and had his status as a Roman citizen defended in court by Cicero, Pompey, and Crassus. After the trial, he went on to further serve Caesar as an administrative and financial officer. This biography centers on primary sources of Balbus’ life, providing background on his early life, service under Caesar, and the beginning of the Augustan Age in which Balbus served as consul.


Lawson, Audrey Kathleen. “Charles Elliott Perkins: Was He A Robber Baron?” 1990. (William Burton, Chairperson).

In her exploration of the concept of “Robber Barons,” Lawson explores the biography and business ethics of Charles Elliott Perkins, a man not traditionally associated with the title “Robber Baron.” She discusses the historiography of the concept’s appearance in secondary literature as well as the history of the railroad line which Perkins eventually became president of. Most tellingly, Lawson studies Perkins’ ethics, using personal letters and other actions to form the basis of her analysis of his behavior as fitting in to conventional understandings of “Robber Baron” behavior.


House, Grant. “Colonel Joseph C. Porter’s 1862 Campaign in Northeast Missouri.” 1989. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson).

This thesis recounts the battle actions of Colonel Joseph C. Porter and questions why he has remained relatively anonymous among other Confederate Civil War leaders. The role of personal vengeance within war is also explored through vignettes concerning retributive murders undertaken by Porter’s men and their subsequent repercussions. Porter’s successes and failures are recounted, including such events as the capture of Memphis, MO, the Battle of Moore’s Mill, and the capture of the Union garrison in Newark, MO, and the Palmyra Massacre.


Zhang, Ling. “American Images of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: A Study of Selected Periodicals.” 1989. (David G. Egler, Chairperson).

This thesis compares the treatment of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1969) in a series of mainstream periodicals representing various viewpoints, as well as scholarly journals to provide a less-biased look at American reporting on the subject. Zhang finds that while some liberal or socialist journals were sensitive to the ideals and ambitions, general US opinion of events was handicapped because of long-standing misconceptions about Chinese culture and history.


Loparco, Anthony. “Nelson the Naval Commander: An Analysis of His Tactics and Leadership.” 1989. (John W. Werner, Chairperson).

Loparco discusses the military strategies and personal leadership of Horatio Nelson, a British Royal Navy commander from 1798 – 1805. He discusses Nelson’s three major victories (at the Nile, at Copenhagen, and at Trafalgar), as well as Nelson’s previous military career and studies of other commanders’ tactics. He credits Nelson’s successes to his innovation, as well as his insistence on good lines of communication and intelligence on the enemy.


Trujillo, Deanna Lee. “John Looney as Crime Boss of Rock Island, Illinois: 1887 – 1925.” 1989. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

This thesis focuses on the town of Rock Island during the turn of the twentieth century and describes the ways in which the city’s rapid expansion and need for enhanced municipal services led to the rise of a political boss system. Trujillo argues Rock Island exemplifies the typical expanding small- to medium-sized American town during this era, and sees the political corruption which resulted as a natural outlet for the townspeople’s’ frustration with their city government’s inability to keep pace with the town’s growth.


Davis, Scott Edward. “The Impact of the American Revolution on Illinois County, Virginia, 1778 – 1784.” 1989. (Robert P. Sutton, Chairperson).

This thesis discusses the impact of the American Revolutionary War on areas in what is today Illinois, such as Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes. The Virginia administration of these territories is explored, with attention given to political, economic, social, and military policies, as well at the inability of the Virginia legislature to effectively regulate life within the Illinois territories. The failure of the Virginians to successfully Americanize the French inhabitants of the region is also credited as a reason for the Virginian succession of the territory to the federal government in 1784.


Engle, Stephen Douglas. “Military Operations in Jefferson Country, West Virginia, During the American Civil War.” 1986. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson).

This thesis highlights the strategic importance of Jefferson County during the Civil War. Due to its prime location (60 miles from the Union capital, protected by mountains, and situated within a valley) and its possession of the US Armory and Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Jefferson County became a target of Confederate ire as West Virginia was still technically a member of the Union. The high level of fighting in and around the county speaks to the level of importance attached to Jefferson County by commanders on both sides.


Faries, David Oran. “Home is my Only Destination: William Harold Thomas, North China Marine, 1940 – 1945.” 1985. (Darrel Cady, Chairperson).

This thesis takes a biographical look at the World War II experiences of USMC Pfc. Thomas, using unpublished letters and other primary source materials. Thomas served as an embassy guard in China at the beginning of the war, then was captured by the Japanese after the attack on Pearl Harbor and held prisoner for two years in China and two years in Japan. Oran also conducted interviews with other surviving Marines to complete the story of the group’s capture and imprisonment, and highlights the fact that the US government passed up two opportunities to successfully secure the release of the men from their POW camps.


Burton, Shirley J. “Adelaide Johnson: Sculptor of the Woman’s Movement.” 1985. (George Hopkins, Chairperson).

Burton takes a biographical look at Adelaide Johnson, a sculptor from west central Illinois who was active within the women’s suffrage movement and influential as both an artist and an example of women’s liberation. Burton credits Johnson’s pioneer upbringing to instilling the values of independence and self-sufficiency into her at a young age, paving the way for her later pursuits of equal rights and suffrage through the medium of her artwork.


Jones, Jeffrey G. “The History of Brown’s Chapel of the African Methodist Episcopal Church: 1876 – 1965, Macomb, Illinois.” 1983. (A. Gilbert Belles, Chairperson).

Jones attempts to fill in gaps in the history of Macomb as well as the larger historical record of Black Americans living within the Midwest with his research on the A. M. E. Church in Macomb. Seeing the church as the center of cultural, educations, religious and social life for black resident of Macomb for a large part of the twentieth century, Jones adds to his readers’ understanding of a minority population group with few other means of gaining access to information on their roots and seeks to elevate black consciousness and cultural memory.


Lange, Pamela Larson. “Owen Lovejoy Versus the Town of Princeton.” 1984. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson).

