AccoladesA Collection of Student Scholarship

2017 Accolades

Accolades entries are organized by degree program. Each program section includes an overview of the featured student works followed by a listing of individual project abstracts for easy browsing.

Filter by Academic Program

Master of Arts in History View all accolades »

Students in the Master of Arts in History program conduct a comprehensive analysis of the major developments, events, and figures of the past through the pursuit of one of two tracks: American History and World History.

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in History

Maternal Mortality during Interwar America

Author: Tiffany Sakahara-Petersen
Abstract:

This paper focuses on interwar America during the 1920s and 1930s. Childbirth is one of the oldest experiences of humanity, and yet the narrative surrounding it has undergone more changes in the past two hundred years than in the thousands of years before. For most of human history, childbirth remained the nearly exclusive domain of women. Only during the most complicated births did a physician or his historical equivalent attend. By the end of World War II, almost all women gave birth in hospitals under the supervision of an obstetrician. Concurrently, the maternal mortality rate increased or remained at a high plateau until the late 1930s. The first half of the twentieth century was a dynamic time for women and there is little exploration on the relationship between this period for women and the significant drop in maternal mortality. After falling steadily for more than fifty years, the maternal mortality rate began to rise in the late 1980s. Currently, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations. If the rapid decrease in mortality in the 1930s had been due to actual improvements in care within obstetrics, improvements meant to ameliorate the labor experience and success rate, the mortality rate should not have reversed. What seems to have happened is that the medical community established their routines of care and control over the process, regardless of its overall safety for the mother and child, which did not permanently lower the mortality rate.

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in History

The Appeal of Christianity to Women:

An examination of the Juxtaposition of Pagan Religions and Christianity during the First Few Centuries
Author: Sara Lamb
Abstract:

For Greco-Roman woman, Christianity offers a set of standards not dependent upon their success as sexual and reproductive beings. In addition to the raised social standing in Christian communities, women enjoy the complete fulfillment they seek in Goddess worship found in the mystery religions.

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in History

The Economics of Slavery in the Antebellum South

Author: Michael Hancock
Abstract:

The “peculiar institution” of slavery casts a dark shadow on American history, with the effects lasting long after its abolition by President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation (1863) and the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1865). The origins of African slavery on the mainland can be traced back to the beginnings of European settlement and was practiced in all parts of British colonial America. Although the statistical record of this history is abundant, many aspects of slavery’s human reality are beyond the reach of quantitative measurement. The economic impact of slavery in the Antebellum South has been pieced together by scholars from a wide array of surveys and reports. This article considers the scope of census inquiries as they expanded in 1840, 1850, and 1860, while the surveys of agriculture and manufacturing have formed the primary basis for an increase in the analysis of the economics of slavery in the late antebellum period.

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in History

The Impact of the Personal Rivalry Between Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson on Early Virginia and National Politics

Author: John McNeer
Abstract:

This paper analyzes the personal rivalry that arose between Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson and its impact on early political and legal reform in Virginia, the Federalist-Anti-Federalist Debate, and early national politics. The paper also describes the influences and different perspectives of both men and how they affected Virginia and national politics.

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in History

The influence of Sarah Moore Grimke

Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman on the participants of the american feminist movement prior to the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848
Author: Melinda Heikkinen
Abstract:

For many the origins of the American Women’s Equal Rights movement rest with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and other early American feminists who organized the Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, NY in 1848.  While this event represents a milestone in women’s history, this paper explores the idea that the feminist movement was alive and well before the convention.  By comparing and contrasting Sarah Moore Grimke’s Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman with the “Declaration of Sentiments” presented at the Convention, this paper presents how Grimke’s fiery style of writing, complete faith in the revolutionary ideal of pure equality, and deep conviction in a biblical basis for women’s rights, significantly influenced the content of “The Declaration of Sentiments” and the women who took the equal rights movement to the next level.    

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in History

What role did Lyndon B. Johnson and the Kennedy intellectuals play in perpetuating the myth that credited John F. Kennedy with legislating more African American civil rights acts than his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson?

Author: Anissa Jackson
Abstract:

My capstone encourages a historical shift in evaluations of Johnson’s presidency in terms of one of his more successful endeavors, securing more major civil rights legislation than any of his predecessors. This paper briefly examines the objectives of the modern African American Civil Rights Movement and the achievements of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson in order to fairly assess the legislative efforts of both administrations. This essay then explores how the practice of attributing Johnson’s accomplishments in the field of civil rights to his predecessor originated.

The scope of this essay focuses solely on the African American struggle for equality, but many of Lyndon B. Johnson’s civil rights initiatives included women, Hispanics, the elderly, and the poor. Furthermore, whenever the capstone references the modern African American Civil Rights Movement, the emphasis is on the social crusade of the 1950s and 1960s. The sources used for this capstone will demonstrate the distinct differences in the working relationships John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson forged with such civil rights leaders as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young. Additionally, this capstone reveals how instrumental Senators Mike Mansfield and Everett Dirksen were to the passage of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Act of 1965. Finally, due to constraints on time and length, this paper will not address the Vietnam War’s influence as the conflict is not within the context of civil rights legislation.