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

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2011 - 2021
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