Lange provides information on Owen Lovejoy, one of Illinois’ most outspoken abolitionists during the decades before the Civil War. As a Reverend, Lovejoy had a pulpit from which to spread his message of emancipation, despite opposition from a contingent of his congregation and a legal entanglement which occurred when Lovejoy was found to be holding two runaway slave women. Lange makes heavy use of the available primary sources, including contemporary newspapers and many documents written by and to Lovejoy. She also cites the unavailability of certain documents, as well as the lack of scholarship on Lovejoy’s personal life before his election to Congress.


Salmela, Kirk Roger. “Andrew Jackson and the Institution of Slavery.” 1984. (John W. Werner, Chairperson).

A typical biography of Andrew Jackson focuses on his military fame, Indian removal struggles, or disagreements regarding the creation of a national bank. Salmela attempts to shed more light on the personality of Andrew Jackson by examining the ways in which he treated and managed his slaves. The study makes use of letters exchanged between Jackson and other white men, and concludes by finding Jackson to be a typical slaveholder like so many other white men during the nineteenth century.


Klinger, Richard William. “Reparations and Russians: American Reparations Policy in World War II.” 1983. (Charles Sadler, Chairperson).

Klinger addresses US policy regarding German reparations after the end of World War II. He cites the acceptance of the Morgenthau Plan by Britain and the US as a beginning to the discussion before focusing on the 1943 Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers, the 1943 Tehran Conference, and the 1945 Yalta and Potsdam Conferences as enlarging American aims. Klinger concludes that President F. D. Roosevelt’s failure to create a central post-war planning agency is the ultimate reason for the convoluted reparations policy which resulted.


Cline, Steven David. “The Bonus Expeditionary Force: Perspectives on the 1932 Veteran’s Bonus March.” 1982. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

This thesis focuses on the Bonus Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.), a group of veterans who marched from Portland, OR to Washington, D.C. in the hopes of cashing in their bonus checks before their maturation. Following a publicized railway confrontation in St. Louis, the cause gained national attention and thousands of additional veterans. The group arrived in Washington, only to be evicted by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who disobeyed the order for peaceful dispersal given by President Hoover. Cline details public opinion of the B.E.F. as well as compares it to other long-distance marches in American history.


Bodenhamer, Albert Cloyd. “Civil War Episodes and Illinois Newspapers.” 1982. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

This thesis compares and contrasts coverage of the Civil War in the Chicago Tribune and in four small-town weekly Illinois newspapers. Bodenhamer studied the same seven events for continuity (the Battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg, and the Emancipation Proclamation and the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse). His findings suggest that a model of “business as usual” informed Illinois opinion on matters relating to the Civil War, as the smaller papers prioritized local political and social happenings over those related to the war.


Six, John Calvin. “The Underlying Enlightenment Influences on Thomas Jefferson’s Political Thought, 1760 – 1776.” 1982. (Robert P. Sutton, Chairperson).

Six attempts to complicate the understanding of Jefferson’s political writings by arguing against the prevailing idea that his early political writings only use shallow, general, and expedient types of philosophy. Six instead frames Jefferson within a larger Enlightenment context, showing how his political ideals remained relatively stable over time and emphasizing the role of Natural Law philosophy and the Whig view of history as well as Jefferson’s argument for political rights on the basis of Natural Law.


Allaman, John Lee. “Edward O. Barnes and the Raritan (Illinois) Reporter, 1884 – 1934.” 1982. (A. Gilbert Belles, Chairperson).

By using the case of the Raritan Reporter as an example of small, isolated rural communities throughout Illinois, Allaman’s thesis serves to show the changing nature as well as the continuities found within Midwestern small-town weekly newspapers. Allaman focuses on Edward O. Barnes, an editor-publisher who also exemplifies the typical figure of a turn-of-the-century rural journalist. Also consulted were primary source documents from the town, county, and state levels, as well as interviews with those who knew Barnes personally.


Parry, Christena Anne. “The British Treatment of American Prisoners During the Revolution.” 1982. (Richard Hargrove, Chairperson).

This thesis describes the living conditions found in New York City prisons, prison ships anchored in Wallabout Bay near Brooklyn, and prisoners who were sent back to England. Parry explores not only the food and shelter provided, but the prevalence of health care, the supervisory and administrative systems in place, the role of the guards on prisoner health, safety, and morale, and other outside influences. She finds that in general, British prisoner of war camps provided for prisoners’ needs to an acceptable standard, but those standards often went unmet at the New York facility where soldiers and ‘common’ citizens were kept.


Kerr, Kevin Gregory. “A History of the 124th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in the American Civil War.” 1981. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson).

Kerr’s thesis uses the 124th Illinois Infantry’s role in the American Civil War as a means of discussing the attitudes and actions of a typical Midwestern regiment. The 124th saw extensive combat in the Deep South, helping to unhinge Pemberton’s line at the Battle of Champion’s Hill and taking part in trench warfare during the siege of Vicksburg. The volunteers also dealt with civilian insurgents both during and after the war, giving them unique perspectives on the attitudes of Southerners. Kerr consulted memoirs of those who served, as well as multiple state archive collections and newspaper archive collections.


Archer, Janet. “Roosevelt and Truman: A Comparison of the Final Roosevelt and the First Truman Cabinets.” 1981. (Darrel Cady, Chairperson).

Archer compares the situation and circumstances surrounding the end of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration and the beginning of Harry S. Truman’s presidency. She sees Roosevelt’s appointment of men similar to himself in terms of education, origin, and socioeconomic background as an expedient force which allowed him to continue working on his own terms. Archer argues that Truman’s cabinet changes reflect his understanding of the need for domestic reconversion following the war, and that Truman emphasized legislative experience among his appointees as he understood the pivotal role Congress would play in supporting or thwarting his initiatives.


