• Charles Finney and Willam Miller : Revivalists, Reformers, and Millennialists Looking Downward and Upward

      Krug, Howard P.; The College at Brockport (1/1/2008)
      William Miller was a typical preacher of the Second Great Awakening who was involved with reforms and revivals. His millennial views, which have traditionally led historians to classify him as a fringe preacher of the nineteenth century, were in actuality commonplace thinking during the Second Great Awakening. When his millennial views and methods of revival are compared to Charles Finney's, what emerges is not an oddball preacher but a widely accepted balanced millennial view that hearers of his message gravitated to and accepted. By comparing Charles Finney's millennial views and the impact of revival and reform in Rochester, New York with William Miller's millennial views and his revival and reform in Portland, Maine similarities between these two millennialist preachers of the Second Great Awakening will become apparent. Historians have often relegated William Miller to the fringe elements of society, but he and his associates were actively involved in reforms such as abolitionism and temperance, as shown by the writings of William Lloyd Garrison and Henry Jones, an early Millerite preacher. Through the use of church records and diary entries by a retired Presbyterian minister, Caleb Bradley, in Portland, Maine from 1 840, a clearer picture of the complex nature of revival and reform will emerge to correctly place William Miller in history during the Second Great A wakening for the first time.
    • The American Obsession: The Continuing Influence of the American Civil War on Popular Culture and the Evolution of Lost Cause Mythology

      Latella, David; The College at Brockport (1/1/2009)
      America is obsessed with its Civil War. Within months of its end, those who won and lost the war began fashioning their own mythologies as to its cause and the reasons for its outcome. Of these, the Myth of the Lost Cause is, perhaps, the best known Civil War myth. Lost Cause mythology provides a framework which both explains or refutes the acknowledged causes for the American Civil War and disputes the causes for the war's end. Lost Cause mythology deifies the Southern soldier and idealizes the Southern way of life including its "peculiar institution" of slavery. The Myth of the Lost Cause and other Civil War mythologies are not confined to dusty shelves and arcane historical studies, however. In fact, the Civil War is a part of every-day American life. It influences the American zeitgeist with its pervasive presence in popular culture, literature, film, and television. The effects of this influence, however, and their extent, have changed over the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. The Lost Cause mythology, so popular at the beginning of the twentieth century, has faded from prominence. While many continue to cling to its beliefs, Lost Cause mythology is waning in popular culture. It has been replaced in two ways. First, the Civil War has become a trope, a storytelling device used in everything from car chase movies to cooking shows. Second, the "what if' question that wonders why the South.lost-the hidden core of the Lost Cause mythology-has become mainstream. The Civil War is, now, as much an exercise in speculative and alternative history as it is an example of traditional historical study.
    • The Lost Cause: An Examination of the Defeat of the Confederate States of America

      Vigneri, Thomas; The College at Brockport (1/15/2009)
      This study examines the Lost Cause of the Confederacy and the reasons for the defeat of the Confederate States of America. The Confederate States of America was created with propaganda, lofty ideals and unbridled optimism. With the outcome of the American Civil War known, this study seeks to answer the question, was the South's defeat predetermined, or was it a victim of its own leadership? On the surface the Confederacy seemed unprepared for war with the North in 1861. The Confederate leadership suffered from unreasonable and delusional expectations without any realistic plan for success. The South was partially a victim of its own propaganda and the propaganda was also misused and ill timed. The cause of the Confederacy was in many ways a comedy of errors. The dreams of success and independence held by the Confederacy were unlikely to be realized given the lack of manpower, infrastructure, economic diversity, industry, political strength, political alliances, and unity. In addition to the tangible deficits of the South, the Confederacy was also engaged in a struggle to create a nation while simultaneously waging war against an established nation. Each of these tasks was daunting by itself, but to tackle all together was an incredibly difficult undertaking. Such an undertaking would only be possible if the entire Confederate nation was united in ideology and purpose, however, it was not.
    • Editing the Past: How Eisenstein and Vertov Used Montage to Create Soviet History

