Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Prepared for the Next War? U.S. Attachés Reports, Military Innovation and the Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War was a theatre of political tension where democracy, communism, and fascism clashed during the interwar period, starting in July 1936 and ending in April 1939. The war defied the traditional concept of a civil war as Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union became involved. All three saw Spain as a testing ground for new military technologies. Meanwhile the United States government stayed steadfast in its isolationist approach to foreign conflict and sent no aid to either side. American military attachés, who are military observers to foreign nations, in Spain witnessed the ongoing conflict, creating detailed reports of their observations before, during, and after the war. This thesis argues that the reports, which contained valuable information regarding military technology and doctrine, had little impact on American military innovation during the interwar period. This was due to both politically dictated neglect and doctrine prejudice regarding European conflicts. Based on the attaché reports, this thesis will explain what Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union learned about aviation, tanks, and artillery from their participation in Spain. This will be contrasted with the state of the United States’ military at the same time to demonstrate not only the little impact the attaché reports had on the trajectory of the American military, but how the military lagged behind those in Spain upon the beginning of the Second World War. Author Keywords: American military attachés, Germany, Italy, Military Intelligence Division, Soviet Union, Spanish Civil War
Beyond Paris
A presidential spouse in an era of rigid gender norms, Jacqueline Kennedy frequently straddled the divide between celebrity, social acceptability, and personal desire. Yet, history remembers America's thirty-seventh First Lady more for her fashion and soft-spoken nature. Forgotten is that she was a `transitional' figure, who oversaw America's largest restoration of the White House and served as a `goodwill ambassador' for her husband. When three gunshots brought their tenure to an abrupt end, Jackie's focus shifted and she fixated on the creation of a legacy that immortalized JFK. `Camelot,' is a construct almost exclusively conceived and executed by the former First Lady. In this vein, the coming exploration delves into the private actions of Jackie during her time in as First Lady, contrasting them sharply with her public image. What emerges is a portrait the world seldom saw: one driven by raw intellect and a desire to be of service to her husband and country. Author Keywords: Camelot, First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Restoration, White House
Reshaping the Terms of Debate
The Reagan era instigated a fundamentally conservative shift in the political, economic and discursive climate of America. As Ronald Reagan is a highly divisive symbolic figure in American politics, much of the historiography of his presidency has been characterized by polarized interpretations. Over the past decade there has been a noticeable shift towards more favourable and triumphal interpretations of the Reagan era. This thesis seeks to analyze the ideological shifts that have characterized the trajectory of historical writings on the Reagan era. Through employing a careful textual analysis of key works by Michael Schaller, Gil Troy and Sean Wilentz, amongst others, this study demonstrates how historiography serves us less as an objective means of understanding the past and more so as an expanding collective historical artifact that illustrates the changing currents of intellectual and political discourse. In doing so, the notion of scholarly objectivity itself is thrown into question. Author Keywords: Cold War, Conservatism, Historiography, Neoliberalism, Reagan Doctrine, Ronald Reagan
Alone in Power
The thesis uses three case studies of President Nixon’s foreign policy in South-east Asia to analyze presidential domestic-making. The theoretical concept of personality politics is used to analyze the Nixon administration and foreign policy. Nixon’s secretive nature combined with his mistrust of the press and bureaucracy to create an office structure that restricted the involvement and notification of others of his foreign policy. This thesis also takes into account the domestic climate that Nixon was operating within, including significant antiwar opposition, an adversarial media, and an ideologically opposed bureaucracy. Nixon’s foreign policy was ultimately the result of a perfect storm of factors. The president’s natural penchant for secrecy, along with his mistrust of the press and bureaucracy, combined with the American political environment that was in many instances ideologically set against him, also helped shape his foreign policy. Author Keywords: American Presidency, China, National Security Council, Richard Nixon, US Foreign Policy, 1969-1973, Vietnam War
Effects of Ideological Conformity on Foreign Policymaking
During the 1970s, ideological divisions caused by divergent interpretations of the American failure in Vietnam permeated the world of foreign policymaking. This led to a concern among the architects of the Reagan administration that foreign policymaking had become incoherent. They attempted to mitigate the effects of this disharmony by re-establishing a workable degree of ideological conformity within the foreign policy bureaucracy. This thesis focuses on the strategy used to improve ideological conformity and its effect on the foreign policy bureaucracy’s ability to produce well informed policy. Using case studies of two of Reagan’s ambassadors to Central America, it argues that Reagan’s strategy created a foreign policy bureaucracy that manufactured uninformed policy. The influence granted to officials who based their recommendations on regional expertise was severely curtailed. This shift produced a subsequent change in diplomatic practice, as foreign service officers adapted to the demand for allegiance to the president’s agenda. Author Keywords: American Foreign Policy, Central America, Ronald Reagan
Press Rhetoric and Human Rights in The Carter Era
Jimmy Carter and his administration varied the ways in which they addressed human rights concerns internationally. There was a strong, often emotional evocation of human rights in reference to countries that were less economically, strategically, or politically important to the United States and the foreign policy goals of the Carter administration. This was not present in Carter’s approach to addressing human rights concerns in important allies, such as South Korea, or with countries where relations were fragile and important, such as China and the USSR. This ambivalence in addressing human rights in strategically important nations was compounded by Carter’s disavowal of linkage policies. It was this ambivalence that made the moral foreign policy a failure. While there were international situations out of his control, his continued leniency and unbalanced application of linkage and focus on adherence to human right practices internationally, lessened the administration’s ability to respond to international tragedy. Author Keywords: American Foreign Policy, Government Indexing, Human Rights, Jimmy Carter, Presidential Press Relations

Search Our Digital Collections

Query

Enabled Filters

  • (-) ≠ Materials Science
  • (-) ≠ Southeast Asian studies
  • (-) = History
  • (-) ≠ Priest
  • (-) ≠ Dinunzio
  • (-) = American history

Filter Results