Sondgeroth, Donna Rose. “German Immigration and Assimilation into Quincy, Illinois, 1840 – 1870.” 1979. (Robert P. Sutton, Chairperson).

Over 10,500 Germans lived in Quincy during 1840 – 1870, and their impact on society is detailed through the use of census data, elections records, and local histories and journals. Germans separated themselves from other immigrant groups by their settlement not in ghettos but in all sectors of residential society, immersing themselves in the society as a whole and gaining a more ‘American’ mindset. Sondgeroth finds that Germans worked in multiple career fields and in many cases provided capital and labor to the development of Quincy’s economy while also serving as a much-courted election block by politicians.


Swan, Charles Edward. “The Freedmen’s Bureau in Albany and Dougherty County, Goergia.” 1979. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson).

Focusing on one county in Georgia, Swan describes the creation of the Freedmen’s Bureau, a government agency designed to provide food, clothing, shelter, education, legal counsel, and assurances of rights to any indigent person, black or white. Swan tells of the intense dislike many whites felt against the bureau upon its opening, as well as the enhanced career and educational opportunities afforded to the newly-freed slaves through the Bureau. Swan does admit that in some cases the Bureau’s emphasis on contract labor helped to keep black bound in virtual slavery, but focuses more on its positive aspects.


Pyles, Volie Edwin. “The Development of Political Thought Among Fundamentalist Protestants in America, 1960 – 1970.” 1979. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Pyles explores the changing nature of Fundamentalist political thought among Protestants in light of the presidential victory of John Kennedy, a Roman Catholic. He compares the movement of the 1960s to earlier failed attempts in the 1920s to unite Protestants under a militant and restrictive vision of restructuring a political system based on Biblical literalism and anti-Modernism. Unlike these earlier attempted reforms which failed to attract a wide audience, Pyles describes the successful reinvention of Fundamentalism during the 1960s and credits it to adaptive leadership and the social tensions of the time, namely the Cold War and domestic upheavals.


Kammrad, Randall Craig. “A History of the 36th Illinois Regiment Volunteers from its Recruitment to its Mustering Out.” 1979. (Victor Hicken, Chairperson).

The 36th Illinois Regiment which served during the Civil War had the highest percentage of soldiers killed in action, and also served in every major battle in the western theater, with the exceptions of Shiloh and Vicksburg. Kammrad describes the details of these men’s service in battles such as Pea Ridge, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamagua, Franklin, and Nashville. Careful counts of casualties and deaths are recorded, as are their many movements throughout the course of the war. The 36th is shown to have been an active and successful Union regiment.


Hartnett, John. “The City of Macomb, Western Illinois State Teachers College and Camp Ellis During World War II.” 1978. (Darrel Cady, Chairperson).

Using manuscript collections, personal letters and records, and placing special emphasis on oral history interviews, Hartnett reconstructs the realities of daily life on the home front in Macomb during World War II. He describes how the nearby placement of Camp Ellis and the influence of the college’s professors influenced the community’s experience of the war. Hartnett argues that Macomb’s home front experience during the war was very similar to that of other cities, despite its relative isolation and small population.


Potter,William C. “Aspects of Machine Politics in the Election of Carter H. Harrison, Jr., to the Chicago Mayoralty in April, 1897.” 1977. (Daniel T. Johnson, Chairperson).

Potter’s thesis frames the concept of political machines in turn-of-the-century urban politics as a division between the pietistic and established religious groups (American, Scandinavian, English, and Scottish) and the ritualistic and newly-arrived religious groups (Irish, Polish, German, Russian, and Italian). He explains the 1897 Chicago Mayoral election as an effort of the Democratic political machine to organize the ritualistic immigrant groups into a coherent voting bloc, showing the triumph of the machine politician over those who attempted urban anti-machine reforms.


Fehr, Nancy Geuss. “The Underground Railroad in Western Illinois.” 1977. (John Werner, Chairperson).

Fehr’s thesis discusses the specifics of the actions taken by antislavery activists living in western Illinois between 1840 and 1860. She begins with an overview of the legal status of blacks living in Illinois territory, then ventures into the specific methods used to transport escaped slaves, the documentation of specific incidents, the use of propaganda as a major component of abolition work, and closes with recollections of these activities found in court records, private journals, letters, newspapers, and other as-yet-unpublished works. She argues that the system was well-organized and successful due in part to the geography of the region.


King, Michael Lance. “The Military and Civilian Development of the Rhineland and Britain 58 B.C. to A.D. 138.” 1977. (Thomas H. Watkins, Chairperson).

King analyzes from a military standpoint the concept of the limits of the Roman Empire as first articulated by Augustus. He uses the northern frontier as an example of establishing Roman patterns of controlling and ruling new territories, and gives the credit for their success to the Roman tradition of bringing imperial citizens into a partnership with the Roman empire. This thesis focuses on the Roman sites which eventually became the cities of London, Liecester, York, Chichester, Bonn, and Cologne and explores the similarities inherent in their occupation, settlement, and development.


Ellinghausen, Don. “From Cooperation to Confrontation: Students for a Democratic Society and the American Left, 1960 – 1965.” 1977. (Darrel Cady, Chairperson).

Calling it “the driving force behind the youth rebellion of the sixties,” Ellinghausen analyzes the early years of the organization Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). He credits SDS’ emergence on the national scene to alienation between the older generation of Leftists and the new generation found in the universities of the 1960s as well as to capable and charismatic leadership. Ellinghausen also speculates that SDS’ failure to work with an older generation of liberals led to their splintering in 1968.


Carlile, Peggy Jo. “Thornton Stringfellow, Proslavery Author.” 1976. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson).

As a Baptist slaveholding minister in Virginia, Thornton Stringfellow became actively involved in the proslavery debate as carried out in newspapers between the years of 1841 and 1861. Carlile argues that Stringfellow’s writings in defense of slavery stem from his own need to reconcile his identity as a slaveholding minister, and posits that he is not introducing any new ideas into the debate but rather consistently sums up and reasserts arguments made by others based on biblical scripture, statistics, anecdotal evidence, and racist ideology contending that Africans were inherently inferior.


