HIS Theses

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    Butler county at a crossroads: What was lost is remembered
    (Wichita State University, 2023-12) Walenta, Suzanne; Price, Jay M., 1969-
    At some point in all communities, large or small, a challenge emerges of how to sustain and grow overtime. This crossroads can manifest itself when faced with a choice or challenge of honoring its past and identity with a perception of rural life that is ever changing. A crossroads can often apply to memory and the moments that we choose to reflect on. However, the nostalgia of memory doesn’t always reflect the complex reality. In Butler County, an observer can witness a microcosm of the national experience - similar events that were tucked away, glossed over or hidden from view. The objective for Kansas Crossroads of Butler County was to move beyond the founder story narrative and unveil the complexities and richness of a rural community. The Butler County Historical Society’s Rural Crossroads/Kansas Crossroads project started out as a “quick” history retelling of selected towns which grew into a longer episodic series named, Kansas Crossroads of Butler County. The foundation was to use the community representative perspective through recorded interviews; use historical photos and documents, newspapers, and books to explore each community and to share stories that people may not be aware of, negative and positive. The result of this series was a version of rural communities that nostalgia often forgets. There are commonalities in each of the fifteen communities explored – farming, ranching, and oil discovery. However, there are many stories that have been hidden away and forgotten. Nostalgia often forgets community struggles with the Klu Klux Klan; white mob violence trigged in the oil boom days; 19th century physical fights and guns at the ready as two towns fight over the county seat; lawlessness and horse thieves. There are also hidden triumphs such as the first all-women jury. Looking back there are lessons revealed not only in lived experience but in how stories are presented.
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    From the state of greater Hesse to the state of Hesse: The policy turning point of American occupiers, the creation of the constitution of Hesse, and the adoption of defensive democracy
    (Wichita State University, 2023-12) Hou, Bowen; Pickus, Keith H., 1959-; Henry, Robin
    This thesis explores the historical significance of the State of Hesse and its Constitution by examining its political context in 1945, the constitutionalizing process of 1946, and its pivotal role in shaping the German Basic Law in 1948 and 1968. It analyzes the challenges that the American occupation of Germany faced, including conflicting policies, total war devastation, and internal administrative chaos. It determines a policy turning point led by Lt. General Lucius D. Clay in late 1945 through solving jurisdictional disputes and cooperating with occupied German civilians to participate in politics, marking the birth of states and the beginning of constitution-making processes. It discovers the use of defensive democracy, also known as militant democracy, during the constitutional deliberations in Hesse as a concept to prevent the emergence of radical political factions in a population grappling with shortages and potential resentment. Defensive democracy emerged as the solution and was embraced by both left- and right-wing factions, albeit with distinct interpretations. Although conflicts during the constitution-making process almost derailed democratization, shared aspirations for self-determination and democratic renewal facilitated compromises, culminating in the creation of the Hessian Constitution. It examines the influence of the Hessian Constitution on the German Basic Law concerning defensive democracy. Foundational elements, protective clauses, and gender equality from the Hessian Constitution and delegates were integrated into the Basic Law. Of particular importance was the combination of entrenched clauses and the right to revolution, creating a mechanism theoretically capable of preserving the constitutional order through radical methods.
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    The persistence of bourgeois culture: Class, gender, and racial violence in the early twentieth century
    (Wichita State University, 2023-05) Gordon, Justin Wylie; Ballout, Laila
    This thesis examines the intersection of class, gender, and racial violence in the early twentieth century. Through a discussion of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, and the first United States occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934, this work demonstrates how both white and black intellectuals used the concepts of Victorian manhood, racial uplift, and civilization to understand these historical events. Bourgeois intellectuals of both races clung to the middle- and upper-class cultural assumptions inherent in each concept, even if they would eventually reach different understandings of what had happened in each historical event. Conversely, lower-class participants and those who adhered to ideologies like Socialism rejected the bourgeois cultural norms that establishment intellectuals utilized and blazed new cultural trails.
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    From hesitance to acceptance : The transformation of the Wichita Public School System from 1957 to 1972
    (Wichita State University, 1993-05) Cohen, Jeff; Johnson, Judith R.
    The United States experienced a multitude of social changes between the late 1950s and early 1970s. Many people looked to public education to play a prominent role in managing the sudden transformations that occurred. School districts throughout the nation needed to develop comprehensive plans to handle issues such as integration, modernization, and overcrowding with little time to prepare. Wichita represented a common experience at this time where leaders of a quiet conservative community had to respond to demands from local citizens as well as the federal government to develop workable programs that provided increasing educational opportunities to a greater number of students. Conservative reactionaries from the school board and community resisted the greater emphasis on progressive, humanistic multicultural curriculum. Nevertheless, despite disagreements over the nature of the school system, Wichita emerged in the early 1970s as a modem, integrated school system resembling other districts of comparable size.
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    Kansas promotional activities with particular reference to Mennonites
    (Wichita State University, 1955-01) Dyck, Cornelius J.; Rydjord, John, 1893-1994
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