10 research outputs found

    Patronage: The Renaissance and Today

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    The Renaissance is the era most well-known for the quantity as well as quality of the patronage used during it, but even the following time-periods through to the modem era, have had a hand in the development of the patronage system. It could be said that the patronage system has changed from the Renaissance through to the modem world, evolving into the multiple forms it is in today

    Patronage: The Renaissance and Today

    Get PDF
    The Renaissance is the era most well-known for the quantity as well as quality of the patronage used during it, but even the following time-periods through to the modem era, have had a hand in the development of the patronage system. It could be said that the patronage system has changed from the Renaissance through to the modem world, evolving into the multiple forms it is in today

    Fighting Extremism: Efforts to Defeat Online ISIS Recruitment Methods

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    The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its sympathizers utilize social media platforms to disseminate propaganda, radicalize audiences, and recruit foreign fighters. Some Western social media users are susceptible to these efforts. Although personal privacy and freedom of speech is largely protected by complex governmental limitations, the social media use of extremists sparked a national debate on how to protect American citizens. This thesis will discuss the history of ISIS and its social media use, the terrorist group’s target audiences, ISIS recruitment strategies, and policy decisions and options aimed at reducing the effectiveness of pro-jihadist propaganda. This paper will explain what the United States can implement, already implemented, and could implement in the future. Keywords: ISIS, jihadist, social media, polic

    An Alternative Politics: Texas Baptist Leaders and the Rise of the Christian Right, 1960-1985

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    This dissertation examines one of the most counter-intuitive southern responses to the rise of the Christian Right. Texas Baptists made up the largest state association of Southern Baptists in the country. They were theologically conservative, uniformly uncomfortable with abortion, and strident in their condemnation of homosexuality. Yet they not only rejected an alliance with the Christian Right and the Republican Party, but they did so emphatically. They ultimately offered a more robust critique of the Christian Right than even many of their secular counterparts. While their activities might seem surprising to contemporary readers, they were part of a long and proud Baptist tradition of supporting the separation of church and state. On issues like organized school prayer, government regulation of abortion, and private school vouchers, they were disturbed by the blurring of lines between church and state that characterized the Christian Right as it emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. Texas Baptists were also uncomfortable with the backlash against integration and sought to promote racial justice in any way they could. While many southerners adopted a politics of cultural resentment, Texas Baptists often worked for racial justice and promoted interracial cooperation. They also fought the move towards economic conservatism in the South. From their campaigns to raise the welfare cap in Texas to their promotion of Lyndon Johnson's Community Action Programs, Texas Baptists defended government activism to alleviate poverty. They embodied a very different economic ideology than that of the ultraconservative southerners who have dominated the scholarship of southern politics after 1960. On all of these issues, the experience of Texas Baptists challenges prevailing ideas about southern political change. Their story is one that undermines the notion of a unified evangelical reaction to the racial, economic, and political changes that swept the South (and the nation) after 1960. It should give pause to those who have assumed that the alliance between Southern Baptists and the Christian Right was inevitable or unavoidable and force us to reconsider the complexity of southern evangelicalism

    Abraham Lincoln's Northwestern Approach to the Secession Crisis

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    While the migration of Abraham Lincoln’s family to the Northwest has often been documented as a significant event of his youth, historians have neglected the powerful repercussions this family decision had on Lincoln’s assessment of the South and the secession crisis in 1860 and 1861. Lincoln’s years living and working in the Northwest from 1831 to 1861 exposed him to the anti–slave system ethos of that region’s southern-born migrants. Sensitive to the restraints they believed the social system of slavery placed upon their own liberties, these former southerners simultaneously despised the slave system, hated African Americans, and sympathized with white slaveholders and nonslaveholders who remained in the South. After building his initial sense of southern society from these migrants, Lincoln spent his years as a U.S. congressman learning the significance of the Northwest Ordinance in creating the free society in which they had thrived. Emphasizing Thomas Jefferson’s role in conceiving the Northwest Ordinance and utilizing statistical evidence to prove the superiority of free soil over slave, Lincoln’s colleagues further expanded Lincoln’s conception of the South. All these influences combined to produce Lincoln’s uniquely northwestern approach to slavery, the South, and the secession crisis. Believing that the self-interest of white nonslaveholding southerners naturally propelled them away from the South and toward free society, Lincoln perceived the slave South as a vastly unequal society controlled by a minority of aristocratic slaveholders who cajoled or chided their nonslaveholding neighbors into accepting a vision of the South’s proslavery, expansionist future. As president-elect, Lincoln therefore overestimated the Unionist sentiment of southerners before and during the secession crisis. He remained convinced that the majority of white nonslaveholders would not support a secessionist movement that he believed countered their own self-interest. With time, and through careful communications with the South, he remained convinced that he could settle secessionist passions and bring southerners to trust him and the Republican Party. This northwestern perception of the South therefore explains, in part, Lincoln’s silence and his refusal to compromise during the secession crisis