Wajer, Mary. “Elk Grove: The Land and the Settlers, 1834 – 1880.” 1976. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Based directly on the model in Merle Curti’s The Making of an American Community, Wajer’s thesis details the emergence of democracy and egalitarian social behavior within Elk Grove Township in Cook County, Illinois. She uses census data to show how land ownership led to immigrant assimilation into the community, and notes that endogamous marriages and parochial schools within immigrant enclaves resulted in less integration of populations. Wajer also comments on the lack of political representation among landless groups, as well as the gradual appearance of German candidates in local politics.


Krey, Raymond H. “A Study of the Attitudes of Two Major American Newspapers on Isolationist Sentiment and Actions 1935 – 1941.” 1976. (Victor Hicken, Chairperson).

Krey contrasts the treatment of isolationist policies during the years prior to America’s entry into World War II as presented in the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times. The Times frequently expressed positions in favor of allowing more international involvement and championed American action against the Axis Powers, citing Britain as a last line of defense against an American invasion and emphasizing the goal of world safety through collective actions. In contrast, the Tribune offered a more cautious stance, believing in the wisdom of preserving peace through isolation. However, following the attacks on Pearl Harbor, both papers editorialized in support of President Roosevelt.


Sheets, Eddielea H. “A Media Reaction to the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia, August 21, 1968: A Study of Selected American Periodicals.” 1976. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Sheets’ thesis tackles the portrayal of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia following the implementation of Alexander Dubcek’s policies of reformed Communism with ‘a human face.’ She discusses the political uncertainties of Czech geography, citing its powerful neighbors and its role within the Cold War as a ‘fraternal socialist brother’ of the USSR. Through a broad study of American journals spanning the length of the political spectrum, she concludes that there was very little agreement among American regarding the best way to respond to the crisis, and concludes that very little changed in US-USSR relations as a result of the invasion.


Galvis, Antonio Jose. “The Abolition of Slavery in New Granada, 1820 – 1852.” 1976. (Hernan Horna, Chairperson).

Galvis explores Colombian legislation on abolition and the establishment of the manumission and apprenticeship systems. These effectively kept most of the African members of Colombian society enslaved despite the Congress’ promises to end slavery, resulting in the total emancipation of all Colombian slaves in 1852. Galvis summarizes the earlier legislative attempts at ending the slave trade as “slow, contradictory, largely ineffectual,” and greatly biased towards the owners’ interests. This thesis makes major use of primary source Spanish-language documents, such as legal documents, newspapers, memoirs, and collections of documents kept by foreign visitors.


Hall, Deborah Ann. “The Pro-Rural Bias of the Mass Media in the 1920’s.” 1975. (Gil Belles, Chairperson).

The 1920 U.S. Census was the first to show that more than half the country’s population lived in urban centers of 2,500 people or more. Hall explores how this statistic impacted the portrayal of rural American life in mass media, such as movies, radio broadcasts, and popular literature during the decade of 1920 – 1929. In these sources, she determines a very strong pro-rural bias, one based on the agrarian ideals of the farmer as a man of virtue and his farmland as being inherently peaceful, beautiful, and plentiful; she also analyzes the religious overtones present within the sources. She finds few examples of a belief in urban superiority, and rather sees an idealization of the Jeffersonian ideal.


Radel, Charles E. “The Reaction of the Illinois Soldier to the Emancipation Proclamation.” 1974. (Victor Hicken, Chairperson).

Radel’s thesis traces the growing anti-slavery sentiment among portion of Illinois troops during the Civil War, crediting these changes to the shift in perception of slavery’s role in causing the conflict and to interactions between Union troops and slaves in the south. He argues that many soldiers adopted pro-emancipation sentiments in late 1862 / early 1863, allows for a slight change of heart during the difficult early months of 1863, and then shows a resurgence of belief in the anti-slavery cause of the war. According to Radel, by mid-1863 most Illinois soldiers supported the emancipatory goals of the Civil War.


Wolf, Bruce Randy. “Lord Robert Cecil and the League of Nations: 1916 – 1936 – His Search for Disarmament and Peace.” 1974. (Sterling Kernek, Chairperson).

Wolf details the political actions taken by Lord Cecil, a fervent supporter of the League of Nations during the interwar period. A strong proponent of disarmament policies and the proposed Permanent Court of International Justice, Cecil was habitually thwarted in his actions by less idealistic policy-makers. Wolf draws attention to a shift in Cecil’s politics during the late 1920’s, in which Cecil’s views became less realistic, with his faith in the League reaching a new high. Wolf’s conclusion is that Cecil never wavered in his support of the League ideal, despite near-constant troubles and inherent flaws.


Champion, Walter Thomas. “Lament of the Iroquois: Participation of the Six Nations in the French and Indian War.” 1975. (Richard Hargrove, Chairperson).

Champion argues that prior to their engagement in the French and Indian war in 1775, the Iroquois were a powerful force in the Northeastern region of the U.S. Following the brutal treatment they received from the British after the fall of Quebec in 1759, they were reduced to minor players in the continental drama. Champion utilizes extensive primary source material, particularly in his effort to record Indian voices and provide their perspective. His conclusion is that the Iroquois’ success as a nation depended on colonial power struggles, leading to the rapid disintegration of the Iroquois Confederation.


Gary Kennelly. “History of the Illinois Seditious Activities Investigation Commission.” 1974. (Victor Hicken, Chairperson).

Kennelly uses the example of the Illinois Seditious Activities Investigation Commission as a microcosm representing the sentiments of many Americans regarding the fear or acceptance of Communism during the 1950s. He describes the commission’s creation, function, activities, and eventual decline, with a special emphasis on the commission’s actions within high schools and universities. Sources consulted include biographies, newspaper and magazine coverage of the issue, state archives, personal interviews, and assorted secondary literature, all used to complete readers’ understanding of anti-Communist activities in the Midwest.