      Priest, Douglas Michael; The College at Brockport (10/1/2008)
      This study examines montage according to Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov and how their theories changed due to the political and social upheaval of the Cultural Revolution (1928-1931). In the case of both directors, montage also led to revisionism of Soviet History. By closely analyzing the writings of both directors regarding their film theories, and comparing them with the films they subsequently created, the following discussion demonstrates that both directors made conscious choices about the structure of their films that led to historical revisionism both before and after the Cultural Revolution. Their writings and films existed within the context of Soviet authority and thus reflected its ideals, yet created historical revisionism in a distinct way, in spite of political pressure. Eisenstein's intricate development of montage gave him the ability to include it in his films both before and after the Cultural Revolution in a variety of ways. Vertov's focus on documentary film as the medium to which montage was applied allowed him to continue to assert himself well into the 1930s. As a result, both film makers retained a degree of artistic freedom throughout the repressive regime of Stalinism.
    • Main Street, Marion, and Miscegenation: The Warren Harding Race Rumor and the Social Construction of Race and Marriage

      Parker, Alison; O'Brien, Kenneth; Lang, Stephen K.; The College at Brockport (10/1/2013)
      In the final weeks of the 1920 presidential election campaign, an eccentric college professor from Ohio, William Estabrook Chancellor, distributed a series of leaflets across the Midwest that claimed the Republican candidate and future president, Warren G. Harding, was racially “impure.” Much has been written about Chancellor, his racist theories, which were based on the “scientific racism” of the time, and his relationship to the Democratic Party. What has not been examined, however, is how his allegations about Harding were connected broadly to the social construction of whiteness in America in the twentieth century. In this context, the Harding race rumor is not at all a marginal moment in the history of the twenty-ninth president. Rather, it helps to show that Warren Harding's experience with the race dichotomy of the early twentieth century had much in common with that of other persons accused of mixed-race status at the time. Harding's extended family members were put under severe risk of being discredited and disenfranchised in a nation where it only took a hint of white racial “impurity” to deprive a person of the privileges of whiteness. As such, there is ample reason to reconsider the ways we remember Warren Harding's life and presidency
    • A History of Japanese Religion: From Ancient Times to Present

      Lloyd, Jennifer; Killigrew, John; Symonds, Shannon Reed; The College at Brockport (12/5/2005)
      The purpose of this thesis is to discuss the progression of Japanese religion from its earliest inception to the present day. In the United States, religion is considered to be a very personal phenomenon, one totally disassociated from any government control. My intention is to demonstrate that this has not always been the situation in Japan, and to explain how and why the state became so influential in the religion of its citizens. I will also attempt to explain why the disassociation of religion and the state coincided with a general wave of religious apathy that spread across the country. This thesis begins with a history of primitive Shinto, the only indigenous Japanese religion, and the introduction of Buddhism from Korea. The evolution of these religions, and the influence of Confucianism on their development, is also discussed. I then move on to the coming of Christianity, and the religious policies of the Tokugawa shogunate. A brief history of the Meiji Restoration follows, along with a detailed explanation of State Shinto, emperor worship, and the strict religious precepts of the new government, which remained in effect until the end of World War II. Following the separation of state and religion, I move on to the introduction of New Religions, with an emphasis on Soka Gakkai, one of the most popular. The thesis concludes with an analysis of current attitudes toward religion in Japan, with a focus on the opinions of college students. It is my hope that readers will come away from this thesis with a greater appreciation for the beauty and diversity that comprises the religions of Japan, and a better understanding of how and why these religions developed the way they did.
    • Men of Steel & Sentinels of Liberty: Superman and Captain America as Civilians and Soldiers in World War II

