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History

SENIOR PROJECTS AND STUDENT RESEARCH

Carrie Butler ’11
The Abolition of the Slave Trade in Great Britain
The British slave trade began around 1555. By the mid-1700s, some members of British society began to realize the inhumanity and inherent evil in this trade of human flesh. After twenty years of work by abolitionists in Parliament and the general society, Parliament passed the “Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade” on March 25, 1807. Using letters of abolitionists, slave narratives, antislavery tracts, and autobiographies, the author argues that the abolitionists could not have won this fight as individuals and abolition could not have happened without the abolitionists fighting both among the people in society and in Parliament.

Quinesha R. Cruz ’11
Charles Hamilton Houston: The Rebel against Jim Crow
Charles Hamilton Houston was a man who rebelled against the unjust nature of Jim Crow by using a gifted perspective to identify the weaknesses of the federal government in exercising substantive equality. The methodical selection of court cases that Houston and his legal team executed to dismantle Jim Crow is the focus of this study. Ms. Cruz examined court cases and speeches that were argued by Houston and his legal cadre and interviews of everyday people from the Jim Crow era. Ms. Cruz’s analysis reinforces the view that Charles Hamilton Houston is undoubtedly the unsung and distinctive rebel who brought Jim Crow to its knees.

Amy Montoya ’11
The Dance of Skeletons: An Analysis of the Causes of the Pullman Strike
In the 1880s, George Pullman built his model town of Pullman, Illinois, to house the workers who worked at his Pullman Palace Car Company. During this era of strife between capitalists and laborers, Pullman received a reputation as a benevolent employer. In actuality, tensions also simmered among his employees as a result of Pullman’s rigid, paternalistic control of his town. The Depression of 1893 added fuel to these already existing tensions, and the Pullman Strike of 1894 was the result. Pullman, along with many other businessmen and government officials, condemned the strike as unjustifiable. However, an examination of the United States Strike Commission Report submitted to President Cleveland in 1895 showed otherwise. Pullman’s policies during the Depression, including maintaining low wages and high rents, along with his refusal to negotiate or participate in arbitration, brought his employees to a place of desperation, which justified the actions of the strikers.

Rachael Phillips ’11
French Aid in the Revolt of Owain Glyndŵr 
The beginning of the fifteenth century in England saw an eruption of discontent and violence stemming from tensions which had been brewing for many years. In the aftermath of the deposition and murder of Richard II, a land dispute between a Welsh land owner and an English lord quickly escalated into a revolt that would garner international support. With offers of aid from France, Owain Glyndŵr bravely took on the cause of Welsh independence. However, the aid received from France was lackluster and nowhere near its full potential. If the full resources of French foreign aid had been given to the Welsh, then Glyndŵr might have been successful in his quest for Welsh independence.

Meg Pitts ’11
The Importance of Collaboration: Wyatt’s Rebellion of 1554
In late 1554, Mary I, Queen of England, informed her Privy Council of her intentions to marry Philip II of Spain. Many people fervently opposed the match, and once it was understood that Mary would not be deterred, a group of noblemen took it upon themselves to stop the marriage. Their actions ultimately led to the event known as Wyatt’s Rebellion of 1554, which failed due to the leading conspirators’ differing personal agendas and intended results of the rebellion.