Kimble, Harvey H. “A History of the 24th Iowa Infantry, 1862 – 1865.” 1974. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Following Lincoln’s 1861 call for volunteers, more than half of Iowa’s male population served in the Civil War, going on to win positions of high command and serve in the Western Theater’s major battles. Kimble specifically analyzes the history of the 24th Iowa due to their participation in major actions such as the Vicksburg Campaign, the Red River Expedition, and supporting General Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley. The majority of primary sources consulted were created by the common soldiers and show a unit dedicated to the preservation of the Union as opposed to personal military gain through victory.


Starr, Dean Milton. “The United States and the Greek Colonels’ Coup: A Study of Public Policy and Reaction in the Greek-American Community, 1947 – 1970.” 1974. (William L. Burton, Chairperson.)

Starr explores the post-war relations between Greece and the US through three different frameworks of international relations. These are Seyom Brown’s belief in national self-interest as the guiding force of decisions, Gabriel Kolko’s theory regarding the prioritization of civilian leadership’s decisions over military goals, and Richard Barnet’s emphasis on US goals of countering Communism and preserving national security. Starr concludes that US policies protected American interests in Greece and often manipulated situations to the US’s benefit. The Greek-American response to these events is also analyzed.


Carlson, Gary M. “The Pioneer Newspaper in Illinois, 1814 – 1840.” 1974. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Carlson traces the development of newspapers during the early years of American westward migration. Through thorough analysis of available copies of newspapers starting from the earliest Illinois paper (the Illinois Herald, printed out of Kaskaskia), he shows how the advent of printing technology and the wide circulation enjoyed by each individual copy of a newspaper encouraged journalists to appeal to a wide audience in their writing. He argues that newspapers’ “major functions of providing information, spreading knowledge, shaping public opinion, and promoting the improvement of the community” have remained essentially unchanged.


Cernocky, John. “An Oral History Approach to the Effects of the Depression, 1929 – 1941, in McDonough County, Illinois.” 1973. (Victor Hecken, Chairperson).

Cernocky discusses the realities of life in Western Illinois during the Great Depression through the lens of extensive oral history interviews conducted with current and former residents of McDonough County. His interviews range over topics such as the realities of employment, the difficulties of agriculture during this period, bank collapses, property loss, joblessness, and opinions concerning President Roosevelt and the New Deal. Secondary materials are also utilized, but in a supplementary manner to buttress statements made and ideas introduced by the interviews.


Patton, Gerald Wilson. “The Black Race in Illinois: A Demographic and Migratory Study, 1870 – 1920.” 1973. (Victor Hecken, Chairperson).

During the Great Migration, hundreds of thousands of blacks moved into northern, urban areas; the black population of Illinois alone increased by more than 150,000 people in the years between 1870 and 1920. This thesis relies on public documents, census reports, and government publications as well as the Chicago Defender for opinion pieces and coverage of black communities in the Chicago area. Emphasis is placed on urban areas, as many of those who moved went north seeking industrial work clustered in this regions, and issues of overcrowding, sub-standard housing, and “black districts.”


McKay, Tom. “Social Darwinism and Business Thought in the 1920’s.” 1973. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

McKay argues against the traditional view that Social Darwinism had ceased to be a major component of business thought by the end of the 1920s, and instead presents a case for the continuance of Darwinist thought in political and economic philosophy. Rather than relying on commentary written by outside sources, his primary research materials are correspondence, speeches, and other examples of the personal beliefs of businessmen living in the 1920s. McKay concludes that the ‘20s were a decade of transition, resulting in the less-than-unanimous acceptance of Social Darwinism as a guiding business model.


Greener, John R. “Entrepreneur of the Illinois Frontier: Gurdon S. Hubbard, 1802 – 1886.” 1973. (Robert P. Sutton, Chairperson).

Greener finds a case study for the economic development of early Illinois settlement in the figure of Gurdon S. Hubbard, a man who enjoyed typical levels of success at various economic pursuits in Illinois territory during the first half of the nineteenth century. Hubbard’s initial success in fur trading allowed him to open a store, which gave him the capital to branch into various other businesses, most notably in the field of transportation. H eventually moved to Chicago and expanded his business pursuits even further. Overall, Greener presents a businessman of great aptitude who thrived in the early frontier economy but failed to adapt to changing conditions after the close of the Civil War.


Richards, S. Paulette Parkins. “The Herrin Massacres of 1922.” 1973. (Victor Hecken, Chairperson).

In 1922, an Illinois mine owner violated promises he had made to his unionized workers, then fortified his mine with armed guards and shipped in strikebreakers to continue mining. Given the quick breakdown of communication, violence escalated quickly and resulted in an attack on the mine by the unionists. As they reached an agreement and retreated, twenty-three workers were murdered in one of the bloodiest American labor disputes of the twentieth century. Analyzed in light of the Pullman Strike and Illinois politics of the time, Richards sees the Herrin Massacre as a consequence of miners’ hostility towards the mine owner and the owner’s disregard for the unionists’ demands.


Aten, Myrna. “Women: Target and Object in American Advertising, 1918 – 1945.” 1973. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

By comparing the depiction of women and the messages targeted at female consumers in Saturday Evening Post, Time, Good Housekeeping, and American, Aten comes to an understanding of the ideal American woman in the interwar years and describes the various techniques used to attract her attention to manufactured products. She finds an idealization of the ‘perfect’ female embedded within these ads, even during the WWII years when women were beginning to redefine their social roles. This woman was fashionable, economical, hard-working, home-centered, and conventionally beautiful.