      Daly, John P.; Morris, William; Carter Soles; Deverell, Richard D.; The College at Brockport (12/7/2013)
      This thesis examines Superman and Captain America comics during World War II, arguing that they portray the civilians’ and soldiers’ experiences of the war, respectively. The thesis begins by examining the creators’ backgrounds and how they influenced later portrayals of the war before proceeding to explore the wartime comics. During the war, DC used Superman as escapist fare to distract from the war while Timely Comics used Captain America to explore the issues of the war, such as portrayals of the Nazis and Japanese. The third and fourth chapters focus on these two issues: portrayals of Nazis and the Japanese. Both comics carefully distinguished between Germans and Nazis, avoiding racial stereotyping of Caucasians. The Japanese, however, were the most prevalent in a series of bluntly racist portrayals of non-whites in the comics. Superman and Captain America comics reinforced white supremacy and cast the war in racial terms. The two characters and their respective publishers used the relatively new medium of comic books to engage World War II in distinctly different ways, allowing the comics to portray the civilians’ and soldiers’ respective experiences.
    • The Collapse of the Confederacy: Class Dissent, Unionism, and Desertion

      Hendel, Adam; The College at Brockport (2/15/2009)
      The following is a study of the collapse of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. This· study focuses on class dissent, unionism, and desertion in the Confederate Army as the major contributing factors to the collapse of the Confederacy. The South during the American Civil War was a deeply divided region with poor whites fighting against the planter elites. These deep social tensions caused many within the South to abandon the Confederate cause. Throughout the South before and during the Civil War there were large pockets of people who never supported the Confederacy. In East Tennessee, Arkansas, and West Virginia Unionists waged a violent and brutal guerrilla war in an attempt to destroy the Confederacy. In addition to Unionists, many Southerners who supported the Confederacy at the start of the war carried these social tensions from the home front into the army. By the second year of the war desertion in the Confederate Army was becoming a major problem. The common Confederate soldier quickly realized that they were fighting a rich man's war. The wealthy planters were not willing to do their part by either fighting or support the families of those soldiers who were blooding the battlefields. In the end, the Confederacy sealed its fate even before the first shots of the war were fired since they were never able to get all Southerners to back ·their cause.
    • A History of Computer Technology and its Impact on Academics at SUNY Brockport

      Jennings, Thomas L.; The College at Brockport (2/15/2010)
      A history of academic computing at SUNY Brockport; while administrative computing shares some common history but is only examined here in the broader context of academic computing capability; their histories occasionally intertwine but are distinct. The history of SUNY Brockport's management of the academic computing revolution containing success stories and shortcomings; It is presented in decades starting with the 1960s when computer technology was not an essential part of the campus and ends in the 21st century when computers are an integral part of the campus.
    • "Thirty Thousand Half-breeds" and "Negroes With Guns": The Violent Formulation of Race in 1950s North Carolina

      Cook, Andrew M.; The College at Brockport (4/1/2006)
      In January of 1958, over a thousand Lumbee Indians of Robeson County, North Carolina dispersed a gathering of one hundred and fifty Ku Klux Klansmen under the leadership of James "Catfish" Cole. In the aftermath, national newspapers and magazines published feature articles applauding the Indian confrontation with the Klan. Only two weeks earlier, Robert F. Williams, president of the Monroe, North Carolina chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had organized an armed confrontation with the Ku Klux Klan that received no national media coverage. The disparity of media attention given to the two events was due to the ideologies and motivations of two very different groups. The Lumbees resisted the imposition of a Klan doctrine that was foreign to the majority of Indian and White residents of Robeson County and to the actual racial infrastructure at the time. Williams, on the other hand, used violence to attack the racial fo undations of Southern society-the political, social and economic stratification of society along racial lines. In both cases, non-White groups used violence in an attempt to redefine what it meant to be Indian or Black. This study explores the ways that North Carolinians used violence to create and define race. Chapter One examines the ways in which race is constructed through violence and the memory of violence. Chapter Two provides background on the Ku Klux Klan and the way that it used violence to enforce racial restrictions. Chapter Three presents the case of Robert Williams and the NAACP's most militant local chapter. Chapter Four explores the evolution of the tripartite racial system of Robeson County and the ways that the Lumbees interacted with their White and Black neighbors. Throughout, this history focuses on the use of violence to create, enforce and redefine racial conventions. It also examines the distribution of stories, pictures and souvenirs as ~method of spreading the impact of racial violence.
    • The 'Art' of Majesty: Displaying the Stuart Monarchy, 1603-1714