    Air Pollution, Politics, and Environmental Reform in Birmingham, Alabama 1940--1971

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    This dissertation contends that efforts to reduce air pollution in Birmingham, Alabama, from the 1940s through the early 1970s relied on citizens who initially resisted federal involvement but eventually realized that they needed Washington's help. These activists had much in common with clean air groups in other U.S. cities, but they were somewhat less successful because of formidable industrial opposition. In the 1940s the political power of the Alabama coal industry kept Birmingham from following the example of cities that switched to cleaner-burning fuels. The coal industry's influence on Alabama politics had waned somewhat by the late 1960s, but U.S. Steel and its allies wielded enough political power in 1969 to win passage of a weak air pollution law over one favored by activists. Throughout this period the federal government gradually increased its involvement in Alabama's air pollution politics, culminating in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the enactment of environmental laws that empowered federal officials to pressure Alabama to pass a revised 1971 air pollution law that met national standards. After the passage of this law, but before the appointment of an air pollution control board to enforce it, a federal judge temporarily shut down Birmingham-area industries at the request of the Environmental Protection Agency, the first time that the agency had used such emergency powers. Over time, grassroots activists in Birmingham came to the realization that their efforts were doomed to fail, or at least to be significantly delayed, without the aid of the federal government. For nearly twenty-five years after the enactment of the 1945 smoke ordinance, supporters of air pollution control wanted the state government to deal with the problem of air pollution, with the federal government only providing technical expertise and funding for scientific research. But with their defeat in the 1969 legislative session, when the industry-backed air pollution bill passed, clean air campaigners in Alabama realized--and publicly stated--that only pressure from Washington would force Montgomery to clean up Alabama's air

    A grassroots war on poverty: Community action and urban politics in Houston, 1964-1976

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    Grassroots studies of the implementation of the federal antipoverty initiatives of the 1960s and 1970s are showing that the War on Poverty did not operate in a vacuum; rather, it was profoundly shaped by a multifarious group of local actors that included public officials, local elites, grassroots antipoverty activists, program administrators, federal volunteers, civil rights activists, and poor people themselves. In Houston, grassroots activists created a local context in which to implement the War on Poverty that was much more diverse in its intellectual and political influences than the rather narrow confines of New Deal-Great Society liberalism. The moderate liberalism that motivated the architects of the federal War on Poverty certainly helped galvanize local antipoverty activists in Houston, but even more prominent in their antipoverty philosophy were Prophetic Christianity, radical civil rights activism, and the vision of participatory democracy and community organizing espoused by members of the New Left and iconoclastic figures like Saul Alinsky. This local context created a favorable environment for these activists to use the War on Poverty to advance an agenda of social change by empowering the poor and helping then engage in confrontations with the city's elite. By the same token, the diversity of ideas that fueled the implementation of the War on Poverty in Houston---and especially the small victories that grassroots activists were able to achieve in their quest to empower the city's poor---provoked a swift and powerful backlash from local public officials and conservative defenders of the status quo. In Houston, therefore, local political conditions and contests, even more than federal politics, determined how the War on Poverty was fought, and the interaction between the federal antipoverty program and a broad range of local ideas gave the War on Poverty a distinctive flavor in Houston that both created opportunities for grassroots activists to bring about social change and set limits on what those activists could accomplish

    Criminalizing Space: Ideological and Institutional Productions of Race, Gender, and State-sanctioned Violence in Houston, 1948-1967

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    Criminalizing Space is a social history of ideas that explores various ways racial residential segregation affected the life chances of black Houstonians during the middle of the twentieth century. Jim Crow polices, custom, and living patterns marginalized black citizens from their white counterparts, negatively shaping the ways white people could relate to black people and the places they lived in. As Jim Crow slowly withered away, however, Houstonians struggled to redefine the meaning of race in ways that could be compatible with liberal individualism. Many came to rely on spatial logics. Spatial distance undergirded the social distance that stratified groups in a persistent racial hierarchy. It allowed for sustained Negrophobia, which included notions that black people were inherently predisposed or culturally conditioned to live in squalor, indulge in vice, and practice crime. For many white Houstonians, these were inherent in black spaces and justified the need for their containment through various forms of municipal neglect and abuse. Despite the efforts of black women activists, politicians, and philanthropists, the criminalization of black spaces had devastating effects on black people. It overexposed them to environmental hazards, poverty, violent crime, and police brutality. Spatial marginalization exacerbated the effects of these on black women, who faced sexual assault at the hands of police officers and employers as well as increased risks for assault and murder by their intimate partners in their own homes
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