French, Daniel L. “An Early History of the Restoration Movement in Brown County, Illinois.” 1973. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

French traces the distinctly western nature of the Restoration Movement, a group of Christian offshoot of denominational practices which merged into a cohesive set of beliefs in the first half of the nineteenth century. The movement adopted values which appealed to the average westerner, and its spread mimicked that of westward settlement with churches attempting to provide a moral framework in backwoods regions. Focusing specifically on Brown County, IL, as a case study, French traces the development of Christian Churches between the 1830s and 1938 and finds that each of the seven Restoration Movement Churches underwent similar patterns of growth and development.


McKinley, Joyce A. “A Study of Occupational and Residential Patterns for Quincy, Illinois, 1848 – 1878.” 1973. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

McKinley explores possible links between Quincy settlers’ livelihoods and their dwelling patterns in the mid-nineteenth century. City directories are used as primary sources, as are census records. The bulk of McKinley’s research is displayed in the form of maps as opposed to a strictly-text style of commentary, and her conclusions regarding settlement patterns and the role people of certain professions played in early city government. Quincy’s development is charted through each of the decades under consideration in this study, as are comparisons to other Midwestern cities.


Ellefson, James E. “The Works Progress Administration and the Negro in Chicago: 1935 to 1943.” 1973. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Ellefson describes the challenges faced by thousands of black workers who arrived in Chicago during the Great Migration of 1910 – 1930, only to lose employment opportunities during the Great Depression. Ellefson argues that the employment opportunities provided by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) enabled blacks to maintain their earning power through jobs in sewing industries, the Federal Theatre, and various research projects. He concludes by saying that the programs fulfilled a very serious need in the black community during the difficult years of 1935 – 1943.


Moony, Thomas John. “Thirty-Six Days of Liverpool: The Log of the Ship Delaware, 1828 – 1831.” 1973. (George E. Hopkins, Chairperson).

Between 1820 and 1840, “packet” ships ran regularly scheduled routes between specific ports at designated dates, allowing for greater movement of goods and messages. Moony personally transcribed and edited the log of such a ship captained by Charles M. Bartleson, detailing the hardships of sea life during the first half of the nineteenth century as well as the multitude of uses of packet ships along the Eastern Seaboard. Captain Bartleson’s life is also detailed in the introduction from his maritime career to his eventual late life and burial in Macomb, Illinois.


Blake, Norma Lou. “A History of Mexican Immigrant Labor in Illinois, 1900 – 1930.” 1972. (Victor Hecken, Chairperson).

Blake explores the history of Mexican immigrants in Illinois, focusing on the sources of immigration, the years of their arrival, their motivations for moving to the US, the jobs they worked in Illinois, and how well they assimilated into the general Midwestern culture. She focuses her study on Chicago as the destination for much of the Mexican immigration in the early 20th century due to the ‘pull factor’ of industrial job opportunities. Blake makes use of population, employment, law enforcement, and education statistics to shed light on this Illinois immigrant community.


Daudelin, Don F. “A Study in Tactics: Braddock and Bouquet.” 1972. (**No Chairperson / Committee Listed).

The French and Indian War and the Pontiac War were some of the first instances of warfare between British regulars and Indian tribal warfare practices. Daudelin argues that Henry Bouquet’s battle near Bushy Run during the Pontiac War was due in large part to his innovative tactics. He sees the defeat of Edward Braddock at the battle of the Monongahela River as the catalyst for the introduction of Bouquet’s tactical changes. Daudelin makes extensive use of primary sources such as Bouquet’s correspondence, British army manuals, and personal exploration of the battle sites to understand tactical choices.


Rathbun, Peter Amend. “American Business and the Creation of Israel.” 1972. (Charles S. Sadler, Chairperson).

Focusing on the years of 1947 – 1950, Rathbun compares and contrasts the sentiments presented in the American business press with the opinions of businessmen sent in direct mail to President Truman. Dividing the time period into three sections (prior to the UN partition decision, between partition and statehood, and from statehood to the end of 1950), Rathbun found much more press activity during the first two phases, with the general consensus being one of caution due to concerns about Israel’s potential effect on the petroleum industry. In contrast, the personal letters sent to Truman by individual businessmen are often Zionist, advancing arguments without ties to oil or national security.


Burns, John Joseph. “The Industrial Workers of the World in Illinois During World War One.” 1972. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Tracing the origins of the IWW’s founding, development, and involvement in militant strikes held in Rock Island, Chicago, Peoria, and other Illinois cities, Burns depicts the labor union as an ambitious but ultimately doomed organization. Their actions were not only labor-oriented, but also political, as evidenced by a 1913 Rockford anti-conscription strike and later 1917 anti-war activism throughout the Midwest and legal action taken against IWW leaders. Burns emphasizes the IWW’s strength through low-paid unskilled workers, and argues that in attempting to unionize national corporations’ workers, the IWW was essentially taking on an opponent which could not be beaten.


Warnock, Mary Richman. “Illinois Response to Andrew Johnson’s Reconstruction Policies.” 1972. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson).

Following Abraham Lincoln’s sudden death, Andrew Johnson was left to articulate a plan for Reconstruction which would serve to unite the country instead of further divide it. As a result, Johnson’s early articulations of his policies regarding treatment of Confederate states and freedmen were confusing and often not in line with general sentiments on those issues as held by the majority of Illinoisans. Eventually, running as an ‘anti-Johnson’ candidate became an acceptable platform in Illinois state elections, with 1866 serving as a pivotal year of public distrust and dissatisfaction with President Johnson in Illinois.


Blake, Norvin. “Crime and the Administration of Justice in Peoria Country, Illinois, 1855 – 1863.” 1972. (Victor Hecken, Chairperson).

Blake analyzes the structure of the justice system in Peoria during its formative years as a river town in Illinois. He compares Peoria to other Illinois metropolitan centers through his careful collection of data, some of which concerns lawmakers (names of officials, time spent in office, duties of each office, salaries, and public attitudes towards them) and law breakers charged with crimes such as thievery, prostitution, counterfeiting, fighting, and drunkenness. He cross-references newspaper accounts of town happenings with court records to show how often individuals were prosecuted for various offenses, and sheds light on the public perception of crime and criminals in Peoria County prior to the Civil War.