      Martin, Morag; Schutte, Kimberly; Martin, Morag; Louis-Broyld, Fabrice; The College at Brockport (4/1/2014)
      After the much beloved, but single and childless, Elizabeth Tudor, the Stuarts of Scotland were next in line for the throne of England. They came to power in a century of political change fo the Monarchy. The 'Art' of Majesty looks at how the Stuarts attempted to display itself to the world. Serving a more political rather than artistic purpose, these portraits hide much more than they reveal. At a time when the Monarchy needed to project idealized images of majesty, it is these hidden stories which are often the most valuable.
    • The Lived Experience of the Black Death

      Webb, Megan; The College at Brockport (5/1/2012)
      During the late Middle Ages, the experience of plague pervaded the discourse of the body and influenced such disparate subjects as anatomy and art. These cultural motifs were expressed in a variety of ways that correlated the experience of plague with the mortification of the flesh required for Christian martyrdom. Similar ideas were expressed in how medical practitioners conceptualized and justified postmortems and university dissections. The somatic nature of Christian spirituality resonates through the images of plague saints with those of anatomical illustrations of dissected figures. It links together the bodily experience of saints, dissected criminals, and sufferers of plague. This theme culminates in the time when the influences of the physical experience of plague are most visible : following the Italian epidemic of 1477- 79. During this period the Italian peninsula experienced the swift advent of the cult of St. Roch, a sudden shift in the presentation of St. Sebastian, and the rise in anatomical research and dissection culminating in the publication of Berengario da Carpi ' s "Isagogae Breves" in 1 523 . The history of plague and the history of anatomy are intimately linked. The purpose of this essay is to explore the common thread of Christian ideas about physicality and suffering that arise in both plague narratives and medical texts, a theme that remains under-examined in current historiographies of both plague and medieval medicine .
    • Women Who Wear the Breeches: The REpresentation of Female Civil War Soldiers in Mid-Nineteenth Century Newspapers

      Wright, Allison; Spiller, James; Leone-Poe, Danni; Brockport (5/1/2019)
      It has been estimated that approximately 400 women disguised themselves as men and fought as soldiers in the Civil War. Using newspaper articles from the midnineteenth century, this essay tells the story of these soldiers and demonstrates how wartime public knowledge of them was widespread and that they were regarded positively considering the strict gender boundaries that they crossed. It also argues that the estimate of the number of female soldiers should be much higher than previous historians have reported.
    • The Role of Religion in the Civil War

      Bensley, Todd Matthew; The College at Brockport (5/12/2004)
      Antebellum America was shaped by the Second Great Awakening, a series of religious revivals that swept across all regions of the United States and affected the lives of all Americans. The evangelical preachers who led the revivals emphasized the need to improve society to prepare for the Millennium, or second coming of Christ. The desire for reform led to calls by many northerners for the abolition of slavery. The abolitionists argued that slavery went against the teachings in the Bible. Supporters of slavery countered this attack by pointing out specific passages in the Bible that seemed to prop up slavery. These arguments led to sectional schisms in the Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist churches. The breakup of these churches foreshadowed the Civil War. Once the war broke out, religion was used by the soldiers and their leaders to sustain their will to fight. Religion played a significant role in the coming of, and the fighting in, the Civil War.
    • Navigating “the Ocean of Matrimony:” Marital Expectations and Experiences in Virginia, 1779-1835

      Martin, Morag; Ireland, Owen S.; Alison Parker; Stocking, Richard J.; The College at Brockport (5/12/2017)
      Though historians continue to add important insight on marital expectations and experiences in early national Virginia, a more encompassing examination is necessary. This thesis examines marriage in three interconnected ways to augment the growing study of marital beliefs and realities. First, sermons, hymns, published religious literature, church minutes, and circular letters describe what Protestant Virginia clergy wrote about matrimony. Second, letters, journals, published books, and newspapers illustrate what lay Virginians expected from marriage. Finally, letters, diaries, autobiographies, and secondary sources offer a glimpse into the everyday experiences of spouses in the Old Dominion. Taken together, this study concludes that from 1779 to 1835, Virginians struggled to reconcile the companionate ideal with the traditional patriarchal marriage model.
    • Hunting for Harmony: The Skaneateles Community and Utopian Socialism in Upstate New York - 1825-1853