Blackwood, James Francis. “Quincyans and the Crusade Against Slavery: The First Two Decades, 1824 – 1844.” 1972. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson).

Tracing his history from the beginnings of slavery in Illinois territory and the restrictions placed on slaveholding upon Illinois’ admission to the Union in 1818, Blackwood argues that pro-slavery groups in Illinois lobbied for the acceptance of slavery in their territory to entice wealthy Southern slaveholders to settle the region. The issue was hotly debated in local politics up through 1836, when anti-slavery activist David Nelson was forced to flee his hometown and arrived in Quincy. He organized local sympathizers, opened schools, made Quincy a prime location on the Underground Railroad, and organized the first political anti-slavery political ticket in the region until severing his ties with the movement and moving South right before his death in 1845.


May, Lynda Kay. “Prairie Novels: Societal Attitudes in Illinois, 1830 – 1910.” 1972. (James R. O’Connor, Chairperson).

May divides the body of fiction produced by eighty novelists into three major themes: race / nationality, ideas, and religion. She argues that stereotypes regarding race fall into three subsets: the Negro, portrayed as childlike and irresponsible; the Indian, who undergoes a transformation as contact patterns between settlers and Natives changed; and the immigrant, whose cultural differences are the subject of much commentary. In the realm of ideas, she points out that no abolitionist novels were published in Illinois until twenty years after the Civil War, and relating to religion, she mentions three groups dissenting from mainstream Protestantism (Roman Catholic, Mormon, and Universalist) and argues they were viewed as threatening to social order. May also points out the evolution of depictions of Illinois as strictly rural to a mixed portrait by 1910.


White, Richard A. “The United States – Soviet Union Consular Convention of 1964: A History and an Analysis.” 1972. (Nicholas C. Pano, Chairperson).

The 1964 US-USSR Consular Convention intended to create a treaty to protect rights and privileges of nationals from either country living or working in the other. Despite US recognition of the USSR in 1933, no treaty concerning this had been created until nearly three decades later. US negotiators hoped to circumvent possible diplomatic tensions regarding American citizens’ punishments under harsh Soviet laws, as well as to broaden diplomatic relations between the US and the USSR. White’s analysis concludes by viewing the ratification of this convention as a sign of improving relations during the 1960s.


Corby, Richard Andrew. “The Mende Uprising of 1898 in Sierra Leone as it Related to the United Brethren in Christ Missions.” 1971. (Spencer H. Brown, Chairperson).

Corby argues that the 1898 Mende uprising was predicated by the Africans’ opposition both to British governance and the creation of American missions in the region. Many Sierra Leonians viewed the missionaries as agents of Western colonialism as well as threats to traditional socio-political institutions of their tribal society. When the uprising began, the United Brethren in Christ (UBC) missions were targeted, resulting in destruction of buildings and property as well as the murder of seven Americans. Corby views the actions of 1898 as proof of anti-colonial sentiments within Sierra Leone.


Lowden, Lucy M. “The People’s Party: The ‘Heirs of Jackson’ and the Rise of the Republican Party in New Hampshire, 1845 – 1860.” 1971. (Larry T. Balsamo, Chairperson).

Lowden presents a picture of the dramatic changes undergone by the American political parties during the decade of the 1850s. As former Whigs moved into Republican voting patterns, so too did the Democrats lose their hold over the North they had enjoyed in the 1852 presidential election. She focuses her thesis on the Democrats who entered the Republican party, the ‘Heirs of Jackson’ who left the party after what they felt were decades of Southern domination and felt they were staying true to their core values by changing their affiliation. She finally discusses the compromise and coalitions which were necessary in New Hampshire as the party system underwent these changes.


Ryan, Daniel Richard. “A Hancock County, Illinois Citizen Soldier’s Experiences in the Civil War: The Diaries of Elisha Bentley Hamilton.” 1970. (Victor Hicken, Chairperson).

Serving for three years in the Union Army as a quartermaster sergeant and later as first lieutenant, Elisha Hamilton served under such generals as Sherman, McClernand, Grant, and Banks. His eleven-volume war diary collection spans from 1861 through December of 1865 and presents a portrait of life within the Union army within various Southern campaigns. Ryan’s thesis focuses specifically on the period between the fall of Vicksburg in July 1863 and Hamilton’s promotion to lieutenant in January of 1864, discussing specifically the frustrations a regimental quartermaster dealt with in regards to supplies.


Head, John Louis. “The Chicago Race Riot of 1919.” 1970. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Head contextualizes the 1919 race riot in Chicago within the larger framework of the Great Migration of Southern blacks to Northern urban centers as well as the Red Scare sweeping the US. His thesis questions the culpability of some groups in instigating the riots (namely the KKK and the IWW), and the blame that could be placed on white industrialists who failed to pay black workers living wages during and immediately after World War I. Head uses primary sources such as the Chicago Commission on Race Relations’ report The Negro in Chicago, as well as various newspapers from the city.


Wolfe, Thomas A. “Anti-Semitism in the New Deal Era: The Case of Father Coughlin.” 1970. (Victor Hicken, Chairperson).

Calling Coughlin’s anti-Semitism “second in notoriety to the German-American Bund,” Wolfe discusses the racial and religious bigotry present within Coughlin’s 1930s radio speeches. Coughlin claimed his anti-Semitic views were based on links between Jews and Communism, and saw Nazism as a defense mechanism; his views did gain followers, reaching an apex in 1937 and declining through the early 1940s. Wolfe also explores the role that misinformation about the Catholic Church played in listeners’ perceptions of Coughlin’s views. He argues that many assumed Coughlin spoke for the church as a whole and represented the anti-Semitic sentiments of all Catholics.


Cornelius, Martha Burnham. “The Prorogation of the Illinois Legislature by Governor Richard Yates in 1863.” 1970. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Cornelius contextualizes the 1863 dismissal of the state legislature within the increasingly tense party politics of 1860s Illinois. As an anti-slavery and pro-Union Republican, Governor Yates was unhappy with the results of the 1862 general assembly election, which were predominantly Democrat and vocally opposed to Yates’ policies and Yates himself. Following a particularly intense debate about a war appropriations bill, Yates made the decision to prorogate the legislature. Due to the fact that few historical sources have discusses these events, Cornelius relied heavily upon primary sources, unpublished materials, and archival records.


Gerdes, Stephen K. “The Ku Klux Klan in Tazewell County, Illinois: 1922 – 1924.” 1970. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Gerdes argues that the Ku Klux Klan in effect in Illinois during the 1920s was more occupied with depicting itself as “a fraternalistic, Fundamentalist organization” with philanthropic aims for ‘worthy’ recipients. He discusses the Protestant clergymen who helped to gain members for the organization, and through his use of newspaper articles from the time he shows that most Tazewell County residents viewed the Klan positively. Gerdes analyzes the Klan’s fundraising efforts for churches, schools, and a city mission, as well as the mass assemblages designed to improve the Klan’s image. Overall, Gerdes argues that the 1920’s Midwestern KKK spent less energy on harming the targets of their antipathy and more on cultivating positive reputations for themselves in the community.


Wilkinson, Charles A. “Anti-German Reaction and Suppression of Dissent in Illinois During World War I.” 1969. (Robert E. [ILLEGIBLE], Chairperson).

Wilkinson explores the shift in Illinois’ residents’ perception and treatment of German minorities following America’s entrance into the First World War, arguing that the prominent Illinois German communities which had previously been welcomed and admired were suddenly seen as ‘evil.’ While there were few legislative attempts to punish those who were anti-war or seen as sympathetic to the enemy, individual actions and retaliations spoke to the general anti-German sentiment, culminating in the April 1918 lynching of German-born Robert Prager, a suspected German sympathizer. As a result of this and other smaller actions, German culture in America declined, with German print media essentially ending and German literature and music being removed from classrooms.


Brown, David Harry. “Revisionist Historiography in American Hisotry Textbooks: An Analysis of Textbook Interpretations of the Coming of World War II.” 1968. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Brown’s thesis details the emergence of ‘Revisionist’ schools of thought present in junior high, high school, and college survey textbooks concerning the outbreak of WWII, arguing that textbooks written from this vantage point are critical of Roosevelt’s policies and choices. His findings show few completely Revisionist interpretations, particularly within books intended for younger readers. Brown concludes that most American history textbooks are Orthodox-oriented, following traditional and conservative versions of events.


Gebhardt, Carl Dea. “The Eleventh Illinois Infantry Regiment in the Civil War.” 1968. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Gebhardt details the history of the 11th Illinois during the course of the Civil War, from the earliest calls for volunteers through their participation in some of the bloodiest battles of the conflict, including the Battle of Shiloh and the Siege of Vicksburg. Gebhardt describes their heavy casualties throughout the course of many battles, as well as the loss of several leaders due to battlefield deaths. He concludes by summarizing the 11th’s contributions to Union Army leadership and commitment to seeing the war through to the very end.


Hudgel, Douglas A. “The Cow War: Agricultural Discontent in Iowa – 1931.” 1968. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Hudgel describes the period of agricultural unrest which swept through the Midwest during the early years of the Great Depression. The post-Civil War creation of farmer organizations and their political actions led to a climate of frustration among agricultural workers, who felt that their voices went unheard even after they created advocacy groups. While farmers were upset about many policies, the mandatory testing of cattle for tuberculosis was the spark for violent refusal to cooperate, resulting in the deployment of National Guard troops to protect veterinarians doing the testing. Even after the testing’s completion, farmers remained agitated and began modeling later protests on a more union-based model.


Lowman, Robert M. “Finnish-American Relations, 1917 – 1920: The Politics of Intervention, Relief, and Containment.” 1968. (William L. Burton, Chairperson).

Receiving little recognition from the United States during the early twentieth century, Finland only became important on the world scene when American fears of a Finno-German threat to the Russian border coalesced in 1917. Following the end of World War I, Finland attempted to gain recognition and food relief from the US to alleviate their famine conditions; Herbert Hoover was eager to oblige due to his vision of Finland as a bulwark against the further western spread of Bolshevism. Overall, Lowman concludes that the US was mostly noncommittal in their dealings with the states that were formed from the remains of the Russian Empire, seeing them as pawns rather than nations.


Spear, Stephen G. “A Survey of the Naval Revolt in Kiel, Germany, 1918.” 1968. (John Raatjes, Chairperson).

Spear argues that the revolt at Kiel was not a thoroughly-planned event, but a spontaneous occurrence motivated primarily through frustration with the deteriorating conditions in the German Navy. Germany’s unsuccessful showing during the First World War created a desire for peace among the citizens and helped to provoke the revolt. Spear concludes that the defeat of WWI had created a need within the German people to reorganize or reconstruct a new social and political order to avoid further unrest due to this dissatisfaction.


Frish, Richard Nash. “The Indictment and Trial of Len Small: A Political Test of the Twenties.” 1967. (Victor Hicken, Chairperson).

Frish traces Len Small’s rise from local politician to state governor as well as his increasing involvement in suspicious habits involving the state treasury. His decision as state treasurer to move nearly half of the state’s funds to a private bank owned by a friend sparked outrage and resulted in his being brought to trial. Politics nearly took over the judicial system, with charges being thrown out on technicalities and Small eventually being acquitted of any wrongdoing. Small was later found guilty in a civil suit filing the same charges, revealing the divided nature of politics in Illinois in the early 20th century.