      Torre, Jose R.; Torre, Jose; Moyer, Paul; Jones, Mitchell (5/13/2020)
      The Skaneateles Community was a utopian socialist commune that existed from 1843 to 1846 in Mottville, New York. Abolitionist lecturer John Anderson Collins founded the community on the non-resistance and no-government principles of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. Collins and his Skaneateles followers, so-called communitists, sought to live in a godless, harmonious, communist utopia, free of both chattel and wage slavery. They eschewed private property, declared the virtues of communitism and shared everything. The Panic of 1837, the first major depression of the Market Revolution made the 1840s a period of unprecedented socialist agitation and utopian practice. People sought a system that promised security and safety from the perils of speculation and market fluctuation. The Panic of 1837 aligned the material interests of the laboring class and the business class. Upstate New York became the "Volcanic District" of the socialist movement inspired by French thinker Charles Fourier. Fourierism’s doctrine of harmony between capital and labor made it attractive to both workers and businessmen affected by the depression. The Skaneateles Community found favorable conditions in Upstate New York because of their comradeship with Fourierists. Unlike the Fourierists, the Skaneateles Community advocated the abolition of all private property. Though the Fourierists thought them too radical, but they encouraged the Skaneateles communitists and wanted them to succeed.
    • Violence and Social Unrest: Implications of the Reconstruction Amendments for African Americans in the Post Civil War South, 1863-1877

      Cross, Alana Brooke; The College at Brockport (5/15/2011)
      Freedom, citizenship, and manhood suffrage became rights promised by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution. These rights became part of the social, political, and economic fabric of America after a long and bloody Civil War. Though Democrats and Republicans differed dramatically on their principles of equality for African Americans, these rights became part of the Constitution and propelled a nation and its citizens into a protracted and racialized civil war that lasted into the l 960's. The Reconstruction Amendments granted former enslaved persons rights and privileges that were previously reserved for whites only. However, rights on paper were far different from the realities faced by many African Americans and their white Republican allies. White southern Democrats challenged these amendments, and eventually nullified them in practice, with the objective of repressing and re-enslaving African Americans inside the post Civil War South. Violence, Black Codes, and economic as well as political oppression inflicted through literacy tests and poll taxes ushered in a new era of American slavery by 1877. Between 1865 and 1877, African Americans who had fought for freedom from chattel slavery and had won emancipation were being targeted because of the laws guaranteed by the Constitution. The Reconstruction Amendments along with the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and 1875 challenged the racial hierarchy of the South and white supremacy. Due in large part to white fears and attitudes, the implications of the Reconstruction Amendments had lasting effects on both Northern and Southern Black communities that carried over and into the 20th century. The violence and social unrest of Reconstruction were an extension of the Civil War and its consequences had a direct and profound impact on the Civil Rights era which came to fruition almost one hundred years later. This thesis will argue that the Reconstruction Amendments while promising rights and equality on paper did little to help African Americans facing violence, discrimination, and segregation in the post Civil War South. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments made the volatile situation in the South worse for African Americans because the Federal government established no groundwork and provided little meaningful enforcement of the vague principles it guaranteed in the Constitution. These guarantees had no practical application and only served to inspire violence and facilitate white racism. What was needed were reforms and enforcement, on both federal and state levels, which promoted economic independence. While it is important to remember the positive potential of rights granted during Reconstruction by the Federal government and the Constitution, these laws propelled white supremacists into violent and malicious actions that had far reaching and devastating consequences for not only African Americans but the country as a whole.
    • Soothing the Savage Beast: Music in the Cultural Cold War, 1945-1991

      Martin, Morag; Daly, John P.; Leslie, W. Bruce; Clark, Shellie M.; The College at Brockport (5/16/2015)
      From the beginning of the Cold War, music was recognized by governments as a powerful tool to persuade people that their particular way of life was superior, a “soft power” to be wielded in the cultural battle that resulted when atomic power raised the stakes of military conflict. Musicians and consumers, however, were not without agency in the messages they produced and embraced, and their messages frequently came into conflict with both communism and the Western world. Utilizing government documents, news sources, oral histories, and song lyrics, this paper examines the interplay of music, government, and the people during the Cold War. The study of the effects of music on Cold War politics and the relationships of people to their own governments provides evidence of the power of music to influence historical events, and illuminates the lengths to which government agencies have gone to control that influence.
    • Opera Houses of the Genesee Country: Perceived Indicators of Economic and Cultural Success

      Oakes, Jane E.; The College at Brockport (5/17/2003)
      During the half-century following the end of the Civil War, over fifty opera houses were built across the Genesee Country of New York State- a region extending from the western edge of the Finger Lakes to the eastern border of the Niagara region. Although little different from their earlier counterparts, called 'halls', the conscious choice to call a newly built or acquired entertainment hall an opera house reflected a desire on the part of both town and builder to be thought of as appreciative of higher culture and the arts, and of having the financial stability to create and support such a venue. These opera houses were what I believe to be perceived indicators of a town's cultural and economic progress: that is, they were understood on the part of the financier and community at large to be visible evidence to outsiders of the town's cultural sensitivity and financial security. In addition, the construction of an opera house conferred on the builder/financier a secure place within the town's social hierarchy as that of benefactor and promoter of the common good. Eloquent speeches outlining the town's gratitude for such a place of entertainment were often a major part of opening night ceremonies at the new opera house. Thus, the perception of an opera house as being representative of economic and cultural success exists on a dual level- that of the political entity and its inhabitants, and that of the individual builder. Leisure time was increasing during the last part of the 19th century, due to changes in technology and labor laws, and in many social circles attending performances at the local opera house was considered to be preferable to attending those at vaudeville theaters, burlesque houses, circuses, or taverns. Opera houses were perceived as offering a higher, more morally desirable quality of entertainment than many other venues- a perception often utilized by acting companies and theater managers in their advertising. By studying the plays, touring and local acts, newspaper advertisements and playbills associated with local opera houses, it is possible to further our understanding of how a community's opera house reflected cultural transitions during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These changes were happening nationally as well, as an agrarian society changed to one more urban- and industrially- based. New technologies, economic growth, and increasingly more complex national rail infrastructure influenced the rise in popularity of the opera house both in the study region and on the national level. Conversely, all these factors also played a role in the demise of the opera house as cultural icon. Still, even though their heyday has long since passed, many citizens of towns which possessed one of these structures have spoken with pride in the fact that their town once had one. More than a century after these structures were built, the perception that an opera house represented their town's elevated level of prosperity and cultural achievement still exists in this region today.
    • From Denial to Acceptance: How the Confederacy Came To Terms with the American Civil War

      Martin, Morag; Daly, John P.; Moyer, Paul; Stachowski, Ann E. (5/18/2013)
      This thesis seeks to answer one of the fundamental questions of history: how did the people, in a given place and time, view their world? This work addresses Confederates, or those Southerners who supported the secession movement and the Confederate States of America, during the American Civil War, 1861-1865. This work seeks to offer a nuanced view into the minds of Confederates over the course of the war by framing their experience with the Five Step Grieving Process. This process, first described by psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, identifies the five major emotions a person experiences while suffering a loss. These emotions are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. This framework allows greater insight into the Confederate culture because it does not force people’s lived experiences into a cause, process, effect format. Instead, it allows flexibility in understanding the human condition as many different people faced the loss of a way of life. The five stages of the Grieving Process provide the structure for this thesis. Research rooted in the diaries, letters, newspapers, and sermons of Confederates allows their lived experience, told in their own words, to illustrate the usefulness of the five-step grieving process as an analytical framework. This approach brings together voices from women, men, soldiers, civilians, government officials and journalists from across the Confederacy. Class lines and geographical boundaries only enhance the efficacy of the framework as the Confederates worked toward accepting the doom of the American Civil War.